|I want my friend's daughter to live in a world that|
encourages her to obey God in whatever way she's called.
It seems God has had a lot to tell me about women in leadership recently, and I've been soaking it up. But all that soaking has left my heart full of anguish. As I consider the future of the Church, the future of our world, I can't believe how much we're missing--simply because women aren't allowed.
I've recently been keenly aware of how women are often mistreated in the workplace, especially in Christian workplaces. From being inflexible in the schedule for a new mother to a double standard for women when they are assertive, determined, and goal-oriented (qualities that are, by the way, actually desired in men). From not promoting women because superiors want to keep them in their "rightful place" to coworkers looking down on women for working and being a mother.
And the sad part is that we have grown up with these mixed messages. "Go after a career," "be independent," "grow intellectually," and "find your calling," are mixed with "your husband's job is more important than yours," "good mothers never leave their child's side," "likeable girls aren't too smart," and "you're calling can't be anything in leadership--especially not in the church." We internalize these wishy-washy messages, and we begin censoring ourselves--even from elementary school. We play dumb so that we're liked. We look for career paths that suit us while holding out for a man whose calling we can support instead. We uphold women's right to work, but we feel guilt about leaving our own children. And this is just a small taste of how these cultural messages negatively affect women.
I've had the honor of learning from women who transcend this conflict, women who are firm in their calling and are devoted to God, first and foremost. Women who actually empower others to do the same. Their stories inspire me and encourage me on the most difficult days. Days like yesterday when I read John Piper's words referred to in that Her.meneutics post.