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Confessions of a Recovering Feminist

Photo By Tiffany Rogers, USA

Written By Tiffany Rogers, USA

Hi, my name is Tiffany and I’m a recovering feminist.

My interest in feminism started in college, where I saw many girls studying there only for the coveted “MRS degree”. For the uninitiated, this refers to a girl who attends college just to find and marry a well-educated husband with a bright future. There are even self-help articles and a list of schools to find such husbands made available for girls online. To me, it seemed as if these girls were attempting to find their worth in whom they might marry, instead of whom they might become.

In my pride and arrogance, I pitied those girls. I didn’t want to be like them; I didn’t want my identity as a woman to be found in my identity as a wife. I wanted to be distinct and recognized for what I could do—regardless of what my last name might be someday.

As a Christian, however, I felt like I was in the minority for having this opinion. The Christians around me seemed to believe that women served best as “helpers,” and I refused to accept that idea. I couldn’t bear the thought of marrying someone who would be the ultimate decision-maker for our lives—and of my life. Why should I be the submissive counterpart just because I was a woman? Why should I be seen as less just because of my gender? I felt compelled to stand up against this notion.

Most of the fighting happened in my own heart and mind, however. I wasn’t a feminist by practice, just by belief. With my ideals, I was determined in my heart to fight for equality and for my rights, but I never attended any rallies, marches or forums to discuss the issues. I simply made a decision to never end up in a situation where I was being stripped of my equality because of my gender, within marriage or otherwise.

One day, as I was mulling over these thoughts and trying to figure out the desired outcome of my feminism, I started to think: What was I really fighting and rooting for? Well, it was simple: I wanted equality. I wanted men and women to be viewed and treated the same. I wanted to stop hearing Christians say that women are to “submit”.

But then a question that I had never considered before flashed across the screen of my mind: “Do you care about your identity as a woman more than you care about your identity in Christ?”

Suddenly, I felt like I was being presented with two platters. On one was my feminism: my fight for equality, my standing up on behalf of my gender, my pride, and how emotionally and mentally invested I was in the cause. On the other was my knowledge of who I am in Christ, and my cross.

In an instant, I was overcome. Jesus told us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). If God was asking me to humble myself and lay down the fights and desires I craved to carry in my feminism, could I do it for Him? Would I?

In that moment, I decided I cared more about God than I did my feminism. And even if He didn’t see men and women as equals, I would still care more about loving Him, serving Him and honoring Him with my life than I would about crying out for equal treatment. My love for Him trumps my desire to be seen as equal to a man.

The truth is, God does see men and women as equals. Galatians 3:28 says: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” All believers, whether men or women, Jew or Gentile, have the same relationship with God. He does not discriminate against any of us.

That said, I still believe it’s important to validate women and fight for rights not yet extended to us. There are women all over the world who are still being sold into slavery, abused, and disenfranchised. God calls us to stand up and fight for all people who are marginalized and oppressed.

So now I am a recovering feminist, because I have a much healthier understanding of the word “submission” and what that actually looks like in a Christian marriage. I’m a recovering feminist because before I dare cry out to be given rights I feel I deserve and treatment I believe is merited, I desire first to cry out to God Almighty. I’m a recovering feminist because this is where I spend my time as a Christian woman—not on my feet in demand for my rights, but on my knees in humility before God.

 

This article was originally published on the writer’s blog here. This version has been edited by YMI.

The Compulsory Queue

Title: The Compulsory Queue
Materials: Illustration
Description: 
In life, sometimes it feels like we are standing in a line. We move along the line — step by step — until we reach our journey’s end… and along the way, we collect things — memories, relationships, possessions, achievements, etc… These worldly treasures pile up over time and can cause us to get caught up in the hustle for more. We pile one thing on top of another as if we have to scramble to fill up an empty warehouse.

However, when we reach the end of the line — the end of our life — what worth do these worldly treasures hold? Whatever we have stored up here on earth will all be left behind. Everything from our hands will disappear but the treasures stored in our hearts will remain. What we store in our heart is our true treasure.

What are the kinds of treasures that God calls us to store up in heaven?

 

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ODJ: Mistaken vs. Hard Hearts

June 15, 2016 

READ: Exodus 7:1-13  


Pharaoh’s heart, however, remained hard. He still refused to listen, just as the Lord had predicted (v.13). 

“It’s obvious,” my brother said. “A southerly wind is a wind that’s blowing towards the South.” I tried to protest. He rushed out and picked up a dictionary, returning with the gleeful smugness of the elder brother. “Read it and weep!” he said. When I read aloud the final phrase of the dictionary entry: “concerning winds, southerly means from a southern direction” he grabbed the book from me. He read the entry again, blinking in disbelief before stalking off dejectedly. He couldn’t accept the truth at first, even after reading it for himself. He had been convinced that he was right.

When we’re sure we’re right, it’s often hard to see we’re actually mistaken. Pharaoh refused to acknowledge that God was speaking to him. The signs were irrefutable, but from the devouring serpent to the death of every first-born in Egypt (Exodus 7:8-13, 12:28-32), Pharaoh refused to accept the reality of what was going on. Far more than mistaken, he fought God with a hard heart right up to the loss of his army in the Red Sea! We’re mystified as we read these accounts, wondering how someone could ignore such clear signs (7:13, 14:5).

The truth is we can all be hard in our attitude towards God and His instructions. Paul wrote of God being obvious to all and that we’re without excuse in Romans 1:19-20. Then in verses 21-24 he described how God turns people over to their own sinful desires if they choose to ignore Him. He did the same with Pharaoh and the outcome was disastrous for Egypt (Exodus 12:29-30).

God is loving and kind. He desires that we turn to Him and receive life and salvation. May we choose to do so today, for “it’s obvious“ He wants us to be in right relationship with Him.

—Russell Fralick

365-day plan: Mark 1:1-13

MORE
Read Romans 2:5-11 to see what awaits those who reject God with stubborn and hardened hearts. 
NEXT
How have you experienced a hard heart towards God in your relationship with Him? What has He done to reveal His grace and life-giving ways to you? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODJ: Single-Eyed Focus

April 12, 2016 

READ: Matthew 13:44-46 


The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field (v.44). 

Luciano Faggiano bought a building to house his new restaurant venture. Unfortunately, sewage kept backing up through a toilet. So he and his sons began digging a trench in order to find the broken sewage pipe. After a week, they couldn’t find the problem. Frustration with the project quickly turned into excitement, however, when they unearthed an archaeological treasure. The men discovered an underground world of rooms, including tombs, a Franciscan chapel, and many other artifacts—some that predated Jesus. Oh, and eventually they did manage to fix the broken sewage pipe!

This story reminds me of Jesus’ parable of the hidden treasure found in Matthew 13. In the parable, a man discovers a hidden treasure in a field, buries it again, and then sells everything in order to purchase the field (v.44). Faggiano was determined to find the sewage pipe, but after he found treasure, he put all of his energy into searching for more. It took time and concentration. It was his priority.

After telling the tale of the hidden treasure, Jesus then shared this parable: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (vv.45—46).

The man who found the treasure in a field and the pearl merchant provide examples of what it means for us to seek Jesus and His kingdom (Matthew 6:33). We’re to be singleeyed, passionately loving Him and pouring out His love on others. That focus will determine our priorities. It will take time, energy, and concentration—all that we are.

God loves us with a single—eyed, perfect love. May we return that love with our own!

—Marlena Graves

365-day-plan: 1 Kings 1:28-53

MORE
Read Luke 9:51. It says that Jesus “resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” Think about the implications of Jesus’ resolution to be obedient. What implications did that have for Him? 
NEXT
In what areas of your life do you need to “sell all,” to be resolute in seeking the kingdom? How does God’s love for you inspire your love for Him? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)