“You just need to be more content,” said absolutely no Christian to me ever, including numerous men. All in good fun here, but I have heard, “stop throwing things at my head,” “why are you screaming at me,” and “can you calm down, please?” Never heard, “you just need to be more content.” Perhaps those previous behaviors give us a clue as to why……
Before y’all leap to judge me, my hostile tendencies, my discontent, has never been over trifles. There are some things we are called to scream at the top of our lungs over. Don’t confuse cowardice with gentleness or submission with passivity. Humans are notorious for trying to cloak our short comings in alleged virtues.
Anyway, the contentment wars are a real thing on the internet, specifically this idea that women just need to learn to be more content. You know what I call that? Swallowing bitter.
Forced contentment in the face of injustice is immoral. Labeling our feelings somehow sinful and ignoring the value they have as messengers, is dishonoring to womanhood. Forced contentment is like, to lobotomize one’s own spirit. (Don’t confuse contentment with grace, with the state of being forgiven and forgiving, with the ability to practice long suffering and patience.)
Envy, strife, despair,negative self talk, are all real enough too, but they are internal heart matters. You can’t just pour external “contentment” over them and call it good. That’s like putting a band aid on a raging infection.
In that spirit of perpetual discontent I find myself disgruntled about both of these articles, allegedly existing in opposition to one another.
Both of these articles have some good points…..and some bones that need to be spit out and possibly burned to the ground. Who better to roast sacred cows and burn the place to the ground? J/K.
What strikes me as annoying is that most articles about women just flip from one extreme to the other. Women are evil, mean, horrible, rebellious creatures, comparable to Wormwood and Screwtape versus, abuse, abuse, everything is abuse, trigger! I cannot write anything myself without hearing “but abuse,” and for good reason too, there is some abusive stuff out there, some false teachings that are just like rolling the red carpet out for abuse and painting a target on women’s backs.
However, perspective people! Not all of us are abused or have been abused, or will be abused. Not all of us are self-centered, envious, unappreciative, and ungrateful either. I’ll avoid any mention of the red pill gals at this point, some who seem to actually believe women should be abused. Just saying, that spirit in women is alive and well too, I assure you.
It is the ultimate irony that the first article states that the job of Screwtape is to, “Keep them looking at their husband’s failings (“he just doesn’t seem to even care about my needs”) and not their own heart. Keep them looking “in the mirror,” if you will.”
Oh absolutely. Stop looking at your own husband’s failings and just start looking at the myriad of other women who are obviously doing it all wrong…..and then write an article about all of them! I feel like I’m trapped in a whole hall of mirrors in a carnival funhouse somewhere. Well, at least hubby gets a break, I suppose…
Conversely however, the second article proclaims much of the same kind of thing. First let me say, absolutely no one is ever oppressed, silenced, abused, because someone else once told them to be content. My mother told me to be content every single day of my life. In fact, she tried to say it again just this morning. Insisting people be content is how abusers attempt to make you okay with what they are doing. That is just as true of atheists, vegans, and narcissists, as it is of Christians.
What is missing in both of these articles is an evident and apparent frequent sin of women everywhere, first, our inability to take personal responsibility for our own selves, and our desire to always make the personal political. It is as if we cannot just “selfishly” focus on our own selves and our own relationship with the Lord. And by “selfishly” I mean that’s a good thing. He is the Great Physician for our own souls, not for all the other broken women out there who we must rebuke, save, and, rescue.
So, the first woman is going to just fix all the selfish women who refuse to be content in their marriages, and the second woman is going to speak on behalf of all the passive women who allow themselves to be misled by someone else’s words to them.
I said “allow,” and I mean that with all love, grace, mercy, and understanding, but we are responsible for swallowing the words of others, for buying into false teachings, for allowing ourselves to be deceived, for allowing ourselves to endure abuse because someone else told us we were supposed to be content.
God has never told me to be “content.” He did once tell me to stop being “benign,” as in a meaningless clump of non cancerous cells posing no threat to the Body of Christ. That was painful let me tell you, because it was the truth. I’ll just say it flat out, as women we are called to raise a little hell now and then, because if hell hasn’t taken note of our presence, we’ve simply allowed ourselves to just become a little parasitical thing clinging to the Body of Christ and really serving no purpose.
“Content” can actually be the enemy of us all, as in our faith is meant to be an abundant well, a moving and progressing river, not a safe place in which to park ourselves, contentedly. Sin in the world is abundant, the lost and the broken are crying out, we have a job to do, a kingdom to welcome. Rest in the Lord, lean into Him, pour praise and encouragment over husbands, but for goodness sakes, don’t strive for contentment and it’s evil twin, complacent, as if those things were intended to be the essence of womanhood.