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Popsicles and sundresses. Denim jumpers and prairie muffins. Homeschoolers and mom jeans. I hope all these stereotypes draw a recognizable picture of what I am talking about, all these false cultural notions of what “Biblical Womanhood” looks like.

Take for instance this New Yorker article, “The Unmasking of Biblical Womanhood.” Hat tip for the link.

About a decade ago, I really felt like I got discarded and thrown on the rubbish heap, as if to say, you just represent everything that is all wrong with our culture. As a Christian woman I was automatically perceived as either a victim or an enabler of an oppressive patriarchy. It was actually really crushing to my soul because it was such a false perception of who I really am and what motivates me.

It was a war, I’m telling ya. The enemy and some of his minions just dumped a truck load and then backed up and burned off. A bit funny, up until that point I didn’t really believe in spiritual attacks. Do now, in fact, I’m enthusiastically singing that song from the Monkey’s, I’m a believer…

I got really emotionally beat up, suddenly being criticized for everything I had worked hard for, every virtue I had tried to cultivate. Those virtues are a bit self serving too, they are survival skills, they are healthy coping mechanisms, not indications of dysfunction. Take for example, having grace under fire. It is good to be so firmly rooted you can keep your head when things get heated! That skill was just labelled passivity. It is good to have some peace in the midst of chaos and circumstances you can’t control. That was just labeled being numbed out and not caring. Trying to maintain some form of connection in marriage when things are challenging? Ewww, she’s obviously codependent or worse yet, probably submissive.

Went to the doctor for blood pressure a few years back and explained everything that was going on with OTHER people, including the neighbors on one side clearly cooking meth and building pipe bombs and the neighbors on the other side clearly using it while running up and down the street all night long half naked and screaming. So the doc says, well clearly YOU have some mental health issues and we need to get you on some anti-depressants, sleeping pills etc. Not sure where I got the strength to say, “no.” Nope, I’m actually the only healthy and sane person in this situation. So why am I the one you want to medicate??!

I really was too, the only sane and competent person who had any power to do anything about any of it. Things have now settled down a great deal. It’s not perfect, we still got pipe bombs, sporadic drug use going on in the neighborhood, and an attempted homeless camp forming at the end of our road, but after much prayer and a few miracles, things are much better with my own stress level.

Don’t wish to beat up on men here, but the article above says, “This narrative that men carry the authority of God is frightening, and it’s not Christian.” Some 90% of the women I know actually wish more men would pick up some authority. Oh, they’re often good at picking up pride and arrogance, at hubris and abuse, at hogging the floor, but picking up the genuine authority of God? Not so much. See, many people don’t seem to understand how gentle the authority of God really is or what authentic power really is all about. Power doesn’t make you the boss, the big cheese, it just makes you responsible and accountable for what goes on under your care.

Women have a lot of issues, too. I have to say that because whenever I mention flaws in men, the linear thinkers immediately launch into this comparison game, as if we’re grading on a curve or something. “So what you’re really saying is all women are perfect?” Yes dude, that is exactly what I am saying because you are the gold standard of all things and the entire universe revolves around you.….

There are a lot of things wrong with this article. I just want to focus on the one part that has triggered me, the blatant disrespect, the mockery, the shaming of the prairie muffins, the complete inability to honor their strength, their faith, even their foibles. It just bleeds disrespect, resentment, and hatred. Also, hubris.

I’m quite familiar with some aspects of modern evangelical culture, with headship and abuse, with how rather ironically, it was women who influenced some editing of the Bible in an attempt to counteract feminism back in the 70’s. I got the research burned into my brain along with some leftovers now getting moldy in the fridge. But that’s not what I want to address, it’s actually just this part, “that men carry the authority of God is frightening, and it’s not Christian.” We all carry the authority of God or we should be carrying it. If it doesn’t look like God, than it’s not the authority of God that we’re carrying.

Did you know abuse is really prevalent in the secular world? It is. It is extremely prevalent in same sex relationships, some ten times more common. I’ve been saying this for years and it often just falls on deaf ears, but power and authority do not cause abuse. Abusers do not carry the power and authority of God and neither do victims. In fact, if you want to prevent victimhood, introduce people to the power and authority of God. Women tend to become softer because they feel safer and men tend to become stronger because they feel seen.

It’s an imbroglio, a concerted attack, because the grievance girls like the “historians” in this article are telling women the power of God is frightening and dangerous, the Biblical manhood cultians are telling women they can’t have any, and the secular world is telling everyone the power and authority of God is oppressive, and pop culture Christians are preaching just be powerless, turn the other cheek and don’t offend anyone.

We should all be doing the precise opposite, step into your rightful inheritance, pick up the full power and authority of Jesus, and go move some mountains.