Today I was jolted by something I read at the Solo Femininity Blog which is an excerpt from the to-be-named book that Carolyn McCulley is currently working on:
“What defines your worth as a woman? Is it your beauty or your sexual appeal? Is it found in your professional accomplishments or your children’s achievements? Is it based upon how well you multi-task to pull off the superwoman act?
More importantly, do you know why you believe this?”
This jolted me because I realized what I have allowed to define my worth as a woman. I have fought hard against the physical ideals the world has for women and the immodesty that is rampant in our culture- especially here in Southern California! I have abandoned the dream of a career and am all too aware of the unfulfilling nature of work. I don’t have any children with achievements- or any children at all, for that matter.
But I do want to be superwoman.
In my mind I’ve created this ideal of the type of woman I should be. I want to be generous, yet frugal. Frugal, but not cheap. Well kept, but not high maintenance. Intelligent, yet humble and unassuming. Humble and unassuming but not ditzy. Competent, yet sincerely weak. Sincere, but discerning. Discerning but not judgmental. Gracious, yet bold. Bold, but not argumentative. Busy, but carefree. Carefree, but not irresponsible. Responsible but not uptight. I want to be successful at my job, a dedicated and wise student, a good and loyal friend, a loving and dedicated daughter, a faithful servant at my church and in my Bible study. I want to keep a pleasant and clean home, have people over and make them feel welcome. I want to anticipate needs before I hear of them, counsel wisely and biblically…and on top of it stay in fashion.
So I shop on Craigslist to decorate my home beautifully but not spend too much money. I work hard all day and attend classes at night so I can obtain my Master’s in Biblical Counseling. I fill my lunch breaks and weekends with spending time with people and doing homework. I drive home whenever my family has an event so I can be part of their lives as well. I attend bible study and go on missions trips. I read fashion magazines, The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Martha Steward Living, Banking Today, CNN, and ESPN so I can be feminine, relevant, and informed about current fashion trends, political issues and hot topics, banking trends, and sports. And why do I do it? Because I think that’s what the ideal woman would do. My ideal. Read: ideal–not godly or holy or righteous which means that none of these things I strive after are God’s ideal.
It’s not that these desires are wrong, necessarily (although after class tonight on what we worship, I’m starting to rethink how much of a priority staying in fashion needs to be for me.) It’s the amount of worth as a woman I gain from doing it all. Anyways, I am thinking tonight how I can change this and how I can rightly think about what it means to be a woman and how I can use my role as a woman to the glory of God.