Coloratura Christian

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Psalm 34:4-5)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Wife's Struggle for Identity in the 21st Century


I think we are all aware that God’s idea of marriage is very politically incorrect. And that in striving to fulfill what He has uniquely designed and equipped females for, we will be going expressly "against the grain." The influence of feminism in our culture makes it very difficult for a woman to enjoy contentment in marriage. The feminist agenda is so far reaching that its effects are felt even within our churches, and although strictly speaking our own sinful nature is that root of discontentment, feminism stirs it up, and acts as a stumbling block for many women today. One of my favorite authors, Sharon James, writes, "By now, the idea that a woman may find her chief role in life as a wife and a mother has been discredited beyond repair." A woman whose energies are primarily devoted to a domestic sphere is seen in a degrading light. Many women feel that if they are not pursuing a successful career as their primary goal, they are somehow second-class citizens. The difficulty that arises for many women is an identity question, "Who am I, if not defined by my career?" and "What is my worth?" As women living in the 21st century, we need to have a solid grasp on what it means to be in Christ. If our sense of self-worth comes from what we do, we will constantly be struggling with insecurity and discontentment. But we have a higher calling than what the world would have for us. Our worth can only be realized in light of the greatness and majesty of our God who has counted us worthy, based on the blood of Jesus Christ. We have the privilege of serving the One we love most in the role that he has purposefully and thoughtfully designed us for. We need to fight to keep worldly ideas from stealing our joy.

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Rom. 12:2)

5 Comments:

  • At October 22, 2005, Blogger Schehrazada said…

    I'm a 22 year old girl, I graduated from preschool education last year, and somehow I always had a clear plan in my head. I'm going to study then I'm going to get married and have kids and be a wonderful mommy. But as it has occured to me this year, maybe this will never happen to me. How can I control whether I can find or not a husband who shares these kind of ideas with me? Will I feel lost the rest of my life because I have no idea of what to do with it? I just need to confess that I feel so lost right now, I don't know where I'm going or where I should go. My biggest dream is getting married and becoming a mom.. how can I pursue this? What if that's just not God's plan for me? What can I do in the meanwhile to find my way or the way he has for me??

     
  • At October 22, 2005, Blogger tomgee said…

    My wife and I discussed the issue of staying home with the children before we got married. We both felt strongly that the right thing was for her to stay home with the children, but we didn't know we both felt this way until we talked about it.

    I would encourage those considering marriage to discuss this particular area with their presumptive spouse. It's not a small decision. Not only does the decision to stay home have profound influences on your future family life, but it also will show where you and your friend's priorities are.

    (Knowing we were going to do this once we had children, as soon as we were married we began to live on my salary alone even though my wife worked for about a year. It helped us buy a house, and let us learn how to live on one salary.)

    We are so grateful to God for his guidance in these matters. We now have two children (7 and 5) whom we homeschool, and we feel incredibly blessed by God for the peace and love which rules our home.

     
  • At October 22, 2005, Blogger Christel said…

    Hi Schehrazada,

    Thank-you for your comment. You are asking some very important and difficult questions, and admittedly there is no easy answer. One thing in particular jumps out at me from your story. As with the dissatisfied housewife, I believe the root of your discontentment is an identity question. You may be defining who you are too much by what you desire to do, namely, be a wife and mother. If you are not a wife and mother, then who are you?

    The bible teaches that we are sinners (Rom. 3:23), enemies of God (Rom. 5:10), and deserving of His judgement; yet the wonderful news of the ‘gospel’ is that if we believe and confess Jesus, he forgives us and saves us from our sin (Rom. 10:9). We no longer need to be ashamed, because he has paid for our sin on the cross and has covered our shame with His righteousness (Is. 61:10. This is our identity. If we are Christ’s and He is ours, we are adopted into the family of God (Rom. 8:15). The only way to find true contentment is to tear our eyes off of what we feel we lack, and turn them to Jesus. The bible tells us to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” As we grow in our understanding and love for Him, our joy increases, and difficulties that seem to be all-consuming and insurmountable fade somewhat when we dwell on the goodness of the Lord. This is why Paul can say, “for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (Phil. 4:11)

    While your desire to be a wife and mother is a good one, we have to be careful, because like all good desires, when they become so strong and consume so much of our thoughts, we are in danger of committing idolatry. God is the only one who should consume that much of our thoughts, and if He is not, we need to make a serious reassessment of our priorities.

    I hope some of these thoughts are helpful for you. I know this is not a quick fix, but the questions you are asking are not superficial and cannot be easily ‘fixed.’ The only way to make progress in these deep heart issues, is to spend more time in the Word of God and prayer, and let Him change us from the inside out.

    Blessings ~ Christel

     
  • At October 23, 2005, Anonymous Elisha said…

    "But we have a higher calling than what the world would have for us."

    Christel... I so appreciated these words of encouragement. As a woman who has been placed in the role of a wife who works both inside and outside of her home, I can completely relate to the ongoing battle with identity. There are times when the subtle pressure to achieve and follow worldly ambition seems to dominate – and it is precisely at those times when your words of encouragement will need to be revisited in my mind… and refreshed in my heart. As I now enter a new work week, both in the home and in the world, my prayer is that I will truly seek and find my identity ‘in Christ’ and that I will remember my higher calling. I hope you will speak more about this… I likely will be in need of a refresher by mid-week.

     
  • At October 24, 2005, Blogger Christel said…

    Tomgee,

    Thank-you for taking the time to comment. It is encouraging to hear of the happiness you and your wife enjoy.

    Elisha,

    Thank-you for your kind words. As always, you are such a blessing to me.

     

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