I learned from Google’s homepage that today is International Women’s Day (IWD). I had not heard of this day before. It led me to think about the competing voices that define femininity today.
IWD also reminded me of a book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss titled Voices of the True Woman Movement: A Call to the Counter-Revolution. Mary Kassian is one of the contributor’s in the book. She writes,
So what’s the answer to the question feminism posed almost fifty years ago? It was a spiritual question: ‘What was going to bring women happiness and fulfillment and joy in life?’ Do we turn back the clock and return to the 1950s? Is it that a woman will only find satisfaction when she finds the perfect man–when she’s a mom and housewife, when she’s safely situated in a station wagon and a home surrounded by a white picket fence? Or do we rely on the feminist formula for fulfillment–woman’s unmitigated freedom to pursue fulfillment in career and sex, controlling and discarding men and doing what we please?
History has shown that the Leave it to Beaver ideal is not the one that will satisfy. There is no man on the face of this earth who can completely fulfill the desire of a woman’s heart. Being a wife and a mom is a great calling and privilege, but it doesn’t satisfy our deepest needs.
The feminist solution, however, won’t satisfy either. The longings of our hearts will not be met when we look to careers and sex and self-determination for fulfillment. We won’t find any more happiness striving for the modern-day ideal than our 1950s sisters did by striving for the ideal of their time. No, in order to find fulfillment as a woman, you and I need to turn our hearts toward the right target. We need to turn to the One for whom we were created and to whom all our yearnings point–the Lord Jesus Christ–and say ‘yes!’ to Him.
We tend to reduce the discussion about womanhood to peripheral questions: her marital status, whether she has children, her education and career choices, whether she works outside of the home, her use of birth control, whether she educates her children at home or sends them off to school, the type of clothes and make-up she wears. These questions are not unimportant, but they are not the essence of true womanhood.
The heart of true womanhood is to understand and agree with the purposes of our Creator. A woman is a true woman when her heart says yes to God
(Mary Kassian, “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!,” in Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Voices of the True Woman Movement [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2010], 68-9).
I am blessed beyond measure to be married to Julie, who strives to embody Biblical womanhood. I am also grateful for articulate and Word-filled women, like Elisabeth Elliot, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Mary Kassian, and millions of other women who are influencing the next generation of women who will be committed to Biblical womanhood, and the True Woman movement.