Friday, September 16, 2011

The Bermuda Triangle

Ah yes. It’s that time of year again, ladies! Christian women’s conference time! And any Christian women’s conference worth its outrageous advance shipment of Kleenex remains firmly fixed within the three-sided Bermuda Triangle of women’s conference topics…

  1. All the Single Ladies! This conference focuses on the state of singleness (a state here defined as “just about to meet Mr. Right”). At this conference you, the young Christian single woman, will learn all about how it’s okay that you’re single, since the married women will reserve judgment for at least six more months, how young Christian women shouldn’t be single forever, and how God will bring you a husband if you clap your hands. All this and more, weakly supported by Psalm 37:4!
  2. Submit Yourself! Not just for married women, this conference can prepare single women for the relationships they had better begin in the next six months. Hear wise married women talk about submitting to their husbands over the thirty years of their marriages. And even though most of the audience is single…it will definitely come in handy some day, because Christian woman shouldn’t be single forever
  3. Self-Esteem! Let’s not fool ourselves, ladies. When we’ve passed the six month deadline and they’ve run out of married speakers, we all turn back to the first love of Christian women everywhere: positive self-esteem. Usually these events include formal attire and the unnecessary presence of pleasant and attentive men (pointless one night crush complimentary with purchase of conference ticket). After the icebreaker we chat about how we really are beautiful on the outside and the inside, and maybe God’s plan for us is singleness…for the foreseeable next three months. Then again, maybe not. That pleasant waiter is smiling in my direction! It’s meant to be!

While hyperbole is funny, women’s conferences can provide support and encouragement. But they can also become vehicles of popular Christian perspectives, instead of Christ’s truth. First off, we seriously doubt that King David was comforting one of his daughters about her singleness when he wrote what is now Psalm 37:4:“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (NIV) And if there is a verse in the Bible that promises husbands to Christian girls who wish hard enough, we’ve yet to come across it.

Far be it from us to claim all knowledge of submission in marriage, but it is much harder to submit to God. So let’s start with the hard stuff, submitting to God first. Especially those of us who don’t have husbands! Then if God’s plan does include a spouse, appropriate submission will be that much more natural.

Self-esteem. What can we say about self-esteem? Often, boosting self-esteem resembles a drug habit. We put on an unflattering garment, so and so doesn’t look at us, we forget our makeup. So we chant to ourselves that we’re beautiful on the inside and out, inside and out, until we manage to silence our feelings of inadequacy for now. Then we live the same cycles out again. Let’s be radical. Self-esteem is a symptom of sin. The purpose of following Christ is not to feel happy with yourself the way you are. Think about it. Self-esteem, the esteeming of self. In Christ, self-esteem should be completely wiped out of existence. Realistically, we’re not there. But as we grow in relationship with Christ, we come nearer to it. Obviously we do not cease to take care of ourselves, but we move towards dependence on God for our identity.

So here’s to deep, varied Christian conferences that deal with being follower of Christ first, and a woman second. That teach truth instead of opinion, and help us move towards a truer way of living instead of an ephemeral solution.


Becca and Kelley

“You know what they say: no life without wife!”

1 comment:

  1. Hey ladies :) just wanted to let you know that i appreciate your posts (both goofy and serious!). :)
    also i came across an article on a friend's facebook page, thought the readers here might appreciate it.