Christian Feminism: A Biblical Guide to Being Both Submissive and Strong

image_aputfnBeing a girl is complicated: you want to rule the world, but you also want to be protected. It’s like there are two of you inside sometimes, trying to shout over each other, always competing, always convinced she’s right. One is the Christian girl: meek, submissive, never willing to voice her opinion lest she offend anyone or disagree with a man. That voice is sweet and gentle. The other voice is the tough, independent girl: the one who doesn’t care what anyone thinks about you, knows exactly how smart and how strong you are, and wants you to make yourself heard loud and clear.

So who’s right?

Both of them are. By birth, you’re a woman: fashioned from the rib of a man, designed to help him. By choice, you’re a Christian, commanded to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, but also to submit to a husband and keep silent in church gatherings. Feminists scoff at this. Their battle cry is, “Equality between men and women of the world!”

But you’re not a young woman of the world. You’re a Christian girl, a royal priestess empowered by the Holy Spirit to fight against the spiritual forces of darkness. If the girl of the world doesn’t have to submit to men, according to modern feminist creed, why should the Christian girl, who is essentially—let’s face it—a warrior princess?  How is she supposed to “wrestle…the cosmic powers over this present darkness” (Ephesians 6:12) if she has “to be in submission” (1 Corinthians 14:34) and “remain quiet” (1 Timothy 2:12)?

It’s a quandary. But you know who makes it look easy? Not me, that’s for sure. The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. She doesn’t let any uncertainty about her role hold her back. She works willingly from before dawn to dark doing all kinds of good works: sewing, gardening, cooking, helping the poor, and not one, but two business pursuits: buying and selling land and selling the goods she makes. And is she stressed or frazzled? No, she speaks with wisdom and kindness, and laughs at the days to come. Because she takes care of everything around her house, both her kids and her husband praise her.

Um, I think I need to take a nap after just writing down all that stuff! This is our model, gals. She does not use her being a woman as any kind of excuse for not going out and doing everything she is capable of. And although she is wise, kind, and strong, she should not speak in the church setting. Why is this? Because she has self-control. In two of these “women must be quiet” passages, God instructs us to have self-control (1 Timothy 2:9Titus 2:5). Did you get that? Not man-control, either by Dad, boyfriend, or husband. SELF-control. And in that verse about women learning in all submission, 1 Corinthians 14:34, submitting has nothing to do with force: it is a “voluntary attitude of giving in,” according to Strong’s Greek Lexicon.

You’re not only a Christian (hard), a woman (complicated), you’re also young (brutal)!  So don’t be surprised if you argue with yourself over what being a strong, young Christian woman looks like. It is a woman of grace, obedience, kindness, wisdom, and strength, and it looks exactly like you.

Kim Mauck
About Kim Mauck 40 Articles
I'm Kimberly Mauck, a gal living her happily-ever-after, sort of. I love my life being wife of a handsome but usually dirty homebuilder, mom of four lovely girls, writer of travel pieces, inspirational articles, and occasionally, miraculously, young adult fiction. I also teach freshman composition part-time at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Reading and writing are the best ways I've found to make sense of the world and find my voice and ministry, so I do both everyday.

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