Sometimes I Grow Weary of the Fight

This post is part of the Rachel Held Evans synchroblog event, One in Christ: A Week of Mutuality.  You can follow this event on Twitter by entering #mutuality2012 to read all entries by participating bloggers.

I hate to admit it but sometimes…

I grow weary of the fight.

I want to retreat into my own marriage and life and let everyone else fend for themselves.

I feel like it is an uphill battle in which the hill is coated in grease and I am wearing skis.

I am just done asking for a seat at the table and just want to smash the table to bits.

I want to give up when I hear the things people say to me and other women I know about why they should be quiet and ask their husbands at home.

I mourn for the girls who are told that education is wasted on them and the only reason they should go to college is to find a husband.

I am discouraged when women I know choose to mute their own voices to keep the peace.

I get angry when pastors and leaders teach that because of my gender I am just a smidge less equal than my son or my husband or my father or any other man simply because he is a man.

I want to throw in the towel when rather than lifting up their sisters our brothers choose to stand on our backs to elevate themselves.

My heart breaks when I hear single women or women without children told that the highest calling of a woman is bearing children rather than loving God and loving her neighbor as herself.

My soul hurts when women who are abused are told that God will reward them for enduring the abuse of their husband.

The fight just goes right out of me when young women are taught that their voice should be muted so their husband’s can be heard.

I get so upset I can’t speak when women are blamed for the sexual sins of men because they look too good and then chastised for not “keeping themselves up” for their husbands.

The road seems too long when I listen to the voices of young men when they explain that they are looking for a Proverbs 31 woman and they think that means she should be ALL the things on that list in order to measure up. Rather than seeing it as a way to look for things she is doing well and praising her for them.

I die a little inside when I realize I still have to explain honor killings and acid attacks to my daughter.

I want to scream, “Stop comparing yourself to a woman you were never meant to be! Let your voice be heard! You are a fierce, beautiful, lovely creation of God meant to bear his image as much as any man!”

I want to whisper, “You are enough. You are loved just as you are. If you never DO another thing. You do not have to be anything except who God already made you.”

And then, sometimes…

I am reminded there are others out there throwing off the cone of silence and shouting to the heavens, “I have something to say! Jesus gave me this voice and these gifts. I was born a woman to reflect the image of God!”

I watch in amazement as others fumble with their keys to unlock the shackles of others in bondage to a set of rules God never put on them; rules that are kept in place by leaders who would never consider bearing the same burden themselves.

I gain strength from husbands and brothers and fathers who support and defend and practice mutual submission, and in the face of being accused of weakness and passivity they show a strength that shakes the earth and frees the captives.

My heart sings as I watch a young woman who would never consider muting herself as the way to attract a man of character but rather looks for a man who is strong enough to want to hear what she has to say.

I burst with joy when I see the tide turning as post after post, and book after book, and woman after woman, and marriage after marriage are spoken and written and unleashed and transformed from something that resembles at best a benevolent dictatorship into a beautiful dance of mutual respect, mutual submission and self-sacrificing love that reflects the relationship of the trinity.

I want to shout from the rooftops, “The tide is turning! It cannot be stopped! Jesus has come! Freedom has come! The Kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

I want to whisper, “Come quickly, Lord. Bring freedom to as many as possible. Let their voices, women and men, come together to lift each other up by outdoing each other in love and honor. Don’t let me lose heart. Give me strength to never give up because every person you made bears your image and their voices must be heard just as you made them for them to fully love you and others as you intended.”
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21 thoughts on “Sometimes I Grow Weary of the Fight

  1. I’ve wanted to give up many, many times too. But like you God has always brought me back. It’s not an easy road, but I think it’s one that must be traveled. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  2. I encountered more than my normal amount of daily misogyny today, all from within the context of the Church, and it’s been very disheartening. Thanks for this encouraging reminder that I’m not alone in my fight for a seat at the table 🙂

  3. Caris Adel says:

    “I was born a woman to reflect the image of God.” That is my favorite line from all the posts in this whole event. Yes!! That is it exactly…..so beautiful!!!

  4. I think these things will always be an issue as long as people take the Bible literally. And I think that, until there isn’t a Bible anymore, there will always be people taking it literally.

    If I were an omniscient, omnipotent god trying to guide the creation of my holy book, I would probably make sure it was a little more applicable to cultures and times beyond the ones immediately surrounding the authors. Or at the very least put in some sort of forward-looking disclaimer. Something like, “yes, I know I just told you to go out and murder babies and women and children, and I know I told you that adulterers and gay people should be put to death, but that’s just because you’re nomadic desert dwellers who’re still figuring out this whole monotheistic thing and I like messing with you. I eventually want you to become pacifistic egalitarians who would never do the sort of thing I just told you all to do. Because I just *know* some of you are going to want to take this stuff waaay too seriously…”

    Anyway, good luck fighting for equality. We obviously disagree on the value of religion, and I kinda think you’ll be fighting a losing battle for as long as you insist on preserving Christianity (or at least the unaltered Bible), but I’m all for fairness.

    • Ryan, Thank you for taking the time to comment. As you said, we disagree on the value of having a relationship with God, but I thank you for you encouragement to continue the struggle for full equality. I value your input. M

    • Hey Ryan – I agree that we should fight for equality. But I have been taking a long hard look at what it means to read the Bible literally. And I am kind of being shocked to find out that most people who claim to take the Bible literally are actually not. Reading Genesis 1-2 literally would not lead to young Earth creationism. Reading the scriptures on marriage literally would not lead to banning same-sex marriages. And reading the New Testament scriptures on women in the Church would not lead to inequality in leadership. I started blogging about the issue of women in the church, but will eventually get to the others. Here is that post: http://ecclesiaextraneus.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/if-a-literal-tree-falls-in-a-figurative-forest-is-it-predestined-to-not-make-a-sound/ (which is not a rock solid case, but then again many things in the Bible aren’t). Just some food for thought.

  5. zandile says:

    I nearly gave up when i was expecting my baby girl n i just felt left my world was ending, people started to trash me n saying all kinds of bad things about me. i then knew being a woman of God is hard n i just stopped

    • Being a “good christian woman” is hard but being God’s daughter is easy. You just are. You simply be who he made you. You just go about loving people and letting them know the He is NOT holding their sins and brokenness against them. He loves all.

  6. Hey there,

    I am a guy in my mid twenties and I just wanted to say thank you so much for the effort you are putting into this blog. I’ve been pouring over your site today and I feel refreshed and a little uneasy. Refreshed because so many of your words are exactly what I have been searching for as a hopeful follower of Jesus and pursuer of love, but uneasy because it is in direct opposition to what I was raised to believe and affirm as the “truth”, and direct opposition to what my family believes. Every day I’m trying to wrestle with the words of scripture to understand just what they really meant rather than accepting what I was told they meant (looking forward to reading The Blue Parakeet). I want to love others as I would want to be loved and I want to believe in God and Jesus too. I’ve come to realize that so much of what I was taught only encouraged me to segregate from those who need love the most. What is sad is that so much of that teaching put the name of God and Jesus at its center, and so I am having to unlearn everything and relearn it anew, all the while feeling like I am turning my back on God. For a while now I have felt that in order to love and embrace those the church just won’t, I would have to step outside my faith and my relationship with God, To this day I still have a nagging guilt that I’m believing things I shouldn’t and accepting and affirming others that God just wouldn’t. However, your blog has encouraged me to believe that perhaps there is another way, a way which allows for both beauty, grace, love, compassion, and truth, as well as God and Jesus Christ. Thanks for hanging in there! I just wanted you to know that your voice is being heard. It may not change the hearts of those whose hearts don’t want to change, but it offers hope and encouragement to those who are searching. Thank You!

    • Andrew,
      Oh my goodness, you have no idea how much I needed your words of encouragement today! Thank you so much. I am glad I can be a voice of hope for you as others have been for me. Rest assured there are many of us who are beginning to see that God gives up on no one and that our one mandate is the law of love. It is our job to love all in the name of the one who loved all. Just like him we come not with a message of condemnation but a message of liberation. Welcome Andrew. You will come up against resistance when you fully embrace radical grace. People may call us heretics. They may say we are radical. They may accuse us of being too liberal in our theology. I will tell you this, I have never felt closer to God. I am okay with the slings and arrows as long as I am on the side of love because love never fails. Love always wins. Thank you for commenting Andrew and thank you for reading.
      M

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