As I sit here preparing to review Nancy Leigh DeMoss' "Voices of the True Woman Movement A Call to Counter-Revolution" I am realizing just what a radical change having a biblical perspective makes in your life. As a new Christian, I would have thrown this book in the trash before bothering to read it. Thankfully I have matured in my faith and wisdom. I no longer dismiss books or people because I assume (even rightly so) that I disagree with their position. I have to wonder what my various groups of friends must think of me now as they read this. Those friends who knew me in high school, those who knew me as a wild young adult, those who knew me in my career at the sheriff's office and/or at the fire department, those are all folks who knew me a feminist and liberal. Truthfully, I have a hard time believing I am a conservative let alone that I am reading books like this one and agreeing with the premise.
Becoming a woman of faith is easy if you don't feel you have to conform to any standard but your own. Frankly it was relatively easy to give up the wild living as I got older and I could see the wisdom of forsaking some of my favorite sins. God doesn't call us to live by our own standards. He calls us to live by His. That's the crisis you come to in your profession of faith where you are either in or you're out. Either you are going to live out your faith and adhere to God's standards or you are going to be like everyone else and do what's right in your own eyes. At this point things become real and you have to be honest. My spiritual journey may have started as an emotional response but God gave me a brain and desire to think critically. Contrary to what some who disagree with me may think, I have not checked my brain at the door.
One of the aspects of being a woman of faith that has vexed me the most is embracing the biblical standards for women. My problem has been a visceral one. I have always equated 'biblical womanhood' with being something 'less than' a man. Let's be honest here too, a lot of men claiming Christ would like women to believe they are less than men. The propensity to sin in leadership or headship doesn't disappear at salvation any more than my rebellion at being a biblical woman faded the moment I was saved. In college I focused on Biblical Studies, History and Psychology. From studying history I would have to compare my reaction to biblical womanhood with the reaction black men must have had upon learning they were only 3/5ths human. I seethed with anger, bitterness and resentment at the idea that I was any less capable than a man. I finally realized that I needed to understand more about the position than the fact that it disgusted me. I began to study. Eventually I studied the egalitarian and complementarian positions held by Christians, I wanted desperately to end up in the egalitarian camp. I could not. After studying I had to admit I was a reluctant complementarian. I could see it was the logical and biblically correct position but I still didn't like it.
Voices of the True Woman Movement has several contributors. John Piper and Nancy Leigh DeMoss are responsible for Part One: Foundations of True Womanhood. John Piper grabbed my attention immediately by spelling out his assumption that "wimpy theology makes wimpy women." I love theology and I abhor wimps. I counsel people using theology. As my friend James White says over and over again, theology matters. It does and I will not be a wimpy woman or theologian. Piper goes on to lay out his argument that "wimpy theology does not give a woman a God that is big enough." I like that Piper addresses both married and single women as equally valuable. I only wish he had elaborated on how women having different roles (than men) does not mean women are somehow less than men. In fairness though he has done so in another work available here.
In the second chapter that makes up Part One, DeMoss writes about the trustworthiness of God and His wisdom in created order. She points out that God knows us. He knows our challenges and our situations. Understanding His sovereignty will remove any fear or malcontent. She describes embracing true womanhood as resulting in "a God-centered life and perspective, a God-centered world view, eternally tethered to who God is and his sovereign inscrutable ways." She does a good job of going through Romans 11:33-36 and tying it to true womanhood.
Part One is an easy read offering a lot of food for thought. If you are a woman like me, one who doesn't fit the perfect Christian woman mold and struggles with this issue all of your answers may not be found in the first two chapters. However, the book has three parts and seven more chapters though and I will be review Part Two next.