Stop Denying the Truth About Feminism and Its Harmful Effects

All it takes is a word about feminism, like yesterday’s post, and the feminists jump up to defend it.  ”Feminism is ONLY about choice,” they say.  ”You sound ignorant when you stereotype feminists as being against the stay-at-home mom.”

Many women still desperately want to believe that feminism is only about total freedom of choice.  That it’s only about valuing all vocations and making sure no one is abused.  No doubt, many women who call themselves feminist do sincerely hold to these claims. But the movement itself doesn’t even pretend about its agenda.  It is not about choice.

One only need listen to its proponents to hear its agenda:

Gloria Feldt, leading feminist activist and former CEO of Planned Parenthood, was interviewed by the NY Times, clearly stating the truth about feminism.  Why are feminist still defending what is being openly taught?

“It should be acceptable criticism to point out that, although everyone has the right to make their own life decisions, choosing to “opt out” reinforces stereotypes about women’s priorities that we’ve been working for decades to shatter, so just cut it out. And, the “individual choice” women have to become stay-at-home moms becomes precarious when they try to return to the workplace and find their earning power and options reduced. If we could see child-rearing as a necessary task and not an identity, and if we could collectively recognize that facilitating it benefits us all, we would go much further in guaranteeing women’s choices than we do when we are expected to uncritically celebrate every individual’s decisions.” From Where is the Female Steve Jobs

In case you missed it, here’s what Feldt is saying:

“Technically women have a choice but if you make the choice to be a stay at home mom you destroy everything feminism has worked to gain so we must criticize (and that should be acceptable) the women who choose to stay home with their children.  Oh, and raising children is just a task that anyone can do.”

Perhaps you get tired of my talking about feminism.  Perhaps you don’t realize how important it is that we understand its true colors and recognize its dangers to the family and ultimately to all of us.  I get really impatient with the defense of feminism and the accusations that I’m simply “uninformed” when there is such blatant evidence of the feminist agenda splattered across the NT Times and everywhere else you care to look.

There is no reason to get upset at those of us who oppose the true agenda behind feminism.  It is precisely because I desire to defend women and children and families that I fight so vehemently against it!  I know the typical replies: “Because of feminism women can vote and women can work and women can do such and such.” Let it be said that I don’t propose that nothing good has come out of the feminist agenda.  But the harm far outweighs the benefits (I for one don’t get excited about “my right to vote”.  I had a right before women’s suffrage.  The right to stay in my cozy house while my one-flesh husband casted our house vote ;-) )

I don’t have to be a feminist to recognize the incredible value of women.  I don’t have to be a feminist to feel empowered.  I was crafted by the Master Creator with the ultimate gifts and abilities to make the world a better place.  As feminists continue to destroy the blessedness of home, let us weep for their destruction and never stop proclaiming the truth that God’s blueprint for family is the only hope for salvaging society.

_________________________
Think Outside the Classroom

 


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223 Responses to “Stop Denying the Truth About Feminism and Its Harmful Effects”

  1. alionheartedgirl says:

    I think what Feldt is criticizing here is the society that basically requires women to be mothers first and careerwomen second, instead of giving us an equal shot at either. Her point about “opt out” is not that women should have to have careers or work outside the home, but by framing it as “opting out” of motherhood, society implies that motherhood is the default -which it doesn’t have to be.

    Her point about the “individual choice” is that sometimes society forces women to remain at home when they’d like to work and be mothers, because when women take time off to birth and raise children, they are denied promotion opportunities and pay increases after returning. Sometimes this means that, economically, it is easier for women to stay home and provide childcare themselves because they can’t afford to pay for daycare because their pay is so low – even if they would rather have jobs outside of the home.

    I do not think Feldt is criticizing women’s choices at all. She’s criticizing a society that often forces women to make choices that may not be the best for them.

  2. Jennifer says:

    That’s a great point about jobs, lionhearted, but feminists have stated elsewhere clearly that homemaking shouldn’t even be an option. I got so tired of defending feminism because everyone told me it wasn’t really about choice, then I finally quit defending it because I realized this was true! I’m glad more than anything else that women have jobs and can ESPECIALLY be things like doctors, nurses, licensed healers, police officers and detectives, so they can help other women with personal problems they wouldn’t feel comfortable talking with men about. Stamp out the thought of every woman not working, especially in areas like that! They’re beyond vital. But feminism today doesn’t really promote choice anymore than the patriarchal days of old. And it’s possible women could have gotten jobs without feminism perse, since I’m pretty sure some were doctors even before 1900. Voting is also very important. Let your husband vote for you if you want, but if you have more than one kid of legal age living at home, I think it’s a total waste in the election to keep their votes from counting by “household voting”; every vote makes a difference! And if I disagree with my husband’s choice, or my son or daughter does, that’s our right.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Jennifer,

      “I think it’s a total waste in the election to keep their votes from counting by “household voting”; every vote makes a difference! ”

      Yes, in our current situation this is true (which is why I do vote and all of my children will also). But if it were household to household, it would be an even vote. And in our current elections, if a husband and wife don’t agree, they may as well just stay home because each of their votes essentially cancels the other…by the way, if you disagree on major political issues with the man you are considering marrying, you may want to reconsider. Those are big things; it’s difficult to be “one flesh” with such disagreement in a marriage.

      • Jennifer says:

        “by the way, if you disagree on major political issues with the man you are considering marrying, you may want to reconsider”

        Yes, but it’s not always simple. There could often be a politician that a husband and wife don’t agree on even if they’re in the same party.

        • Tawny says:

          If you disagree on a candidate (even within one party) it’s likely due to a major political issue or you wouldn’t disagree!!

          It should be 1 household vote. Wife & children ate under the authority of the husband. Important decisions should be made AS A FAMILY & untimate authority headed by the husband

          • Jennifer says:

            I don’t think so, Tawny.

            • AbbysMom says:

              Jennifer,

              I’m with you 100% on this one. Even though marriage binds a husband and wife together in a relationship like none other and is even called a one-flesh relationship, I can’t see any place in the Bible that one-flesh means the wife and the husband have to have a total brain meld. My husband and I have some overlap in our political views, but he generally tends toward one of the major parties and I tend toward the other. It hasn’t torn us apart and we’ve been married for over 24 years. We joke and tease each other about it but it’s more like iron sharpening iron than hostile arguments. I can’t imagine a situation where he would expect me to vote for everyone he voted for. And the only time when spouses would cancel each others’ votes would be if they voted for the opposing candidates for every office with only 2 candidates. Certainly not everyone does that.

              As for it being important to marry someone with your political views, if you have identical views when you marry there’s nothing to say that this won’t change at some point. My parents were both Republicans for years, but my dad was a more conservative Republican than my mom. But the Watergate scandal totally soured my mom on the Republicans, and she leaned much more heavily toward the Democrats after that.

              IMHO, if a wife willingly wants to vote exactly as her husband votes, it’s a free country and she’s free to do so. But why would you want to disenfranchise your adult children under your roof, when if they lived in an apartment with friends they could vote independently? I certainly understand why children should submit to their parents before they reach adulthood (unless their parents ask them to do something that is clearly sinful), and why parents can set house rules for adult children who live with them, but IMHO refusing them an individual vote goes too far. But just like a woman ceding her vote to her husband by copying his vote, adult children at home certainly have the right to do this as well.

              Now that I’ve rambled enough, I realize that women (married or single) were probably not allowed to vote during Bible times, along with probably with most of the men, too. But is there Biblical support for the household voting concept? I couldn’t find any, but I admit I don’t know the Bible like I should.

  3. Lisa H. says:

    Kelly,
    You are right on! Do not let the comments from women blinded by the gods of this world discourage you. They just don’t get it! The Scriptural world-view has eluded them. Instead, let us commit to praying for God to continue to open eyes, change hearts and bring repentance. Only He can do that. The power of prayer is often forgotten and neglected….
    How beautiful it would be for all men to be voting, and for their women to be standing behind them, supporting them. True women can do this, because their identity is not wrapped up in how well their “profession” competes with that of men, or how well their own individual voice is heard among the people, but how highly God regards women and has given them the most demanding job ever when it comes to influencing the fabric of society– training up children who can think like their Creator and aren’t swayed by whatever “feels right” at the moment, and being one-flesh with their man. I am so thankful for you Kelly. Thank you for tackling those issues that bring dissension…you know you’re on the right track when you get opposition! Keep on raising those sweet sons and daughters for Him, and I’ll do the same; and the rest of us who trust in the Scriptures and in the God of the Scriptures will have the victory. In fact…. we’ve already won.

  4. Mrs. Price says:

    Nice to see I am not the only one not very excited about voting. Do I vote? Yes I do. I research and then I cast my vote. Does it excite me? Not really. I would be just as happy to have my husband cast a vote for the family than to go out and do it myself. Keep on preaching the truths!

    • LucyT says:

      I agree that my husband is the head of our home and we have always voted for the same candidates and always will.I do not think there should only be one vote per house hold.We will have adult young men someday who will probably continue to live at home with us and I want their vote counted.

      • Word Warrior says:

        LOL! I do too, NOW. I’m laughing because I realize it was probably dumb of me to get off on a “voting tangent”. However, it’s just a side point where I wanted to note how easily our thinking can be ingrained without rationale thought.

        If households only voted, I wouldn’t be “losing” my older son’s vote. We would all be on a level plain. Having said that, I think Christians (especially open-womb ones ;-) ) have benefited the most from the freedom to vote. Now where most households have increased their votes by 2 or 3, ours may at one point have 8 or 9 ;-)

        Anyway, my original point keeps getting lost–household to household vote wasn’t the oppression of women, it was just a simple, logical way for families, who were almost always united, to represent themselves.

        • LucyT says:

          Kelly, I think I may have lost touch with reality for a moment when I typed that reply. I don’t think we are ever going to turn back the hands of time and vote as a household again.I am in la la land lately call it pregnant fog or whatever I am barely coherent.

          • Tawny says:

            Wahoo!! Open wombs == more voters voting with Christian values!! I like that!! More soldier for Christ!! :)

          • Mrs. Price says:

            I’m in the same pregnant fog. LOL My mom was very much a “you will vote” type of woman. She would refuse me dinner when I lived at home until I voted. No car? No problem she would take me! LOL I had to drag my husband out to vote in this past election, but it was a good thing. Our vote counted for 2 issues we cared about,so that was good.

  5. I continue to beat the drum on this issue with you, Kelly! Don’t stop.

    Even after the very clearly stated intention that feminists`want to remove the idea of a SAHM as an option for women, the first comment is, “Feminism doesn’t really want to remove our choice.” The reality is that they absolutely would remove the choice- if they could. Since they can’t they try to infuse some nuance while still denigrating SAHM’s.

    The woman said as much above and hers isn’t the first such quote that I’ve read.

    Heaven help us!

  6. I just saw alix’s comment after I posted mine. I want to say that 1) We are not fundamentalists. 2)Our daughters will be college educated and we’ve evn taught them the full Scriptural counsel on marriage and family including 1 Corinthians 7 which says that a man (or a woman!) who is unmarried is free to serve the Lord without distraction.

    We do not deifyy marriage and family, though we pray our daughters get to experience its beauty. We have expressed and hopefully modeled how blessed family life can be. We have not confused anything else with the gospel which is through faith in Christ and Him alone.

    And still, we believe that feminism is misguided at best and evil at worst. Because it is.

  7. Hayley Ferguson says:

    I don’t vote. Sometimes I’ll do a chicken vote for fun. One voting is rigged. 2. God sets up who He will and I could vote against it. Our job as Christians is to pray for our leaders no matter how evil that we may live peaceable lives. The world hated Him first, keep on keeping on Kelly.

  8. Jessica says:

    Obviously “just anyone” can’t raise children. Just watch and listen to the kids around you when you go shopping next time.

  9. If the feminist movement is strictly about freedom and opportunity for women, then why would there be any resentment toward “June Cleaver” types? If it were just about freedom and opportunity, stay at home mothers would be celebrated, just like go-to-the-office-moms.

    Since that is obviously not the case, one must ask, “Why?”

    When the Lord created man and woman in His own Image, the innate attributes of each sex are necessarily reflections or revelations of the Nature of God. Those characteristics that are part of a woman’s essential femininity reveal characteristics of our Creator. Together with those that are part of the design of man, we have a much fuller picture of the Nature of God.

    As with every other part of Creation, His Design is intended to reveal Himself to us and bring Him Glory.

    In that context, is it any wonder the evil one would want to distort His Intent? Is it any wonder, satan would want us to NOT comprehend the Fullness of His Nature? If satan can convince women to abandon, and even despise, the parts of themselves that most reflect Him then it corrupts and dilutes the impact the full revelation of God’s Nature has on our world.

    The characteristics that most quickly identify themselves as “feminine” include those of gentleness, mercy, nurturing, etc., also provide such critical insights into God’s Nature that to imagine God, or women, without them is to deny key aspects of the essence of each.

    It’s NOT just about opportunities and freedom.

  10. Natasha says:

    Ok while I am not a feminist i think the article might be a little confusing.

    For example

    ” “individual choice” women have to become stay-at-home moms becomes precarious when they try to return to the workplace and find their earning power and options reduced.”

    This statement is true. Finding a job after the kids grow up is hard because motherhood is not valued.

    Then she says
    “If we could see child-rearing as a necessary task and not an identity, and if we could collectively recognize that facilitating it benefits us all”

    That statement is confusing. Is it saying that child-rearing benefits us all but because others don’t see that we are in jeopardy after the kids are raised?

    To me that all means that women really do not have the “choice” to be stay at home moms because the world does not value child rearing and when you try to find a job afterwards you will be at a loss. So you have to work outside the home in order to have equal opportunity.

    * now this is NOT what I believe, but it seems to be what the author is saying, whether she intended to or not. I just find that interesting.

    I get really angry that the feminists have taken that word from us. Feminism. To me it should be a beautiful word, meaning to love being a woman. Now if you love being a woman then you shouldn’t want to be equal with a man or even remotely the same as a man. You should be proud to be different. I love being a woman, I don’t want to be seen the same as a man.

    ANd the whole ” I am woman hear me Roar” I love that saying! Why did the feminist have to use that? I want to say that and have it mean that I will fervently pray for my children and raise up Godly children no matter what the cost! I will fight the good fight, my children WILL serve our God no matter what the cost. I am not a wishy washy woman. I am strong. My husband has confidence in me. He knows that I take care of his household while he is out slaying the dragons.

    Ugh. I don’t want any feminist looking at me and thinking Oh poor soul, she is ignorant and helpless. We must teach her the ways. No. I am woman hear ME Roar. I am going to roar loudly that I love being a woman who serves her family and not Apple or Best Buy or any other company. Feminists are a bunch of chickens, they should cluck instead of all that roaring.

    if my husband dies and I have to enter the workforce, I will make a good living for my family because I am a fighter. I have no fear of living in poverty just because I am a stay at home mom now. I know the Lord will provide for me. I won’t crumble under hard times. Feminists are saying we have to go out and work because we won’t make it if we fall on hard times ( like divorce or the death of a spouse)

    It infuriates me that feminists think we are a bunch of ignorant stupid women who need to be educated on the ways of the world or we will fall apart. How insulting really. Do women really think so lowly of themselves?

    Instead of making women stronger they just made us out to be a bunch of fearful cowards.

    Feminists live in fear. And Lions ( who Roar) are not fearful of anything. so they can knock all that roaring off.

    Anyway, here ends the rant lol.

    I love to vote. I voted when I was single, when there was no man to vote on my behalf. Men and women shed blood for that right to vote. ( sad fact that there is even room in our military for women because too few men join the armed services)

    I walk up to the voting post with the biggest smile on my face. I am grateful that if my husband were to die I could still vote. We choose the leaders of the church based on what scripture tells in 1 Tim. 3:1-13 and Tit. 1:5-9. We are responsible to make sure that we choose wisely for our church and I think that goes for govt also. And the govt leaders certainly need our prayers.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Natasha,

      I think it is supposed to be confusing to try to mask the reality of what she is saying.

      “If we could see child-rearing as a necessary task and not an identity, and if we could collectively recognize that facilitating it benefits us all”

      That statement is confusing. Is it saying that child-rearing benefits us all but because others don’t see that we are in jeopardy after the kids are raised?”

      What she is saying is that motherhood should not be viewed as anything except a “task” to be performed. She does not believe there should be a role called “motherhood”. If that view were achieved, then the mothers themselves wouldn’t be expected to actually raise their children but daycares could do the job and free the mother up to remain in the workforce so she doesn’t lose her momentum. She is trying to release women from the “stigma” and pressure of being expected to raise their own children.

      Feldt is saying that the power and momentum gained in the workforce by women is lost every time a woman decides to stay at home. In other words, the stay-at-home mom is a blight on the feminists’ agenda and women should therefore “cut it out”. Ironically, though their mantra drips with the word “choice”, many of them have emphatically stated that they think women should not be allowed to stay at home because of the damage it is doing to the feminist agenda and gain of power.

      Linda Hirshman is another feminists, thankfully still considered “radical” by some, who outright criticizes the fact that women even have the choice to stay at home, claiming it is keeping long-standing prejudices against women in tact. She openly ridicules “open choice feminism” and her influence is growing among the feminist movement.

    • Word Warrior says:

      I understand what you’re saying about voting, but I still contend that it was never an act against women; households voted–one household to another. Families were that united. It wasn’t a big deal until women began rebelling against their families and husbands.

    • Julie says:

      I love the idea of taking back that “I am woman, hear me roar”! You are right; as Christians, we have nothing to fear but God Himself. As Proverbs 31 says, we are clothed in strength and dignity, we can laugh at the days to come.

      • Natasha says:

        Julie- thank you :) When I hear about a neighbors marriage that is in trouble or a prodigal son, I want to Roar! It’s like saying ” No, this is not from God, and I am going to Roar my prayers confidently to the Lord because I know what He has promised us and I’m not going to stand for anything less. The world will NOT devour my family and friends!! ”

        It’s like a Holy anger on fire for the Lord.

  11. Alison says:

    Kelly, this post is right on. Thank you again for standing up for truth. When I was younger, I used to think that while I definitely disagreed with the crazy feminists of today, that I might agree with some of the “feminists” of the past who “only” wanted equal rights for women. Then, I started reading actual letters, speeches, and other historical documents that these women wrote, and I was horrified by the things they said. Especially what they said about their own children and husbands. To me the “choices” that feminists offer are eerily similar to the “choices” that the so-called pro-choice people try to offer. Both of these groups, which are most definitely related, always try to trick people by saying that they are merely offering a variety of choices. How far from the truth. Which, not to start more arguments, but for any people who have ever tried to defend any time of abortion or Planned Parenthood and birth control, all you have to do is read about Margaret Sanger and what she was actively trying to pursue through those options – it wasn’t even a secret. She worked with other feminists on population control, eugenics, and the killing off of certain races, etc. These women (and men) have clear agendas, and they are most definitely fighting against Godly families and the Biblical roles of women and children. It is so refreshing to have someone consistently stand up for truth. Thank you!

  12. Alison says:

    Oh, and just to further reiterate your points, here is an article that just recently was published by feminist Erica Jong stating that mothers who stay at home and are attached to their children are imprisoned. This article caused quite the stir among some other blogs I read.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704462704575590603553674296.html

    • Ashley says:

      “then they wouldn’t have such a problem with women who embrace homemaking, motherhood, and family.”

      Most of us don’t. :)

      I don’t care if you don’t want to vote either. As a liberal, I’m happy about it. As a feminist, I’m neutral. That is you choice.

    • Michelle says:

      Wow that article was really something. Just makes me feel sorry for the writer. I was a single mom at one point in my life- know what I did? Adjusted my ‘career’ expectations and became a nanny to another family so I could bring my son with me and he wouldn’t have to go to daycare. I still managed to own a condo, pay my bills and raise my child “attachment” style (before I knew what it was called) while being a single mom. Sure, it wasn’t what I thought my life would be, but this author is missing the point of putting your child first- not yourself. I wouldn’t trade the relationship I have with my child because I chose to have a job where I could have him by my side for any corporate job, ever. I am blessed now to be married with more children, and very proudly a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. I’ve seen what it’s like “out there” and I’ll stay in my lovely home with my crazy kids, thank you very much.

      • Julie says:

        The accompanying article by Erica Jong’s daughter was also very interesting. While she speaks of her mother with great affection, it is clear she spent very little time with her while growing up. (She talks of living in a townhouse in New York with her nanny and another servant, while her mother traveled the world.) She herself has chosen to be a stay-at-home mom with three kids.

  13. Tiana Krenz says:

    I totally agree with you, Kelly. If feminism were all about “choice”, then they wouldn’t have such a problem with women who embrace homemaking, motherhood, and family.

    And I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one who thinks that way about voting! While I do vote and take my responsibility to vote seriously, and I certainly educate myself about government and political issues, I would happily send my hubby off to the polls to cast the vote for our household.

    Blessings!

  14. jen in AL says:

    AMEN! Thank you for continuing to speak the truth that is right in front of all our faces. Those that think feminism is good or is about choice are simply in denial plain and simple. It is the same denial that includes the thought that education can be neutral. Thank you! blessings, Jen in al

  15. Ashley says:

    Feldt doesn’t speak for all of feminism.

    Does the Westboro Baptist Church speak for you?

    You have to realize that, just like religion, there are going to be people with a varying of opinions. You can’t just assume one person speaks for everyone.

    I you do, I can start quoting Fred Phelps and say that is what you believe. ;)

    • The foundational beliefs of a Baptist Church are based on the principles and purposes of Christianity. Obviously, the people attending there will have differences of opinion on different things but the commonality of belief in these basic principles and purposes are what bring that group of people together.

      The foundational beliefs of the feminist movement are exactly what Kelly is talking about as being an affront to the Lord’s Design and Plan for femininity as a reflection of His Nature.

      You can no more call a non-Christian a Baptist than you can call a woman following God’s Design for her nature a “feminist” (defined as a woman adhering to the principles and purposes of the modern feminist movement).

      The individual’s worldview is what is being called into question.

      • wordwarrior says:

        Antbed,

        You articulated well what I was going to say to Ashley. I would also add as much as some women want to maintain the “happy thought” that feminism simply celebrates neutrality and choice, the fact is that it cannot, by nature, be neutral.

        I at least respect Feldt for admitting the obvious truth: by default, for feminism to accomplish its goals, the traditional role of women MUST be diminished. You can’t turn left and right at the same time. More and more feminists are admitting this, and the reality of it can be seen even where its not confessed.

    • Tawny says:

      Great post Kelley! Keep speaking the truth!!

  16. Sylvia says:

    I did not grow up in America, so I do not know about the history of feminism and cannot speak intelligently about it.

    I do however appreciate these things in my own culture.
    A horrific system called caste which even christians twist the bible to say in reference to the Bible referring to Abraham and Eliazar when he asked him to look for a bride for Isaac when in truth this system has existed for centuries before christianity reached our shores. Dowry which is a bride price prevalent in all religions. The horrific thing about dowry is called ‘dowry death’ where a husband and inlaws often burn the bride for lack of it. Iy my culture, stopping a marriage on the day it is being held is very embarassing and many grooms and their families, educated and uneducated used to hold bride families hostage by demanding more. Female education is one more thing. We are not talking college here, but basic read, write. Raising the marriage age for girls. Child marriages are still prevelant among uneducated people. I wish I was making all this up. “Westernization’ has made people stand up against it. Is it ‘feminism’? I do not know.

    What I know is this. I like the right to vote, own property. I am blessed to have a good husband. Many are not.

    Every time I see debates about feminism, working women, Stay at home moms, say care, co-sleeping, breast feeding, baby wearing etc, especially among christians, I am reminded of how blessed I am to be one among the very few women in this world to have this choice. Even in our so called modern society.

    I come from a country where migrant construction worker families move from job site to job site. I have seen these women make a cradle out of a saree on a tree branch and put their babies to sleep while they worked. Or in the fields. Nurse their children under a tree. They took their children to work with them as they had no other place to leave them. Their kitchen was a field. Or poor people who live in slums. They co-sleep wih their babies because they only had one room. Some women baby wear as in carry their babies on their back as they pick tea or trudge along carrying baskets of produce on their head or pots of water on their hips as their water source is so far off. They do not have the luxury of debating what is ‘right’. They are ‘working women’ in every sense of the word. They just do what is necessary for their families, for survival.

    We are blessed,as christian women to have these choices before us. Why can’t we give each other grace ? I just do not understand why feminism must be such a big issue among the christian community. We all do what is necessary for our families. We could honor each other, both so called stay at home and working moms, help each other, especially as christians instead of driving a bitter wedge. And fall on our knees and give thanks to an Almighty God that we have choices to be a stay at home mom or a working mom. Which so many women around the world do not.

    • Sylvia says:

      Typing fast. Sorry for the typos.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Sylvia,

      “I just do not understand why feminism must be such a big issue among the christian community.”

      Because it is ;-)

      If you take the time to really study it, its roots, its true agenda, etc., it is a movement that, although masked behind the good intention of “freeing women from inequality and abuse”, has done more to harm the family than anything else in our country.

      It opposes the Word of God in many ways, and as a Christian, that is enough reason for us to denounce and fight it.

      We are ALL for women; that’s a no-brainer. Jesus was a liberator of women and I can be a Christian who champions the true liberation of women and still oppose the harmful influences of feminism. It is, in fact, my duty and yours if you a believer.

      Passivity has no place in the Christian life.

      • Sylvia says:

        “Passivity has no place in the Christian life.”

        I can absolutely agree with this. In many cases I am not clear about what we are supposed to be fighting against though. So I make up my mind on a case by case basis.

        I come from a country of rampant poverty, lack of education, dowry, female infanticide and so on. I have been raised to respect both stay at home and moms who worked outside the home because in all cases I have seen people make their choices according to circumstances. I have been taught to give grace to people who do not make my choices. But I was also raised to take a stand against abuse, injustice etc. America seems to be filled with systems, doctrines, labels etc. I am often very confused as to what is my stand on things and examine things I have never had to before. In my experience, extremes of any side do not speak for the majority. Then I pray a lot about it individually and as a couple with my husband and make my stand or our stand as appropriate.

        But in the case of voting, I have to disagree with you Kelly. I am very shocked that people in America, especially christians take voting rights so lightly. I come from a region in the world where my native country has for neighbors, countries run by dictators and have fought long and hard for democracy or communists. Tiananmen square comes to mind. People have died for the right to vote. The individual right to vote is very precious to me for many people do not have them. And have died for it.

      • Mrs. S says:

        It becomes a big deal because it creates anti-Biblical attitudes about marriage, homemaking, children ect in the believer’s mind.

        I was a substitute teacher when my dh and I were first married and would have days that I did not get called into work. One of my close Christian friends came over and wanted to go out and run errands or something.I called my dh quick and ask if there was anything he needed me to do (he has never asked me to do this btw). He said no and wished me a fun day. My friend freaked out that I was asking for “permission” and later called me and said, in a disgusted tone, that I was always baking cookies and such. Whoa! All the things I did for him were not because he demanded them but because I loved him and he was always working hard to make me feel loved too.

        This is not the only time something like this happened either. I should not have to defend myself to other believers when I am loving my husband, children, and happily keeping my home. It is not a neutral issue and we need to see it for what it is.

        I had to take women’s studies in college and read the “Feminine Mystique” as well as other writings. The take home message was that it is very undesirable to make yourself into a brainless parasite and slave as a homemaker and my time would be better spent pursuing a career. I was not a believer until my last year of college and even though I wanted to be a homemaker I still had to detox a lot of feminist ideals that inched into my heart.

        • Sara says:

          The main point that I got from Sylvia’s post was that a lot of women in the world don’t have the choice to stay at home being a happy homemaker. Poverty and other factors force many women out of their homes and by default then can’t dedicate 100% of their time and energy to their husbands or children.
          Also, she rightly pointed out that in many places in the world, women are still treated in such degrading and dangerous ways that we can’t even imagine here.
          Feminism in America has definitely morphed into something that goes against everything God intended for the *family*.
          But I think Sylvia’s main point is that a lot of the things we can do here to rebel against modern feminism; i.e. stay at home, invest in our husbands and children, homeschool, refuse to work outside of the home, most women in other parts of the world don’t have the choice of doing.
          Ultimately those of us who live here in America, and are married to godly Christian men, or even men that treat us well, period, the fact we can vote here, and just plain have the choice of getting married or not, working or not, etc., should count ourselves as extremely fortuante.

        • Sylvia says:

          Thank you for the response Mrs.S.

          Almost every system has its bad points and people who twist it. I completely understand the derision which people have used against you.

          I came to America for higher studies, but chose to have an arranged marriage. Try telling that to a radical feminist. They think I am a brainless idiot for doing so and their tone or their expression often says more than. I have asked why they are shocked and they bring up things like honor killings, child marriages, abuse which are part of an arranged marriage system. And these concerns are very valid. But they do not know what I know or have seen what I have seen and they do not know my family or me. They’ve only seen or heard the bad side. While I have seen and know my parent’s marriage, my grand parents marriage. Which are/were all long and happy though like all marriages there were moments that were not.

          My parents were in no hurry to get rid of me. They prayed for a good husband for me from a little girl. They did not point out the first man and unilaterally decide this is the man I should marry. They asked me for my desire, they looked at a lot of things before my now husband and I were even allowed to talk to each other. Very strange choices for someone who comes out to study supposedly on her own from another country. Some of it may seem feminist, others may seem brainless. I made my choices according to my family, my circumstances etc and most of all through prayer and do not feel the need to defend any of it.

          Why should you or I defend any of choices to anyone ? They are not living our lives. But neither will I make the same judgement against someone who is not making my choices. No one is better than anyone for any of those choices, especially among christians and it is very sad that we judge each other for the size of a family, our way of life, doctrines and so on and let these things divide us.

          Ideas are not bad. It is what we use them for is what is bad in my opinion. God gave us discernment so that we can separate the fruit and spit out the seeds. We can only pray and make our choices. My own children may not make my choices. I cannot get offended or think they made a mistake. I can only teach them, pray over them and give them to God. For my life and array of choices are so different from those of my parents. We can only walk the path God has destined for each of us.

        • AbbysMom says:

          Mrs. S,

          While I think my views on “Christian feminism” are probably close to Sylvia’s (who demonstrates that there are many definitions of what feminism are, including flavors that are hardly radical) a woman who also has posted on the subject, I’ve had a couple of things happen lately where other women from my church (a theologically orthodox Anglican church) have looked at me like I’ve grown horns when I’ve said or done things that they thought were too traditional.

          In a women’s Bible study, a question in the last lesson was “what would you want written on your tombstone?” One of my answers was “good wife”. They thought I meant I wanted to be a Stepford wife, with no brain, opinions, or personality — just a robot in a woman’s body programmed to do whatever my husband wanted (which certainly not true).

          Also, a bunch of women from church ate at a nice restaurant and stayed considerably longer than we planned. About 1 hr. after the time I told my husband I’d be home, I called him on my cell phone and told him I when I would actually be home. Someone sitting beside me said, “do you really have to to report your every move to A?” I said no, it’s just thoughtfulness and nothing he doesn’t do for me when his plans change.

          Don’t know what you’ll think of this, but wanted to let you know that these things happen to women who don’t consider themselves traditional as well.

  17. Sara says:

    Everyone should vote. Does a household vote take into account ummarried women? Widows? Unfortunately not all Christian women are going to be in an “ideal” household. Some will be single, some will be married to unbelievers. Going to the polls to cancel out a bad vote, isn’t such a terrible thing if the alternative is to stay at home and let the bad vote stand.

    I nearly had a minor in feminism in college and I can tell you it is a poisonous philosophy in sheep’s clothing. Most of it is completely anti-biblical. I was confirmed in a lot of my suspicions about feminism when I read Mary Pride’s “The Way Home” my senior year.

    However, like a lot of other things, it started out with a good premise. It is a fact that the *most* exploited and abused people in the world are women and children. They DO need a defender. Sadly, modern feminism has just added to the abuse.

    We as Christians should be staunchly against modern feminism, while at the same time championing the cause of defending and helping women and children that are in need.

    To say that a lot of women and children in this world are suffering at the hands of men is not an inflammatory statement. It is a true statement. It doesn’t make all men evil, but it does mean that we are the weaker sex and more vulnerable to abuse. And I’m referring mostly to sex trafficking, pedophiles, horribly restrictive and abusive muslim countries, etc. This kind of abuse of women and children is rampant everywhere…SO common. Even here in America.
    I am NOT referring to a homemaker as an example of abuse (for those who might be ready to attack).

    Summary: modern feminism=bad. Feminism that recognizes the plight of women and children in the world and seeks to help them in a Biblical and godly way=good.

    Perhaps the label feminism just needs to be chucked if it’s become synonmous with something that is directly opposed to God’s will.

    You have to remember though, that most feminists started at that place of compassion, no matter how twisted their views have become since. You can’t talk anyone out of their entrenched views, but we can PRAY that God will show those who are blinded the *reality* of what things really help and what things really hurt women.

    • Jennifer says:

      One of the best posts I’ve read in a long time, Sara.

    • wordwarrior says:

      “Does a household vote take into account ummarried women? Widows?”

      Just for the record (and I really don’t get bent out of shape about the voting issue, I just think it’s an example of how sometimes we don’t think clearly about widely accepted norms), widows were allowed to own property and vote. Unmarried women were still part of a unified household and joined in the household vote. It’s probably hard for us to wrap our brains around in such an autonomous society, and I’m not staunchly opposed the current voting system, I just think using the voting example as such a heralded example of the “good of feminism” is overrated.

      Once upon a time, a household was a united entity with the father and husband as the head–just as Scripture commands. In a Christian home this unity was beautiful, and it was unthinkable that members would disagree on major political points. In Scripture, heads of households represented the family and our voting system just mirrored that concept. That’s all I’m trying to say. Households voted based on their united decisions. I know it’s a blanket statement, but it’s the ideal that worked where everything else was in order.

      Sara you made some really good points.

      I wanted to emphasize something you said and the irony that comes with it:

      “To say that a lot of women and children in this world are suffering at the hands of men is not an inflammatory statement. It is a true statement. It doesn’t make all men evil, but it does mean that we are the weaker sex and more vulnerable to abuse.”

      This is precisely why I believe in the biblical roles of men and women, and in the TRUE position of men as the head of their homes, despite the rage it causes to egalitarians and the heap of insults I get for holding this position.

      To believe what the Bible teaches does not give men the power to abuse. If men abuse their power, they are not obeying the Lord or representing Christianity and the proper roles of marriage.

      When a man follows Christ and his biblical commands, he becomes the ultimate protector of women and children, because he seeks to emulate Christ, the ultimate lover and protector. And it is only in this role that true protection occurs. To “level the playing field” removes a man’s natural desire to protect and defend and leaves women and children even more vulnerable than before.

      • Sara says:

        I agree absolutely that if men are truly obeying God in their God given role as protectors women all over the world would be 100% better off.
        The problem is that so many men don’t. They abuse their power. That doesn’t make feminism okay, as I hope I clearly conveyed, it just means that women and children DO need a movement of people willing to help them. Christianity should fill in this gap.

        Unfortunately, historically we have not always done so well on this front. So, it’s understandable that a different group rose up to “help”, or that women decided to “help themselves”.

        The problem is that feminist philosophy was reactionary and not rooted in Scripture. So it’s been used by Satan, twisted and transformed until it actually hurts the people it proposes to help.

        I am with you 100% on the biblical roles of men and women in *marriage*. I think we don’t often emphasize this enough. Maybe this is where the church has failed in the past. A woman is submissive and obedient to the man she is married to—not every man.

      • Jennifer says:

        “To “level the playing field” removes a man’s natural desire to protect and defend and leaves women and children even more vulnerable than before”

        Biblical egalitarianism doesn’t do this remotely. Men naturally want to protect women because of physical differences, and being equal doesn’t make everyone the same.

    • Alison says:

      While I agree with you about protecting women, children, and their plights (abuse, starvation, mistreatment, etc) worldwide, I would disagree that that has anything to do with feminism. You say that you don’t agree with current feminists, but that you agree with the premise of the movement. The first feminists, ie. women’s liberation, etc., were middle and upper class women who were not fighting for any poor, abused women in foreign countries. THey were fighting for themselves to not have to stay at home and care for their children or cater to the whims of their husbands. IT was a purely selfish movement, because they wanted to have an important identity outside of the home, children, etc. It was about social constructs and women’s and men’s roles in society. It was a selfish movement and if you studied feminism in college, then you would have read and be very familiar with the horrible letters and other writings that these women would write. I was a Literature major and I read them, too. All about their children stifling them and not wanting to care for them and being free of being a housewife and drudge. Yes, they campaigned for the vote, but there was much darker forces at work. I more than agree with you about championing women who are in abusive, poverty-stricken circumstances, but I wouldn’t describe that as feminism in any use of the word.

      • Word Warrior says:

        Alison,

        Thank you for making a point that we need to be “brainwashed” with: It doesn’t require feminism to defend women and children. As Christians, that should already be our creed. I will agree that, as Sara said, Christians have often abdicated their responsibilities here, but as you said, feminism, at its root, is far more about throwing off traditional roles in favor of self-centered pursuits than it is about protecting. “Protection” is just the beautiful cloak with which they attempt to mask the raw truth.

        And as I write this and think about the idea that Christians have abdicated their roles in protecting the weak, I realize that much of that is a simple result of feminist doing. As women convince the culture that they don’t need help, we (the church) have quite obliged the notion. Evidence of this can be seen even as we discuss the lack of help among tired mothers from family members.

        Feminism has successfully created an autonomous society which ultimately hurts especially the offended women and children. So the church, effectively steeped in feminist doctrine, is taught “not to meddle”.

      • Sara says:

        Sorry for confusion. Feminists normally list those problems as part of their cause right along side all the other twisted stuff. I guess my main point was that there are elements in it not to be ignored—like the things I mentioned.

        The reason feminists can claim them is because, like I said, the most abused and mistreated people in the world are women (and by default children).
        Which is true, and sad, and needs to be dealt with.

        I know there are many others like me, who originally started studying feminism b/c of that logic. (I am a woman, many women in the world are mistreated, how can I help?)

        Now that I have done my research and am older, I know that there are many, many wonderful Christian ministries addressing this need. But when I was in college, I didn’t really see it getting talked about a lot at *any* church. And I was attending a very conservative brethren church, but spent lots of Sunday’s visiting other churches with friends and family. So, I reached out to feminism as a possible avenue to help.

        That’s why I mentioned that so many feminists become so from a position of compassion. Unfortunately if you are not grounded in Christ, it is all too easy to get sucked into their wrong thinking and ideas.

  18. Beth says:

    YES YES YES YES YES! Until nearly 3 years ago, I was a hard hearted, dyed-in-the-wool, staunchy feminist. Born and raised. I believed in the lies of feminism and stood up for it LOUDLY. Then God got a hold of my heart and showed me the TRUTH. Feminism is a prison. It creats angry, frustrated, unhappy, DEPRESSED women. It has brought men down to a degrading role in our society. It has created lost and wandering youth. It has done FAR MORE DAMAGE than any other movement in human history. Not only do I whole-heartedly agree with what you’ve written here, I go one step further to share that my story is that of a women who was saved by Christ Jesus and was shown the true freedom in becoming a Biblical Woman. It gives me tremendous joy to share how free I am in Jesus! Feminism was a chain that kept me tied up in hatred, lies, anger, resentment, frustration and pain. True freedom comes from accepting your God ordained role in raising up your precious children to fear and love the Lord, in building up and supporting the tremendous role our husbands carry, creating a home filled with love, peace and security, and realizing that by serving our homes and family, we are serving the Kingdom of God! :) What greater joy can there be?

  19. Julie says:

    I agree with you about “household voting”. Here’s how we do it, under the today’s system. My husband votes absentee, so he gets a ballot in the mail ahead of the election. He then researches the candidates and referendums (or asks me to, if he doesn’t have time). Then we sit down together and discuss it, just as I’m sure couples did before women had the vote. We decide together who we should vote for. (If we can’t agree, which is very rare, I vote the way my husband thinks we should.) So our household is in unity, and we get the full representation that other families get (which we would lose, if just my husband voted).

    • LucyT says:

      This is basically how my husband and I make the decision on who to vote for as well.We don’t vote absentee though.We also discuss the issues with are older children even though they are not yet voting age.

  20. Jennifer says:

    “I love to vote. I voted when I was single, when there was no man to vote on my behalf. Men and women shed blood for that right to vote”

    I walk up to the voting post with the biggest smile on my face. I am grateful that if my husband were to die I could still vote. We choose the leaders of the church based on what scripture tells in 1 Tim. 3:1-13 and Tit. 1:5-9″

    I think these are excellent points and wished more saw voting this way. Wanting an individual say in the country is not the same as rebelling against your husband.

  21. Susan says:

    Kelly, I know you get many comments, but I Want to add one more of support. I am a mother of a large family and blessed with a wonderful husband. I do not want to be “rescued” by the feminists. Everything you said above is 100% true. Thank you for being gracious to those who disagree and explaining the truth about feminism so eloquently.
    By the way, we do need to help other women in countries (and in our own country) where they are being harmed.

    Keep up the good work.

    Susan

  22. the Mrs. says:

    Amen, Kelly and many of your readers. I agree about the vote and especially the word feminism. I like to think of the movement as anti woman. The followers strive to destroy everything that is feminine and innately woman. It is similar to when they call themselves pro choice; who are they kidding? If you are for abortion you are pro abortion, not choice. If a woman resents all that is feminine (childbearing, caring for home, submission to husbands and fathers, modest dress, etc.) then she is anti woman!

    This may be a trite addition but I have much hope for out anti-woman society. I say let them be anti woman, liberal, homosexual etc. In two to three generations they(and their legacy) will be gone, because they DON’T HAVE CHILDREN. Let’s us rise up worship our savior and out breed them! I pray God will protect our children and guard them from societies lies.Especally thoes of the anti woman/anti family movement.

  23. Cathy says:

    The only comment I’ve read thus far is the one from alionheartedgirl, and Kelly’s response. I find it a strange notion to believe that “society” forces women to make choices. How so? Individuals make choices, not societies. Now, if you say that society can be a catalyst in decision-making, or you feel pressure because of the culture, then, perhaps. However, the person making the decision is solely responsible for that decision, good or bad.

    Feldt said one thing in the quote w/which I do agree. Child-rearing shouldn’t be a believing woman’s identity, but she definitely wouldn’t agree w/my argument, either. As a believer, my identity is completely wrapped up in a man, i.e., the man, Christ Jesus. Ah, there’s that crutch again…as my husband has stated, “Don’t give me that much credit, He’s my life support!”

    • Holly says:

      “Individuals make choices, not societies.”

      In China, the government mandates that each family have only 2 children. Women are forced to have abortions.

      Many Muslim societies force women into female circumcision.

      In India, society doesn’t “force” but strongly encourages marrying within a particular caste, and encourages pre-arranged marriages.

      Of course society can force or strongly influence woman’s choices. The argument becomes a bit more fuzzy in the U.S., but you can’t disregard the environment in in which a woman lives in relation to the choices she makes. Making an individual choice that goes against societal norms can result in jail, even death. (Just ask John the Baptist.)

      And these three examples, by the way, come out of uber-patriarchal societies that value men over women…

      Can someone stand up for women’s rights without being painted a hardcore liberal feminist? And what “rights” should a Christian woman be granted? Should this be within the church alone or reflected through mainstream culture and government?

      • Sylvia says:

        “In India, society doesn’t “force” but strongly encourages marrying within a particular caste, and encourages pre-arranged marriages.”

        “And these three examples, by the way, come out of uber-patriarchal societies that value men over women…”

        Speaking as someone who chose to have an arranged marriage and is from that part of the world, this was not my experience. Depends on the family you were born into. You cannot stereo type all things just like you cannot stereo type feminism as all bad/all good. Depends on the circumstances.

        • Holly says:

          Who’s stereotyping? I was giving examples of the way different societies influence a woman’s choices.

          I’ve seen Fiddler on the Roof. I know arranged marriages can end up working out okay.

          Of course, you say you chose to participate in an arranged marriage. I’ve met women who had to either a) marry the man their parents desired or b) be disinherited and driven away from their family.

          • Sylvia says:

            Were you being serious when you say ‘I’ve seen Fiddler on the Roof. I know arranged marriages can end up working out okay.’

            If that is your only ‘experience’ with arranged marriages, is that why I find your post condescending ? If so, I have met my fair share of people who have done so and identify themselves as ‘feminists’, even christians and yours is not the first.

            In a previous post you said
            ‘Of course society can force or strongly influence woman’s choices. The argument becomes a bit more fuzzy in the U.S., but you can’t disregard the environment in in which a woman lives in relation to the choices she makes. Making an individual choice that goes against societal norms can result in jail, even death. (Just ask John the Baptist.)’

            “Of course, you say you chose to participate in an arranged marriage. I’ve met women who had to either a) marry the man their parents desired or b) be disinherited and driven away from their family.”

            I know more about this than you ever can imagine. And yes, I do agree. But there are not representative of the majority which I have a problem with feminists painting every woman who does not make the same choices they make or come from the same environment they come from. I know the inherent evils where I come from and have marched against the same in college. For things like dowry death, female infanticide, female children aborted because of their sex, child marriages and so on.

            But my choice was to have an arranged marriage was based after I exposed to American culture. I came here on a student visa for post graduation and the dating culture around me made me even more sure I needed to go for an arranged marriage. It was based on my knowing myself and what I wanted out of life. So even though I was exposed to a so called ‘freer’ way of choosing my husband I still chose the archaic one from the culture which I came from because where feminists see more choice I divorce, broken homes and I knew I did not want that. I stand up for rights of all people. I do not need a label as a feminist to do so though I will agree on lots of thoughts about women’s education, right to vote, property rights and so on.

            • Holly says:

              Sylvia,

              The Fiddler on the Roof comment was an attempt at humor. If you read condescension, that is because you are so passionate about the subject you are letting your emotions obscure my point.

              I have no problem with you or anyone acquiescing to an arranged marriage. Again- I was using arranged marriages as an example of how society can influence and force a woman into a decision she may not want to make. I never said “all women.”

              There’s no need to defend your decision to me. I certainly was not attacking you. If my daughter would let me, I’d be pleased to arrange her marriage. (I’m completely serious, here.)

              Statistically, by the way, the divorce rate is greatest among conservative evangelicals. The rate usurps Catholic’s divorcae rates, even atheist’s. So, say what you want, but egalitarian marriage are statistically more successful than complementarian marriages. (And I’m not even a hardcore feminist, btw. I guess I’m “whitewashed.”)

              And Fiddler on the Roof is one of my favorite movies.

              http://divorce.lovetoknow.com/Divorce_Statistics_by_Religion

            • Holly says:

              I didn’t add: I admire you very much for standing up and marching against atrocities against women. That takes great courage.

              • Sylvia says:

                I apologize for jumping to conclusions. But I’ve had to defend my decision to people who have no understanding of what my culture is and stereotype me. I guess that is what I want to say. We all cannot paint someone with a broad brush. I have seen good things in ‘feminism’ or ‘westernization’ or ‘modernization’ or whatever people call it like fight against horrors of a system. But I also see so many things in a so called patriarchal society (I did not know I came from that, we do not do labels.) that are good which seems to shock some people. The value of ‘family’ which is so much larger than the nuclear family model, looking after old parents, the fact that I do not have to invest many years or months in a dating relationship and wonder where it ends, fear of becoming pregnant and single, being marriage minded and have a career and an education which is true for women in my family. And I am very cognizant of the fact that it is not true for everyone.
                And as for the success or failure of a marriage, ultimately it is dependent on the two people in it, how much they are willing to invest in it and fight for it. A long term marriage does not necessarily mean a happy marriage and I have seen some that are not. But the divorce rate in America even among christians is definitely shocking to someone like me and if that is one of the ‘freedoms’ offered by feminism, I certainly did not want it/do not want it except in the case of clear marital abuse.

      • Margaret says:

        Good points Holly. Those of us who have the opportunity to even discuss this have a certain amount of safety and privilege that is not available to women in other parts of the world.

        Female genital mutilation is a big issue for me because my husband is from a country where a vast, vast majority of women are mutilated due to cultural reasons, *including evangelical Christians*. :( Dh’s father is one of the few evangelical pastors in the country who takes and open stance against it, and dh thinks his sisters might very well have saved up money and had it done to themselves when they were teens, though he doesn’t know for sure because to discuss it would be taboo. The cultural pressure is *that* strong, that even if a girl’s parents refuse to comply, she may herself have it done when she is grown. :(

        Speaking out against such things need not have anything to do with feminism. That practice is unBiblical, contrary to God’s design for women, dangerous, and based on a desire to control women’s sexuality by force (which is also unBiblical). It is not even comparable to the Jewish practice of male circumcision.

        If we live our lives by God’s word, we will oppose China’s one-child policy and forced sterilizations or abortions. If we live our lives by God’s word, we will oppose racial and caste segregation. I see no reason to oppose arranged marriage on principle, but we can certainly oppose it’s abuses without needing feminism to bolster us.

        • Jennifer says:

          FGM is so Satanic I cannot fathom it; evil, evil, EVIL sickness!! And no, one need not be a feminist to hate it. I will pray hard for those women; I just hope to God they were at least under drugs when it took place :( (

          I do oppose arranged marriage by principle, btw, because I believe they should be bound by love in order to make marriage holy and complete, and this is often not the case.

          • Sylvia says:

            “I do oppose arranged marriage by principle, btw, because I believe they should be bound by love in order to make marriage holy and complete, and this is often not the case.”

            ‘This is not always the case’ is the imperative word here.

            But Jennifer, how do you know all arranged marriages are not bound by love ? Or courtship marriages which is the closest I can think of in an American setting. How many times have I heard people say as a reason for divorce ‘I love my husband/wife, but I am not in love, hence we are divorcing’. I find that very flippant.

            I do not know the feeling of ‘falling in love’ if you define it as two people going out on a date, maybe sharing a kiss or more intimate and then being in a relationship. Not all these relationships seem to last. And the heart break I saw was especially why I decided to go for an arranged marriage. What were those feelins then ? Love ? Lust ? It scared me. I knew I wanted a marriage for life. I knew I wanted someone who would not wake up one morning and decide they were ‘not in love with me’ or walk out on me or my children. I thus may not know what the feeling of ‘falling in love’ is. I know what loving my husband is though because of the kind of man he is. My love did not start as a spur of the moment feeling, but as a slow burn. I ‘fell in love’ over a period of years. I love him more today than I did when I first met him. That is what an arranged marriage if done right is.

            Arranged marriages are not for everyone and is especially hard for someone who has grown up in America to understand. But it is something many people, both male and female choose out of their own free will in my native country. Because we have seen our parents. And our grand parents. And most of all, the same system that has dowry death, abuse etc also has families like mine, where my inlaws and parents came all the way and stayed with us for months, putting their lives on hold and helped raise our children when they were babies.

            So please don’t be quick to dismiss something you have no understand of.

            • Sylvia says:

              Sorry for the typos/grammar mistakes. I should proof read more.

              • Jennifer says:

                I have more understanding than you might imagine, Sylvia. I was not criticizing your marriage, but it’s a simple fact that many arranged couples are not in love AT THE TIME of their wedding. If they fall in love afterwards, thank God, but what a chance to take! They should be bound in love when they FIRST get married.

                • Sylvia says:

                  ‘ but it’s a simple fact that many arranged couples are not in love AT THE TIME of their wedding. If they fall in love afterwards, thank God, but what a chance to take! They should be bound in love when they FIRST get married.’

                  I do not want to derail this thread about feminism and take it in a whole other route about arranged marriages/courtship :) .

                  But if we are talking choices here and how feminism paints all those who make different choices than what a woman ‘should’ do to be ‘free from oppression’ then I suppose this discussion is relevant. Sorry Kelly if I offend.

                  Though I cannot speak for an entire culture, I can tell you of my experience. I had an affection for my husband before we got married for after all I am a woman and this was the man I was going to marry. but would I call it ‘love’ ? Definitely not the way I love him now. I do not know what a woman from the west feels when they ‘fall in love’ and not marry a person ? How are prior relationships different from the one you marry ? And how do you know that ? That seems very risky to me and quite scary frankly and a great chance to take. Cultural differences I suppose LOL.

                  As for me, I knew about my husband on the surface and we got to know each other through letters, phone, email and so on. But we never lived together. From my parents, grandparents and other marriages I have observed there is love. You cannot share a lifetime, children, marital relations with someone and not love them. But in our culture we do not hold hands, kiss or show physical affection the way people in the west do, though we are a country of a billion people ;) . If you are looking for signs of physical affection in public, then it may come across as cold and frankly some parts of an arranged marriage especially the way the bride and groom are scrutinized before is something many western men and women would be appalled at.

                  But for me, it was the choice. I could not open my heart to someone and have it broken. That was the chance I was not willing to take. My expectation for any dating relationship from the beginning would have been marriage, and most American men even christians would have not been willing to take that chance with me, nor was it fair on my part to expect that from them. So I never dated. And frankly seeing my friends talk about their relationships and breakups made me even more sure I wanted an arranged marriage.

                  In my culture we do not just marry a person, we marry into the family. With that comes a lot of responsilibities like looking after old parents and so on. It may seem a lot looking in and even unfair because there is less of self and more of family. But for me, that gave a stability growing up. That is what I wanted for my children.

                  That is what feminism seems to miss. I had the freedom to date, my parents were in another country, they would have never found out. But what I saw in the dating culture scared me, divorce scared me. I always wonder how a marriage that seemingly starts with so much love could end in divorce all of a sudden without abuse and how people ‘drift apart’. My husband and I drift closer as the years go by.

                  One could have all the choice in the world and still gravitate towards something what feminists find inferior because of what it offers and still be happy in my experience.

                  • Jennifer says:

                    “You cannot share a lifetime, children, marital relations with someone and not love them”

                    Unfortunately this has happened to hundreds, especially historically. I’m very happy for you. People need to focus on drifting closer.

                  • Sara says:

                    Sylvia,
                    I hope you don’t come away feeling as if anyone looks down on your marriage.
                    I was very intrigued by your choice to have yourp parents arrange a marriage.
                    If your parents are God fearing Christians who have had a relatively happy and successful marriage, I can see how an arranged marriage would make a lot of sense.
                    It’s not like they forced you, and you got to know the man before. It sounds like if you had decided you didn’t like him that it wouldn’t have been forced on you.
                    Honestly, if I had had two loving Christian parents, who sought my best interest and not control, I think the same option would appeal to me.

                    The kind of “love” I think we talk about in America, “falling in love” etc., is a very fleeting emotion. It’s very powerful at the time, so pwerful it can easily blind you and cause you to overlook warning signs, and it can be a huge letdown when it fades. Our culture, movies, books, etc. deceive us into thinking we MUST have this experience to find fulfillment and be happy, too. Which isn’t true. True happiness and fulfillment only come from God.

                    The problem that I and many others have encountered is when you get down to the nitty gritty six months in and find uh-oh, my spouse isn’t maybe all that I thought. Marriage and “love” almost become an idol.

                    It sounds like you made a concious decision when you married to honor and stay with this person no matter what, and I know from experience when you make that decision, God gives you grace to love. It’s not a risky situation. God gives us grace to love anyone. And that is what marriage is supposed to be about.

                    I think you showed a lot of wisdom to go to your parents for help and guidance. I hope my daughters will be as thoughtful and cautious as you!

                    • Jennifer says:

                      “The kind of “love” I think we talk about in America, “falling in love” etc., is a very fleeting emotion”

                      No it isn’t, not real love. Spouses are required to love each other in a very unique way, and this way can NOT happen with just anyone, even if you pray for it too. People do need to work towards loving each other and keeping love there, but it does not just magically happen with anyone because you’re a Christian. I’ve heard many say this and it’s just as harmful as the infatuation love so many base weddings on. It’s the equivalent of a Christian fairy tale.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      I agree with most of what you said, Sara, and perhaps you were describing the same sort of infatuation I was, rather than love. Love does need to be tilled and worked on, but I also thought it important to clarify my thoughts on the unique aspect of spouse love and how it doesn’t happen with just anyone. God only designs certain people for each other.

                    • Sara says:

                      That is the kind of love I was talking about, Jennifer. So I think we are mostly agreed.
                      Maybe I was too young when I got married (20), but I know it’s not just me. Infatuation was a big factor. I, mean, I took the committment of marriage seriously, but I was definitely forging ahead and not being wise in lots of ways.
                      I think it would be helpful, if we in America, emphasized more the decision aspect of it, rather than the *feeling* part of it(which is why an arranged marriage done carefully doesn’t sound too bad to me). And the feeling is what is so celebrated and idolized. For example, lots of people divorce based on the lack of the same feeling. I just don’t “love” that person anymore. I love them, but I’m not IN love with them and other such garbage.
                      I think we agree on the “not any Christian can marry another Christian” thing. With one caveat for me: if one Christian is already married to another Christian (or an unbeliever for that matter) God WILL enable you to love that person.
                      But I know that I had many Chrisitan guy friends that I did not feel attracted to in that way, and therefore a marriage would probably have been really awkward. But if I had made that mistake anyway, God gives the strength and the grace to obey.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      That’s a great explanation, Sara :) We do more or less agree.

        • Holly says:

          Agree wholeheartedly!!!

      • Cathy says:

        What I said was in response to alionheartedgirl’s assertion that society “requires women to be mothers first and careerwomen second.” How does society “require” that? Further, the examples that you cite are straw men. Even if China “mandates” family size, is the Chinese government able to stop a pregnancy? I’m not naive. I understand that women may be forced to undergo circumcision, and that the Chinese government may forcibly take a baby away from its family (heck, they do that in the US), but there is nothing requiring a woman to choose between a career and/or motherhood. And, making a connection between the choice of being a SAHM or a career woman (or even a bit of both) and death, seems hyperbolic at best. Moreover, to make it analogous to John the Baptist losing his head because he stood up to the king seems to lack reason. How did you arrive at that comparison?

        Finally, I am no feminist, but nor I do adhere to the patriarchal world view. My daughters attend college, leave home and live on their own (I have ten kids, and, honestly, I am happy to have some space–I love them all, but I also want them to evolve and be independent), I have homeschooled all of them, but all but one of my kids attended traditional school (mostly public). I am also a Calvinist. I have never been a milquetoast, but I do show my husband respect. We have different roles, but, mainly, my husband is to love me as Christ loved the church, and we are to prefer one another.

        As to rights, if Christ gave up His right to equality (see Philippians 2), why do we shout about our “rights?” I just don’t see that ANY of us, man or woman, has any “rights.” Unless I’m misunderstanding your definition, then my understanding of my will conforming to God’s will means that my rights have been surrendered at the cross. Please help me understand how we can insist on our rights when Jesus willingly went to the cross. He didn’t exercise His rights, did he?

        I just don’t see it.

        • Jennifer says:

          We have BASIC human rights, Cathy, the right to life, dignity, respect as human beings. Jesus CHOSE to give up His rights, He wasn’t forced; no one has the right to force another. We also have the right to teach others God’s Word and live the life He calls us to; no one is entitled to take that from us.

          • Cathy says:

            Jennifer, the “life He calls us to” is one that dies to self daily. Where do you get this stuff about having a right to life, to dignity, etc.? Where in the world is it in Scripture that you have the “right” to ANY of the things that you listed? I’m not asking you to give your opinion, but, instead, am asking you to prove FROM SCRIPTURE where you see our rights addressed. No one may be “entitled” take our lives from us, but murder happens every day. That infringes on the life of the victim. Are you saying that because Jesus CHOSE to sacrifice His life and not grasp at equality, that we are free to choose whatever we want, despite the example of Jesus? Is the Bible just a book that lays out examples, but we don’t have to follow them? As believers, we are called to a life of sacrifice. To say otherwise is to nullify Romans 12:1, and flies in the face of I Peter 2. Please address those passages specifically, and then talk about your rights.

            • Jennifer says:

              You’re right Cathy, how foolish of me. I guess the countries that genitally mutilate women and rape them, the feminists who treat men like crap, and the thugs that kill without remorse have it right after all. How selfish of me to say otherwise.

              • Jennifer says:

                Do you have any concept of the fact that I’m talking about our RIGHT to be treated as human beings by OTHER human beings? I’m not speaking of demanding anything from God. But thank God He does give us dignity; dying to self does NOT mean He would EVER ask us to give our bodies to sexual abuse, mutilation or whatnot. He does NOT cause us to be hurt in such ways by others just because this atrocity sometimes happens. He made us vessels of honor, not toys to be torn at the soul.

                • Cathy says:

                  Jennifer, I have read other comments from you, and am not sure why it’s necessary to be snarky. However, that is your call. I am not sure how this thread went awry, but this is off topic. Please, I am not a dolt, so don’t misrepresent what I said. You chimed in, and I responded to your assertion that we have rights. Moreover, you claimed that Jesus “chose” to give up His rights, and that He wasn’t forced. In the same sentence you said that “no one has the right to force another.” You can’t have it both ways, Jennifer. And, frankly, I’m not even sure what this is about anymore. I merely pointed out that women are culpable for their choices, and to assert that, somehow, society is at fault because it “forces women to remain at home when they’d like to work and be mothers,” is to play the blame game. If a woman wants to stay at home, then stay at home. If a woman wants to have a career, so be it. The society in which I live isn’t forcing me to make those kinds of choices. I choose to stay at home, and be a wife and mom, and I’m more than cool w/that.
                  BTW, It’s hard to keep track of what “Jennifer” you are. Did you make two comments in succession? As an aside, why are you comments SEEMINGLY (note the caps for emphasis) made w/a chip on your shoulder?

                  • Jennifer says:

                    If you don’t get what I’m saying, Cathy, I’ll be clear: we have a right to be treated as human beings by other human beings. Period. Clear? We have the right to not be raped, killed, or abused by other humans. It seemed to me you were contradicting this, hence my initial sarcasm, then I wasn’t sure if perhaps you meant that we don’t have a right to be treated a certain way by GOD; I agree, hence my second post in a row. Other than this, I don’t know what you don’t understand. No one has the right to force another; the people who killed Jesus had no right to, period. This isn’t confusing. Jesus let Himself be abused; does this mean His abusers were right? No. Perhaps as a Calvinist you believe that if someone does something wrong, this means that God has given them the “right” to do that; I don’t agree. I don’t believe that God ever causes/ordains/wills rape, mutilation, torture, or any of these human atrocities. Why? Because HE treats us with dignity.

                    I didn’t think you were being clear because it’s often a habit of Calvinists not to be so. And Calvinism makes me furious. You think I was snarky? I was trembling in rage at what I perceived your words to mean and actually restraining myself. Do you know what a Calvinist told me once? We were speaking of abortion and rape came up; she then told me that if a woman is raped, then she was predestined to be raped from the beginning of time. Then she, too, wondered why I was so “snarky”. I have a devil of a chip on my shoulder from bad doctrine and it will show up any time I perceive it, or its shades, in others. I hope my beliefs are clear now.

                    See the turquoise square near my name? That’s how you know I’m the same Jennifer. We all have such squares.

                    • Cathy says:

                      I stated that I have daughters who attend college, have daughters who leave home, etc., to make sure that it was understood that I don’t adhere to a patriarchal world view. I do believe in sovereign grace theology, but other than that, I may not have a whole lot in common w/those that buy into a patriarchal world view. Obviously, we won’t agree, maybe ever, but that’s OK. I wonder, though, how you justify the fact that you don’t even live by your stated tenets. You openly admit your rage toward what you perceived that I wrote, so how in the world are you exercising dignity and respect toward me? To restate, I only said that I don’t believe that society FORCES us to make choices, and that I believe that those are choices w/which people have to live, and cannot blame society. No more, no less. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT? Then, all of a sudden, we’re talking about female circumcision, mutilation, etc. Then, you weighed in w/the human rights line, and I told you that I do not agree that those “rights” are anywhere in Scripture (and, you never did back that premise w/Scripture). This conversation have gone so far afield, that I am essentially being accused of condoning horrific sins because of theology. If what I wrote has you going into a “rage,” maybe it would be a good idea to work through that before hammering out an angry comment. I have no issue w/you disagreeing w/me, but I do take issue w/your attack dog approach. It’s pretty offputting. Why fly into a rage when we’re having a philosophical discussion? Thanks, BTW, for the info about the squares. I noticed them, but never paid them any mind.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      “Flying into a rage” is not something I often do, Cathy, and not all rage includes such dramatic actions. But the fact that you see this as a mere theological discussion when I see it as something that affects and even ruins real human lives says a lot by itself.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      It says a lot about our differences, I mean. The original topic would indeed be useless to rectify. You shouldn’t need Scripture to know that we have a right to dignity from others and that this is why God hates the atrocities I mentioned.

                    • Cathy says:

                      Jennifer, I didn’t say “theological” discussion, I said “philosophical” discussion. Big difference. As to Scriptural back up, I don’t see anywhere in Scriptural where we deserve anything but condemnation. C ya on another thread. Thanks for the opportunity to have this discussion. I have no idea where you live, but where I live (in the Bay Area of No California), there’s a nip in the air, and it’s quite lovely. Have a good weekend. Now, off to run the treadmill. UGH.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      Sorry for the verbal mess, Cathy. Calvinism has hurt me personally and is not a mere discussion for me, philosophical or otherwise. As a matter of fact, though, the Bible says we’re beyond reproach in Christ. Have a good weekend! I live in Florida and the weather’s gotten nippy, but still fluctuates.

                    • Cathy says:

                      Hey, Jennifer, no worries. I’m glad that we settled it as much as we can. I’m sorry that you’ve been hurt by other believers. The great thing about Heaven is that our focus will be on Jesus–alone–and, by then, no one will care about theological/philosophical differences. I survived the treadmill, so now it’s off to do fun things like cleaning. UGH–again.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      Thank you for your care, Cathy :) Ugh indeed; have a profitable time, if not a fun one. I much prefer the treadmill.

  24. Shelly says:

    Keep speaking the truth Kelly! There is no way to sugar coat the damage to families done by modern feminism. Thank you so much for your blog!

  25. Margaret says:

    Without reading the comments first…

    This is my thing with feminism. Like any social movement, it is a pendulum swing, not a panacea for the world’s problems. And that’s one of the problems with feminism. We’re told that if we’d just get on board, so many problems would be solved.

    Feminism has resulted in some good things. I’m glad wife-beating is illegal. I’m glad for the ability to vote. I’m glad that if I need to work, I can legally fight for equal wages when I am doing work equal to my male co-workers. Glad I cannot be denied a job simply on the basis of having a uterus. Etc.

    However, feminism swung the pendulum way, WAY too far. It has made abortion normative, tolerable, even a social good. It has joined hands with yet more social movements that are not beneficial to society. It has produced several generations of men who simply use and mis-use women in sneaker ways than they used to, and told women that such use is “freedom” and “pleasure” and that any rational woman would want it.

    IMO, feminism simply traded one set of problems for another. That is why I do not refer to myself as a feminist, even though on some points I might agree with some feminists.

    • Jennifer says:

      Excellent points, Margaret!

    • R. F. says:

      Margaret,

      I honestly haven’t read your entire comment, but I just had to respond when I saw “I’m glad wife-beating is illegal”. Where do people get the idea that feminism made it illegal here. It has alway been illegal. In fact it used to be illegal to swear in front of women. Feminism didn’t made beatings illegal, and even with feminism they still happen. (In fact I think there are some statistics that say it is on the rise.)
      Sigh…

  26. Mary says:

    This is a very long post…and meant to be peaceful… It was written through the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit, after months of contemplating His Word, and praying over this issue.

    I do not want to get involved in a feminist debate. I’m not addressing a movement; I’m addressing women that I know who God has used to have a tremendous impact in His world. My mom was the 1st jr high woman principal in her school district, and greatly impacted the lives of many children. Her gifting was in helping the children who were challenging, who were different, and who had serious life issues to deal with. She was also gifted, I’m told, in “empowering” her teachers to see all children through God’s eyes (although she probably never used that phrase publicly, that was her expectation). Listening to the stories of some of her students often made my skin crawl. Was she perfect? No. Was our life at home great? No. But there was a bigger picture that she kept trying to show us. Now, I see she was trying to teach us to see the bigger spiritual battle, not just our own everyday selfish lives and struggles. Sometimes I think we forget how much of the world out there is not Christ-centered. We also forget that it’s not always the women who are hurting the world. We’ve lived through many stories of men whose actions showed litte love or respect for their wives and children–hitting, scaring, and threatening them just because they could. My own father threw me across a room so hard I bounced off 3 walls. Other men abandon their families for pleasure activities (literally and emotionally), and others can’t or won’t hold onto a job, and take that frustration out on their families. A good friend of mine’s dad used to put out his cigarette on his son’s arm, just to show his level of authority. These stories are real and rampant where we live. My dad was a wonderful man, except when he drank. Then, it was nothing for him to put a gun to our heads. Ironically, my mom went to work because it was my father who did not want her to stay at home. He wanted her to work so he could go to college and pursue his self-employed career. It was VERY hard on my brother and I at times watching my mom care for so many other children, and not us, in the ways we felt we needed to be cared for. But, God has used that situation to reach out to so many children in our lives. Truthfully, some of the kids my family ministers to will only let me into their lives because of my past. They know I can relate to what they’re going through.

    For my family, I know without a doubt that God’s plan is for me to be home. In the beginning, I was terrified out of fear of repeating my past; but, thanks to the gentle, loving support of Godly women in my life, they helped me to understand that if God calls you to something, He also equips you for it. They were right.

    There are many blessings that came out of my childhood. For example, I know God used the longing I had as a child to increase my desire to be home with my children. My mom’s ministry was very real, and impacted many children over the years. I was reminded of this at her funeral a couple of weeks ago. We were flooded with letters and stories of the difference her commitment and unconditional, Christ-like love made in the lives of teachers, parents, and students. Even some Christian women who did not like my mom’s “feminist” role in the community, confessed that God was able to accomplish much through her because of her unconditional love for all children, and her very strong belief that that love was meant to be shared with all. My mom firmly believed that God did not want us to sit behind closed doors; He wanted us to get out there and serve His people, especially those who were hurting and who no one else would serve. My dad did not share that view. It was my “feminist” mom who was instrumental in leading me to my Faith. My dad didn’t even want us to know about Christ–he had been “hurt” by God in his eyes, so I’ve been told, (he grew up in a large, literally dirt poor Christian family, being the “good” Chrisitan son, etc… only to turn against God when he joined the Marines. He was never the same, and has never talked about what happened there; but, from that time on, he turned away from Christ, and didn’t want us to have anything to do with something he duped as a psychological ploy to control those who are less intelligent in our society.) I find it interesting that my mom, who learned of Christ as a teen, and who embraced a “feminist” lifestyle, impacted us spiritually more than my father who was raised in a Christian home, was sr class president, and did all the “right” things. I love my father very much, and he taught me many wonderful things. But we do not share a common faith.

    There are many other examples I know of how it was God’s will that the women be working. One of my dear friends lost her husband to a heart attack at the age of 40. She’s talked with me about homeschooling, but is still dealing with her grief, and her new found roles as disciplarian, provider, etc… She is overwhelmed. She remarks that she can barely make it through her life some days; how could she possibly care for her children all day long, while also working all day long. The conversation, and ministry has begun. But, it’s God’s timing, not mine. I could go on for pages (and actually I just deleted several pages of similar stories)

    I thank God each day for my children; I truly cherish our lives together as a family. But I know that is not the story for all women, including some who stay home. One mom we know homeschools, but has very few parenting skills, and very little Christian support. When we knew her, her son was completely out of control, and she didn’t see that as a problem. She was dealing with many temptations in her life, including the pull from a polygmist sect that her sister was part of. Many had tried to minister to her, but all she could feel was their condemnation, not their love. She wants to be loved for who she is, and she wants the same for her children. She has taken that test of love to a deep level. We see this a lot. Before some people can embrace God as loving, they need to experience His unconditional love through a person. And, trying to love someone for who they really are, and not for we think they should be, or how we think God thinks they should be is often very difficult. But, as that love does grow, and is tested, so will their trust in Him. It’s not until they genuinely trust Him, that they will start making the life changes that follow Him. That process can take years, and yet the kids are growing up during that time. What happens to those kids when no one is around to minister to them (i.e. no Christian teachers.) Many of these families don’t trust churches, so the only ones who can minister to them are Christians in their lives outside of church. And, many times, it’s the women’s friendships that begin this ministry.

    God does use Christian ministry for His purposes out there in the world. We have been blessed by Christian women who are in the workplace. I have found female pediatric physicians to have a level of discernment, gentleness, etc… that not all men have–especially the women who are moms themselves. My daughter went misdiagnosed for 3 years. She had daily near period level bleeding, and weighed less at 5 than she did at 2 1/2. She had given up her will to live when God led us to her new dr. The men had a tougher attitude (and maybe that’s just because of where we live), but her new dr really listened to the subtle symptoms. She talked to my daughter as I would; I was thankful she had a large family, and knew how to relate to children. She literally saved my daughter’s earthly life, and deeply impacted her spiritual life.

    My daughter feels a leaning to help others who have also been sick–I’m sure because of her own experiences, and the wonderful care she has had. She also feels called to be a mom. We have talked about ways to do both, or to do one for one season, etc… But what we keep coming back to is prayer.

    That’s my point. Is there really a Biblical mandate here, or is it more Biblical wisdom that comes as we draw closer to Him, and experience His personal will for our personal lives? Even in Proverbs, there are references to women working. We really don’t know a lot about what Christ’s instructions were to families. We do know that He commanded us to love God, to love others, and to seek God…His example to us was that He did ONLY what the Father wanted, and all that the Father wanted. Even being God himself, He had to pull away and re-connect to keep that focus.

    If we are unloving in ANY area of our life, that should be a red flag, that we may be trying to control something that is really God’s domain to control, unless we’re talking about real righteous indignations issues. But, even those (Nazi Germany, hate crimes, terrorism, etc…) are really under God’s control.

    I know there is a real feminist movement out there–we know people who challenge our homeschool decision because it limits and stereotypes our daughters. But, honestly, most people we know are just trying to make it through life. They honestly want what’s best for their children. Many of them came out of rough parenting experiences, and don’t feel capable of parenting their children. Some are struggling to pay bills; and I’m not talking just about those with luxurious lifestyles. And, honestly, some people feel like such failures, that they see work and possessions as the way to validate themselves. Those people need Hope, not condemnation. Can you imagine what it feels like to choose to work because you don’t think you would be a good enough mom. We know people who have made those choices. They may be acting “cool” on the outside, and some even have come to believe that their way of life is better for them and for the world. Many are really hurting, and truly have come to believe that there is so much hurt associated with families, that they would rather do without. They honestly believe that the rest of the world should also do without, because they have convinced themselves that the world is so bad that it needs to be fixed before it can be ok for kids to live in, and that even if you do have kids, that you shouldn’t have many because it takes so much attention to help a child make it through this world in a way that won’t destroy them. Others, want to be able to buy their children everything to offset the horrible way they view the world. Honestly, these are people without Hope and Faith, who desperately need our prayers.

    I know there are real feminists, and that can be a real threat to our life choices and to our daughters and granddaughters, but I would suggest that most women who go out of their way to attack another woman’s life choices are really dealing with deeper issues. When we can identify those issues, and pray over them and love through them, then we see God’s transforming hands in the lives of those who are honestly seeking Truth. And if not, and they continue to attack us, and if we know we are following Truth, then we need to just shake the dust off, and move along…letting God handle the rest.

    That’s where my dh and I are right now. If God has put something on our heart, then we have to follow it… that’s obedience. But, if he hasn’t put it on our heart, is that a different issue? God knows when we’re ready to undertake a specific leg of The journey, and if we’re praying for His Will, then when he sees that we’re ready, He’ll put that on our heart–through the Holy Spirit, through His people, through His Word. Until then, we just keep leaning on Him for greater wisdom and understanding about how to live our lives. Some things, God commands Biblically, and His Word speaks that. But, there are so many areas that are culture driven, and that fall under different giftings, and even different timing on God’s part. Are we arrogant in asserting what we think God wants for His people? Is God calling us to close the door to the marketplace for all women, or is He calling us to return to the home, voluntarily, and joyfully, as part of His ministry? God gives us choices from day 1. He wants us to choose Him. He wants us to follow Him. It’s the process of choosing Him that brings us closer to Him. Look at Adam, Cain… He commanded them, and that didn’t work. He would have known that. I think that’s part of His message to us–He desperately wants us to choose Him. IN EVERYTHING we do. I honestly don’t believe that He wants us to figure out what we’re supposed to do and then do it; I think He wants us to seek Him in all things, just as the Bible says. If we seek Him for our life, then we truly have no worries. It’s not our responsibility to seek His will for other people’s lives. We can pray for them. But it’s His job to draw them to Him. And, it’s His job to grow and teach them through the Holy Spirit. Anytime, we try to grow someone through our relationship with God, we turn them to us and away from Him. A very wise Titus2 woman taught me that years ago, and I have found that to be Truth.

    There seems to be a lot of energy spent trying to get people to see things from where God may be leading us personally. I’m wondering if maybe the energy can be better spent praying, and truly trusting God to handle the rest. If a person comes to us and seeks our counsel, then we can pray about that conversation, and let the Holy Spirit guide us. But when we present our beliefs in a blanket way, we almost take on the tone of the Mighty One. We will inevitably divide people, simply because people are at different points in their Journey, they have different giftings, and they different callings, and we can’t always see what those are. So we end up dividing people, and being stumbling blocks (anger is a stumbling block), when we didn’t intend to be. We know that stumbling blocks do not occur out of Love, so they can’t be of God. So, while we are seeking to glorify and honor Him with our daily lives, we are instead cutting each other to pieces with our sword-like tongues. Why would we do that to each other, to our sisters in Christ?

    What would God want us to do? He would want us to seek Him in all things… Let Him answer those questions you have about where He wants you in life, and how He wants you to respond to the lives around you. He put you where you are and with the people you’re with. His goal is for all of us to Love Him, and Love each each other. Yes, we are to be His light in the world, and to stand strong in that light. But, ultimately, He is the one that causes a new light to start burning. We may be the candle, but the Light belongs to Him. He’s the one who moves us and tilts us to light the other candles around us. But it’s all Him.

    I don’t think the issue is whether we choose our job via home or outside the home; I think the issue is whether we are choosing God. This forum has such wonderful encouragement for moms trying to find their way through life, in a loving, Christ-like way. Let us not get so bogged down in our own opinions of how we should be living our lives, that we lose the focus that it’s not about how I think you should be living your life, but rather about the question, are you asking God how you should be living your life. He has far greater answers than we could ever have. And, ultimately, if we are with Him, He is the one who should be guiding our lives….and we can live peace, knowing He is truly in control of all.

    Blessings, and prayers,

    Mary

    • Jennifer says:

      Your testimony and faith are miraculous, Mary, and I agree with eevrything you said. I don’t see women working as feministic at ALL; anyone who calls it such are committing bad faulty logic and association. The key is to work and serve in God’s kingdom; this will mean only home for some and work for others. As I said before, female doctors are a gift straight from heaven itself. They were midwives before anything else, because even in the ancient days people knew women were meant to help each other.

    • Kelly L says:

      What an awesome testimony to this truth: “God works all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.”

      Just because we do things wrongly and God, through His grace and mercy, allows us to prosper through our sin, does not mean He likes it. It just means He loves us. This is the biggest fallacy thinking among Christians and non-Christians alike; “”My family/I/ did this and look how I am now, so it must be OK.”
      NO! God is merciful and awesome and will not allow others to damage our future WHEN WE TURN TO HIM. THIS ALONE is why good stories come out of bad ones.

      I am tired of the world taking the credit from God. We don’t live a life that sucks ONLY because of HIS GREATNESS. Not our parents’ or ours.

  27. Mary says:

    PS This post got sent before I was finished editing. In no way am I supporting feminism; I’m asking for a level of prayer and trust that God will take control of this, just like everything else. And, if each of us follows God’s callings in our lives, then His Will can come to life. He knows what level of women Christian ministry needs to take place in the workplace, and what level needs to take place at the local family level. I think we are limiting God tremendously. God brought us this far, He’ll bring us the rest of the way–whatever that is. It would be great if we could get to a point where we hire someone because of their ability and values, not because of their gender. And, maybe, if women aren’t in the workplace as much, they will be missed, and more sought after–basic supply and demand. Who knows. Maybe God is using that tactic to improve working conditions for families, or to bring families together through home-based businesses… who knows. There is so much He can see that we can’t. Our job is to stay faithful to our calling–whatever that is, and not react in fear.

    Sorry to ramble.

    Mary

  28. Kristen says:

    I think there’s feminism as a concept and and idea, but there’s also where the rubber meets the road in individual lives and I’ve been seeing over the years with my friendship with a couple of women in our adoption support group that the disillusionment is real. Both of these women are professional (civil engineer and nurse). They are committed to their careers and yet whenever I get together with them they are wistful when they look at my life as a SAHM (who is also a professional, I have an MA in Education). One feels horribly guilty for how she spends so little time with her kids, so she overindulges them and they are brats. The other is finally coming to recognize the damage she did to her little ones by putting them in daycare while she finished up her education and she’s cutting down her work hours so she can be there when the kids get done with school and she can pick them up and she just told me last night how it’s made such a difference in attitudes with her kids. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I can see how the “you can have it all” lies the feminist movement taught my two friends have affected their lives and their children’s lives and I am glad I can be there for my friends, even though I don’t say a word about their lifestyles. They watch me and that’s enough.

  29. I liked this post until I came to the “voting” thing. I could not believe I was reading that.
    Kelly, you surely know that many Christian women are married to unbelievers, either because they became Christians after their marriages or because they disobeyed the Lord and married non believers. Would they agree with their husbands in their political candidates?
    What about the primary elections? Why do all the adults in one family would have to agree in one person?
    Many of the things done in the days of the founding fathers were right, but not everything.
    “Prove all things”.

    • Sara says:

      Another example is a single Christian woman from a family of non-believers. That would be me.
      1. I wasn’t living at home when I was 18, because the environment was so terrible. So I wasn’t under the “shelter” of my father.
      2. My family are non-believers and don’t agree with me on a great many things…politics being only one.

      So I’m very glad I could cast my vote.

      • R. F. says:

        Back when voting was one per household things were different. The point was not that women couldn’t vote because they were women, but because it was one per family, not one per person. In fact if a women’s husband was ill and unable to go to the voting booth, his wife was permitted to cast the family vote. Feminism likes to hold up voting rights for women as one of their successes to free women. But they didn’t really give women any new “rights” they only changed how votes were counted, instead of one per family it became one per person. Like it was pointed out before, if a man and his wife vote differently all they do is cancel each others vote. Nowdays with all the broken families with single parents, children leaving home when they are 18 as opposed to when they are married, it is essential to have votes for everyone. It just wouldn’t work with one per family. I guess you can credit feminism, if they hadn’t screwed up families there would be no need for idividuals to vote. We could still do one per family.

    • wordwarrior says:

      My point in the voting issue is getting repeatedly misunderstood. Caroline, I have no problem with the allowance of women voting. The problem I have is when it is used to hype the “oppression” of women. It may have been a faulty system, or not a perfect one, for sure (and yes, I would prefer to sit at home and let my husband “vote for me”).

      But it was a system that was based on the *ideal* scenario of husbands and wivces being united–families being united, as most often they were and should be.

      I know we don’t have ideal families, and for that reason it is beneficial that we all get a vote. I’m discussin the principal here–ideally, not necessarily realistically.

      It just bothers me when a woman says, “well I appreciate the feminist movement for fighting for my right to vote” because they’ve used that to falsely portray what was really at the root of the system–convenience and a practical approach that made sense using a household vote.

      • Natasha says:

        You are not excited to vote BECAUSE the feminists have made it necessary for you to vote because they destroyed the family unit. I got that the first time. I get excited to vote because I know I am going to vote out every liberal baby killing politician. I too would love to go back to a day where families were one unit and we could vote as a family.

        • Sara says:

          Feminists didn’t ruin my family unit. My mother died when I was five and my father was an alcoholic and an unbeliever. There will always be situations like this that *can’t* be directly linked to the evils of feminism. Even *way* back when when everything was supposedly so much better.

  30. Linda says:

    Feminism claims to free women with its “you can have it all”, but having it all comes with a price. We’ve bought into the lie that we can do it all (which is necessary to have it all). The truth is, we can’t. That is why we so often find ourselves in over our heads, feeling like we’re overwhelmed, not meeting (our own) inflated expectations and neck deep in guilt that God didn’t intend for us to carry. There aren’t enough hours in the day for everything we think we should be able to do… even for those of us who opt out of the work force.

  31. Also the way you put it, Kelly, sounds like going out of the house to vote is something bothersome, because it is much nicer to be in your cozy home. Well, as you surely know, you can vote by mail too.

  32. Hayley Ferguson says:

    How does a sufferagette make her mark if she is at home like she should be not like the strange woman spoken of in Proverbs and isn’t it the men that are to be known in the gate on behalf of their families?

  33. Linda says:

    I guess you could say I am a feminists. One of the reasons I am like this is because right after my daughter was born, my husband lost his job and was unable to get another one. I, on the other hand, was able to get hired back into the job that I had left and was able to support our family. My husband was a SAHD and absolutly loved it. His biggest issue were men in the church mocking him and telling him he was less of a man because he enjoyed keeping the house clean and spending time with his daughter. Rather sad that men like my husband are viewed as weak for taking care of their families. We did this for a little over a year until my husband was offered a job that brought in more money then mine, so I quit to stay at home and he went to work. I enjoyed working and I enjoy staying at home, the same goes for my husband.

  34. Mary says:

    Kelly L,

    I’m not implying that my family’s way was what God wanted, or not what God wanted. I would assume that there was a lot in my life that God did not like. My message intended to communicate that we often judge people by their decisions, when we don’t know what God’s plan was for their life. Was it God’s plan for my mom for her to work? I don’t know; I know it’s not what she wanted, but her belief in respecting her husband was greater than her desire to follow her own heart. Was that wrong? I don’t know. That’s between my mom and God. Which sin would have been greater for my mom–to work outside the home, or to defy her husband? I don’t have that answer either. My parents were not strong Christians when they married–like many people. I know my Mom’s faith deepened throughout her life, and God used her faith to reach her. Did He have that plan for her when she married my dad? Was her marriage to my Dad wrong? I don’t have those answers. I’m not trying to justify her decision, merely pointing out that we don’t know whether God was leading her in this area through my father, or whether God just took a bad situation and used it for Good. Only He has that information. And it is arrogant of me to place judgement on my mother, especially without ever asking her about whether she prayed over that decision. Am I in a position of wisdom to really know and question a person’s calling? Even after 30 adult years of studying His Word, formally and informally, and living a full life of mistakes, forgiveness, grace, humility, conviction, and ultimately submission, I still don’t have peace with those questions. I know some things we’re just not meant to know, and the details of a person’s personal relationship with God may be one of those.

    God knows the plans he has for us; how do I know that he’s not calling my child into the workplace for ministry purposes, or to prepare her for something later in life? I really don’t know. My job is to raise her to know His Word, and to teach her to pray through His Word, seeking His Will, and His direction for her life. I hope He calls her home and to be a mom, and that’s how we’re raising her. But, I would never want to come between my child and her relationship with the Lord, which is something I’ve witnessed in families before–admittedly not in this area, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to have happen in this area. I truly have to leave His calling of her life to the two of them. And if there is no specific calling, then she will have enough Biblical basis to know how to live.

    My greater concern is that I know that Biblically God would not want us to be arguing with each other about these things, but to encourage each. He also doesn’t want us to judge others. We are to pray for them. My concern is the way we respond (myself included, at times) when someone attacks our lifestyle, or when their faith leads them to dramatically different decisions. Over the years, I’ve come to wonder if it’s our expectations we’re putting on people, or God’s. One way to tell is to ask people if they prayed and fasted over their decisions, and if they’re willing to submit to God if His answer is different from theirs. We should be encouraging people back to Him so He can restore any misinformation, any foolishness, etc… In reality, we seem to try to persuade people to follow our thinking, rather than to seek His. When I see anger in a conversation, most of the time, it means that the flesh is responding more than the Spirit. I have to wonder, if we’re not redirecting people back to God, then do we not trust Him to lead them accoriding to His ways. Why is this so hard for us, if we believe our God is a real, living God intimately involved in our lives to the extent that we believe He choses when we will have children, and when we won’t. If we believe He is that involved, and cares that much for our life, wouldn’t we believe that He cares that much for others as well? If so, wouldn’t we want to encourage them to experience the fullness of that realtionship?

    I think of all Job went through, and often wonder why we are so surprised that God might take our life in the same direction. We don’t know how God will use our lives in the Spiritual world, so to me, that’s all the more reason to submit myself directly to Him (which I don’t always do), instead of to something that represents Him. We see time and time again where even the 10 Commandments are suspended in certain cases…for example, “Thou shalt not kill.” Which directive do we follow if our child’s life is in danger–the instruction to not kill, or the instruction to care for our family? I’m using an extreme example, but the point I’m trying to illustrate is that we really don’t know all there is to know about God. We know what He chose for us to know. He is so awesome, and so incredible, that we cannot begin to fathom the depth of who He is. So, instead of trying to figure everything out with my feeble little human mind, I want to learn how to fully rely on Him, and trust Him to guide my path–even if that’s different from how other Christians think I should be living. It’s a very difficult path at times, and I think persecution from Christians is much more difficult than persecution from the world, and I just don’t believe it’s what God wants for us, based on many references in Paul’s teachings.

    I hope this helps to clarify. I truly did not intend to offend, or to ever justify a life lived outside Christ as a life lived for Christ. This is where cyberspace just can’t compare with real life relationships. It’s so hard to fully know a person and their heart.

    Peace through Him,

    Mary

    • Kelly L says:

      May,
      Sorry you felt I was attacking. I actually meant what I said, that yours is an awesome testimony of what God does to redeem us.

      I totally got in your first comment that you knew God took something and make it good. I was really only speaking to the part about how God works in you despite what you said about some of your upbringing. That was why I said it was a good testimony.

      My rant at the end was not directed to you, just an observation that some act like it was their situation that created good, not God. I am sorry if you thought it was to you, I should have made it clear that it was not. I really liked your point and was trying to be encouraging.

      I am not really an arguer, nor do I get offended even IF offence was meant much less if it wasn’t. (Not at all saying you meant it, because I know you didn’t). God got rid of that in me about 5 years ago, and I am still thankful!

      Thanks, though, for explaining in love!
      Kelly L

  35. Sarah says:

    I’ll just add my two cents here. Using one quote from a feminist author is like taking this one quote from John Piper on Christian women and submission: “If it’s not requiring her to sin but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, and she endures perhaps being smacked one night,and then she seeks help from the church.” I am a protestant Christian, but I disagree with John Piper on that, just like many feminists would disagree with the statement you quoted above.

    There are also lots of varieties of feminism including “difference feminism” which focuses heavily on celebrating the cultural differences between men and women and developing an attitude of respect toward traditionally female tasks like child-rearing, domestic arts, etc. Kelly, you might be a difference feminist! Or, you might be an essentialist feminist, which is the type of feminism that focuses upon biological differences between men and women and takes a “different but equal” approach. There are many other types of feminism as well– the kind you are probably referring to above is known as “radical feminism” but actually represents a fraction of today’s modern feminists who may consider themselves libertarian feminists, moderate feminists, postcolonial feminists, eco-feminists, or equality feminists (and the list goes on). There have also been “waves” of feminism, and currently many scholars see feminism as being in its third wave, which is very different from the often more militant and white-centric, middle class feminism of the 1960s and 70s. In a way, lumping all the different types of feminist thought in together is like saying that Roman Catholics, Mormons, Baptists, and Presbyterians all think exactly the same way. It’s simply not true. Even within just the Presbyterian or Baptist denominations there is a huge range of doctrinal differences.

    Perhaps that one feminist feels that a woman ought not stay home, but speaking as a feminist I can honestly say that I disagree with her. If a woman wishes to stay home with her children, that’s great! I don’t see why we feminists always get characterized as evil man-haters bound and determined to see each family razed to the ground. Just to be clear, I am not in the habit of destroying families. I am happily married to my best friend, a man who encourages me to pursue my interests and the talents that God has given me. I, in turn, try to do the same for him. I am not pro-choice (not all feminists are). I enjoy my job where I often am able to help people from a lower economic status than myself, and we go to a church where we try to reach out to our community and help families in need. We live very happily in our egalitarian home and certainly aren’t bent on destroying the world. Most of us feminists are really quite peaceful individuals, trying to love our neighbors as ourselves and follow after Jesus. And we don’t bite. Honest!

    • wordwarrior says:

      Thank you, Sarah. I am actually very familiar with the waves and other differences feminists hold. And granted, I too, hate to be lumped in, as I often am, with certain radical ideas.

      Sadly though, society reflects the inescapable truth of what feminism generally claims: there is little neutrality, and as Feldt so honestly admits (by the way, she’s one of many), for feminism to prevail, the traditional role of women must die.

      It’s all a happy thought–and yes, by some definition, I’m sure I could be described as a feminist. But by the terms I use here, I’m referring to the over-arching belief that seeks to reinterpret Scripture. No matter the peace in a home, or whether we attach a Christian label to it, or how happy we are, anything other than what God has clearly taught from his Word regarding marriage is a lie.

      You would probably describe my marriage, if you just looked in at it, as “egalitarian” so I think the terms are our biggest hang up. My husband greatly respect my gifts and encourages my abilities. Still, I recognize him as “the head of our home” and he humbly fulfills that role with much trepidation before the Lord. We probably speak to each other much as you and your husband do, but this doesn’t define feminism to me.

      I won’t lock arms with a movement that, at its roots, truly does disdain the family, even if I feel differently.

      • Jennifer says:

        Excellent explanations, Kelly. I’d probably consider your marriage more or less egal too, and that’s not an insult! I simply think you two see each other as equal where it counts.

        ““If it’s not requiring her to sin but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, and she endures perhaps being smacked one night,and then she seeks help from the church.””

        Unbelievable how these beliefs affect even the greatly sensible of men.

        • Linda says:

          Wow, that quote by Piper is horrible, and it really reveals the evil side of the patriarch movementthe evil side of man. The side where women are treated as nothing more then the belonging of the men, not human beings created by God. I find that side of the movement just as harmful to families as the extreme feminists side and I hate that more Christians blogs have not taken people like him to task. IMO one of the problems with Christians today is that we spend all of our time focusing on the sins in the world and we forget to look at the sins in our own movement. Kind of that whole looking at the speck in the eyes of others while missing the log in our own eye thing.

          • Word Warrior says:

            Linda, I will not allow slander of a biblical concept simply due to the sinfulness of man. This hot topic debate over patriarchy exists because those discussing it are NOT thinking and speaking clearly. (“the tongue is a small member…see how great a flame is set by such a small fire”)

            Let get things clear if we’re going to discuss them: even though the term “patriarchy” has certainly had its meaning blurred and distored, it’s important to note that TRUE followers of Christ (of which I firmly believe Piper is one) do NOT tolerate or advocate true spousal abuse. Period. There is no one who advocates biblical patriarchy (for definition’s sake, we believe that to mean exactly what Ephesians says–nothing more, nothing less. We get our definitions from Scripture), who teaches that women have no recourse. In fact, in reformed circles, where it is most taught, churches are very careful to have the kind of structure that will hold husbands accountable and provide a safety net for women. I’ve mentioned before that our church is currently assisting a woman and her children in an abusive situation. She no longer lives with him and has the full support of our church. We would be considered a staunch “patriarchal” church as far as that term is defined by Scripture.

            So, I have no tolerance for referring to what is really a biblical teaching as “evil”. Do we acknowledge there are abusive men in families who claim to be following Scripture? ABSOLUTELY! There are abusive men in every family, every church and every situation and the reason is ALWAYS SIN. That is the point where it needs to be addressed. Just because men use the guise of teaching (biblical patriarchy) to cover their sin, doesn’t mean we throw the teaching away. It means we address the sin and teach men that “patriarchy” i.e. the biblical role of men (I hate using the word because of the feelings it evokes in so many due to its misuse) is to lay down his life for his wife–nothing less.

            It’s a touchy issue to be sure. What is true abuse? That word itself has been abused by willful women who just don’t like a certain decision her husband has made. I’ve seen that just as often as I’ve seen true abuse.

            And, as followers of Christ, are we not ever called to suffering? Are there situations where, despite our feelings, we are just called to suffer for a season? I see plenty of evidence from Scripture for that.

            We have to walk carefully, to be sure. But please don’t confuse others and start slanderous debates with careless vocabulary.

        • Amy M. says:

          ““If it’s not requiring her to sin but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, and she endures perhaps being smacked one night,and then she seeks help from the church.””

          That’s not all he said. He doesn’t think it’s okay for women to be treated that way. After that comment he goes on to say that the woman should go to the church right away and ask for help. The church should then confront the husband and tell him to stop, and if he doesn’t then more action should be taken by the church. The church being very crucial in situations like this. :)

          Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OkUPc2NLrM

          • Linda says:

            But he is still saying that women should endure verbal abuse “for a season” whatever that means. And then there is the problem of the churches that will just tell women to stay. My husband grew up in a home like that and it was devastating to him. His father verbally abused his mother for years and years and years. Tore here down to the point where she was just a shell of a person who could barely function. And when she would go to the church for help, the wonderful fundamental Bible believing church just told her to stay, submit more, and pray. It wasn’t till after my husband tried to commit suicide as a young teen as a result of himself being verbally abused and seeing his mother being abused that his mother finally left. And thanks to feminists she was able to go out get a job and support both him and her away from such a harmful environment. They have never gotten divorced, but since he made it clear that he would never treat her as anything more then one of his possesions, they do not live together. I think the best thing for Christians to do is to acknowledge that there is some harmful sides to the patriachal movement. And one of those sides it that it can lead men to view women as objects not people. And when women are in marriages like my inlaws and go to churches like they did, going to the church isn’t an answer. There needs to be away for women to leave and support themselves. Because sometimes, there is not going to be anyone else to help them.

            • Word Warrior says:

              What Piper means by “for a season” is simply that if a man comes home on a bad day and says something really hurtful to his wife, that is not necessarily abuse that requires her to bring him before the church. Have I ever said anything hurtful to my husband? Abusive? Yes I have. He’s being careful to draw the line between a random act of sin (of which we are all guilty and should be longsuffering with each other and forgiving) and actual abuse that is ongoing. And he SHOULD draw that line. There are women who would just love to leave a marriage and come out smelling sweet if she could blame her husband for something. I’ve seen women use ONE act of unkindness to build a case against her husband to criminalize him…that’s abuse all the same on her part.

            • Lori says:

              Linda – “one of those sides it that it (Patriachalism) can lead men to view women as objects not people.”

              No, not if it is based on Christianity (vs. say, Islam). Can men twist scripture to do evil things? Yes, of course. Pharasees did that all the time, and time and time again Jesus would correct them and even chastize them for perverting His Law. Did he say that their perversion invalidated His Law? No, He condemned the perversion only. A man who is perverting God’s word to justify rebellion should be first chastized by his church brothers (Matt 18:15,16), then if continuing in rebellion must be held up to public censure (the church – Matt 18:17), then if continuing in rebellion, must be shunned (Matt 18:17; 2 Thes 3:6; 1 Cor 5) and excommunicated(Matt 18:17,18; 1 cor 11:27,28) until the time of repetance.

              If your story is true, then her husband was wrong and her churchmen were accomplices in her abuse,and in the slander against God’s doctrines that now occurs as a result of turning a blind eye.

              Sometimes people are rebellious for a season. If it is within certain parameters then that sin must be born w/ for a season, and give the brother a chance for repentance. This is completely biblical. It was appropriate for this lady to turn the other cheek for a time, waiting for God and the church to deal w/ him. It was not appropriate for the church to not intervene, and it’s not appropriate for someone to stand back and not intervene in abuse (as the father abused the son). I think that a church and extende family separation supported temporary separation might have been appropriate, but don’t know for certain.

              My point is that this man nor his church were patriarchial according to biblical standards, if your story is true and represents the men accurately if briefly. The Bible gets to define biblical terms, not cowards and rebels.

        • Word Warrior says:

          See my reply to Linda to explain what Piper means. It is a very sensible comment if you understand it and aren’t jaded by your preconceived ideas about the complementarian view.

          • Linda says:

            Please do not imply that I am a liar. It is extremely hurtful especially as it has taken years for my husband to overcome the abuse caused by watching his father verbally abuse his mother and then him. If you notice, I did not say Biblical patriachy, I said the patriachal movement which has a very dark side that Christians don’t want to talk about. I have seen in both and real life and on the internet where men are being raised up as mini gods and women are demoted to objects who are nothing more then the men’s possesion.

            And I’m sorry, I have to disagree about the “for a season” comment. A season implies months, not one bad moment where you snap at your spouse and then appologize. It sends the message that families should suffer months and months of abuse and then just hope that they go to a church that will support them and not the husband. And then what is the out if the church won’t do anything? What if the family won’t help out? This isn’t that uncommon of a situation. In the Bible women could go glean fields to feed themselves, but our society doesn’t work that way, so they need to be able to get a job so they can get out until the husband is ready to behave in a Godly way.

            If I verbaly abused my children and spouse for even less then a week, I would expect my husband take the kids and leave until I am ready to behave like a Christian wife and mother. And the same goes for him. We are not going to let our children see us model horrible, abusive behavior. I am not going to let them treat others in a hateful way and I don’t want them to ever grow up thinking that it is okay to tolerate abuse of any kind. I want them to learn that if they do say something hateful, they need to immediatly pray for forgiveness from both God and the people they harmed. I don’t want them to think it is okay to continue in that type of behavior “for a season”. And since actions speak louder then words, if they saw my husband or myself behave in abuse ways towards each other for any amount of time without asking for forgiveness and then changing how we acted, they would learn that it really is okay to treat people horrible for an extended amount of time.

            • Word Warrior says:

              Linda,

              I can’t find where I “implied your were a liar”. But I am very particular that we discuss things without adding to or distorting them. I made myself clear: any distortion of biblical teaching is just that–not biblical and stems from the sinfulness of man. You said:

              “I have seen in both and real life and on the internet where men are being raised up as mini gods and women are demoted to objects who are nothing more then the men’s possesion.”

              This is a distortion of a biblical concept, either in practice or in perception. Where are the quotes from those who advocate such an accusation? People might interpret my opinions in the same way, simply because I believe the Bible SAYS the husband is the head of the home. But I and all those who teach the biblical concept of patriarchy also maintain that Jesus is the ultimate head–both to the wife and the husband.

              Your comment may hold truth in that you HAVE seen men abuse their power; but it’s not due to the teaching of the “headship” concept! This is what I can’t seem to get through. A lady who got angry with our church (who was perfectly content prior) left it and started telling everyone that our church teaches “husband worship”. That’s the stupidest thing in the world considering I go there and can attest her comment is a lie. We teach “God worship” and that the husband is the head of the home. He is held VERY accountable (my husband jokes about being “beat up on Father’s Day” during the sermon because our elders hold our husbands to a very high standard of “servant-leader” and they are taught that wives are to be honored and cherished and protected. They are instructed in humility and know they bear great responsibility for the tenderness with which they shepherd their family.

              Here again, words are so easily damaging. Just rememeber, people abuse every teaching, every doctrine and every concept. That’s our nature. But it cannot change the teaching if it’s Scriptural.

              A school teacher who practicies pedophilia doesn’t make the concept of teaching evil, even though pedophiles often pursue jobs where they have easy access to children. We punish the pedophile, we don’t assume the entire structure is evil because it makes it easy for the criminal.

            • Lori says:

              Linda, it appears based on some of your remarks that you were replying to me, at least in part.

              I did say “if this is true” but that in no way suggests that I think that you’re a liar. I have to make that statement and consider that due to Prov 18:17 in addition to other Bible admonitions.

              Yes, you did refer to the Patriarchial movement, that’s true. However, you were speaking in the context of professing Christians, and in a specific *Christian* church, therefore it is appropriate that I address biblical Patriarchy as such. After all, if these people are professing Christians, then it is the Bible they must be held to, and my observations still stand.

              I don’t know how bad the abuse was, and I doubt this is the appropriate forum to go into details, especially since we are not church authorities, and we would only be getting a second-hand account of one side of a story that happened a long time ago. I just don’t think that’s in accordance w/ the Bible’s examples of seeking help and making accusation. Depending on how bad it was, leaving the same week to seek shelter could be appropriate, but it would have to be pretty bad. Otherwise we are members of Christ’s church and Christ’s body, and do not get to act autonomously in matters where the Bible has spoken (that includes both abuse and abandonment). Remember, we are speaking in the context of verbal abuse only, and I did say to seek help and intervention.

              I do agree that Piper was probably meaning more than the odd bad day and the odd snarky remark when he said “season,” but still agree w/ Kelly’s advice.

  36. Tawny says:

    Keep it up Kelley!! Speak the truth! I agree 100%

  37. LucyT says:

    I am not sure about this you must have a special spouse love before you marry idea.I do believe God creates the person we are to marry and that gives us grace to suceed but love really isn’t a feeling it is a choice.Anyway that is kind of a random comment.

    Sylvia,I have to say arranged marriages have always intreaged me.I really believe that if all people involved have the right motives in mind that the union could be beautiful.I am praying that God will reveal my childrens future spouses to my husband and myself as well as saving my childrens hearts for their chosen one only. I guess you could say I am in an arranged marraige.The day I met my future husband I felt as if God told me I would marry him.I asked my sister what she thought of him and she told me she felt I was going to marry him as well.I was in an on again off again relationship at the time that I had invested to much time in and all of myself if you know what I mean.I was CRAZY about the on again off again guy.We where off at the time I met my husband who I married 6 months later.My husband and I lived 16 hrs apart we only spent a handful of days in the physical presence of each other although we did write each other daily no email or cell phones.I know I am showing my age.We have been mostly happily married now for nearly 25 years.We are so like minded it is scary and we have one of the most stable marraiges I have seen. I will be honest I would not of picked this man who God planned for me.I wanted to marry a preacher with quite the opposite physical features but pursuing the things I wanted was not making me happy and I was tired.So I nervously walked down the aisle cried on my honeymoon night for my Daddy and clumsily and determindely clung to the man I was meant to marry.I am daily amazed by the blessing God has given me in the form of the man I know as my husband and as each year passes more deeply in love with my husband.

    • Jennifer says:

      Showing love is a choice, Lucy, but I have a very hard time believing that you believe it’s not a feeling. And frankly I’m tired of people confusing the obvious balance and claiming that since it’s a choice to SHOW love and cultivate it, this means it’s not even a feeling at all! You’re telling me you feel nothing for your husband? No feelings, just choices? I didn’t imagine so. Please friends, let’s remember the balance here. You don’t have to agree about arranged marriages or whatnot, but let’s all be clear that love is, indeed, a feeling.

      • Jennifer says:

        And you can’t always choose it. If love were as convenient as the vanilla Christians claim, we wouldn’t have the brilliant, frusterated, enraptured poetry that’s filled human hearts for centuries. God knew who you’d fall in love with, Lucy, and He chose for you to marry him before those feelings took place. And I personally admire you; you’ve got guts! What obedience to Him. It just doesn’t happen that way with every couple, though; it doesn’t automatically happen in an arranged situation because the couples’ parents were Godly. That’s all I want young people (and their parents)to be aware of: it doesn’t happen just because you want it to and pray for it to, or because the person in question fits the unseen spouse resume.

      • LucyT says:

        If someone would have asked me how I felt about the on again off again guy at that time I would have said I loved him.He was everything I thought I wanted.I was CRAZY about him just as a said.He looked right, talked right, walked right ,come from the right family.We became physical after about 2 years of dating and I couldn’t deal with the shame of that sin so I broke up with him but then I would take him back and we would end up there again.This is really to much information.Anyway I liked my husband I was not in romantic Crazy love with him.I new he was a nice safe intelligent hard working person who probably found me physically attractive and thought I was very funny.Like I said I determindely clung or in other words chose to love him.Do I physically love my husband now YES most of the time do I choose to love my husband through the ruff patches when we are tired ,over worked, stressed, sick ,stinky, YES.Do I love or give my heart to the on again off again guy now no I choose not to.Is he still all the things I thought I wanted yes but God new better than I and I have more than I ever new I wanted.So you are right God did know who I would fall in love with but I do not agree with the I just can’t help myself I am in love I am going to do what feels right CRAZY love not because I haven’t felt that way myself but because I know a better way and I think many young people need to know love is a choice and many young and not so young people also need to know you can choose to not love or give your heart to a person just because you feel like you love them.Love grows strong with time it is cultivated.I would like to say I have way more poetry dedicated to guys who broke my heart than to my husband prehaps I better work on that.I hope you take that in the light hearted way I intended. I am kind of goofy sometimes plus my 2 year old is asleep on my feet and my 15 year old just told me I am grownded from the computer for talking to strangers at 1am so I am busted and better end this.

        • Jennifer says:

          I do get, and appreciate, your nice tone and light mood :) I still disagree that people can simply choose who they’ll fall in love with. But I also don’t think love takes your choices away. You can choose not to be with someone even if you love them.

          • R. F. says:

            Jennifer,

            When it comes to arranged marriages the action proceeds the feelings, where in the dating game the feeling proceed the action. The dating game can (and does) leave many people broken hearted because they felt the feeling of love without a commitment. They may hop from one person to the next falling in and out of love again. An arranged marriage you make the commitment first, the action comes next, then the feelings of love.

            In marriage counseling I’ve heard that often when a couple is headed for divorce because they are no longer in love, they are told to go home and “love” their spouse. Do what they would want to do if they felt the feelings of love. Then the feelings ended up returning.

            I think Sylvia and LucyT have been trying to tell you that feelings are fleeting, but the commitment of marriage lasts a lifetime, true love is a commitment (with feelings to follow). To say you need the feelings before marriage is somewhat silly. We know feelings change. Why sound a marriage decision be based on fleeting emotions?

            • Natasha says:

              Im just going to chime in here. This is not to discount what anyone is saying, but just to add a little info that I always found interesting.

              There is a wonderful hormone called oxytocin :) God designed your body to give off lots of oxytocin when you are intimate with your husband and when you are breast feeding. Interesting huh? I think that’s why He insists we never deny our spouse sexually. WHen you have sex that hormone is released, and it causes you to feel all those lovey dovey feelings. It’s irrational. But God knew that after living with each other and ll the stress marriages have to endure, that we would need some irrational love :)

              Now for breast-feeding. Babies are wonderful. But after being woken up every 20 minutes through the night for weeks on end, what makes you feel all those mushy lovey feelings when you are sleep deprived and haven’t had a shower or a decent meal? Oxytocin released when you breast-feed. God is smart :)

              Sure you still love your spouse even if you didn’t have sex or breast-feed. You still take care of them and try to treat them kindly, But God gave us a little extra so we could also have those warm mushy lovey dovey feelings too. Because it’s a good thing :)

              Anyway, I think God prob had this in mind too when marriages were arranged. A couple might see each-other as good and kind, but they might not be *in love* before the wedding. So he used His design of the miraculous human body to help that *love* along.

              God is awesome and thinks of all things. I just think that is so cool.

              • Natasha says:

                I get what sylvia and other are saying about feelings are fleeting etc. But i think I get what Jennifer is saying ( if i may be so bold to say?)

                It’s not just about the feelings, but about compatibility ( jennifer have you used this word yet, maybe this is what you are getting at?) You can have a man who is good and king and loves the Lord, but you may never fall in love with them passionately if you are not compatible ( i can’t think of another word) For example, Jennifer loves nature. SHe could be in an arranged marriage to a good and kind christian man. But if he thought nothing of nature and detested being outside and just liked to play video games there would be a kind of void in their marriage. Now I am just using this as an example, it might sound trivial, but please try to see the big picture.

                My husband and I share many things we both are crazy passionate about and it fuels are love for each other. Even homeschooling we are on the same page about, we get so excited when we talk about the things we want to experience with the girls. We have things to talk about, insights to share, things we want to experience together. We are also different too, my husband is a jock and I am a band geek :)

                But a friend of mine told me she and her husband loved each-other, they are both good and kind christians. They take care of each-other, But they have nothing in common. Her parents thought they would make a perfect match. But in fact they can’t really relate to anything together. And therefore there is no passion in their marriage even after 10 years. They love each other and will never divorce, and they treat each other kindly and respectfully but they both sense something is missing.

                Now I am assuming arranged marriages look for these things too? Parents would know what their daughter loves and try to find a mate that is not only good and kind but who would also understand her. Honestly if I didn’t find my husband, and I had good parents, I would love to have an arranged marriage. Dating is a lot of work.

                • R. F. says:

                  I understand what you are saying about compatability. However, I think if a couple truly wanted to make things work and love their spouse, they would try new things that they may discover they do like and never knew. For example, I did not grow up in a family with any hunters. My husbands family, that is all the men do in the fall. It kind of made me squimish, but I went along with my husband when we were first married. I discovered I loved it! Ok, not all of it. But I loved being outside all day, and I was even successful twice (1 buck and 1 doe). Thankfully my husband did they gross part for me.

                  That being said. A couple will always have their home, children, and relationship in common. Often that is enough. Most of our day to day life includes nothing more than that. At least in our home that is all we have time for. Gone are the days of hunting in the fall, taking long leisurely walks, watching uninterupted movies or going out to eat. When we are together we spend it playing with the kids, then it is off to bed, we are tired! (Hubby works for himself 10-12 hrs. a day 6 days a week.)

                • Sylvia says:

                  I did derail this thread with talk about arranged marriages didn’t I ? Sorry Kelly.

                  But to answer you question Natasha about compatibility, it is on two levels, family and individual. We have to ‘like’ each other on sight otherwise we say no :) . And this is in arranged marriages where people are not forced, but given a choice like mine to choose from an array of people. So there is an element of attraction involved. There are however marriages where people do not see other except after marriage, but it is not among christians to my knowledge.

                  But we also marry into the family, not just a person. Many people live in joint families as did I growing up and there will be many occasions where you have to live with your in laws. In our case, even though my husband and I live in America, my inlaws lived with us for months at a time when our children were babies to help raise them and we visit them every year. So family compatibility is quite important.

                  I am only speaking from my experience and it could vary from person to person. My parents looked for ‘family background’ that was similar to ours. As in are they strong christians. They also looked at things like economic background, education and so on. Some families look for caste. My family does not. And I was specific about no dowry as in money exchanged to the groom’s family though it is quite common even among chritians.

                  As for compatibility, if you are asking for interests, we had similar goals and ideas on how we wanted our future family to be and so on. As for individual likes and dislikes, it depends on what it is. My husband shows interest in everything I do, I show interest in everything he does. Some we share, others we do not. Working out for instance which my husband was more into than I was. He likes to try cuisines from different parts of the world. I like to cook. So we do it together. He is into electronics and fixing things. I am into knitting. He shows me what he has fixed, I show him my knitting progress and we sit next to each other and work on it. We really do not share it, but I think as long as we encourage each other and listen to each other though we may not really understand, we do not have to share every single interest.

                  We are compatible in things that matter. Our goals for our family, faith, family prayer, spiritual growth. We both have so many doubts about doctrines and we are church shopping. After a long time we found a church we are slowly going to. Our goal is to go to church every single sunday.

                  I don’t know how to explain it. Like all marriages it is not perfect and the ‘for better and worse’ is tested a lot especially in the beginning when we hardly knew each other. But if we pray a lot, commit to each other, give each other grace and love each during the hard times (and I am not talking about abuse here as in beating, cheating, sexual, physical abuse) but normal conflicts which a marriage has, then by God’s grace it can last a lifetime. This is what I saw growing up in my parent’s marriage and that is what I wanted.

                  • Word Warrior says:

                    No problem, Sylvia. I haven’t read all the conversations on this. However, I do agree with you, without going into the details, that love is much more of a choice than a feeling. I understand the feeling Jennifer is talking about too, but more often than not, we do mistake fleeting emotion for “love”. Very often in marriage that feeling leaves, and spouses are left with the decision to love. Just reading 1 Corinthians 13 makes it clear to me that we choose to love like that.

                    By the way, have you ever seen the movie, “Arranged”? I think you would like it, coming with your experience. I thought it was pretty good–you can watch it instantly on Netflix. Random, but I thought about it yesterday.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      Very true, Kelly, we do sometimes mistake fleeting passion for love. We have to be very careful knowing what we have, and what we’ll nurture, before we become one in a covenant.

          • Sylvia says:

            ” I still disagree that people can simply choose who they’ll fall in love with. But I also don’t think love takes your choices away. You can choose not to be with someone even if you love them.”

            You don’t choose who you ‘fall in love with’. The love you seem to be talking about is in a dating culture in a prelude to marriage which I have no idea about. The love I am talking about is spousal love in a marriage which comes from knowing all the weakness of your spouse and still loving them. You are not trying to impress them. They have already seen you in your weakest moments. The love that takes someone in their ‘better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and in health’ moments of a marriage.

            You said
            “You can choose not to be with someone even if you love them.”

            And if you love someone as God intended for better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness, health and if there is no abuse, why would you choose not to be with them ? That is something I can never understand or agree with.

            • Jennifer says:

              RF, the point is that there’s no guarantee the feelings will happen, period. Prayer doesn’t change this.

              “I think Sylvia and LucyT have been trying to tell you that feelings are fleeting, but the commitment of marriage lasts a lifetime, true love is a commitment (with feelings to follow)”

              True love is a feeling, a commitment, and a choice to nurture and cultivate it. I can’t believe you think it’s silly to be committed in love before the marriage happens. What I find ridiculous is making vows to someone you’re not bound in heart to.

              “The love you seem to be talking about is in a dating culture in a prelude to marriage which I have no idea about”

              Alright, let’s be clear now: I am NOT talking about teen, pop culture “dating” love. I’m talking about loving your spouse before you get married; period. When two marry, they vow to nourish the love they already have and commit to it for the rest of their lives. Ladies, you’re not going to convince me otherwise here. If what you say is true, then any Christian could marry any Christian and it would all turn out well if they just pray for it to. Nope. The love of spouses is rare and unique. Certain people who fear divorce try to compensate by claiming one can just choose love, then constantly say, “Oh you can choose to be in love again, in fact it’s not even a feeling. In fact you don’t even have to have it at the outset! Just marry someone Godly and God will carry it through!” I believe you can choose to fall in love again IF you were already in love at some point, but the reasoning here gets ridiculous and it becomes a vanilla, pat, unrealistic religious fable. And a boring one at that; if life and feelings were that easily arranged, lacking serendipity and imagination, what a blah world it would be.

              Sylvia, I know you love your husband and I think you saw the seeds of it before marriage. I believe in your experience. I’m simply never going to promote arranged marriage in general.

              “And if you love someone as God intended for better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness, health and if there is no abuse, why would you choose not to be with them ?”

              I was talking about loving someone you’re dating who turns out badly.

              • Jennifer says:

                Natasha, you’ve got it in one. Thank you for your input!

              • Sylvia says:

                Jennifer,

                You and I come from entirely different backgrounds. If you are trying to understand, there were no ‘seeds’ of love when I got married to my husband, I can tell you that. I hardly knew my husband to ‘fall in love’ with him the way a dating background lets you do.

                Arranged marriages are not for everyone and especially someone from a western culture to understand. It is very hard. It means putting others before yourself, trusting your parents and submitting yourself to them. It means trusting other elders in your family in the most important decision of your life. My parents did a lot of things in the background before my husband was even allowed to talk to me. I will not paint a rosy picture and say what it is not. It is very invasive, there is a loss of privacy because there will be some hard questions. Not something most westerners, even christians will be comfortable with. And I totally understand that and even how people would find it horrifying.

                It is like I do not understand some magazines I read talk of earth shattering passion or ‘you will just know’. If you just ‘know’ and you have this giddy feeling, starry eyed feeling or whatever the feeling is, it is supposed to last a lifetime, not end in divorce, especially among christians when there is no abuse. I did not see stars or hear bells ring. It was a very sober, prayerful (my parents prayed since I was a child, so did I when I became a teen), carefully thought out decision with an eye on long term consequences. Nothing remotely romantic the way people in the west understand :) .

                For me, marriage is the way God intended for a new family, for the purpose of children and to be a mutual comfort to each other in good times and in bad. It may sound quite cold. But I believe in that commitment 100%. If not, I would not have got married. I believe and have seen, inside that marriage and with the person God intended there is and will be passion, love and happiness. But it is not easy and it is not just a fleeting feeling. The love in an arranged marriage is like a sapling which grows into a tree with roots deep. It grows as the years go by. It is not a roaring love in the beginning. It calls for a very high level of commitment and loving the person through the good and the bad.

                I do not expect you to support arranged marriage. My culture has this way of arranging marriages. It works for us and I believe in it and wanted it. I am not saying this is the only way. However God brought two people together, if there is commitment, prayer and love that is steady, through the good times and bad, it makes a marriage work.

                • Jennifer says:

                  “However God brought two people together, if there is commitment, prayer and love that is steady, through the good times and bad, it makes a marriage work”

                  I agree :) And believe me, I never once thought you had that obnoxious, giddy love that pop culture loves; ugh, makes me nauseated. I just don’t believe in marriage before there’s any love at all. Some have said “get married and love will happen”? When? After the wedding night? After I’ve born a child? After we share our deep secrets? No. I will not give my body, my secrets, bear a child to or make a sacred covenant with anyone unless we’re joined in love and commitment before the legal ceremony. Thanks for being a part of these discussions :)

                • LucyT says:

                  I think your marraige sounds both beautiful and romantic.

                  “I believe in that commintment 100%.If not I would not have married.”EXACTLY!My husband and I have said this so many times in so many ways.

              • R. F. says:

                Jennifer,

                I know you say that there is no guarantee the feelings of love will follow, but that also means there is no guarantee they will stay either. A couple could wake up a month from their wedding and think, “I don’t feel in love with you anymore.” Evidence shows though, that when that couple continues to act out love, the feelings return.

                I married the man I was in love with. I was not in an arranged marriage. But after 9 years of marriage I realize that the feelings were not important. It was the commitment to act out love that has kept us together.

                I’m sorry to get into such a silly discussion. I just think we can not decide if an arranged marriage has the same butterfly feelings we felt because we haven’t been there. And is it REALLY important to feel them in the first place? Or is choosing to love more important?

                • Jennifer says:

                  “I know you say that there is no guarantee the feelings of love will follow, but that also means there is no guarantee they will stay either”

                  According to you, you can just pray and choose and they’ll come right back. So why not marry based on love and then, if it fades, just choose for it to come back? At least then you’ll be married in love the whole time, and not have slept with and had babies with the guy you had to “choose” to love. Giving oneself to a man in body, heart and vow that you’re not already bound to in heart is utterly vulgar to me; do you understand?

                  • LucyT says:

                    o.k. this is what I think you are saying wnen you say”love”you mean respect,is that right?

                    “so why not marry based on love and then if it fades ,just choose for it to come back.”

                    I agree.

                    • LucyT says:

                      Also the feeling might not “just come right back”feelings come and go and sometimes it takes awhile.You stay commited and love each other through the ruff times.

                  • Sylvia says:

                    “Giving oneself to a man in body, heart and vow that you’re not already bound to in heart is utterly vulgar to me; do you understand?”

                    I really laughed at this. Sorry. You make a lot of assumptions. How do you even know there is no love or feelings ? There may not be the action like in the west but believe me there is love. How can you presume to speak so authoritatively on a subject you have no idea about ?

                    Let me be very clear Jennifer. I did not choose to give my heart, body away just to any man. The vow at the altar only sealed the love that was beginning to take root in my heart when it was decided we would marry. But believe me there was love. But what kind of love ? I had an enormous capacity for love for the unknown man who was to be my future husband, I prayed and fasted for as a teen, my parents prayed for since I was a chid. Believe me, I had a lot of love to give to my future husband. I had a lot of dreams. I was holding them back like a dam.

                    But I was not willing to give any of it to just anyone. The man worthy to give my heart, even a tiny sliver of it had to be the one I gave myself to, body, mind and soul. The one I shared all my most intimate acts with was to be only in a marital setting, the one I will spend a lifetime with, the one who would be the father of my children.

                    I was not willing to give any part of me to anyone who would not approach me without marriage in mind. I wanted an educated husband, I was myself quite educated, had a job, lived alone. But I knew the kind of man I wanted. I wanted to get married, I was not willing to waste my time in any relationship that did not have marital intentions. That is why I did not date. I was in my 20s. The dating culture around me would have expected me test different relationships in a physical and emotional sense. I did not want to commit any part of myself to anyone but my future husband. I was in America to study, nothing else. So I fixed my eye on the prize, saw many parts of this beautiful country and had some wonderful experiences, but never once did I waver in my resolve not to date.

                    But believe me, Jennifer there was love when we both stood at the altar. It took root the minute we decided to get married. And grew, in the letters we wrote to each other, the phone conversations as we got to know each other, the emails we sent each other. It was in the few times we got to meet each other before marriage. It was an excited, young love of two people who were eager to start this exciting journey of family together. There were almost a 1000 people at our wedding. In our culture, well literally the whole family and friends are invited and the celebration goes for days. My culture does not even allow a first kiss at the altar and so ours was private. But it was wonderful and I am glad I saved myself and all my experiences for the one God chose for me. And as the years have grown, by God’s grace the love has only grown.

                    Like I said before, an arranged marriage is not for everyone. But do not unilaterally say things about an arranged marriage when you have no idea of it. It makes you look ignorant. Or presume to speak about it in a derogatory way. There are lots of feelings, they are just not shown in a way you understand culturally. I do not understand American dating culture, but I will not stoop to call that vulgar or whorish or any such thing. Because to do that would be ignorant and especially unchristian of me.

                    • Word Warrior says:

                      Sylvia,

                      Love your explanations of your experience. We get “accused” often of arranged marriage just because we reject the modern system of dating. And while we don’t practice arranged marriage, there are certainly similar elements found between your experience and what we believe (not “trying out different people”, only pursing a relationship intended toward marriage, etc.)

                      And I’ve always said, having studied and read about arranged marriage, that whether or not we agree with all aspects and just because we don’t practice it, its premise makes a whole lot more sense than our Western culture of dating, AND, generally speaking, has a far better outcome long-term.

                    • Sylvia says:

                      Thank you Kelly. I am replying to myself as I could not find the reply button :)

                      Courtship is one of the things I am intrigued with. I never even knew such a thing existed. And you are right, the cultural difference of the nuts and bolts may vary, but a basic premise of parental involvement/counsel and/or blessing in the most important decision in your life is not something I can imagine.

                      My mom always used to say the choice of a husband or a wife important decision of your life. And depending on what kind of a person he/she is your life can either be happy or filled with struggles. That is why both my parents prayed from the time we were children for good spouses. I used to laugh at that when I was a child, but now I know better.

                      We can change careers, get more education, make more money however old we are and America has so opportunities not limited by age. We can always fail and rebuild. It is not easy, but IMO if people are thinking about marriage, especially children they should be doubly, triply sure of who they get involved with. As it involves lives of people, especially children and the damage to them could last a lifetime.

                      Arranged marriages have bad things associated with them. Royalty used them for empire building and there are horrific things like dowry, child marriages as part of the system. But for me it offered a security.

                      I look at so many things and research everything before I buy a house or any big purchase, ask people. Why would I not rely on my parents who have my best interest at heart, who would not hand me over like some possession to just anybody, but would put any guy through a wringer before he is even allowed to approach me ? The fact that someone was willing to go through that and the fact that my parents looked at his family background, his church, his faith, his character and prayed and prayed and prayed gave me the utmost confidence. My inlaws prayed too. I wanted to go into a family like that. Where I would be treated like a daughter. I had a lot of issues with all my pregnancies. My inlaws and parents flew 20 + hours, changed multiple planes in their old age to come and take care of us and our children. Their counsel has been wonderful. I have a lot of experiences, education, but that does make me an expert in everything.

                    • Sylvia says:

                      Replying to myself again as I could not find the reply button :)

                      But this paragraph should read

                      “Courtship is one of the things I am intrigued with. I never even knew such a thing existed. And you are right, the cultural difference of the nuts and bolts may vary, but a basic premise of parental involvement/counsel and/or blessing in the most important decision in your life is not something I CANNOT imagine being without”

                      Important distinction :)

                    • Jennifer says:

                      “How do you even know there is no love or feelings? There may not be the action like in the west but believe me there is love. How can you presume to speak so authoritatively on a subject you have no idea about?”

                      You have no place laughing at me, Sylvia. Let me be clear: I’m talking about ME, not you. I don’t presume to know that there’s no love in EVERY arranged marriage; if there is, thank God. In fact, I’m greatly surprised you NOW say there was love before you married; I could have SWORN that I said earlier that I was glad you had seeds of love before you got married, and you contradicted this. You presume I don’t understand what your love was just because you’re not from my own culture? I am saying that I, I, will never marry a man I don’t love. Is this not clear? Personally, I find the idea that you can marry just anyone and magically fall in love because you’re both Christians laughable. I’m not sure if you said this, but others have implied it elsewhere. I find the idea of making a covenant with a man you’re not bound with vulgar, yes; giving your body to someone you barely know, as SOME in arranged marriages do, downright asinine. God forbid GROWN kids be allowed to make their own decisions here. I told you repeatedly that I respect you and am happy for your fruitful union; you should know better by now than to assume I speak for every arranged couple I don’t know.

                      “whether or not we agree with all aspects and just because we don’t practice it, its premise makes a whole lot more sense than our Western culture of dating”

                      Not to me it sure as heck doesn’t. Every sweet and string marriage I know has been created from dating.

                      “AND, generally speaking, has a far better outcome long-term”

                      Just because the marriage lasts legally doesn’t mean it succeeded on a deeper level.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      I’m sorry to speak harshly to you Syvlia; I just thought you understood my heart towards you by now. I know this: parents have no place controlling their adult children or making decisions for them. Did you parents do this for you? No, you described just the opposite. And proved by doing such that it’s not just a cultural thing; some parents here, in America, are less kind to their children, impressing things like brideprices on their childrens’ hearts. When I see shades of this kind of behavior, by people implying or claiming that parents always know better, even know their grown offspring’s own hearts better than they do and should still make decisions automatically for them, it offends me and I reject it. Strongly. Only God is the true arranger of marriage and unique marital love. Thank God He was for you.

                    • Sylvia says:

                      Ok, let me say this more clearly Jennifer. English is not my first language and I do not know romantic, flowery language like you. I did not know what you meant by ‘seeds of love’ are.

                      And I absolutely did not laugh at you, but your assumptions of arranged marriage which what this statement came across to me.

                      “Giving oneself to a man in body, heart and vow that you’re not already bound to in heart is utterly vulgar to me; do you understand?”

                      How am I supposed to interpret that other than ignorance and a sweeping statement on arranged marriages or anything not fitting your POV ? You should have used ‘IN MY CASE’, I will not give myself to anyone in body, heart and vow without falling in love. That I understand and agree with because it is your opinion and cultural. There are certain things in dating I do not understand and it did not fit me or my needs. But I will not sit and condemn an entire system because I do not understand a part of it.

                      “You have no place laughing at me, Sylvia. Let me be clear: I’m talking about ME, not you. I don’t presume to know that there’s no love in EVERY arranged marriage; if there is, thank God. In fact, I’m greatly surprised you NOW say there was love before you married; I could have SWORN that I said earlier that I was glad you had seeds of love before you got married, and you contradicted this. You presume I don’t understand what your love was just because you’re not from my own culture?
                      No Jennifer, you do not and do not presume to understand my love or my feelings. You do not know me. It is like how I would try to speak for someone with a dating experience. I do not understand a lot of it because I do not know what people feel and I do not assume anything. If you want to know more about arranged marriages I am willing to answer, but I do not know how to explain what I felt. I should have explained better. I am not a robot Jennifer, I am a woman with feelings. Do you really think most educated people will push their daughters to a man she barely knew, let alone have intimate relations ? That would have happened in olden times or in scary societies. There is a lot of getting to know each other. Most children are conceived within a year of marriage. For that to happen you need to get to know the person before any of that could happen. But not in a dating way, but in a family setting.

                      “I am saying that I, I, will never marry a man I don’t love. Is this not clear?”
                      No, absolutely not or I would not have had that reaction.

                      “Personally, I find the idea that you can marry just anyone and magically fall in love because you’re both Christians laughable. I’m not sure if you said this, but others have implied it elsewhere. I find the idea of making a covenant with a man you’re not bound with vulgar, yes; giving your body to someone you barely know, as SOME in arranged marriages do, downright asinine. God forbid GROWN kids be allowed to make their own decisions here. I told you repeatedly that I respect you and am happy for your fruitful union; you should know better by now than to assume I speak for every arranged couple I don’t know”

                      I am against forced marriages, but for me, I wanted the counsel of my parents and elders and I did not want to make a mistake, even one in this. I did not want to try on different people. I would have wanted a commitment from anyone I would have dated. I was asked many times on dates, but my answer was always a polite no. Because I knew I was not willing to even step out an inch and go down a slippery slope and be interested in anyone. It was not fair of me to ask someone raised differently what their intentions were when they asked me for a date. They would have freaked out. I wanted only someone who was marriage minded to even consider getting to know that way. And someone who was serious about marriage only will consider an arranged marriage. Especially guys in their 20s with my husband’s background.

                      I respect you too Jennifer. I think you are very smart and try hard to understand things and not take them at face value. Which is a very good thing to me and honestly not unlike me. But I also believe a lot of different things from you. Please use words carefully Jennifer before you press the Submit button. Because sometimes they do not come across the way you intend. And I have seen it happen many times with you. And sorry if I offend.

  38. LucyT says:

    You know what I HATE?My spelling how can I make so many mistakes and not notice until I have posted the comment.PLEASE do not respond to this!

  39. Dellaina says:

    Oh, how we love the sound of our own voices. And we think we’re SO smart. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12

    In the end, for Christian women, it doesn’t matter a whit what WE think about a subject. Any subject. Go to the Word for your opinions. Not your culture. Not your experiences. Not someone else’s experiences. Not your friends. The Word of God. The final authority.

  40. Sarah says:

    Hi Kelly,
    Thanks for your kind reply to my comment (up there somewhere). I understand and respect your perspective, and I do think that we very likely do have similar marriages or lifestyles in practice, even though our ideology may differ.

    In my opinion, I do think that a great deal of the dissent among Christians comes from how a person interprets scripture. You mentioned that biblical roles are clearly taught in the Bible, but I don’t think it’s quite that clear. The Bible provides very nuanced examples of women and men in roles not necessarily associated with traditional roles. I won’t list all the instances, but if anyone is interested, I can certainly suggest some good egalitarian reading. I dislike the characterization that egalitarians don’t believe or tend to disregard the Bible or parts that we “don’t like” (as I have often heard it somewhat disdainfully mentioned). I, for one, consider myself a Christian of the Reformed tradition, and I hold biblical hermeneutics in very high esteem. When interpreting the Bible, I recognize the importance of taking into account the literary genre, the author’s intent, the society’s cultural practices, the intended audience, and the individual church’s struggles (for instance, the epistles). Of course, all of this goes along with the fact that the Bible is the inspired word of God.

    I guess my point is that although I know that complementarians see the Bible as an overarching narrative of biblical patriarchy and a hierarchy ordained by God, I have spent many hours studying and reading and have come to an opposite conclusion supported by the studies of many scholars who hold the word of God in high esteem and are not merely trying to twist things for their own benefit or preconceived biases. There have been countless debates throughout history between very intelligent Christians who believed firmly that the Bible clearly supported their own perspective or interpretation. Take for instance the issue of slavery, a modern return to theocracy, debates about the book of Revelation and its interpretation, modern-day speaking in tongues, predestination, Calvinism vs. Arminianism, the regulatory principle and church worship, and even whether the book of James ought to be included in the Bible (Martin Luther famously thought that it taught a works-based salvation). What seems so clear to one Christian may not seem so cut and dry to another. Although you might see the pattern of patriarchy emerging as a very clear and righteous command within the Bible, I see even more instances pointing toward an egaliatarian understanding of marriage and interactions between men and women. I understand that we disagree on this point, and I don’t wish to incite pointless arguments. I grew up in a conservative, traditional, homeschooling family, for which I am very thankful. I look back on it with joy, however, there are some things about the lifestyle with which I now disagree because I feel that I have come, in some ways, to a different (and in my opinion, fuller) understanding of the Bible. You probably feel the same way, although your journey in many ways sounds like the polar opposite of mine. :) Thanks again.

    • Jennifer says:

      Sarah, you are awesome and I could hardly relate more! I’m relieved more than ever that the issue of church is resolved utterly. I used to be totally about empowering women, then read the amazing “Who is your Covering?” and “Rethinking the Wineskin” which taught me that it was not about empowering any human, but about serving God as equal servants, with only Him over us in spiritual hierarchy. How amazing He is!

  41. Taryn says:

    In the last chapter of Job it says he gave his daughters an inheritance(King James Bible). That’s the Bible model. When the state required a marriage license it took away parent’s approval and we are witnessing the repercussions of the state defining and licensing marriage. That was the intention- the devil is patient. The Bible says in Numbers 26 that 20 is the age the men were able to go to war. I do not vote anymore(I thought the Republicans would have things put in place to abolish abortion by now) but if my son is home and old enough to be drafted(I’m 55) then he can vote. The agenda is for a future draft to include our daughters. “They” already have our girls comfortable in short hair(1 Cor. 11- Warner Sallman the artist made a long-haired Jesus famous), wearing pants(look up breeches in the KJV Bible-Jewish men wore pants), and being taxpayers. I look at my granddaughters and see-as an elderly man in church said-they will think cameras at every other traffic light(some places here on Long Island) are normal. What else will they think is normal? Just some thoughts.

    • Jennifer says:

      Taryn, parents’ permission and approval for adult offspring to marry is not needed anymore than a Godly woman needs long hair.

      • SavedbyGrace says:

        I haven’t the time read all these comments. Kelly you do provoke from time to time don’t you? Keep it up you’re doing a fine job pointing us back to the truth!

        Jennifer, as far as parental approval and permission to marry, may I ask how it would be honoring to one’s parent’s in getting married w/o those things? Many young, intelligent people have made extremely foolish choices by ignoring what parents have had to say. I can think of several just right off the top of my head. Scripture doesn’t give us permission to stop honoring our parents and being respectful. So, if our parent’s are godly people, mature, taking the meat of the word and not the milk why would we not submit ourselves to them if they tell us that we are making the wrong choice. Especially if they have ample, reasonable reasons for doing so.

        I don’t know about other 40 year old women but I personally look at a lot of these young women and quietly laugh to myself at the sweeping statements and the “I know what I know so butt out” attitudes. Our parents, if they are indeed Christian parents, ususally know us very well and we all need Godly counsel. I don’t mean any offense, I’ve laughed quite a lot at my own foolishness when I was in my 20′s and I know for a fact that my Mother did (we’ve discussed it :) ). My! but we do get over inflated for awhile don’t we? My point is that we do need older, Godly counsel so why not listen to those who love us best?

      • Kelly says:

        Jennifer,

        I’m not sure you’ve thought this position out thoroughly. I never ceased to be amazed at the “gasp and horror” people express over parents assisting/counseling their young adults over marriage partners.

        As several have pointed out, it’s probably the most important life decision, hands down. We OFTEN go to my parents, 12 years into our marriage, to seek counsel about finances, our children, and any other major decisions. We recognize that the Bible is right about “safety in the presence of many counselors”.

        How much more so as a young adult, whose parents know me inside and out, want the very best for me, and can help me sort more objectively through my feelings and the real basis for marriage?

        It’s absurd to imply that a young adult shouldn’t desperately seek the counsel of godly parents over marriage!

        Furthermore, Scripture discusses it. I’ve mentioned one verse already which most certainly would apply to an important decision like marriage, and then we look at examples like Abraham who had a wife chosen for his–get ready–40 year old son. Parents in biblical times “gave daughters and took sons”. Why can’t we glean from their examples at least as much as to be involved!

        • Jennifer says:

          Oy! exasperation time. Kelly, I never said parent shouldn’t be involved! I may be young, but I’m old enough to know that I’d be eating my words till it killed me by the time my own kids were grown, if I ever DID say such a thing. All I said, or meant at least, is that adults do not need PERMISSION from their parents to marry. The time of treating grown kids like children or chattel is over, brideprices and all that junk.

          • Jennifer says:

            Grace, I meant to include you in that reply. Honoring our parents and treating them like we’re still their little ones are two different things.

      • Tami Lewis says:

        sorry- off topic but i had to add this Jennifer

        1Cr 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering,
        so yes i believe that states we are to have long hair. how long is not mentioned. but we do know , from the same chapter , that shorn or shaved hair is wrong.

        • Jennifer says:

          I don’t agree, that passage has been abused to the high heavens and it a takes a lot of untangling to discover the true meaning. I enjoy my hair being a cover to my scalp, but it’s not spiritual to me.

  42. Taryn says:

    Deuteronomy 22:5 says it is an abomination for either men or women to crossdress. I never saw my grandmothers in pants- only dresses. My husband had one grandmother who wore only dresses/skirts. His other grandmother wore pants- she was the youngest of the four. None of our grandparents were divorced- we grew up in Catholicism but married in the Baptist church and now attend a Baptist church. College?-oh please don’t get me started on student loans- another feminist legacy.

  43. Taryn says:

    A good book about slavery is- Darwin’s Plantation by Ken Ham and A. Charles Ware(a black man-I have a biracial granddaughter). The subtitle is Evolution’s(the theory of) Racist Roots- about so-called Christian’s who believed slavery was justified because they believed evolution was fact. Like those pro-abortion “Christians” today. But I do believe jumping over the broom for a marriage ceremony was a good example- marriage is the vows.

  44. Taryn says:

    “Biracial” should have quotation marks. Races is an evolution theory word. Acts 17:26(KJV Bible) says we are One Blood.

  45. Nicole says:

    “ the harm far outweighs the benefits”
    So true.

  46. Margaret says:

    Personally, I find the idea that you can marry just anyone and magically fall in love because you’re both Christians laughable.
    ********************

    Replying down here because I can’t find a reply button.

    Jennifer, I don’t think any proponent of arranged marriage would call it “magic”. The whole point is that love is *work and action*, and that lasting love involves more than emotions. Nor does it involve marrying “just anyone”. The type of arranged marriage Sylvia is talking about does involve both personal choice and some level of initial attraction, not to mention the involvement of both sets of parents, discernment by all involved, and perhaps the wisdom of a matchmaker, if there is one in the community. There is neither “magic” nor “just anyone” in that situation.

    On the flip side, the Western idea that successful marriage will “magically” happen because people feel in love with each other could just as easily be called laughable. ;)

    • Jennifer says:

      “On the flip side, the Western idea that successful marriage will “magically” happen because people feel in love with each other could just as easily be called laughable”

      How many times have I rejected the Western pop idea of love in my replies?

      “The whole point is that love is *work and action*, and that lasting love involves more than emotions”

      I have said this repeatedly.

      “There is neither “magic” nor “just anyone” in that situation”

      Oh, I’ve seen it said repeatedly that God gives the grace to love anyone and any marriage can be redeemed and successful. No, they cannot. Marital love does NOT happen with anyone, nor can it happen with anyone. And the wisdom of a “matchmaker” is useless in discerning the private feelings of hearts unless that matchmaker is God.

      • Sylvia says:

        Replying to you here Jennifer as that place was crowded. My reply to you if you feel less than kind, please accept my apologies. There is good in every system. And abusers of it do not speak for any system. That is why I am willing to listen to anyone, especially and then take it with discernment :) . And thank you for your input.

        • Jennifer says:

          Thank you for your patient kindness, Syvlia :) I didn’t feel you were trying to be unkind, but that I was being misunderstood. Please forgive my own strong words. Perhaps I have not been as clear as I could have been; I see that I could have given mixed messages about my regards to people who have arranged marriages.

          And the good thing is, I suppose after hearing different accounts that I shall have to redefine my feelings of it! I used to see arranged marriage as a blind thing, like a blind date, only permanent; the couple having few options, not as much choice as their parents, and often unhappy. This was the case in a lot of history and still is sometimes today. But yours was not blind; you chose each other, and glory be, you had the seeds of love! I did not know this before, but even if you hadn’t, you at least made the choices yourselves. And there was love for you, and it is deeper now; maybe it is that simple for predestined mates to find each other, if they trust God. I will say this, I do not limit God’s ways of putting His pre-planned marriages together; they could happen through arranged meetings, chance encounters, years-long friendships, even old rivals. Yours is another lovely example and I always thought so; I just never approved of arranged marriage in general. But now that you’ve given me an extensive new and different picture of it than the one I had, I will not inherently shun the methods you used; you trusted God, and He delivered. It’s blind marriage and parents absolutely ruling over grown offspring that I fear and dislike; I’ve seen the harm of that thinking inflicted on young adults long before the subject of marriage even came up. So I am very happy that your experience of finding your husband was so much lovelier than that.

          There’s a DVD called “To be One” or “To Become One” that Stacy Mcdonald recommended. I have not seen it and personally don’t know if I’d like the whole thing, but I saw a preview and did like some of the things I saw. It’s about three couples, all of whom had their parents involved in their marriages to different extents. One couple knew each other little before the union; the other two, one in particular, knew each other a lot better, I think. What I liked was seeing how different each couple’s story was, and hearing how one couple described becoming one before they were married (in a none-physical way); in other words, forming love and commitment to a certain degree before they took their legal vows. It may be an interesting piece to watch.

          • Jennifer says:

            “No Jennifer, you do not and do not presume to understand my love or my feelings. You do not know me”

            All I meant by my words about “understanding”, Syvlia, was that I know love is different among different people, but I also know love is a universal thing. So from what you say, I understand that you loved your husband, even though no, I don’t know exactly how it felt for you or what your private union is like. I hope this is clear.

      • Margaret says:

        Jennifer, my purpose was to point out that you are making a strawman argument, just as I was with the Western idea. ;)

        I know you’ve rejected the pop culture “love” emotionalism. What is wrong with your argument though is that it is objecting to something that isn’t happening, at least not among those who are discussing it here. The type of arranged marriage that has been discussed here is not marrying “just anyone” nor is it expecting that true love will develop with a perfect stranger “just because”. People who enter into arranged marriages do not just pick some random person off the street and expect love to happen. So arguing against it by saying that is what they do is setting up a strawman just to have something to knock down, just as it would be if I rejected wholly the Western idea of dating by saying it’s all based on faulty emotionalism.

        • Jennifer says:

          Margaret, please do not wink at me when you accuse me of a strawman argument; I find that mocking.

          “People who enter into arranged marriages do not just pick some random person off the street and expect love to happen.”

          No, instead many of them actually have suitors write essays explaining their beliefs, as if their daughters are some prize given to the best one. Instead many of them have practical screening processes before they allow any man anywhere near the female promise land. As if this will determine a daughter’s soulmate. Don’t think so. Parents are not God. If you’ve heard all the “love is a choice” trills thrown out there, you’d know that actually yes, the people throwing them actually do believe you can marry someone with a good background, a nice “resume”, and a promising heart and love will come, if you pray about it and work towards it. Of course it’s not a stranger off the street; more like a prized stallion carefully picked for the mare, and what irritates and offends me is the fact that the parents arranging such a thing actually think such fine comb picking guarantees marital happiness. It’s not a strawman argument to point out the fact that marrying a good man, even one that SEEMS to be ideal for you, is a risk if there’s no love. It’s not a strawman to state the fact that marital love is unique and cannot spring just because the parents did their best to pick out a nice mate for their adult offspring.

          And let it be known that I am not describing the type of arrangement Syvlia had, with eyes and hearts wide open and meetings ahead of time. I’m actually describing the type of arrangement I’ve heard that American uber-patriarchs have practiced.

          • Jennifer says:

            And I am also not accusing Kelly or any of the women here of doing the sort of practice I described. No, what I’m describing is a more severe and therefore rare practice, from different places, but it’s out there. I personally don’t have a problem with a young man describing his beliefs to a woman’s father, in writing or otherwise, but it’s the combination of ENFORCING such a practice AND keeping the parents totally in charge and the daughter practically hidden during these activites that repels me.

            • Sylvia says:

              Jennifer,

              I do not want to paint a rosy picture of arranged marriages.

              Arranged marriages could be horribly wrong if the people arranging it do not have the best interest of their children at heart. Some issues are

              1. There are stories where poor families especially just get their daughters married to the first person who comes along. There are stories of people who promise a fabulous life and exploit them. The women are used and thrown aside. And treated as ‘damaged goods’ and no one will marry them. This is a horrific thing that happens even now.
              2. If the parents look upon their daughter as a burden and someone to get rid of and wash their hands off her and tell her to ‘work it out’ at all costs, women commit suicide or horrific things like dowry death happen.
              3. Parents who control everything and do not even show a picture let alone get the couple to know each other before marriage in a family way. This is quite common too.

              But yet, many educated people, even people who come to America to study or live in America choose it of their own free will. It is because of the choices they are given. Parents suggest, not dictate.
              The background of the groom is thoroughly checked out so there is no exploitation of women. And in all cases, if there is abuse the families of the women get involved and do not expect their daughters to ‘work it out’.

              In my case, we prayed a lot and my parents did a lot of work and did not just hand me over. I knew I was not expected to ‘work it out’ If there was abuse of any kind. So I felt safe trusting my parents as they had my absolute best interest at heart, would not hand me over to just anyone and would be there for me if anything happened. For an arranged marriage to be successful and not turn into abuse or exploitation, all these factors have to be there.

              Pray Jennifer.And go into any situation with your eyes wide open. God brings people together in many ways. I shall add you to my prayers.

            • wordwarrior says:

              Jennifer, I’m not denying what you may have personally seen in the “courtship world”; however, I’ve heard people make exact accusations of a practice, overlooking one little detail that totally paints a different picture. Thought you might want to consider that possibility.

              A family I know, for example (and following many other families who practice what some would consider “the strictest form of courtship) operated like this:

              Father finds possible suitor. Doesn’t mention him at all to daughter. Motive is to keep her heart from fleeting in one direction or another, dreaming about a marriage that may never happen.

              Father gets to know suitor, asks questions, finds out about his family, etc. Daughter still doesn’t know. (At this point, courtship opponents are screaming “CONTROL! DAUGHTER HAS NO VOICE!”

              But here comes the important missing part: Once father “approves” suitor for the next step, ball moves into daughter’s court. Father says to daughter, “This young man would make a good husband”; or “this young man is a suitable candidate”, etc.

              Daughter decides whether she wants to get to know him better. And even through the “getting to know each other better”, it’s not a sealed deal. It’s simply “getting to know each other better with the understanding that the Lord may close the door, or he may leave it open, at which point, marriage is the next logical step.

              My particular friend’s example ended with her decision that although he was a great guy, a man she highly respected, she didn’t envision him as a marriage partner for her. She told her parents that, and that was the end of that. They parted as friends.

              She is now married to a wonderful guy after following the same process.

              It’s often not what opponents make it out to be. Just like all the other things we talk about, of course it can be abused or parents can, *gasp* actually make a mistake in the process.

              But, all in all, the principle is gentle and beautiful and encompasses all the elements of a loving family seeking the Lord’s best.

              • Jennifer says:

                Thanks for the thought food, Kelly. You’re right, I don’t approve of keeping the daughter in the dark; I think that’s trying way TOO hard to protect her heart, almost like they think they can keep it in a glass case. Plus, the principle of it says that father has more say in the initiative. I don’t mind the idea of the Dad being approached first, but it depends on how long the daughter’s unaware; I once heard of a case where the father and boy corresponded via letter for MONTHS before the daughter knew, like she was barely a thinking factor. This same daughter had promised she’d never find a husband except through her parents. That’s what I call putting parents on a pedestal similar to that of God.

                Having said this, though, the particular case you described sounds pretty good. I REALLY like how the daughter and suitor resolved things through meetings and personal decision!

              • Sara says:

                That seems weird to me Kelly. What about this young man? Did he show any natural inclination towards this daughter? Or did the father just “locate” a suitable suitor?
                In the situation you described it sounds like there’s a lot of room for the young man to get hurt.
                Also, parents have A LOT of influence. If the dad says, this is a great guy, how many daughters are going to feel sure enough of themselves to contradict dad? Or worse, how many daughters are going to feel needlessly guilty for both rejecting dad’s chosen guy AND possibly breaking the young man’s heart?
                I’m not saying I’m against this system. We don’t want our kids to “date” in the modern sense of the word. And I surely hope they would come to us for guidance and would even consider our words carefully if we saw something amiss.
                But I can’t imagine setting up a young man for possible failure and heartbreak like that (esp. if he thinks he’s got it in the bag because of his credentials and dad’s blessing), and I can’t imagine expressing pre-emptive approval of a marriage partner without knowing that both kids were already interested in each other to begin with.
                That could just cause a lot of confusion for all involved. Big time emotional turmoil.
                Sure there’s no regret for having kissed or whatever, but you might have the regret on the young man’s side of the dream he lost, regret for the girl for having tossed aside a perfectly nice young man for reasons she can’t articulate, and the fear of disappointing dad.
                I’m not trying to be argumentative, I’m just trying to picture how this scenario would be completely clean and free from consequences.

                • Word Warrior says:

                  Sara,

                  Those are fair and reasonable questions and in fact, considerations all the families I know take very seriously and try to be careful with.

                  You ask if the father just “found” a suitor; I wasn’t clear. No, that wasn’t the case. This particular guy already knew the father and had been around his daughter enough to know she exhibited qualities he loved and longed for in a wife. He approached the father with that interest, before ever mentioning it the daughter.

                  I’m sure there was disappoint there with the young man. My friend, the daughter, obviously had the right relationship with her parents that she was able to be honest with her feelings without the fear of their disappointment in her.

                  I just listened to another friend of ours (the father) describe to us their son’s announcement of his interest in a young lady. In their situation, they’ve grown up knowing each other, but with a reserved, “friends only” relationship.

                  The young man felt the Lord moving his heart toward this young woman and he told his father. The two of them began praying and after still feeling drawn, he told her father of his feelings. The father told his daughter about it, and she was “thrilled”, giddy, yadda yadda ;-) Both families are very excited, knowing that its a relationship with marriage in mind, but it’s not sealed at this point as to remove the hand of the Lord if He sees fit to halt the process.

                  I don’t know if any of that makes sense; it has been different to watch in every family I know. And it’s not always without its problems–that’s a misunderstanding people have, thinking that we are asserting if you reject the dating model everything will be perfect.

                  We’re all still human dealing with our sinfulness.

                  But this approach at least looks more seriously at such a major decision, seeks to do away with the foolishness that so often exists with a recreational dating approach, and ultimately most families are seeking to honor the Lord.

                • Jennifer says:

                  “I can’t imagine expressing pre-emptive approval of a marriage partner without knowing that both kids were already interested in each other to begin with”

                  That’s been my concern exactly. I recall reading about a family once and hearing that the son was going through a hard time, because he’d been rejected by the parents of a girl he traveled to the Midwest to court. As though it was the parents’ decision. As though he was applying for a job instead of trying to court a young woman. Unbelievable.

                • Sylvia says:

                  Sara,

                  I cannot speak for courtship. But in an arranged marriage scenario, people say no all the time and at different levels process. While looking at picture, sometimes after talking , sometimes after meeting each other. It happened to me. I said no to some people, some people said no to me. So it is 100% not fool proof that no feelings are hurt. We are all human and rejection hurts. But if the process is done right, the interaction with the potential suitors is kept at a minimum so you do not become attached.

                  What appealed to me in the dating vs arranged marriage scenario was
                  1. All the suitors for my hand were serious about marriage. Not one was looking for anything but marriage. And that was the big difference to me between dating/arranged marriage. The intentions of the person.
                  2. The time limit between each interaction is not measured in months or years, but weeks/days.
                  3. Important questions regarding family, faith, children, habits, finances etc can be asked without it being considered ‘invasive’ or ‘having a loss of privacy’.
                  4. No question of where is this relationship going? No guess work at all.
                  5. You can always say no at any step of the process, no questions asked and no one will try to convince you.
                  6. People you can discuss with like parents. Any red flags can be identified if the people is vetted and believe me they are vetted.

                  Is it fair to put a person through all this just to get married ? Why not ? Most jobs require a credit and a drug test regardless of whether you have that habit or not. No one complains about loss of privacy then. Why woukd you not put yourself and the person you intend to spend your entire lifetime with through that scrutiny. This was the thing that sealed the deal for me. The scrutiny both men and women will undergo. :)

                  • Sara says:

                    Sylvia,
                    I think the process you describe sounds reasonable and fair. I asked my future husband the same “invasive” questions the second time I met him. I just knew I didn’t want to mess around if it wasn’t going anywhere.
                    But in the scenario Kelly described, the young man is already coming forward with an attachment to the girl. So he’s putting it all on the line and it’s up to her to decide. Basically, the man has already said “yes” (not “I DO”, but I hope you know what I mean).
                    I would be worried for my sons if they went forward with a scenario like that with absolutely no assurance that the girl in question was even remotely interested in them.
                    Mom and Dad’s are usually on the ball as far as who has a crush on who, but not all the time.
                    It seems like in the interest of protecting the girl, the young man is the one that gets to put himself out there to be judged and either approved or found wanting. Even if the girl is interested, a dad can disapprove for any number of unreasonable reasons, and that’s a severe blow to take too. (Why am I not good enough? What’s wrong with me? Etc.) I know we expect men to be tough, but that doesn’t seem very fair.
                    And I know most young men probably wouldn’t court a girl without *some* idea that she might have an interest in him, but in such a careful system, how is he really to know that?
                    In the system you described, NO ONE is attached yet. So, there’s no feelings of obligation, guilt, etc. When someone you barely know rejects you, it hurts A LOT less, then when you submit yourself to someones elses close and careful scrutiny for months or years and they still reject you.

                    • Sylvia says:

                      Sara,

                      Sorry for the late reply. But most men who go through the arranged marriage system and though I am not sure, courtship system believe in submission and spiritual headship I assume. An arranged marriage is gone into with the assumption that it will be for the rest of your life. There are no second chances to do it right the next time. Most are in their 20s. We are talking a time period of 50 years if both spouses live 70 odd years at a minimum. Also in these societies future children of the daughter or son for whom the alliance is being made are always a part of the thought process. It is a generational thing. Unwed pregnancy is hardly there. So while the woman is scrutinized, the full weight of a patriarchal society descends on the man. Believe me, the woman has it easy if done right. Most parents will not just hand their daughters to just about anyone. It is for the protection of the woman. Is a man worthy of being the head of the family ? Can he support his family ? Is he hard working ? Any bad habits ? How is he with his finances ? Does he treat his mother, sisters well and so on. A woman who will submit to a man will be horribly abused if she falls into the wrong hands.

                      So any man who is looking for spiritual headship and a submissive wife better be prepared to answer all questions. The onus will be on him to prove he is worthy of submission and he has to prove he is worthy of headship to her family before anyone will even think about giving their daughter to him. This is not supposed to be fair to the boy. My parents had a responsibility for finding the right person for me. And they put my husband through the wringer. And so was my brother before he got married.

                      If done right, these marriages can and will last a lifetime. The last time I checked, the divorce rate in my native country was less than 5%. I am not saying all marriages are extremely happy, but all the marriages I have seen are.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      “This is not supposed to be fair to the boy”

                      It’s perfectly fair, if he’s supposed to be ruling over her. One of the many reasons I believe in equality instead.

                    • Sylvia says:

                      Jennifer,

                      Replying to you as I cannot find the reply button.

                      Just to be clear, I am not saying all women should submit to men and women are inferior to men. I am talking about separate but equal in the eyes of God and biblical submission, not a husband as a dictator where he says something and a wife is blindly expected to obey, but all that encompasses spiritual headship. Or excuse abuse or any such thing. But I have seen biblical submission in action in my own family, among my own parents and grandparents and that is the #1 reason I wanted an arranged marriage. Because I believe in biblical submission to a husband, I took a vow of ‘obey’ at the altar with my eyes open, if I did not believe in it, I would not have said it and when it works it creates a family environment I loved growing up in and wanted to recreate.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      I understand, Sylvia. I just don’t agree with that concept.

                    • Sylvia says:

                      Jennifer,

                      Again could not find the reply button.

                      I think we all make our choices according to the way we grew up, culture and so on. For me, dating had so many risks I could not take or was not willing to take. The system I saw had it’s share of issues, but I had also seen stable, happy, long term marriages. You said something to that effect in a comment here that all the happy marriages you have seen are dating marriages.

                      What I will tell you, if I may is, make your choices with prayer. That is what matters to me anyway.

                    • Sara says:

                      Syvlia,
                      That makes perfect sense. Upon thinking about it more, it IS necessary that a man be observed carefully and prove himself worthy.
                      I guess I was just thinking about my sons, and feeling the sting of their future hypothetical rejection by a domineering dad or a girl he thought was interested in him and wasn’t.
                      My uncle voiced his severe disapproval for his now son-in-law simply because the poor kid could not change a car battery or talk “shop” with him. I know this is extreme, but I’m sure it happens occasionally.
                      On the other hand, if my now husband had been put through severe scrutiny by a discerning Christian dad, I’m sure he would’ve come up wanting in a few areas. But people grow and change, too.
                      He has matured and grown in leaps and bounds since our wedding day. (I’m sure four and counting kids have helped with that).
                      But, to summarize, I agree with what you said, there is a lot of danger for wife and kids if the future husband is not considered carefully. So it makes sense that the process should be weighted towards protecting the woman.
                      Thanks for responding! I know it’s hard to wade through all the comments when there’s 200+

                  • Sylvia says:

                    Sarah,

                    Thanks for the reply. What you are describing is almost control.

                    A man in his 20s is definitely not the same as a man who is in his 30s or older. And to expect them to be equal to older men is not right IMO. That may be control or having impossible standards. We want people to get married :) . I would hate to be compared to my mother and mother-in-law, I lack in most everything LOL and would have never got married if was held up to the standard of my mom or my MIL with their experiences.

                    But what people look for is potential. My parents looked for potential and character. And mostly character. Is he hard working ? Will he be able to support a family ? Is his faith strong and so on.

                    And my mom told me this before the whole process. If someone rejected me or I rejected someone, it did not mean they were not good enough for anyone, it meant they were not compatible for me. They and I were looking one person to spend our life with, so the process will be brutal and you are putting your heart out. All the men I rejected were men of good character, God fearing, had good jobs and education. But for looks, vision or goals we did not mesh. All of them are married now and so am I. God just had different people in mind for each of us. That attitude helped me. Hope it helps your son.

                    Thank you. This discussion has been interesting. Though I must apologize for hogging this thread. Sorry Kelly.

            • Jennifer says:

              I agree with everything you said, Sylvia. Thank you for your kind words :)

          • Margaret says:

            Jennifer, I was not mocking you. Trying to lighten the mood.

            *Any* system of marriage will have it’s failures, and that includes your way of doing things and anybody else’s way of doing things, and nobody has said otherwise. But you are condemning an entire practice on principle.

            • Jennifer says:

              I didn’t say you personally were mocking me, Margaret. But a missplaced smiley can alter an impression.

              “But you are condemning an entire practice on principle”

              That’s always been the point.

              • Margaret says:

                Right, and my point is, if you have mispercieved the principle (I am glad to see the conversation between you and Kelly and Sylvia), how can you condem all such marriages *on principle*?

                In your first response, you objected to it on principle, and listed reasons based on your assumptions of what arranged marriage looked like. After new information in the course of this conversation, can you still object to the practice on principle? IE: it’s wrong, always wrong, and successes are the exception and accidental.

  47. Taryn says:

    There’s a Hallmark movie with Louis Gossett,Jr.- true story. He plays a well-off black man in Canada married to an Irish woman. It is set in pre-”Civil War” times. He matches his daughter up with a rich white American. Her husband moves her to the Southern states and she is sold as a slave. Her father has to go rescue her. Discernment is needed. My three sons did not date and are married with children. The Bible says to not be unequally yoked(2 Cor. 6:14). Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”(KJB). There are so many things to agree about- Bible(KJV), how many children(that’s up to the Lord), how will they be educated(homeschooled), will there be alcohol in the home(no), what church to attend(Baptist), etc.

  48. Word Warrior says:

    To reply to Sylvia’s comment…

    “Why would you not put yourself and the person you intend to spend your entire lifetime with through that scrutiny.”

    This is such an important point to me about the difference in modern dating and other alternatives for approaching marriage. The very idea of “scrutinizing” someone before marriage is repulsive to most Americans who are steeped in the romantic notions of modern dating.

    But as Sylvia said, of all the major life decisions, this should be the one area where we are most scrutinizing and particular! The very idea that “interviewing” or questioning potential marriage partners would make people cringe is insane to me.

    What do you do when you’re looking for a baby sitter to keep your children for a few hours here and there? I hope you scrutinize. And that isn’t even a remote comparison to spending your life with someone.

    There are so many big differences in the way people think about children, finances, religion, etc., it’s stupidity at best to ignore these things and just depend on “love” to bring unity to the marriage.

    Certainly things can be overcome and by God’s grace obstacles can be removed, but by all means, it’s only common sense to desire a high level of compatibility on important life topics before joining as one flesh!

  49. Emily B says:

    May God continue to bless you and your blog, Kelly.

    @ Lisa H. on 11/11~ Thank you for encouraging Kelly to speak truth,I agree with you 100%.

  50. Rajeev Kumar says:

    I have a few problems with this post. First, I appreciate that you rightly acknowledge that not all feminists are anti-family. Back when I was an atheist attending Illinois State University, I was a member (one of the very few male ones) of the campus feminist club. One thing that I really liked there was the fact that several of the women there were Christians, and several Christian and Jewish girls there wanted 3-5 kids. That is nothing compared to a quiverful family, but it is a far more than Margaret Sanger or Gloria Steinem would have approved of.

    A lot has changed within the feminist movement and in modern society over the past 25 years. Hollywood has rarely been a friend to the American family. Yet the Hollywood starlets have recently discovered the joys of motherhood and have proclaimed it to the world. Birthrates in 18 out of 24 developed countries had actually increased over the previous decade until the latest recession struck and caused people to delay starting families.

    There are multiple problems with our society, but feminism is not the main one. Secularism and a lack of identity are some of them. Look up the topic “White girls being groomed for sex in Britain.” It is about Muslim male immigrants forcing White English and Scottish teenage girls into prostitution. They are also gangraped by Muslim males in the streets of London. The police do nothing for fear of “harming inter-community relations.” Pakistani immigrants live on welfare benefits and travel with the benefits of British passports, yet they stand outside Westminster Cathedral protesting with signs that say “Islam will dominate the world” and “Jesus is the slave of Allah,” and other such heartwarming slogans. Would the good Christian men of the Victorian era have stood for this? How about the great medieval knights of Richard the Lionhearted? Doubtful. But Britain is not so great anymore. And with an anemic 1.3 total fertility rate (4x higher for muslim immigrants), it will become even less so in the near future.

    Muslims clearly need to be educated about the fact that Christ is lord and that he loves them. Only He can cure them of Muhammad’s hatred and pedophilia. Yet these days, most Britons are unsure of that fact, even for themselves. Many are converting to Islam because they see it as more alive and more confident than Christianity. After Muslims, secularized Europeans have the second most urgent need for Christ. All quiverful families would do well to teach their children a European or Muslim language and their histories so that they can end this spiritual illiteracy among Europeans and Muslims before it is too late.

    The next problem is Malthusianism. I am heartbroken every time I hear a liberal couple tell me that they have chosen to not have children because they “want to reduce their carbon footprints.” Children do not pollute this earth, it is our greed, gluttony, and overconsumption that ruins it. Our great societies will die if they fail to perpetuate it. We will lose genetic diversity and contracept many great scientists, doctors, presidents, and others out of existence.

    Which brings me to my next point and that is a lack of responsibility. Just because we have certain freedoms does not mean that we should abuse them. In Romania under Nicolai Caecescu, abortion was strictly illegal because they wanted more conscripts for the army. During that time, 100,000 women died from unsafe and illegal abortions. Yet since the end of communism in 1989, there have been more than 10,000,000 abortions. We need freedoms but we need responsibilities along with those freedoms.

    Rather than trying to take away people’s freedoms or roll back the clock 200 years, we should try to convince women that children are a true blessing from the Lord. And perhaps more importantly, teach men that finding a wife, praying together, bearing children together, and defending her honor is the greatest privelege he could ever possibly have. Afterall, I’m sure that both the feminists and conservative Christians would agree that we cannot place the entire burden on women.

  51. Jennifer says:

    My God, I had no idea those Islam filthy monsters were hurting young girls! And some Europeans buy that crap? Because it’s confident?? So was Hitler! No wonder Satan’s having a field day, people are wicked and STUPID!

    Thanks for your post.

  52. Rajeev Kumar says:

    Thank you Jennifer, I appreciate your kind comments. The one thing that I would caution against is calling Muslims “filthy monsters.” They are taught evil things because they are taught to follow the ways of their evil and false prophet Muhammad. They are not born genetically evil. They too are created in Christ’s image and had the Lord die and rise for them. Unfortunately, they are born into families that follow the religion of Satan.

    But Thanks to the brave efforts of many American missionaries and ex-Muslim refugees, Bibles are being translated into Persian, Urdu, Swahili, and virtually every dialect of Arabic. And they have won millions of Muslim souls for Christ.

    Check out the book “Son of Hamas” by Walid Shoebat. His father was a major Hamas terrorist leader and he was raised to hate Jews and Christians. He once saw a group of Muslim men raping a young boy and thought nothing of it at the time. But after discovering Christ, that changed. He no longer hated anybody, though he never hesitated to criticize Islam or encourage Muslims to seek Christ.

    Another story called “Confessions of a Former Islamist” details the life of a young man whose job it was to lure and kidnap young Coptic Christian girls in Egypt and force them marry Muslim boys (and produce Muslim babies). It is disturbing and will make you cry. Yet once he discovered Christ, he set out to reverse the damage that he had caused to these women and their families, and bear witness to the gospel for more Muslims.

    To my knowledge, not a single former Muslim who later embraced Christ has ever continued to abuse children or engage in acts of terrorism. This is one reason why letting them know the truth is so important, for the well being of this world in addition to ensuring them eternal life and purity.

    People are not stupid. But they are gullible and susceptible to the influence of Satan. It is easier to give into our lowest instincts like hatred, lust, fear, greed, and self-righteousness instead of seeking love, hope, faith, forgiveness, and generosity. That is why Satan wins so easily, because God does not give allow us to take the easy path, but Satan makes the road to Hell a very easy one to take.

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  55. Toni says:

    The wave of feminism that swamped society in the 1960s-70s didn’t just happen by accident. It was devised and supported by the Rockerfeller family as a means of getting more women to work and doubling the taxes being collected and to get men out of the household in an effort to having children more reliant on the State giving the State more control.Before she became a feminist leader, Gloria Steinem worked for the CIA spying on Marxist students in Europe and disrupting their meetings. She became a media darling due to her CIA connections. MS Magazine, which she edited for many years was indirectly funded by the CIA. Of course we all agree that women deserved a better chop and equality but the ultimate goal wasn’t to help women it was to change society in a way that suited the global masters.

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  57. Sarah says:

    It’s refreshing to see more people with these views. Society just seems so hopelessly for feminism these days. Two other mods and I run 3 facebook pages dedicated to the same cause:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/How-Feminism-Hurt-Women/394408673948930?fref=ts

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Traditional-Gender-Roles-benefit-Women/286638411449824?fref=ts

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beautiful-Trophy-Wives/354248464650277?fref=ts

  58. [...] with the marxist/lenneninst ideas of ruining the foundation of society, which is the family.  This article comes from our own point of view on feminism and the destructive effects it has on what we know as [...]

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