Becoming a Biblical Woman

I am ecstatic!

Nancy Leigh DeMoss, one of my instructors for how to be a true woman, is coming to Dallas!

Now you know how hard I have worked this past year to become all that God wants me to be (as a woman, of course); how I have watched numerous hours of videos learning that God doesn’t want me to be a feminist but instead wants me to embrace my feminine self, something Jesus is supposed to help me with although I’m still a little unclear about how that works.

But, whatever. Nancy is coming to town and I could not be more thrilled to have the chance to hear her speak from the pulpit. The slight caveat is that while I am certainly invited to the public evening event, I may have some difficulty attending the morning session where Nancy will be speaking about the supposed biblical images for Jesus (I’m sure this will include Sophia) because I am not leader (defined by Nancy as a pastor’s wife or someone in charge of women’s ministry).

OK. But, I’m still choosing not to be daunted by this slight oversight.

Since I am a serious student—someone who diligently does her homework—as preparation for hearing Nancy, I recently listened to a video in which she and Mary Kassian explain how complementarianism works in our changing social context.In this teaching exercise, Nancy and Mary begin by admitting how difficult it is for women today who basically have two options (how many can there be, really?): the traditionalism of the 1950s era represented by June Cleaver or the no-holds-barred feminism of today where women basically experience no boundaries because every avenue is wide open.

Adding to the complexity of knowing how to be a biblical woman, Nancy and Mary admit that sometimes the idea of a biblical woman is viewed through narrow lens creating for women a contradiction. Nancy, for example, mentioned as a young woman who loved God and who loved to study the Bible, she also felt stifled because her theological ideas led her to believe certain ministry options were not viable options for her. As she said, she felt like a “frustrated preacher in a woman’s body.”

Well, it’s a good thing women’s ministries have become big business! Now, Nancy and Mary can travel around the country (and indeed around the world) speaking—preaching, actually—to multitudes of women, telling them to be all God has created them to be. As women, that is. Gender, according to Nancy and Mary is the most important aspect of our beings because it is how we shine a light on the Trinity.

I don’t know about all that, it sounds a little convoluted and frankly like something someone might make up to reinforce a prescriptive idea: the persons of the Trinity complement each other, just like people should. Of course there are all kinds of problems embedded in such theology beginning with simplistic notions of gender moving toward a view of the Trinity that includes a hierarchy (something that if I stayed up nights worrying about heresy, might keep me up).

Nevertheless, what I am learning from my true womanhood teachers is that as long as women are speaking and teaching and preaching to women, they can still be followers of their husbands, working outside the home while simultaneously urging others to see their homes as their primary callings, trusting God that this is a good plan, the best plan, even.

And, for the rest of us, those who aren’t involved in women’s ministries or wives of pastors, there still another option to hiding our God-given personalities and gifts by being silent or taking a back seat in their churches to embracing complete freedom without gender restrictions. Apparently, the Bible has some clear principles about gender (I can’t wait to see what these are) and all we need to do is recognize these principles, apply them to our individual circumstances, and voilà we, too, can become biblical women!

You can now begin to see why I am so excited to have the opportunity to hear Nancy speak. I’m sure when she comes to Dallas in March she’ll easily explain why Jesus never suggested any gender restrictions instead holding women to account for their lives in the same manner as men and why Paul claimed that within the household of faith there are no gender distinctions.

I can’t wait.