Year of the Woman–what does that mean? In 1992, this label got some traction during an election year which saw 5 women from the Democratic Party take seats in the US Senate.
Fast forward to 2020. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira are given the same moniker with their half-time performance at the latest Super Bowl. Reviews were great and many viewers were singing the praises of the Latino vocalist’s performance on the world’s biggest stage. Okay, I get it. Professional football is primarily a man’s interest, and the Latin women dominating the half-time show draws the natural comparison, but in truth, are women really in need of such a label today? And is it good for them to have such?
Perhaps a tacit review of the last two decades of female so-called achievements might be helpful here. In 2016, we nearly elected the first woman as President with Hilary Clinton’s bid for the White House. For the 2nd time in the last 15 years, Nancy Pelosi holds the third highest political position as Speaker of the House. A record number of women ran for public office in 2018. Three of the last eight US Secretaries of State have been women. 32 Fortune 500 CEOs are women. Three out of nine justices on the Supreme Court are women. 15 of 146 world leaders are women. There are more women in the workforce today than men. More women are enrolled in college than men today. 85% of church groups are led by women. Perhaps a “Decade of the Woman” would be a better label. But alas, women will say that there is still much more to be accomplished and the glass ceiling has yet to truly be broken for women in the workplace and on the world’s stage.
Okay, is that true? Is that truly what is best anyway? Is there, perhaps, a plan for women that is different than the culturally normalized offering? Is there a plan that is both authentically feminine and yet fully divine? I submit that there is and I offer my assessment of the situation and how detrimental much of this past and current rhetoric is and will continue to be. I don’t expect to win any popularity contests for this blog.
As men, we should be edifying the women in our lives every single day. Our mothers, we should be respecting, protecting emotionally and providing for much of their needs, especially as they grow into their elder years.
Our wives, we should revere for all they do each and every day. We should show them our greatest respect for the love and care they provide to our lives as husbands and the children which they have born for us. We should serve them each day with a grateful heart for their wonderful gift of complementarity to us as men.
I often say the greatest gift I can give to my children is the gift of their mother at home. I believe my wife feels similarly. Studies from years long past revealed that if a husband were to pay for all the services he and his family receives from his stay-at-home wife, he would need to shell out at least $235,000 per annum. That has probably increased much since that study was done! Thank you my dear wife for all you do each day for me and our 7 children.
Coincidently, that same wife said this to me today after I expressed briefly that I was writing this blog:
“Women have given up their freedom by choosing to compete with a male dominated workforce. They have sacrificed their bodies and gifting as women in the name of choice. Look at me, I am truly free as a woman, wife and mother.”
Okay, I guess my wife won’t be winning any popularity contests either.
So what is God’s plan for woman? Clearly, from the Garden of Eden we see that God desired woman to be man’s help mate, which does not mean subservient or less than, but in fact partner (Genesis 2:18).
A man has certain gifts by nature and so does a woman. We see this played out in Adam’s role as he categorizes and names the animals and birds of the air for God (Genesis 2:20). It is apparent, right from the beginning, that Adam has a gift in problem solving and exploring in the Garden. From the creation story, we know that man comes from the dirt (Genesis 2:7), and so it is quite natural for man to feel most at home in nature and the wilderness where he was created. Whereas Eve comes from Adam’s rib/side, she has the gifting in human relationships. Eve is created out of relationship not dirt.
So, from a very simplistic, but very natural view point, we see that woman is gifted on the emotional and nurturing side of things. This is her great compliment to man. She offers him a greater ability to interpersonally connect with others and she teaches him how to properly nurture and care for children.
At TKM, Inc., we have long qualified and championed man’s calling as leader, protector and provider. For woman, we have often said that her complimentary roles to these are trust, surrender and receptivity. We see the leader, protector and provider fulfilled in the role of St. Joseph and the trust, surrender and receptivity roles perfectly manifest in the life of our Blessed Mother. The greatest and most powerful woman ever created was our Lady. This is the true model for women still today. Joseph is a great model for men, but in truth, Christ, offers even more for men to emulate in the aforementioned tri-fold roles. His bold, yet compassionate and courageous life coupled with his sacrificial heart is exactly what men need to witness for the world today.
I submit because the women of today reject their true natures and their Marian call to trust, surrender and receive, we see as my wife boldly proclaimed, a complete denial of the true freedom that God offers them with their true feminine gifts and genius. Dare I say, we see enslavement? Slavery to power and prestige? Through the pursuit of false feminist movement agenda which espouses equality in gender roles and encourages women to reject their own motherhood and pursue non-life giving alternatives, I see bondage. Bondage to an ideal that is not one iota linked to the true, good, beautiful and divine plan for woman.
The Super Bowl embraces the year of the woman? I don’t think so. In my house, ever day is the year of the woman. I am blessed with a great wife who understands her own gifting, her true inner and outer beauty and her own nature as both nurturer and mother. It is my privilege to serve her and provide for her everyday needs both physically, and as best I can emotionally (again not my gifting). It is my honor to protect her and our children. It is my joy to also lead her in our spiritual journey as husband and wife. I need her and continually affirm her as my help mate and partner in life and love. I need her feminine strength to carry on in my mission as a man. My accomplishments are truly hers. Her achievements as a mother raising 7 wonderful gifts from God are also mine. Together, using our collective gifts from God, we can do so much for each other and the world.
These truths are to be celebrated daily and the so called “woman of year” culture would one day be wise to think and reflect on the benefits of God’s plan for woman, which this blog barely does any justice towards.
May God be praised!