"Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, sing a song!" Judges 5:12
When I first began digging into this Bible blogging thing, I was amazed with how many Bible blogs were out there. In the five years that I've been doing this, that number has grown exponentially- there are so many people out there blogging about the Bible. And why not? Blogging is a fabulous way to do some journaling- to chronicle our individual journeys to becoming what God wants us to be. I have no doubt that if Paul were alive today, he would be an exceptional blogger. That would be a fun blog to visit each and every day! Five years ago I was particularly interested in all the blogs that spoke directly to women. There were many women out there striving to be the best wife/mother/help meet they could be, and would tell their tales and share scripture that encouraged them.
The thing about many of these women who blog? That's their only voice, because they're trying to live the life of a silent, shrinking violet. Titus 2 is often the chosen passage leading these women into subservience.
"the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed." Titus 2:4,5
Somehow, women all over the place have decided that "reverent in behavior" means that they are to be silent and submissive. So I looked up reverence, and it simply means to show honor and respect. It does not mean to stay silent, to have downcast eyes, and it does not mean that because you are a women, you are no better than a piece of furniture. In the most basic of examples, we show respect to someone when we allow them to finish speaking before we interject. We show respect to a pregnant woman by standing up and offering our seat when we can. We show respect when we hold the door open for the person behind us. We honor someone by remembering to wish them a happy birthday. We honor someone by giving them a small gift to let them know we were thinking of them. We honor someone by simply listening to what they have to say.
And look! Women are to be teachers of good things! And good things is not just the life of a domestic servant- how to cook, clean, sew and bear children. Yes, I am a housewife, I take care of the household needs to the best of my abilities, it's part of who I am and who I am meant to be. But I am also meant to be a teacher of good things! What could be more good than the goodness of God? When God speaks to me or shows me something, I am supposed to share it, to teach it to others- I am not meant to keep it to myself and only speak when spoken to...
I think that things are changing in the church. For far too long, women have had a secondary role, and it's time for them to wake up! It's time for the women to share all these wonderful things that God has been giving them, but they haven't been able to share!
I also decided to look up the word "discreet" in the dictionary, because I have a mental image of doing something in secret or quiet. But in actuality, the word discreet means "to show discernment or good judgement in conduct and in speech". It means that you think twice before gossiping, and then choose not to share those gossipy details. It means that you pray for wise words before going to someone and discussing something personal to them. It means that you are thoughtful, simply thinking before speaking instead of just blurting something hurtful out. It means that instead of tying one on at that wedding and drinking yourself into a stupor, you wisely chose one glass of wine with dinner and then have soft drinks the rest of the evening.
I am a quiet person myself. I just prefer to take everything in, and not fill the air with meaningless chatter. That's just who I am. But someone once told me that people often think that the quiet ones get walked all over and dismissed, but in fact, are actually the people who are confident and know who they are. What the women in the church need today is confidence. For too long they've been told that they are second rate simply because they are women- they are first rate, and God wants them to know that. The fact of the matter is that I am a daughter of the King, which means that I truly am a princess. A princess is not a wallflower meant to be silent and admired from afar. A princess takes an active role in her duties, giving direction and assistance to the people around her.
Almost every single little girl goes through a period in her life where she wants to be a princess. I remember when Abigail was four and we went to Disney, she wanted to meet the princesses more than anything. She wanted a princess dress so she could be just like Sleeping Beauty, so we got her one, and she spent the day floating about just like a princess. The truly incredible thing about all the princess playing that little girls do is that it really isn't as pretend as we all make it out to be. Every girl and woman is a daughter of God. When they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they attain the rights to put on the princess tiara and carry themselves accordingly. She should be proud to be a daughter of the King, and no longer be afraid to speak up. It's time for a whole legion of princesses to wake up and realize that they DO in fact have something to say- and something to do.
Do you know what one of the best, most stereotypical traits of a princess is? She is benevolent- caring and compassionate. A princess will have compassion on those in need around her, and will go the extra mile to see that everyone is clothed and fed, and has a roof over their head. We just need to take that a step further, and in addition to the physical well-being, we should pray for spiritual well-being for those around us.
We are to be wallflowers no longer. We are to rise up and take our proper places as Princesses of the Kingdom of God.