Christine was so excited to tell me about her newfound faith when we met. She had just moved to my neighborhood and we shared conversation over lunch. She told me that she was raised in a “Christian” home and attended church regularly in grade school. At 14, when her parents divorced; she became angry with God and took it out on Him by rejecting the church; or what it stood for.
Now she is 30 and excited about her newfound Christian walk. “I want to learn how to be a real disciple; to do good works for God. I’ve learned that Jesus died for my sins, and I’m forgiven; I don’t carry around my guilt anymore. I’ve changed the way I act toward people. Before, I always tried to do everything on my own, to be perfect, to achieve things and take credit for them. It was important for me to accumulate possessions. All that has changed.”
She continued, “There are some other things, too. I’d like to quit my job and stay home to take care of our three children. I want to be a better wife and allow my husband the limelight. I’ve just joined my fourth weekly bible study. I’ve already changed the way I dress; I don’t want to look “sexy” for anyone other than my husband.
I was excited that she had been transformed by her faith, but I had to speak up. A decade ago, a wonderful older lady at church pulled me aside, “Agatha, you’re trying to live a stereotype; the myth of the “Good Christian Woman.” Her statement was perplexing and I must admit, I didn’t fully understand what he was trying to tell me.
Christine and I talked more about how God has given us unique gifts and talents. Some women are gifted to be stay-at-home moms where others are called to use their gifts in the workplace. God expects that we will love and care for others, but also expects that we will set boundaries and care for ourselves. It is okay to work outside the home, to be a leader in church affairs, and to embrace our sexuality as women. We can do this and still be a “Good Christian Woman”.
I still remember that wonderful older lady’s words: “God made women in His image, too. Don’t repress it; embrace it! Delight in your uniqueness, your individual gifts and talents, and your loveliness as a woman. God has given you special gifts and He expects you to use them.”