It’s the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year. That means it’s time to pull out the tree, hang the ornaments, plan the parties, buy the gifts, wrap the presents, plan the menu, eat the food, and then fall asleep exhausted on Jan 1st. And even with all its craziness, I love it all! But why do we do these things? One word: tradition. I am a Christian. Nowhere in the Bible does it say we should do or even give mention to the things I just listed above. We do them because we always have. Tradition is not a bad thing. I love tradition! We can be Christians and participate in traditional Christmas activities. But even then, a lot of us pick and choose what traditions we will participate in. Godly parents think through the issue of Santa and how many presents and how it will be with their kids. Thinking through these things is important. So why don’t we do this with other areas of our lives?
Take biblical womanhood for example. Do we base our definition of biblical womanhood on the Bible or tradition? Too much controversy surrounds the concept of biblical womanhood for us not to get this right. This was perhaps one of the most refreshing aspects of the True Woman conference I attended back in September. The speakers went to the Word in order to challenge us to be godly, biblical woman.
I’m ready to look at my calling as a biblical woman through new eyes. I believe what they Bible says is true- that women are created equal to men but are gifted to serve in different roles and callings as laid out in the very beginning of creation- we are helpers, nurturers, responders- certainly more than but not less than this. This God-given nature was not due to the Fall. It has been there from the beginning.
I so appreciate women like Mary Kassian who make it clear that biblical womanhood is not a set of do’s and don’ts. That means there is freedom within the biblical framework. But for me, that makes it difficult. I like the rules, playing within the bounds. It’s safe and easier that way- to do it the way it has always been done for the sake of tradition. But I have discovered the beauty of grace. Grace does not permit us to make mistakes. It does permit us to have freedom in the gray areas. And the how-to of biblical womanhood is not always black and white. We need to know that we are not bound by standards that are extra-biblical. But this means that we must have the “biblical” part of biblical womanhood down pat.
This all rests in hermeneutics (a fancy word for “biblical interpretation”). As my husband and I were talking the other night, everyone has a hermeneutic. This doesn’t mean that we can all be right. Even though we all have one, we have to bring it into submission with the whole of Scripture- it must line up with good theology and doctrine. So while working out my proper theology and hermeneutic, I am on a quest to separate the traditional from the biblical. This is not because I think the traditional is all bad. I just know my tendency to lean on the traditional without knowing why I do it, all the while calling it biblical womanhood.
As radical singles, wives, and moms, we need to be true to the Bible and know why we do what we do- not for the sake of tradition but because it is scriptural. We are people of the Book and we need not apologize for that. We just need to know and understand the Book. What I want to do is get down to the basics of my calling as a woman and then pick and choose the traditional elements accordingly- much like we have to do when it comes to the holidays.
So I’m on a quest, a quest to understand my biblical calling as a woman and then discover how that looks for me and my home and ministry- Titus 2 as my mantra! We may be countercultural but we can rest in the favor of God.