I have had many idols in my past, I have written posts about them but never in as much depth as I write now. I’ve spoken of my idol of idols, rock climbing, this garnered more of a world view. An idol becoming a world view, I believe, makes the most dangerous of idols something to go back to with much trepidation.
The other idols which tried to garner the interest of my former worldview were much easier to jettison when God grabbed me by the ears and drug me from my former life, undoubtedly kicking and screaming. The other idols ranged from many different levels:
sports, Petaluma, CA, San Francisco, CA, minimalism, smoking, mushrooms, friends, but above all (and what brings my self-esteem to ever growing depths of despair) was/is women.
I Loved women. I capitalize “Loved” for it held a grip that almost rivaled climbing. I had tried most everything I knew to do to find a wife in my younger years. The more I tried the more I sinned, the more I sinned the more I convinced myself it was for the ultimate cause (or so I perceived it to be) to find a wife and then correct my course. I had enough confidence in myself to be able to right that ship. Or think I was able to right that sinking vessel…
Theologically I now know, regardless of the confidence I may possess, nothing I do/did could have ever righted that ship. For a man with low self-esteem the more your own idol rejects you, the more you think there is just something wrong with you… I never did try changing my way of thinking about the subject, or idol in this case.
I have often said I am a former feminist and current biblical feminist. I was such a feminist that I hated strippers, I felt men could do no right and women could do no wrong (except be strippers and prostitutes). I hated that I was male and wanted to have daughters in order to teach them that being a women was a great gift that could garner them anything they desired… and to be careful of this “power.” The scriptures explain where this power comes from… it is part of the curse in Genesis 3.
I have often found myself reeling from reflecting on the Proverbs. There is a theme running through them of two women, Lady Wisdom and the Adulterous Woman. They are set in such stark contrast that to not see it and shudder at the words written would make any feminist cringe…
There are three things that are too wonderful for me,
four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship in the sea,
and the way of a man with a woman.
This is the way of an adulterous woman:
she has eaten and wiped her mouth
and has said, “I have not done wrong.” Prov 30:18–20
Did you read that?… “she has eaten and wiped her mouth and has said, “I have not done wrong.” That is a powerful verse. Never said in a mother’s day sermon no doubt. The scriptures testify here that there is a type of woman that uses men for her own gain and does so thinking only of herself. God, in the Proverbs, over and over again through the authors of them pleads as it were to avoid this woman.
I never did and it ruined me for a long time, possibly for as long as I struggle through this life. I avoided even broaching the subject of a future being married for quite a number of years. I never even considered what I now call, biblical feminism. It is a phrase I use to perk the ears. It only means Biblical complementarianism.
Complementarianism is a theological view held by some in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, that men and women have different but complementary roles and responsibilities in marriage, family life, religious leadership, and elsewhere. The word “complementary” and its cognates are currently used to denote this view. For some Christians whose complementarian view is biblically-prescribed, these separate roles preclude women from specific functions of ministry within the community. Though women may be precluded from certain roles and ministries they are held to be equal in moral value and of equal status. The phrase used to describe this is ‘Ontologically equal, Functionally different’.
In a nutshell it is the Proverbs 31 woman, or Lady Wisdom as described in Proverbs. She is true femininity. Though many of the passages in Proverbs personify Wisdom as a female, often they are just a stand-in, for the word itself is grammatically feminine. In those places there is a greater meaning to Lady wisdom. But, often it is the case, many passages speak to characteristics that define that Proverbs 31 woman.
She is strong, dependent on God, manages the household of her devoted husband, even garnering income to help with the costs of living in this dilapidated world. People rely on this woman because she has been given something the Adulterous Woman of Proverbs knows nothing of… Wisdom.
The Proverbs 31 woman, in so many words is a Christian woman who knows that God is faithful. This is the woman a Christian man should be seeking, and what every Christian woman should strive to be.
In a world that prides itself on unattached love relationships, where “feeling a connection,” or “falling in love with each other,” even “finding one’s soulmate,” and other often empty platitudes is what magazines and blogs are devoted to describing; never are they concerned with seeking what God describes as a healthy marriage partnership.
…whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Col 3:17–19 (NET)
This relationship is rooted in doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. It is a submission and love that is acted out with reciprocity. The woman submits, for in the measure she submits it is because her husband loves her. The husband loves, for in the measure he loves she submits to him. The submission is guidance a husband leads with, she trusts him as she does Christ, he loves her as Christ loves the Church and gave himself for her. There is no selfishness or “patriarchy” in this loving and submitting.
There is this woman… she is lady wisdom and she is fundamentally Christian…