Last year, I determined that I would live biblically as a woman.
That is not news. I determined to do that every year of my life when I was converted at the age of 20. It has been uphill and downhill, depending on the year.
I was not spoon fed Christian doctrine all my life as other women have been, or like my own children have. I was converted while living in a home where the gospel was not preached, and the name Jesus Christ was used as a curse word. My learning curve was slow. I was taught early that I didn't need to follow the laws of the Old Testament, although it has taken me years to understand that fully. I am sure my own understanding is weak at best even after 27 years of being a Christian.
Over the years, my attempts have been full of those things that are not really biblical womanhood. I have fallen prey to the notion that I must homeschool, wear denim jumpers, and in one particularly bad experiment, follow the teachings of a parenting guru who ultimately ended up being rather full of baloney. But still, I persisted. I persisted because I believe that the Bible teaches me about who God is and getting to know him is how I learn to be a "biblical woman."
Last year's attempt did not involve sitting in any nylon tents. I don't do tents. There were no trips to my roof, no wearing of unattractive head coverings, or calling my husband "master." There were many attempts at submission; many failed, and hopefully a few successful. The few successes were entirely of God's grace, and had little to do with my efforts. And guess what? I survived.
Mostly, over the year there were a lot of attempts to adhere to this:
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Phil. 2:1-7)
There were many attempts (and many failures) to do this:
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him, "Teacher, which is the great commandment of the Law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbour as yourself." (Matt. 27:29-39)
There will be no book forthcoming about this experiement. Why not? Because when we put standards like this in front of ourselves, there is inevitably mess and shame at our own failures. This kind of pursuit doesn't produce very "engaging" writing, I'm afraid. There is not always humour or self-deprecating smiles accompanying these attempts. They aren't the kind of results that talk show hosts latch on to. That's just fine with me; I don't like or watch talk shows.
Will I try again? Absolutely! Why? Because it isn't optional. I am a woman who has been redeemed by the blood of Christ. I want to know Him more. I want to serve Him. I want to live in light of the amazing truth that I am His. I already know that on my own I cannot do enough to please Him. I do it because I love Him and want to obey Him. I do it because I am a woman, and because I believe that the Word of God is my ultimate authority in every aspect of my life. I will continue to probe the Word of God as deeply as my middle aged mind will allow. I will let it speak authoritatively to me no matter how "unfair" it seems, no matter how much it makes me squirm. It is His Word. It is the revelation of who God is. Seems like the best place to start.