Women today are asking the question, “Who am I?” Many of them feel that the rules which gave direction on how to navigate life’s journey have changed. No one asked for their input nor was there any regard for the long term effects of doing things differently. What was once accepted as appropriate behavior in language, dress, career, and even religious faith are being challenged and up for debate. The new rules have left women with a sense of disorientation, increased feelings of dissatisfaction and despair. In fact, there is much debate surrounding the study that examined the lives of women and concluded that women were “happier” 40 years ago than they are today. We earn more, are more educated and sit in more seats of power but are we “happier”? There is little evidence to indicate that we are.
In fact, according to one study, 90% of women want to change one aspect of their physical appearance. Our dissatisfaction has now turned inward? Many women are discouraged, fearful of being alone, concerned that they won’t reach their dreams and feel trapped by monotony as if life is a mere treadmill.
They are in a desperate pursuit to carve out an existence which satisfies their internal yearnings. Others are daily being swayed by the latest TV program or female hero. It doesn’t take much to realize that women are in a quandary and looking for answers that work for them.
Sheryl Sandberg, in the book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, offered advice on what has worked for her as she ascended the corporate ladder. Many have taken up this banner and are determined to “lean in.” Others have said the answer is to “opt out.” In fact, according to a recent Pew Research Center analysis of census data, one in ten mothers with a Master’s degree or more are staying at home in order to care for their families. As you can see the battle is on.
I believe God is calling for a company of women who will serve as a remnant and model what it means to be a real woman. We must go back to the source of our creation where God said that everything he created was good-including the woman. We were created to have certain characteristics; we’re naturally caring and compassionate. Every aspect of our culture needs the touch of a woman to balance the attributes of the man. This is of godly design.
It was God who emphatically affirmed that the man and the woman were to be fruitful and that they had the ability to multiple. Together they were to have dominion and subdue the earth. Women were created with strength, purpose and self-assurance. I believe that the Bible offers kingdom solutions to the question “Who Am I?” When we reconnect with our creator we can possess strategies full of Godly wisdom, gain the capacity to impact our environment, and lead a generation.
This remnant company of women must offer solutions which are not dictated by fashion, home address, weight or even a secular degree. We must empower women to reach their full stature and exercise dominion in the area God has given them to master. Every woman must have the opportunity to weave in and out of the marketplace without pressure or stigma from other women. We must equip and prepare them for success in every season of their lives so that whatever obstacles they face they can overcome them through Christ.
Women must decide to be leaders wherever they are and not wait for the boardroom. We must communicate that right choices and preparation precede success. And those choices and plans should have a biblical foundation. Women must be empowered to succeed where they are and understand that life is a process and a journey. Everything may not be accomplished in one season or at the same time. We must encourage women to succeed where they are and release them from the preoccupation with the future that so often brings anxiety. God has a plan for every woman’s future and as she maintains focus on Him her future will be bright.
Women have been encouraged to either “lean in” or to “opt out” as they attempt to make sense of their lives, but I believe the answer lies not in “leaning in” or “opting out” but to take a “stand” on the Word of God.
One meaning of the word stand is to remain firm or steadfast, as in a cause, according to Dictionary.com. It means that the women of God are not to be shaken or swayed by the world’s belief system. We should stand on the truth and follow the acronym that follows:
S Your STRENGTH and potential is exponentially increased as you stand in His strength.
T Stand on the TRUTH of the Word of God. The Word is a firm foundation in every season of life.
A ADVANCE where you are. Don’t wait for some future date.
N NEVER dwell on your past failure. We learn from our past but we don’t continue to live there.
D DETERMINE to reach for your future in God.
We must come off the side lines and become actively engaged in defining who we are as women!