I came upon a post on Instagram the other day that exposed a concerning trend in the faith community. Among women. About women.
In the past month, there have been a number of Catholic women bloggers who have taken to their soap boxes to proclaim that the only holy or right place for a woman is in the home, rearing numerous children, homeschooling them, and only wearing dresses. Basically, shaming any woman working outside the home, or even being so “masculine” as to wear pants – literally.
And, if you’re shaking your head right now in disbelief, know I am right there with ya.
This was brought to my attention by one of my inspirations, Leah Darrow, who highlighted just how harmful and incorrect this way of thinking is, and how it is building walls between women and pitting them against each other.
After reading something this jarring and outrageous, it’s safe to say that it stuck with me for the next several days.
Because it has taken something good and beautiful — motherhood — and weaponized it.
Yes – is motherhood, and childrearing and creating a home a beautiful, noble profession that one day I pray God allows me to do? Absolutely.
But in no way does that equate to putting to shame women who work outside them home. God has equipped men and women with unique and valuable gifts and talents — necessary for the building of the Kingdom. Both sexes have important and vital roles both in the home and in the Kingdom, and how we respond to God’s call for our lives looks different for everyone!
That is the beauty of this life!
Yes, some are called to be wives and mothers. And I know beautiful, incredible women who have responded joyfully to that role God has called them to! But there are others called to be doctors. Teachers. Religious women. CEO’s. Missionaries. Nurses. Scientists.
God created each of us with a unique makeup with skills and talents and passions that are specific to oneself. And our beautifully feminine expression of those gifts and talents are what make us powerfully female.
Because yes, men and women have different attributes that reflect the masculine and feminine attributes of The Maker. That’s not a bad thing! That’s what makes us be complimentary to one another. It’s a symbiotic relationship. A partnership that pairs masterfully. Our feminine genius allows us to do things as only a woman can.
What I want to focus on is another deeply concerning aspect of this trend of shame from woman to woman.
This chasm that is being created, dividing Christian against Christian, pitting peers against one another. Frankly it’s disgusting.
And sadly, it’s not just in the pants/dress – homemaker/working woman arena.
It’s in church leadership. It’s between Christian denominations. It’s in small groups and bible studies.
There is this trend of divide that somehow seeps into Christian fellowship — be it competitive holiness, shaming certain “others,” feelings of pride or superiority, or being the most “authentic” in worship styles.
It is so easy to fall into that trap of division.
And reading this exposé on Catholic mommy bloggers — it was just so evident to me where all this was coming from: Satan.
The evil one, seeking to divide and isolate, so as to create resentment, hostility, and feelings of shame and unworthiness.
There is nothing more negatively powerful than believing that you are unworthy or feeling overwhelmed by shame. Take it from someone who has been there. In fact, those feelings of shame and unworthiness are what led me down that dark path of anorexia, straight into Satan’s trap that he had waiting for me at that pit of despair.
It is no coincidence, that in this era where this world so desperately needs spiritual leaders that the division between the “Big C” Church family has never been more hostile than ever.
The Church doesn’t trust the Pope. Much of the Church — and the world at large — think the clergy are a bunch of sex offenders, closeted gay men, or pedophiles. Protestants and Catholics are still focused on our differences than similarities. And now, Catholic mommy bloggers are shaming women that wear pants!
This is the work of the evil one! He wants us to forget that we’re all on the same team!
We’re all on the journey towards Heaven, and we all should be doing everything we possibly can to build one another up, and encourage and support one another in our pursuit of holiness.
That is what we’re called to do. One of my favorite gospels is from Mark Chapter 2, where Jesus heals the paralytic man in Capernaum. Most people see this story as a reflection on healing and miracles, but I personally think it’s about the power of friendship.
You see, that paralytic man couldn’t get to Jesus. So four of his friends carried him on a mat to the house where Jesus was, and when they couldn’t get into the door, the friends lowered the man through the freakin’ roof.
Can you imagine!? I mean, talk about some dedicated friends!
That is the type of support we’re supposed to have for one another. We are to do whatever it takes to help get our loved ones close to Jesus.
That is what it means to be a Christian friend. Not creating division, and promoting a culture of shame and isolation.
And that’s coming from a working woman in pants.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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