What’s in a Name?
The name “beyond bluestockings” is a goal for myself. As a product of my home and school environment, I revelled in feminism. And who doesn’t find power appealing? My sinful nature delighted in the girl power mantra. When I became a Christian, I found that the church teaches much the same theme – girls can do anything, and God has a great, big, amazing plan for your life.
As I sought this matter for myself in the Word, and looked to different theologians (ones who had taught for longer than five minutes) I found that breaking the glass ceiling was not what God had designed women for. The woman has a role unique and complimentary to the man’s, but it is not the same role.
The more I studied, the more convinced I was that God would have me as a helpmeet to my husband, as a mother to my children, and a teacher of younger women (not as a special calling, but as a direct result of Scriptural command for older women to teach younger women how to love their husbands and children. See Titus 2.)
It went against everything I wanted. I am an ambitious person, love to make decisions, DO NOT like to have to follow directions. So I asked God to change me, to teach me, to make me as He wanted. Oh, there has been some teeth gritting along the way!!! Dying to self is not a pretty process! But I want to serve God more than anything else, and so I viewed each command from my husband as a command from God (because He commanded me to obey my husband. See Ephesians 5:22).
Although I first obeyed with foot stamping and muttering and unlovely-ness abounding (!) I found that He was faithful to mould me gently. Thankfully, both my husband and my God are gentle and gracious to me!
The Bluestockings were a group of women who wanted more education and more literary involvement. I love books, I enjoy politics, learning is like a drug, and I acknowledge that women have talents and skills of value. But women are robbing themselves in their endeavours to take the place of men, in that they no longer have any honour as women. We are not held in esteem for our womanly traits, yet we still don’t measure up to being a man. Missed out on both counts.
I want to remind myself that fighting for rights that belong to my husband may lose me the honour God bestows on women as the glory of man, and that while education is important, there is something more, something better! I want to resist thinking that education of itself is worthy of worship. Hence, the goal to go beyond my former feminist mindset.