One of my earliest memories takes place in my dad’s office, looking at him over his desk. With much thought, I boldly stated, “I don’t think Jesus will come back before I’m married, because I know I’m supposed to be a wife.” Lately, I’ve forgotten that.
I was recently in a group that was asked what we’d want said about us at our funeral. For some reason, my mind automatically went into the familiar question of what we hope is written on our tombstone someday. The first thought to come to my mind was one that threw me for a loop.
Lately I’ve been struggling with understanding who I really am – or maybe more so, who I want to be. In the past 5 months, I’ve graduated from college, gotten married, moved to a new city, into a new home, started going to a new church and doing a new ministry there with new people.
Nearly everything in life has changed and I’ve only had enough time to be confused.
One of the first things that my husband says attracted him to me was when I told him that it was my dream to one day be a professional wife. He didn’t like that because he’s some sort of sexist chauvinist; he liked it because it showed I was different than most girls, and my priorities would be on my husband and children first.
Then I went to Focus Leadership Institute in Colorado for a semester and, while it was a great experience and I grew a lot there, I think it left me feeling more confused than anything else. They were teaching us all about how the role of women is different yet equal to the role of men, told us the pros and cons to the three waves of feminism, and we women had many conversations about what godly femininity looks like. But they also taught us how to be professionals and how to behave in the professional world, becoming leaders for change in our culture and society.
Coming home from there into my final year of undergrad, I had some choices to make. My now-husband and I were talking marriage and future, I was thinking about dropping one of my majors and graduating early, and everything seemed to be moving so fast. Just months before, I hadn’t met my husband and was making plans for what to do after college since it seemed unlikely I’d be getting married. Those options included finding a job, going to grad school, finding an internship in my field, or moving to California with a friend.
Now, after graduating early, dropping my major, almost 4 months into marriage, and nannying just one day a week, I can honestly say I’m confident I’ve made the right decisions and I love my life. I’m confident I’m in God’s will and I’ve followed His direction.
Now I can say that. But I can’t say it’s been the easiest thing.
Everyone who knows me knows I’m strong-willed. Temptations to be a feminist woman and under-prioritize what’s best for my husband and marriage don’t just go away because of the life I’ve chosen. I have to choose it again every day – sometimes multiple times a day. When I start longing for a professional job that I can only get by going back to school, I lose sight of who I am, who God has called me to be, who I’ve chosen to be, and who I need to be.
Thankfully, this is all because of that tombstone question, because when I heard that question last week, the very first thing to pop in my head with absolutely no forethought at all was this: “She was a great wife and mother.”
Too many, friends of mine included, have lost sight of how wonderful and valuable marriage truly is. I admit, sometimes I even loose sight of it. And truth be told, it’s because we’re surrounded by marriages that are played out horribly, leaving an incorrect view of what marriage truly should be and can be.
But no matter how confusing life may seem at times, God always wins in the end. Because He is the Creator of Marriage.
4 thoughts on “Feminine Identity”
“When I start longing for a professional job that I can only get by going back to school, I lose sight of who I am, who God has called me to be,”
Remeber though the Parable of the Talents – God will hold us accountable for all the gifts we have failed to use. Being married should certainly not be a excuse to bury your gifts!! That is an abuse both of marriage and of God’s gifts to you. Please consider going back to school – so many women in the world still do not even get the option.
Thanks for the encouragement, Jo. I’m actually currently enrolled in a degree program for next semester. If we have the funds, I’ll hopefully be able to continue my education. This statement was more regarding the longing for a professional career overtaking my longing to fulfill my role as wife and mother. It’s hard to keep everything in perspective sometimes with all the roles women are expected to fulfill. I hope not to ever bury my gifts! I firmly believe God would not create women to be wives and mothers if that would bury the gifts He’s given, or He won’t give us gifts that would be buried by being a wife and mother. 🙂