Friday, January 26, 2007


I've been doing a lot of reading about women lately. That kind of sounds strange, I guess, but it's true. Ever since having my children, I've been thinking a lot about why God created us women, and what it means to be a wife and mother.

I have read a few books about this. Captivating (Eldredge) is mostly about God's heart toward women. It talks, among other things, about how men show the strong, warrior side of God, and women can show the merciful, lifegiving side of God. Since we're created in His image (ok, long theological debate there, but go with me for a minute), He demonstrates aspects of His character through His creation. That resounds with me, especially when I look at my babies and think, "You did not even exist before." I had a part in giving life to a person. That is a massive thought.

I also recently read The Red Tent (Diamant). Before you go out and get it, let me warn you that it is very sexual in content. No worse than the standard paperback novel, I would guess. I don't read many of those, but definitely at least PG-13 rated in my book. This book is the imagined story of what Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah in the Bible, could have been like. The author took her extensive knowledge of Jewish tradition and married it with the Biblical narrative. It makes for fascinating reading, even though you know it's just a story. Anyway, the main point of the book is exploring feminine relationships - sister to sister, mother to daughter, friend to friend, and the power that is there. The book treats the husband-wife relationship just as powerfully, but shows there is also something unique to female relationships that is needed in our lives.

Besides those books, I also have my own experiences. I've had one emergency c-section and one homebirth. I know women who have had both experiences, and there are many common things between us. I also lead a small group for women, which probably monthly makes me realize interesting things about how women live and make life work. I also have two sisters and a mother in town, and we communicate fairly openly between the four of us. And, I have two amazing little girls whom I love dearly.

I haven't yet found some answers I'm looking for. I think maybe that's because I'm not sure what the question is. What does it mean to be a woman? Maybe. Seems a little too broad (no pun intended!:). How does God use us as women? Yes, but still not quite right. Maybe it's about purpose and what I'm meant to demonstrate to the world around me. I'm just not sure.

One thing I do know - I'm enchanted by women who are doing it, whatever it is, well. And I'm deeply grieved by women who have been broken down by the world and can't do it at all.

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