Cs Lewis once beautifully wrote,
“But one of the worst results of being a slave and being forced to do things is that when there is no one to force you any more you find you have almost lost the power of forcing yourself.”
Within this statement lies a powerful treasure. Locked within these words, is the key to empowerment and a real path to liberation. You see, the moment you allow anything, other than your Creator, to define your success, your failure, your happiness, or your worth, you enter into a silent, but destructive form of slavery. That thing which defines your self worth, your success and your failure is what controls you and becomes your master.
The master which has defined a woman’s worth, has taken many forms throughout time. One of the most prevalent standards made for woman, has been the standard of men. But what we so often forget is that God has honored the woman by giving her value in relation to Himself—not in relation to men. Yet, as some ideologies erased God from the scene, there was no standard left—but men. As a result the woman was forced to find her value in relation to a man; and in so doing, she had accepted a faulty assumption. She had accepted that God is no longer her standard, and thus a woman can never be an exceptional being until she slowly becomes a man: the new standard.
Throughout feminism anthropological history, we observe that when a man cut his hair short, she wanted to cut her hair short. When a man joined the army, she wanted to join the army. When a man smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol, she wanted to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. Often, she wanted these things for no other reason than because the “standard” had them. What she didn’t recognize was that God dignifies both men and women in their distinctiveness–not in their sameness. When we as women no longer accept men as God assigned heads of protection and leadership above us but our standards, suddenly anything uniquely feminine becomes by definition inferior. Being sensitive is an insult, becoming a full-time mother—a degradation. In the battle between stoic rationality (considered masculine) and selfless compassion (considered feminine), irrationality supremely reigns.
As soon as we accepted the lie that anything we were pre-ordained to create was inferior, all that followed was just a knee jerk reaction of gender confusion. Somewhere along the line, unconsciously, we’d even accept the notion that being in the shoes of a man could somewhat be the indicator of a higher position with God.
A Godly woman does not lose herself in this way but builds her confidence in knowing that she has the creator of the heavens and the earth as her standard. She has God to give her value. She has God to define and re-calibrate her identity, an identity that is deeply rooted in Him. Given our privilege as women, we only degrade ourselves by trying to be something we’re not– and we were never designed to be. As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men, compare our strengths to their strengths, instead of adding our strengths to their strengths and value the beauty in our own God-given distinctiveness. Your value as a woman is not measured by the size of your waist nor the number of men in authority who fear, applaud or revere you. Your body, your soul, your spirit, were created for something immense. Something much higher.
“But for this very purpose have I let you live, that I might show you My power, and that My name may be declared throughout all the earth.” Exodus 9: 16
Your worth as a human being is measured on a higher scale: a scale of righteousness, piety and purpose enshrined in salvation. And your purpose in life–despite what the fashion magazines and television shows subliminally seem to portray– is something more sublime than a mere “ Think like a man” rending “Think like a Godly woman” obsolete. Our completion comes from God and our relationship with Him; And yet, from the time we were little, we, as women, have sometimes been taught by society that we will never reach completion until a man comes to complete us. Like Cinderella we were taught that we are helpless unless marriage and a prince comes to save us. Like Sleeping Beauty, we were told that our life doesn’t fully begin, until the glorious day Prince Charming kisses us. But here’s the thing: only the Prince of peace can make you whole.
Your vitality is in God. Your air is in God. Your salvation and completion are in His nearness—not the nearness to any mentally fabricated idol. Not the nearness to an earthly prince, not the nearness to a degrading womanhood defined by this pernicious society.
And so I ask you to unlearn. I ask you to stand up and tell the world that you are a slave to nothing—not to society, not to men. You are a slave to your Creator and your Creator alone. But see, he has even beautifully set you free and no longer call you a servant. Daughter of the most high, I ask you to tell the world that you’re not here to resent men and at the same time please the same men with your body in a starving quest for ‘equality’ carved in a destructive promiscuity; You’re here to please God. So to those who mean well and wish to ‘liberate’ you, just smile and say: “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Tell the Femen that you’re not here to be on display and your body is not for public eye consumption. Tell them that they, ironically are the ones bound to slavery. As they unconsciously give their virtue away, make sure the world knows that YOU will never be reduced to an object, or a pair of legs and naked breasts to defend your power. You are unapologetically powerful, you are a chosen soul, an rare substance, a formidable vessel, a light, a breathtaking mind, a servant of God; And your worth is enhanced by the authenticity of that soul, that love, that beauty, that heart, that moral character. Therefore, in answering the question of where and how a woman can find empowerment, I find myself led back to Christ. I find myself led back to the statement of Cs Lewis. I find myself led back to the realization that true liberation and empowerment lies only in freeing oneself from all other masters, all other definitions. All other standards.
As Godly women, we have been liberated from this silent captivity and in symphony, we will shamelessly celebrate and cherish our womanhood in Christ. We don’t need to trade our womanhood for manhood. We don’t need to dishonor the marvelous God-given gift of Christlike manhood. We also don’t need to wait for marriage or companionship to save us. We don’t need society’s standard of beauty, freedom and liberty to define our worth. We don’t need to tarnish our power by employing it as a weapon of mass male emasculation. We don’t need to reinvent ourselves as carbon copies of embodied testosterone to feel honored and accepted. We don’t need our marriages, titles, degrees, and statuses to define us.
Our worth, our honor, our salvation, and our completion lies not in the slave. But, in the Lord of the slave; who has now beautifully redeemed the slave.