“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot
Once upon a time in our Science and Science Fiction Honors class, Dr. Darren Grinder brought up the interesting ways in which science fiction writers Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan treated women in their novels. The opinions expressed by these authors certainly were not disrespectful or demeaning, but one viewed women as the weaker sex even in the very distant future, while the other envisioned a President and renowned astronomer as both being female in the late 1900s. As we were discussing the great bounds made in women’s equality, I found myself wondering “How should I, as a human being made in the image of God and a conservative Christian, view my femininity and role as a woman?”
The obvious question, it seems, is if a woman’s place should be in the home or the workplace, or both. One’s answer depends a lot on how one was raised, one’s cultural expectations, and one’s own experience (though my thoughts are certainly not the only option). Personally, I believe femininity and womanhood are an equal, yet different place God created even the first woman for, which means she has a fundamentally different job description than men. Some believe differently, but the examples of biochemistry, societies of varying times and places, and the church help convince me of the proper structure of the family and the role of women.
That being said, I don’t resent those women who choose to take their skills to the workplace, but I also have a deep respect for the wives and moms who choose to forego their career opportunities to nurture children and keep their home. I may not be making big bucks in the corporate world, but I can think of no greater responsibility than to raise up the next godly generation. Because of my conservative background, I don’t always like when I’m expected to pursue a professional job upon graduation, or when I am looked down on because I want to be a wife and mom “when I grow up.” However, I applaud the gals who can successfully do both!
To conclude, when my idea of godly womanhood is challenged, I think my role as a young Christian lady is not to “forsake all others” and be wedded to a career, nor to idolize the responsibilities of a domestic engineer, but to honor God as I live out His will, whatever that may hold. I would love to raise a family someday, but in the meantime, I will make good use of my time and skills by being in a career, serving my family, or both!