We Christian women can sometimes be very judgemental about how other Christian women react to the stress of living in this fallen world. We tend to forget that we women are, after all, fallible humans who struggle with our sin nature as well (same as men!). We give the men grace, but not the women. Is is some kind of inner self-hatred? I don’t know. It’s puzzling.
Sometimes, a woman may find herself in a situation that is demonic and evil and traumatic and you know what – she may, under the most extremely difficult circumstances FALL SHORT, FALL HARD, and FALL FAST off that Prov. 31/Titus 2 pedestal. Watch out Christian sisters…here she comes…a Real Live Woman – full of inequity, full of sin, full of error…but desiring to be more. Desiring God. Desiring Truth. Desiring Healing. Desiring Peace. Doesn’t mean she’s less Godly. Doesn’t mean she’s not a truly Godly woman.
I can think of 2 women I know personally who have recently walked or are walking through scandalous cases of adultery. Both home schooling moms. Both with many children. Both with husbands who, on all appearances, seemed like strong Christian men. They have handled it entirely differently. One lady was your “Prov 31/Titus 2” role model of a woman. The other…she’s just sort of fallen apart in front of everyone. Is one better than the other? Nope. Not in my book. Lord only knows how I’d react if I were in their shoes. Probably somewhere in the middle. In fact, the one that has been so transparent with everyone is the one I can actually relate to more! Because we are all getting to see how God is being GLORIFIED through her! And how He is bringing about healing, restoration and peace in her spirit. Praise the Lord! The other lady, the stoic one…I’ll never know how bad she was hurt and how much God has done in her life. She doesn’t really publicize it. And that’s OK…in the end, it isn’t really any of my business – it’s between her and God.
But you know, the part WE are responsible for, in these situations, is not making a judgement against the character of a woman who is walking through the pain of adultery, or abuse, or divorce or … or… or any other myriad of evils that can come into a marriage – nor clarifying for her how she ought to behave in a situation. If she’s a Christian – she already knows what she’s SUPPOSED to be doing – but you know, maybe she’s just simply UNABLE to. And not because she’s a wicked woman who seeks to harm her husband – maybe she’s just so incredibly hurt she can no longer rise to the standards we expect of her. Our responsibility is to find out how WE , as her Sisters in Christ, can help her in her time of need. How do WE bear her burden with her?
We CAN NOT forget to show grace and love to those women around us who, being Godly women, still fall short of the Prov. 31 women (who was, after all, not even a real person.) Not all women are created the same. Some women handle stress one way, others – entirely different.
I can’t help but think of the Vietnam Vets who came back, in droves, suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They were crazy. No one knew it then…but society still expected them to behave as a normal man. After all – other Vets came back from the war seemingly unscathed. They were able to compartmentalize the war and get back to family life – the way things were. But others, for whatever reason, were not able to handle the stress of war and it destroyed their psyche, their spirit, their ability to function as a complete, whole person.
Do they deserve LESS respect from us? Are they LESS of men because they handled the stress differently? Or are they simply human beings suffering in a way we can not even imagine – especially when we had it so easy….
This is one of the main reasons I no longer read certain Reformed Christian Women magazines or visit “Godly Womanhood” websites or participate in many women’s retreats or go to many Ladies Fellowships. Too much Female Bashing. Not enough grace.