Practicing Feminism vs. Women Working

Nevertheless, after watching these eruptions over Sarah Palin, I feel disappointed. Not everybody can live an idyllic existence on a farm, existing on revenue from livestock and produce. Go to the inner city, and tell the single mom who has had her child taken away by CPS and is a recovering crack addict and prostitute that by practicing “feminism”-that is, learning job skills and trying to put herself back on her feet with the help of a loving group of women at church who are teaching her how to conduct herself at a job interview-that she is removing herself from God.

This recent comment brought out some points that I think many folks stumble over when contrasting the ideas of feminism and Biblical womanhood.  I would offer a few comments for those attempting to reconcile these two ideas and believe they are somehow in conflict.

First let’s say upfront, Sarah Palin, is not a single mother trying to feed her children in the inner city.  Her choices are not based on necessity, but rather on her personal desire, agenda, and the life she chose.  So when someone is talking about feminism and Sarah Palin, they are not talking about the inner city single women, or single women who live on a farm.

To be sure there are many single women who have a hard time supporting their children on their own.  They find themselves in situations a Christian nation should not place its women.  However, let us not attempt to read our current experiences into the scriptures as we attempt to find a Biblical solution for this problem.  The question we ask is often as important as the answer.  In seeking an answer to this problem we are tempted to only ask the question, “How does a single woman support her children?”  If this is the only question we ask, then our solution for this problem may indeed bring more trouble than it does help.

However, if we ask the question, “Why is it we have so many single women who need to support their children?”,  then our focus will be on an answer that will actually impact long term change and not simply provide another un-biblical patch to the problem.

Both questions are important and need to be answered.  The former needs to be answered immediately for the single mom with a broken family that finds themselves in that situation.  The later needs to be answered if we are going to prevent other women from finding themselves in this situation.

First let me say clearly, I do not believe any would say a single woman who is trying to support her family by working is in sin.  The question I would place on the table is not one of sin or not sin, but what is best for a single mother and her children.  As the bride of Christ, we don’t simply want an answer, we want the right answer, a Biblical answer.  Please note, there is a distinction between seeking a Biblical answer to the question and calling a person’s choices sin.

In our traditional approach, you can read in here un-biblical approach or egalitarian approach, we think the single mom needs a skill and a regular 8-5 job.  That means her children are off to daycare or public school as an immediate ramification of this solution.  This immediately enslaves that mother to the employer or industry her skill is in and places her children in an environment where they will learn the same lifestyle patterns which caused this trouble to begin with.  This feeds the family physically, but allows them to starve spiritually.

At this point, we need to understand the Biblical hierarchy to which this problem should go through.  There are responsibilities in all three of the government’s God has created, the state, the church, and the family.  First the husband should not be granted a divorce except on Biblical grounds.  His covenant before God is to provide and protect his family.  This means the no-fault divorce in America needs to be changed.  This is one aspect of how the state can help to change the growing trend of single parenthood.  Of course this is a result of the state rejecting the Biblical teaching on marriage to begin with.

The state rejecting the teachings of the church is evidence of it’s failure to be salt and light to the culture.  The church in America has departed from sound doctrine that provides real solutions to problems and has embraced a humanistic wealth based replacement for the Gospel of Christ.  As such we have the minions at Planned Parenthood being salt and light to the culture and the church being trod under the foot of man.  So part of the answer needs to be a reforming church that is examining it’s theology that has allowed this to happen.  We will address a couple reforms the church can make to help in a moment.

After her husband, the responsibility of the single mother would fall to her family.  First her father or her oldest brother if the father abdicates his role or is not alive to fulfill his duty.  After that, her other brothers and extended family should support their own family member.  It should only fall to the church if there are no other family members who are willing or able to provide for this family.

Assuming, these other steps fail, what should the churches response be?  What if the church’s response to the single mother was to first and foremost feed them, take care of them, and house them.  If they are widows indeed, shouldn’t the church respond as such?  If the mother desires to work and her children are of an age where she can build a business with them, to provide for their future and launch them into life, how should the church council her?  Shouldn’t the mother be able to sustain herself and her children in some manner that does not place her as a pawn in the industrial workforce and her children as lemmings in training in the public school?  What if the church had entrepreneur training sessions that taught the single mom to work with her children as she educated them?  What if the church had business men who were willing to fund the startup of a small cottage business for this family?  Or there was a family in the church who owned a small business that was able to put her to work part time to help through a tough transition? 

I realize it is easy to talk about this in theory and it is something completely different to have the body of Christ actually function as the body of Christ.  But, I have seen this work and it is a beautiful picture when the body of Christ makes sacrifices to deal with issues Biblically.  When we separate ourselves from the world’s way of thinking; when we stop embracing it’s failed philosophies, and begging for the scrapes from it’s table, then we can see that God has called us to something better.  He has given us solutions that not only solve the immediate issue of putting food on the table, but it also provides the long term generational issues by having the children trained by their mother and loved by the church.  It provides a foundation to deal with the sin that caused children to only have one parent and it provides the ability for those children to avoid the sins of their parents.

In short, the Bible provides an answer that is not a quick fix, but a serious re-aligning of the culture to a Biblical standard.  Of course I must say that for most who make this argument it is not really about the inner city needs of hurting people, but the big city life they have developed for themselves.  Usually, not always, the real hang up is addressing the areas of our own lives that need to be re-aligned with the Bible.  It’s a hard process, but what else can a Christian do?  Either we continue to live off the scraps of the humanistic lies of the feminist movement and deal with the destructive fall out of single parenthood or we embrace the truth of the scripture, reject the philosophies of the world, and begin to see our families and our nation healed.


  • Collin says:

    Paul, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all that you and Beth have shared the last few days. I know it’s probably been a rough ride, but I commend you on speaking the truth boldly and yet in love. As my wife Vikki commented on another post, we’ve seen first-hand how simply broaching this topic can turn a conversation rabid in a heartbeat, even among those who would claim to be like-minded Christians.

    The “inner city mom” is indeed a straw man argument, plain and simple. (“Kids got to eat, so what else is she to do?”) As the son of a single working mother who was among those who had no choice, I can well understand where those who object to what you have written are coming from. Still, biblical truth is biblical truth and as in so many of life’s circumstances, while one sinful human act—whatever it may be—sets the process in motion, addressing that process with further sinful and humanistic “solutions” does not, and never will, work.

    I appreciate that your post above begins to bring the discussion full circle, to the abdication of the man of his biblical role. Feminism is not just a stepping forward by the woman; it is a stepping back and relinquishing on the part of the man. Addressing not so much the scourge of feminism but more simply the relationship of man and wife, a pastor friend of mine once said that a wife can never fill a biblically-unintended position or role unless it is first vacated by the husband. Until we as a nation recognize and restore both roles to their proper biblical relationship, any long-term “solution” or response will doubtless continue to fail.

  • breezy2 says:

    Thank you so much for your Godly wisdom. I found you in my search for others who are not jumping on the Palin bandwagon. I have been blessed by what you have shared. Sadly I find little support in the “real” world.