Confessions of a Domesticated Christian Woman

Christian women do not have to be domesticated

Domesticated Woman

I’ve been struggling lately. The signs are clear. I’ve been eating too much sugar, and doing things that narcotize pain. My drug of choice lately is playing silly games on my i-pad. I’m bored with many of the thing things that fill my days. I’ve been tired, and if I’m honest slightly depressed but unaware that I wasn’t doing well. When my frighteningly perceptive son and daughter-in-law told me recently that they felt I was living a “domesticated existence” the tears began to flow. I was a bit fuzzy on what they meant, but somewhere deep inside I knew they were right.

Isn’t this what it means to be a Christian woman?

I want to please. I want to please so much that I will become what the people around me want me to be. I want to be liked. When I live this way I become very good. I am willing to do all the things no one else wants to do. I don’t make waves. I avoid conflict. I am nauseatingly nice and boring and…domesticated. All the time I tell myself that this is the Christian thing to do. Aren’t Christians called to serve? Aren’t we called to deny ourselves?

I’ve spent many hours in the last few weeks wrestling with this question. I asked God about it, shared my struggles with my close friend and my husband and let the tears flow for a change.

I keep hearing the same thing from unrelated sources. Often when that happens God is teaching me some lesson that I am having a hard time grasping.

I have come to the conclusion that this kind of domesticated living isn’t Christian at all.

When I am a dispirited woman letting fear of disappointing people and fear of conflict tame me, I am not living the life God means for me to live.

living in the freedom of the spirit

Spirited

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”2 Timothy 1:7

Spirited

My dad’s hobby when I was growing up was raising Arabian horses. We had a big meadow in front of our house and horses would stand in grass up to their withers munching contentedly. Sometimes they would run, just for fun. They were beautiful, manes and tails flying in the wind behind them. My favorite was named Shalom. Maybe Daddy was trying to bring peace to the middle east, using the Hebrew word for peace to name his Arab horse.

Shalom had spirit. The spirit showed in way he held his head high, the bounce in his stride, the muscles that rippled as he ran. Sometimes on a long ride the horses would try to hang their heads low as they plodded up the dirt trail. We didn’t allow this. Horses were created to walk with spirit. So were women. I stop being the person God created me to be when I become that good little Christian woman, spending her life denying her own passions and abilities because she is busy pleasing everyone else.

In the core of my soul I am not the domesticated woman I appear to be. I am really much more like Shalom. I bear the name of peace, but I do it with strength, beauty, and zest. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Where the Spirit of the lord is, there is freedom.” I have the spirit of the lord which makes me free-spirited, right? What does a free-spirited me look like? The definition of free-spirit on dictionary.com is a person with a highly individual or unique attitude, lifestyle, or imagination, non-conformist.

So that’s it. I am unique soul, reflecting the image of God. The spirit of the lord sets that soul free from sin, including the sin of burying talents that were given to me to use. There is a joy in this freedom, very much like the joy of horses running free.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t ever do the dishes again or I will stop driving carpool. I just won’t do them in the murky water of bitterness. I will consider my dreams, living my life with zest, and allowing myself to rest, good and right, more godly than putting my head down and plodding through life joyless because I am afraid to upset the people I love. I won’t feel guilty for saying kindly, but without question, “no, I need to ____  “. I will go ahead and take risks and have adventures, even if there is a cost to them.

Is it sinful to disappoint?

Is it sinful to disappoint? Actually I am coming to believe that I have been sinning by trying too hard to please. God loves me. There is no room for strangling fear in that love. Instead I should be living out of God’s resurrection power. Galatians 5:16 says “Walk by the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” In the center of my soul I want what is good and right. As long as I am listening to the prompting of the spirit, I do not need to fear that I am being selfish or sinful by being my spirited self.

Lynne Hybels expressed similar thoughts in a beautiful prayer. Dangerous Women Creed.

If the image of spirited horses running speaks to you as it does to me, consider watching this short video as you listen to what God has to say to you about this topic. The Rhythm of the Horse

 

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2 Responses to Confessions of a Domesticated Christian Woman

  1. R Lanae Klap June 2, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    I love this one, Beth. We all have gifts, and tasks. We can’t let the tasks take the joy out of our gifts. 🙂

  2. Carrie May 17, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    Beth, this is beautiful. One of your best yet. I pray you’ll get out, lift your head high, and follow your heart to do whatever God has planned for you today. Love you.

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