12 February 2008

"Christian Women" and CHRISTIAN Women

The topic of "Christian Women" has been a recurrent theme of late on the blogs that I frequent, or stalk as that might be. I comment often, but sometimes what I read just makes me think and I have to ruminate on it a little while.
First, my thoughts on the subject are that this is a category which is not all inclusive. There are "Christian Women" and there are Christian women. What I refer to here is the women who come to church on Sunday morning, and although they are the mother of toddlers, every hair is in place, perfect Mary-Kay make-up, and their clothes aren't mussed. In their homes, their furniture looks rarely sat upon, and we know that nobody walked on the carpet, at least not wearing shoes. Every duck is in a row. Their bills are paid on time, their cars never smell of french-fries, and their fingernails are always well manicured.
At first glance you might be envious. You might even wish you were her. But as you get a little closer, you realize that you must be cautious. This is a desperate person, and if you do anything human that might interfere with her precise system of control, her acute maintenance of her surroundings, her sense of order, be it emotionally, physically, mentally or spiritually, she.will.tear.you.up.
And let's face it, getting your life tangled up with other people is messy. People do things you don't expect, say things you aren't sure how to react to, their children are allowed to do things that shock you, and people they love die, their husbands leave them, their children are sick at totally inconvenient times. Sometimes based on where they have come from in life they have a completely different perspective, one that isn't all neat and tidy, and does not fit in a nice little box, easily opened and examined at your convenience. I have found more times than not, it is totally worth the messy tangle it requires to get to know them a little better. Cover the situation with compassion and grace, extend with open arms the love they deserve, right where they are, without trying to change them.
Years ago at a homeschool mom's meeting, I sat in a circle with a mixture of familiar "Christian Women" and Christian women and a new lady. We were planning activities for our kiddies for the month of October and the conversation turned as it always inevitably does to the evils of Halloween. The new lady spoke up enthusiastically, and said, "I love Halloween. I like to dress up as death."
Good thing, I thought cause you just put a few nails in your coffin with this crowd.
I liked her instantly.


  1. I would have liked her right away too, even though I don't particularily like to dress as "Death" myself. Sounds like someone you could just be yourself around.

  2. I like her too!

    Not a huge fan of Halloween, but I don't care if anyone else is.

    Also, I often look like death warmed over, and not just on Halloween! :o)

  3. I'm coming back from the delirious state and can't comment on all you have done but I feel ya :)

  4. Those perfect Christian women need to be covered with mercy and grace as well. Often all that need for control comes from a long ago fear of not having any.

  5. I remember that night! We sure were so filled with love and encouragement for each other. We've come such a long way of even doing it better since then. Nothing like being 'REAL' with each other.

  6. HA, HA, HA! I remember that! I loved her right then,too! Still do!

  7. haha. Halloween is my favorite holiday! I still go trick-or-treating while everyone at my church has "harvest parties." :)

  8. this is my first time to read your blog, and i like it! Very cool. Harvest parties suck. No creativity, no creepiness, mediocre candy.

  9. Ha! I've been "channel surfing" emerging women blogs lately and I just came across yours. I enjoyed your blog today. John Eldredge (Sacred Romance) talks about "Christian martha stewarts" and this fits nicely with what I've been hearing him talk about lately.

    I agree with some of your commenters here that these women may not be as together as they appear on the surface and for sure need grace and love and friendship, but I still can't help but "cringe" when I see women like this. Or, lets' just say that I find that I don't have alot in common with them.

  10. nice post. I think sometimes women need permission to be imperfect. With hardcore cases like the women you describe, I think perhaps are like friends in bad relationships -- you will only be able to see what's underneath and communicate the love that perhaps is also underneath when that relationship ends or the perfect image is shattered and at last the actual woman is able to come forward.

  11. I just wanted to say that when I was going to church I did show up with perfect hair and make up and all of my kids were dressed and beautiful. WHY??? Well for one I am some sort of perfectionist, for two I don't leave the house without hair and make up done. For three I think I had something to prove, don't know what. I soon became very disillusioned at the guilt trips about *forsaking the assembly* I was up all night nursing babies and you know I don't sleep, the truth is Sundays were my worst day because of pure exhaustion.
    My house is usually clean, not lately :)
    So I have no idea what my point is...

  12. great post! i do think there's a certain degree of desperate-ness just below the surface with a lot of good christian women. it can be such an oppressive system. i know, i was one of them. now i facilitate a group of what we call "ex-good-christian-women" and it's one of my favorite things to be part of each month. the halloween story was so funny, i could see all of the air being sucked out of the room!


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♥ Juls ♥