Dear mothers of the world, my heart is pleading with God for your daughters, my daughters, and the motherless daughters, and all the lies about their womanhood that they will face on social media this week.
I’m calling upon you to join me in fasting and prayer March 8–10 for the testimony of biblical womanhood and for you to have three conversations with your daughters about what they will see in the media this week. While the coming public conversation has potential to wreak havoc on a girl’s belief system when it comes to womanhood, it can also be an opportunity for us to train up the younger women entrusted to us.
The Good News and the Bad
The good news is that we can interact with the news. The bad news is that interaction forms our beliefs.
The good news is anyone can have their say. The bad news is that uneducated views can become distorted as balanced and true.
The good news is you can see what you most want to see. The bad news is you don’t see everything you need to see to create an informed decision. (Social media uses computer algorithms to feed you information, skewing the amount of information you’ll receive about a topic based on what you post and what is trending.)
What’s going to trend this week? Women’s rights. How do I know that? The leaders of the Women’s March held in January 2017 are calling for another demonstration called “A Day Without a Woman” on Wednesday, March 8. Since an estimated 2.7 to 5 million women (depending on the source) participated globally in January, we can assume a potential gain in participation, and much of this protest is going to happen online.
Conversations You Should Have
Here are three conversations you should have with your daughter this week.
Admit that some of the conversation surrounding womanhood lately has been disheartening and victimizing.
I really think our daughters need to hear this in order to open their hearts to the radical response God calls us to have when our rights are threatened. We cannot have a righteous response unless we first verbalize a just declaration of what is happening.
In a conversation fueled by 1) the recent presidential election, 2) historic women’s injustices, and 3) sadly, President Trump’s past hurtful statements toward women, a movement seized the American stage to decry injustices against women and to offer a response. The fact is someone had to say something. And the fastest and loudest voice to the stage was the Women’s March movement. But it doesn’t have to be, and cannot be, the only voice.
Talk about the full agenda of the current conversation.
Walk past the home page and the overall banner of the Women’s March and pull up the “unity narrative” of the movement. Discuss it with your daughter. Do these sound like issues she wants to identify with? Are all of them women’s issues? Does it forcibly reframe our daughters’ and granddaughters’ identity and future? Does it require them to embrace additional issues under the umbrella of women’s rights like abortion and LGBTQIA rights? Were women who did not embrace those issues welcomed to the conversation in January? What other issues are hidden under the umbrella of women’s rights?
Tell them that God does empower us to have a voice when our rights our threatened, but the model He gives us is radically different from the current conversation taking place.
While some of what the more vocal women are concerned about is fair, much of what they seek and how they seek it is in direct contrast to God’s word and authority. I’m particularly concerned with the “nasty”—their word, not mine—manner in which they approach the dialogue. Ashley Judd’s speech at the Women’s March was particularly offensive to me. Is this really how we change the opinions of political leaders? (Warning: Video contains vulgar language.)
I find it, in one word, rebellious. First Samuel 15:23 says, “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (KJV). That verse was spoken by the prophet Samuel to King Saul. God doesn’t tolerate rebellion when you are a king or when you are opposing one. And He has strong language for it. Our daughters cannot be taught that this is the correct response to governing authorities, even when they are evil!
Biblical Examples to Follow
But . . . God does give us examples of confronting our governmental leaders.
Queen Esther used fasting, prayer, and respectful dialogue to confront an evil government (Est. 4). Esther and her young women attendants led the whole nation in an intense period of fasting and prayer for three days. Amazingly, dark schemes at the highest levels of government were exposed. Esther’s fast effectively reversed the curse and shifted the whole public policy of the Persian Empire in favor of the Jewish people. (Did you know that Purim, the holiday that celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman’s plot, will be observed this coming weekend, March 11–12?)
Abigail bowed humbly and gave kind, helpful gifts of food to confront certain extermination for her family (1 Sam. 25). She no doubt prepared that food with the helpful hands of other women in her family. In bowing in humility before King David with these helpful gifts, she softened the King’s heart and he changed his mind about how he would punish the horrible disrespect of Abigail’s husband, Nabal.
These are our biblical models in pursuing our rights. Using prayer, fasting, humility, and intelligent dialogue, these women changed governments and leaders. These are the radical methods God gives us when our rights are threatened. These were acts of desperate dependence on God, not assertions of self-dependence, and the only thing capable of breaking the oppression of any people group.
Two Better Responses to Empower Womanhood
1. Fast and pray for our leaders and nations.
What might happen if after we had these three conversations with our daughters, we fasted and prayed with them leading up to Purim, asking the God of the universe to appoint us with favor to speak to kings and presidents and leaders the way He favored Esther? What if we asked Him to reveal the evil that exists and to change the whole public policy of our land? Many are intending to fast and pray from dinner on Wednesday, March 8, to dinner on Saturday, March 11. I’m going to join them. Will you?
2. Be helpful to mankind on Wednesday.
This week’s protest is called “A Day Without Women.” Women are being called to strike from paid and non-paid work of any kind, which I assume is to teach men what it feels like to be without women. But we already know the answer to that. God said in Genesis, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (2:18). He created us to help and affirm and walk beside man, not to threaten and seek power over them. What if we walked in intentional, helpful humility on Wednesday when other women are striking?
Maybe then God would be glorified as the defender of women, rather than seeking and bringing glory to ourselves.
Content taken from ReviveOurHearts.com; used with permission. Adapted from 3 Things You Must Tell Your Daughter About Women’s Rights . . . This Week originally posted on PureFreedom.org.
Dannah Gresh is the best-selling author of And the Bride Wore White and co-author with Nancy Leigh DeMoss of Lies Young Women Believe. She is a nationally sought-after speaker for teen girls and is respected as a leader in the faith-based abstinence movement to fight HIV/AIDS globally. She’s a frequent guest on programs such as FamilyLife Today, Midday Connection, and The 700 Club.
Image courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: March 7, 2017