By Julie Ganschow
I would be considered a “failed feminist.” It was my elder sister’s goal to make me into her clone in the 1970’s. At the tender age of 12, she bought me Our Bodies, Ourselves; the instruction manual for the budding feminist. She preached women’s rights and marched for Roe v Wade, and took me to women’s conferences where I heard the battle cries of that generation that believed they didn’t need men, didn’t want men, and honestly believed women were the improved version of men—as though God had made a mistake the first time around.
I could not embrace much of her philosophy. I knew I did not think lesbianism was a substitution for marriage, and from the start I knew abortion was killing a baby. However, I did not entirely escape the brainwashing. My heart yearned for home and family, but my brain told me I was a fool to decline college. As a married woman, I still foolishly tried to have it all, and for a while I had a full time career, and was a part time mother, part time wife, and was in fact a poor excuse for a godly woman. I had long since given up trying to be the world’s ideal woman and settled into a half breed of both worlds, loving neither one.
My training in biblical counseling began around then, and it opened my eyes to exactly how short of the mark I was as a wife and a godly woman. However, it was not until I got my first copy of Martha Peace’s book The Excellent Wife that the light fully came on as to how feminized I truly was! I kept trying to remove the fruit of anger and impatience and selfishness from my life and did not understand why I was such a failure at it. I went around the sin/confession/repentance/sin block so many times I was ready to name it after myself. I really thought I was hopeless.
In biblical discipleship, I deal on a weekly basis with the adult children of women who wanted it all, and they are a mess. Their marriages are full of strife and misery because they have grown up with a false idea of what womanhood is truly about. Often, their husbands are weak leaders (because they also grew up under feminism) and have not been taught to be godly men who can lovingly lead. The women find it very easy to dominate and lead in the marriage in these circumstances. The wives rear the children often overriding the counsel of their husbands; they chastise their husbands in public over child-discipline matters, and they control all the finances of the home. In short, they make nearly all the decisions. They struggle to submit to the church Elders and demand more position and authority than Scripture allows for them.
The origin of these sinful practices was the beautiful Garden of Eden. Eve did not start out a feminist, but once sin entered the world (Gen 3) and the curse was pronounced on woman (v16, “Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you”) women began to think like feminists. It is critical that we help our fellow sisters in Christ to understand that our heart’s desire is to rule over our husbands, to dominate men.
These are sins that begin deep in the heart of each woman as she desires to exalt herself. It is no different than Satan’s bold proclamation, “I will be like the Most High”
(Isa 14:14). We demand our own way, we demand to be heard and appreciated and valued. We demand to be in charge! This is not Gods way, it is the world’s way, and it is idolatry.
Anytime it becomes more important for me to have my way than to glorify God, I am practicing idolatry in my heart. I am worshiping myself instead of worshiping Him and placing myself on the throne of my heart and leaving no room for the desires and commands of the Almighty.
Until we can teach the young women of today about feminism being an issue of the heart more than a behavior, we are doing nothing more than plucking rotten fruit off the tree of their lives. The anger, resentment, and selfishness women display (fruit) are evidences of what is taking place in the inner man (heart). It is not enough to change the outer display; we must teach that the heart has to change before any lasting behavioral change will result! Our minds are to be renewed by the Word of God and then, and only then, will we come to believe that our former way of living and thinking is unbiblical. This, and only this, will bring about a changed life and bring an end to the feministic way of thinking.
Submitted by Julie Ganschow
Reigning Grace Counseling Center