Friday, October 19, 2007

Five Aspects of Woman

I am so excited to be leading a small group Bible study again at church. Here is a picture of most of our group. There are 18 of us all together, so we're missing a few here. We split into two groups for discussion. Cindy takes a group of 8 and I do the same. (Cindy has the guitar in the pic - she's our amazing worship leader as well)

We're studying The Five Aspects of Woman, which is a study that radically changed the way both Cindy and I view God, men, and ourselves as women. It is the best study I've ever done and have never really wanted to lead women through anything else since. This picture was from Wednesday, which was "life lesson" night. After studying each aspect in its created, fallen, and redeemed state - taking a week on each, the fourth week is designated for each woman to express what she's learned in a creative way. In the above picture you will see two collages, a guitar, and an ipod/speakers. These were all ways that each woman expressed what the aspect meant to her. It was so much fun to see and hear the projects and comments. The other option is to select a woman from history, literature, or film and explain how she illustrates the aspect. The aspects are: Mistress of the Domain, Helper-Completer, Lifegiver, Lady of Wisdom, Glory of Man. The author, Barbara Mouser, came up with these aspects after spending about 10 years studying the Bible chapter by chapter looking specifically at what it said about women.This is not Barbara Mouser. It's Phyllis Schlafly. Phyllis is the mother of six children, holds a masters degree from Harvard - 1950, and later a law degree. She wrote an analysis on the foreign policy of Henry Kissinger called Kissinger on the Couch as well as many other books. She put herself through undergrad school by working in a gunnery in Washington D.C. testing ammunition - sometimes 5000 rounds a night! Her husband coined the phrase "A woman's place is in the House and Senate" when she ran for Congress. I've posted her picture here, because as an optional field trip for our study two weeks ago, about 12 of us went to hear her speak at UMass. If you know anything about Phyllis, then you know it was an evening of controversy! This lady almost singlehandedly overturned the Equal Rights Amendment over 3 decades ago. After debating it on a college campus (she refused at first, thinking the feminists silly- she was much more interested in foreign policy), and becoming horrified by its future implications - abortion on demand, drafting of women into military service, stripping away of protective divorce laws for women- to name a few, her resulting columns and speeches led many states to withdraw ratification. Since then she has done much to educate women and families of the origins and dangers of feminism....

"Major social transformations are impossible without ferment among the women."
Karl Marx


"Unless millions of women are with us we cannot exercise the proletarian dictatorship, cannot construct on communist lines. We must find our way to them..."
Vladimir Lenin


"No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one."
Simone de Beauvoir


Our field trip was definitely eye-opening! There was much rage and anger in the room. College women wearing aprons and carrying mixing bowls wearing signs that asked, "Are you happy now???" Women with duct tape over their mouths. T-shirts flaunting lesbianism. The Q&A time was hateful and unproductive. I did make my way to the microphone since my heart was pounding, and that is usually a sign that I need to say something. I asked Mrs. Schlafly what her own parents had done to contribute to her being such a high achieving woman. I explained that I grew up writing essays about the ERA as a schoolgirl getting the impression that being a wife and mom was a lowly career choice. I told her that it was my faith in God, and recently her writings that gave me courage to reject that notion.

It is my hope that women today will know the value of investing in a marriage, a home and children being able to sift through the untruths being taught in their women's studies courses taking away only what lines up with God's design as seen in his word.

And even more that they will fall in love with the One who created them female.

She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also saying:
"Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:27-31



10 comments:

Christy W. said...

Wow! You go for standing up and speaking...the heart pounding thing happens to me, but I'm not sure I could have said all of that as well. I think I need to read your book. When I am having a conversation with friends even from church, my view of a woman's role and servant hood to Mark differ so much - which is surprizing. I think I owe so much of that to God using you in my life. So thank you!

Mom Krum said...

Hi Christy! You would LOVE the Five Aspects study! And yes, the feminist agenda has definitely infiltrated the church which is sad since so much of it contradicts scripture. Love,Mel

skier lady said...

I am also co-leading a five aspects class at our church. this is at least the 5th time. One woman even led it with a small group of high school girls. Everyone that has been through the class is surprised by how freeing, uplifting and encouraging the material is.

Jen said...

hi there!
My dh recently looked at my study guide and was distrurbed that she (Mouser) wrote that women was made to rule .

He is worried that it is a backdoor to Christian Feminism.

I can't imagine so, but I just started the study and suggested that our pastor would not approve of that kind of direction...so please ask him about it and he will.

He got this idea from the first aspect-mistress of the domain.

I am sure that this is not intended the way dh worries it might be, so could you shed some light on that? I am off to read that chapter now.

Thanks!

Melanie said...

Hi Jen,

Thank you for writing. I think if you keep reading, you will find that by "rule" Mouser is only talking about the world mandate of being a steward of the earth and over our individual domains - the woman's being primarily her home. In the Helper-Completer aspect, there is a more complete discussion of evangelical feminism and secular feminism. Maybe you could jump ahead and read this with your husband - I think it would reassure both of you about the teaching of the study. My husband is the pastor of our church and this study has helped him communicate the biblical gender roles to a congregation of 20-somethings - which is not always an easy or popular task! I hope you will be blessed by the study as we have!

iamnotmyown said...
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Anonymous said...

I went through the study with a group of woman several years ago when I was single. It profoundly impacted the way I look at life. I found it encouraging, freeing, challenging. I am now married. I am amazed at the impact it has had on my husband. I would say it was incredible preparation for marriage.

It is wonderful to come across sisters in Christ I haven't met and hear that they too were encouraged by the study. It is certainly controversial. I have unintentionally started several arguments with other women when I tried to share how much the study changed my life.

Anonymous said...

A friend asked me to review the Five Aspects and let her know if it's biblical. It's way too huge to give a cursory review so I was looking for reputable and renowned Christians who endorse it. I saw on your blog you mention Phyllis Schaffley. Did she endorse it? If not, can you ask her to check it out?

Melanie said...

Hello, I am not aware that Pyllis Schlafly is in any way associated or knowledgeable on the Five Aspects. There are, however, several prominent Christians who are. You should check out the CBMW - Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. They have a website, and you can probably find the names of Christian Leaders that you trust. Hope this helps!

julie said...

I, too, did the five aspects study a few years ago and it was transformational! Not only did it give me a more Biblical view of gender, but made me more interested in the whole topic. I am so thankful to have come across the material when I did (age 19 or so).