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."
"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..."
"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.