By Beth Winze
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
My name is Beth Winze, and I have fallen prey to the lies of being a self-sufficient woman. There, I said it. I said it because it is entirely too true. The world’s view of becoming a self-governing woman, who does not need anyone but herself, has penetrated me to my core and I have become obsessed with the idea of doing life on my own. I will be the first to be completely honest and tell you that I have become entranced with the dream of making my own way in life with a future spouse supporting me as I go at it alone.
I am a victim of the feminist propaganda.
This was my mindset until a friend placed in my hands, a little book called Doing Things Right in the Matters of the Heart. This book made me travel on a conviction trip, but in all the right ways. Doing Things Right in the Matters of the Heart tackles the idea of role reversal and confused sexuality. The author, John Ensor, hits heavily on why there is such confusion in the world today about what gender should do what and the major push for equality in unhealthy measures. I love a virtuous, old-fashioned romance such as Pride and Prejudice where the man pursues the woman, but often times Beyoncé’s Girls Run the World song screams over and drowns out the idea of what a healthy relationship looks like, the way God intended it to be. And that is where John Ensor hones in most. I am not experienced in the dating world whatsoever. I was in a relationship for four months, and it was just enough to open my eyes to the common practice among teenagers today. It was great and I loved it, but I know why I struggled with it. I started to hate the feeling that I needed a guy in my life, and this is when I allowed the feminist movement to take root in me. After the relationship ended, I pursued the mindset of a Feminazi. In fact, I let it get to me so much that it irritated me when guys opened doors for me and asked me to help carry stuff. There was no point in my fighting what God has implanted in men. In the end, I was rebelling against how the Creator had deliberately created men. I was generalizing man into one category, as ones who wanted to take power from women and keep us as submissive as possible. John Ensor flipped my thinking.
God created men to be protective by nature. That has been infused in them since God breathed the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils. This is no different than the fact that God imparted in women, an additional nurturing and emotional side. There is a specific reason God created us so differently. Our dissimilarity in attitudes is what complements each other. My lack of broad shoulders and the ability to gain mass muscle is made up for in males. But my ability to create emotional attachments and a desire to help nurture or seek after the hurting is more emphasized than that of a man. There is a reason I have only seen my dad cry twice in eighteen years and I cry what seems infinite times a week.
My new knowledge of how God created our strengths to complement the opposite sex’s weaknesses gave me a reason to understand the protective nature of men. God created man first, to rule and name all the animals. Genesis 2:20 – “So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.” When Adam finished with his job, he had still not found a partner so God created from Adam’s own ribs a woman. Without diving into a science lesson of human anatomy, we all can determine that the ribcage is a vital support structure for our internal organs. I believe that God intentionally created woman from Adam’s rib as a sign of our role as the support structure to a man. God gave us the ability to nurture and care so that we may come up beside the men in our lives and support them.
Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but it’s the end is the way to death.”
I love the fact that God accurately placed the word “seems” in there. It may seem right to me that woman are equal in every aspect, but if I applied feminist thinking to my life, it could end in the death of any future relationships or a marriage. God created men as the head of the household because their job is to protect, provide, and give to the women. Our job in return is to support, love, and nurture men in a way only we can. Ensor gives a beautiful example of this idea:
The surprising lesson is on display in figure skating pairs.
At its best, this event displays the strength and beauty of unity: how two different people become one. The gold goes to that couple which has most mastered the skill of male leadership and female support making one glorious whole.
He leads her onto the ice and initiates each part of their routine. She receives that leadership and trusts in his strength. His raw physical strength is more on display than hers; he does all the lifting, twirling and catching. She complements his strength with her own; a more diminutive and more attractive strength of beauty, grace, speed and balance. His focus as the head or leader is to magnifying her skills. Her focus is on following his lead and signaling her readiness to receive his next move. He takes responsibility for the two of them and she trusts his leadership and delights in it.
If he makes a mistake, she pays the larger physical price; he pays the larger emotional price. She falls, but he fails! So he has to learn to initiate and risk. She has to help him understand her moves and to endure his learning curve.
They do not fight for equality on the ice; they possess it as a given. They are not jostling about fairness. They are focused on doing their part well. No one yells, “Oppressor!” as he leads her around the arena, lifting her up and catapulting her into a triple spin. No one thinks she is belittled as she takes her lead from him, skating backwards to his forward. No one calls for them to be egalitarian. “She should get to throw him into a triple Lutz half the time!” They complement each other in their complementarian approach to becoming one majestic whole. No one, least of all him, minds that the roses and teddy bears, thrown onto the ice when they have collapsed into each other’s arms at the end, are for her. It is his joy.
This is a visible model of what male leadership and female support are all about. It’s an art form, not a mandate. It’s a disposition, not a set of rules. When it’s done well, it’s a welcome sight in which both partners are fulfilled in themselves and delighted in the other.
Olympic skaters would be the first to agree that this unity takes practice and patience. They pay the price of achievement in bruises, cuts, twisted ankles, and sore shoulders. But alternative approaches only add more pain and yield less satisfaction.
– John Ensor, Doing Things Right in the Matters of the Heart
I truly think that Ensor captures the essence of manhood and womanhood in this paragraph. It is not about competing against each other, it’s about trusting each other with your strengths and weaknesses in order to create a beautiful routine for Christ, the way He intended it to be. In fact, this example is so striking to me, that I have it printed out and hanging in my room as a daily reminder to allow men to open doors for me if they wish and carry things if they offer. Yes, I can physically open the door myself and carry things, but why would I want to be the one to shut down what God has instilled in them. And it also gives me the reassurance that the next time a male friend of mine needs to talk about something, I can be there for him. We are at our most beautiful to God when we are working for Him the way He created us. If that means that I can allow my guy friends to work the way God made them to, by opening the doors and such, then so be it. I have come to this conclusion: in my future, I do not want my husband avoiding me when he has had a bad day. I do not want him openly telling me that I am too emotional and he cannot stand a tender heart. That would do more harm than good. Just as I do not want to be a wife that tells him he cannot open a door for me or help me carry groceries in because “I can do it”. Stunting each other’s natural tendencies is re-routing a path God has already made. There’s no reason to “pave a way to equality” when God made us equal in His image. Not allowing each other to work to your best ability is only preventing a growth in Christ together.
When riding a tandem bike, the person on the front seat would despise the person in the back if they refused to pull their own weight. When working together, you create a team appearance that gets further faster. If you fight the way the bike is designed, you will more than likely find yourself at a standstill. When the person on the front seat gets exhausted, their partner can take the lead for a while. Balancing each other’s weaknesses and strength will only allow for the team to go a lengthier distance more lithely. I do not want to be the women that pedals on my own. I want to be a part of a well-functioning machine that God created.
THAT is why I can’t be a feminist.