The Bible often compares the Christian life to an Olympic race. In fact many of the Greek terms that Paul uses in talking about our Christian life as a race refer to the Greek Olympics (words like stadium, athlete and gym all are used by Paul).
Just like we separate our Olympic events by gender, God also has separate races for each gender to run and different rules depending on gender. The Bible also says we must compete (live our lives) according to God’s rules. If we compete but cheat or deviate from the rules we will not receive the rewards for running the race:
“Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” – II Timothy 2:5 (NASB)
A Tale of Two Runners
So now imagine this if you will. There are two races with different obstacles to overcome, but they use the same course. On that course you would see male and female signs on different obstacles. This is a timed event it is run by one person at a time.
So a man runs the course and as he comes to each obstacle if it is marked “male” he overcomes the obstacle, if it is marked “female” he goes around it and continues with the race till he finally finishes the race where the judge awards him with his prize.
Now a woman comes to the same course. She has decided before she ran this race that she will run the male obstacles instead of the female obstacles. She has decided she does not like the female obstacles and prefers the male obstacles.
So she runs the race just as good as that man who ran just before her. Every time she comes to a male obstacle she overcomes it but then she skips the female obstacles as the man did. In fact she matches his time as she runs toward the finish line. She crosses over feeling triumphant and she turns to the judge to receive her prize as the man before her did but he tells her she has failed the race.
“But I did everything the man who ran before me did and I even did it in the same time!” the woman says.
The judge replies “But you are not a man, you are a woman. You did not meet the challenges that were assigned to you as a woman, but instead chose to do the male obstacles that were not assigned to you. All your hard work was a waste because you did not overcome the obstacles that were assigned to you”
Over the last century feminism has taught women “you can have it all”. You can have a career, a husband and kids. You can balance your career and your obligations to your family in the same way men do. In fact you and your husband can just split the responsibilities of caring for the kids and your home.
But this is lie.
God never meant for women to have to balance a career and family obligations as men are meant to do. A woman’s complete focus was meant to be on serving the needs of her husband, her children and her home. She would only go outside her home to the extent that it did not affect her performing her duties to her home.
But because we live in a sin cursed world sometimes a woman has no choice but to work to support herself and her family and do what God did not intend for her to have to do and balance work and family obligations. If her husband becomes disabled, abandons her or dies a woman may have no choice but to work. Some women have husbands who in their sinful greed force their wives to work when they should not be.
Another reason a woman may have to pursue a career is because by no fault of her own she has not been able to find a husband and she eventually has to work to support herself.
The push to get women out of the home and into careers
Sadly today many women are actually encouraged and taught from a young age in their schools, homes and even churches that planning to be a stay at home mom is a “waste of their full potential”. My 13 year old daughter recently experienced this in the junior high she is attending.
They had a project to do for class which had them writing out their life goals and a big part of that was what they wanted to do for a career. It was simply assumed that everyone in that class, both the young men and young women should have career ambitions.
The young teens were all comparing what they wanted to be when they grew up and some of the girls said they wanted to be a doctor, or a nurse and one said a scientist. Then it came around to my daughter and she said “stay at home mom”. She told me after she said that you could have heard a pin drop. Then one of her girlfriends asked her “don’t you want more than that?” I was so proud of her response. She said “this is what I believe God wants me to do”.
She told me they were actually offended by that and by her choice to dedicate her life fully to her future husband, her future children and her future home.
But make no mistake – the distain for the Biblical role of a wife (which is what my daughter was espousing) did not happen overnight. It took decades to accomplish.
“In the 1950s, only 19 percent of mothers with small children worked outside the home, said Stephanie Coontz, a historian at The Evergreen State College in Washington and author of “A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s” (Basic Books, 2011). As of 2008, more than 60 percent of moms with kids under age 6 were in the work force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Working moms of older kids are even more common. As of 2008, close to 80 percent of mothers with children between ages 6 and 17 worked outside the home. That is a rise of about 10 percent since 1984.
Attitudes haven’t kept up with reality, however: According to the Pew Research Center, only 16 percent of Americans think a mom who works full time is ideal for young kids. A third favor moms staying at home full time, and 42 percent think part-time work would be ideal.”
The two sources of the cultural shift from stay at home moms to career women
What brought about this change from only 19% of moms with young children working outside the home to it now skyrocketing to 60%? The answer is two words – Feminism and Materialism.
Feminism encouraged women to be selfishly ambitious and some men became greedy and materialistic when they realized by allowing their wives to work they could double their household income. Some women today would much rather stay home and care for their home and children but their greedy husbands force them to work outside the home.
Speaking of husbands – while this post is primarily written toward women – let me just say Biblically speaking a man has no business getting married if he is not ready to provide for his wife. I realize a lot of men today do that, but this breaks the model of marriage God has designed.
“Prepare your work outside and make it ready for yourself in the field; Afterwards, then, build your house.” – Proverbs 24:27 (NASB)
This verse from Proverbs has been widely interpreted to be referring to a young man working and preparing to have a family. Preparation and provision come before having your own household.
Now we will return to women and selfish ambition.
The selfish ambition fueled by feminist propaganda also caused divorce to become common place where it peeked at around 50% in the 1980’s before having a slight decline. But the dirty little secret about why divorce has leveled off is because marriage itself is down. Single parenting and cohabitation rates have sharply risen since the 1980s.
There is nothing wrong with a man or woman being ambitious. But we are selfishly ambitious when we are ambitious for things God never meant us to have. The Proverbs 31 wife is a very ambitious wife, but her entire life’s focus was her husband, her children and her home. Even when she temporarily went outside the home her focus was always turned back toward her home so her husband had no worries in his home. She had everything under control.
Rush Limbaugh is certainly not a very religious man and I don’t endorse everything he says when compared with the Scriptures. But back in 2012 when he was commenting on our cultural shifts and the negative views toward stay home moms he had this to say:
“Instead of having the government, stay-at-home moms have a husband to support them — and you don’t think that irritates some of these leftist women? Remember the early days of feminism…
A relationship, a man were shackles.
That was holding you back. It was denying you your full potential. Being a mother, staying at home? You’re letting the sisterhood down, but you’re letting yourself down, too. It was a full-court press to throw away as many traditions in male-female relationships, both at home and at work, as possible…
See, the women are not supposed to depend on that. It was okay if the government ended up providing for you — that was cool — but not a husband, not a man. You’re supposed to do that yourself. And if you couldn’t do it yourself, then you turn to government programs.”
Many Christian women today have drank the feminist Kool-Aid. Even some good conservative Bible preaching churches have drank the feminist Kool-Aid. I can’t tell you how many Christians I have spoken to that have said our young women must have college degrees and careers and you know what the most common reason was? In case they ever have to support themselves.
We have taught now over decades and are continuing to teach women to be independent of men – to not need a man. My own mother-in-law told me this several years back that she taught her daughters to “never be dependent on a man”. This feminism was ingrained in her daughters and the Lord has had to bring a lot of things into my wife’s life and her sister’s life to get some of this thinking out (sometimes it comes back and rears its ugly head though).
God shows in his Word that the husband/wife relationship is to be a model of the relationship of Christ to his Church. In the same way that the Church looks to Christ for their provision and protection a woman was designed to look to her husband for her provision and protection.
Instead our wicked culture has replaced the husband as the provider with the government as the provider. Truly the only way feminism thrives is in a socialistic system that makes women less dependent on men by having the government provide for their needs or pushing them to provide for their own.
Feminism can only survive in an artificial environment.
Nature opposes feminism. In the absence of a social welfare state feminism would rapidly collapse as women came to see their natural dependence on men for their provision and protection.
How women fail the race God has set before them
The Bible says:
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” – Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)
Young Christian ladies please hear what the Word of God says about the race God has set before you. There are two courses God sets before you and ONLY two courses and you must choose one or the other. The course of marriage or the course of celibacy. If you run the course of celibacy then rules for the female marriage course do not apply.
These are the obstacles or goals you are to meet to win this race.
The 7 Rules of God’s race for married women
Rule #1 Submit to and obey your husband. (Ephesians 5:22 & 24, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:5, I Peter 3:1 & 5-6)
Rule #2 Reverence your husband. (Ephesians 5:33 & I Peter 3:5-6)
Rule #3 Love your husband. (Titus 2:4)
Rule #4 Ravish your husband with your body. (Proverbs 5:19, I Corinthians 7:3-5)
Rule #5 Always speak to your husband with a kind, gentle and quiet spirit. (Proverbs 31:26, I Peter 3:4)
Rule #6 Bear and care for your children if God opens your womb to do so. (Genesis 1:28, I Timothy 5:14)
Rule #7 Manage all the domestic affairs of your home (cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping) so your husband has no worries about his home while he is away working. (Titus 2:5, Proverbs 31:10-31)
There is a different race that God has set before you as a woman, then the one he has set before men. You must run the race according to the rules God has set for YOU, not those that he has set for men.
Someone might say “What about loving God and obeying God?” My answer to that is the very foundation for these 7 rules is love for God and obedience to God.
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” – I John 5:2-3 (KJV)
You can’t enter the race unless you register as a runner
This is the Christian woman’s race. You can’t run in the Christian woman’s race unless you first become a Christian. Then your race performance will be judged by how you followed the course rules.
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – I Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV)
At the Bema seat of Christ every Christian will stand and his or her life’s work will be judged.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” – II Corinthians 5:10 (KJV)
The Bema seat (which is what this in the Greek) was a place of reward after a competition. Our salvation is not a reward for how we run the Christian race, but it is the gift of God.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)
However our rewards from God are indeed earned by how we ran the race while we lived her in these bodies. Did we accept the rules of his race or did we make up our own rules as we ran?
But I can follow all those 7 rules and have a career!
Christian women listen to me. You cannot run the race God has set before you as a woman and have the same kind of career a man can. You might be able to work part time and you may be able to work while your kids are in school.
But if you try to have a career in the same way that your husband does you will drop something else.
You cannot be in be in two places at once.
Either you will be gone from home 50 hours a week or more chasing a career or you will be home.
When you have those young infants and small children – either you will be caring for them or someone else will be while you are gone 50 hours a week.
If you are working and gone 50 hours a week pursuing your career you will not have the same energy to give or focus that is needed toward you husband, your children and your home. Something will slip and what will slip is what is supposed to be the primary focus of your life.
Don’t believe the lie
Don’t be like Eve who was deceived by the serpents lie.
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” – Genesis 3:1 (KJV)
The Devil told Eve she should could have it all and she fell for the lie.
Don’t believe the lies of feminism. Believe what God says in his Word.
Run the race that he set before you as a woman, not the race that he set before your husband as a man.
But you can’t survive on one income these days!
While it is true that some women have to work because of economic necessity (no husband or husband is disabled) often times it is because of wants that they work, not needs.
Just look back at the average homes that were built in the 1950’s and earlier and look at the homes that are built now. The home back then were smaller and simpler – kids used bunk beds and crammed into rooms. Now every child has to have their own room.
Families often survived on one car. Now every family must have two cars, and not just two cars but two NEW cars.
We have to go on expensive vacations each year and we have to eat the best foods.
We have forgotten as a society how to live simpler. Feminism and Materialism have grown up together in our country.
But you can choose to live simpler, you can choose to live God’s way. You can choose to sacrifice the vacations or drive two used cars instead of new ones. You can choose to do what is right and run the race that God has set before you.
Ladies – don’t let having a career cost you your reward
Let me be blunt ladies. When God judges what you did with your life – yes your career will matter. But not in the way you think. Your career will matter in how much it detracted from your ability to serve your husband, your children and your home.
When God reviews the tapes on your life and sees that you purposefully planned from the time you were young to have children and ship them off to a day care center six weeks after they were born so you could return to your more “fulfilling” career you will be held to account for this. You will lose the reward for being a wife and mother that you could have had. You will be ashamed.
“Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.” II John 1:8 (NASB)