Nancy Wilson recently posted some thoughts on loving other women, especially our sisters in Christ. She points out that the feminist movement is really a woman-hating movement and that we can be some of the worst misogynists in the world. Sadly this is true.
No other movement has been more oppressive of true femininity and wrought such sad results for women and children; as women have demanded their independence from men, men have abandoned their roles to protect and provide for their families. Women are sexualized and enslaved to the beauty and "health" industry loosing dignity and respect. More children than in any other time in history have been abandoned by their fathers and millions of babies are aborted each year.
As those in the church who have embraced more traditional roles it is easy to stand back and shake our heads and wag our fingers at the sad results of the feminist movement, completely failing to see our own hateful practices. Mrs. Wilson brings our own practice of misogyny down to a level that is all too familiar:
But this woman-hating attitude can exist even among Christian sisters, where criticism, envy, and distrust can destroy the possibility of close fellowship. Though there may be a surface congeniality, a deep love of the sisters is frequently nonexistent. Where there should be kindness and love, there is instead “debates, envying, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults” (2 Cor. 12:20). Women tend to be far more critical of the other women than they are of men."
Sadly I have been guilty of this and I have been the victim of this kind of criticism all within church walls. I have seen this kind of critical atmosphere develop because of one person's envy or insecurities. What resulted was a failure to achieve true fellowship, to demonstrate love for one another and to serve and care for each other. We failed to embrace the opportunities to love our sisters in Christ and help each other grow.
Worse was that we failed to see our Saviour and worship Him in the very place we came to do that because we were too busy pointing fingers at those who failed to live up to our self-imposed standards. Instead of taking our sins and failures to the foot of the cross, we shamefully tried to cover and minimize them by enlarging the sins of others. We were guilty of thinking too highly of ourselves and too little of Christ.
But just as all it can take for a woman-hating atmosphere to develop is one person, all it needs is the initiative of one woman to turn it into a sister-loving atmosphere. This may mean a time of suffering and facing the challenge to forgive seven times seventy but the blessings that can come will far outweigh the sufferings in the end. Whether we join the group in hatred or oppose them in love, we will suffer. But it is far batter to suffer for righteousness' sake than reap the consequences of sin.
Nancy Wilson's post digs deeper into what she believes is a root cause of our hateful behaviour toward one another: competition. She wisely points out how a competitive spirit can look in singleness, marriage and methodology. It is something we need to be on guard against if we are to cultivate love for our sisters in Christ.