The Accidental Feminist

feministFrom Courtney Reissig’s forthcoming book, The Accidental Feminist: Restoring Our Delight in God’s Good Design (Crossway; May 31, 2015), pages 115–116:

In the 1950s, the pinnacle of a woman’s life was her home. Her home was her domain and her identity. Betty Friedan saw something wrong with that and encouraged women out of the home and into a life of greater purpose. While her diagnosis of misplaced identity was correct, she simply replaced one idol for another. Now the workplace became the identity. What a woman accomplished in society was what defined her.

And now here we are in twenty-firstcentury America, and many women are trying to do it all. We are endlessly having the discussion about whether women can have a home life and a work life — and whether she can do everything with skill and ease. Frankly and understandably, I think a lot of women are just exhausted with it all.

The issue lies in the fact that these things were never meant to fulfill us. Motherhood, while good and life-changing, is not our identity. Our home, while important and necessary, is not our identity. Our career, while fulfilling and challenging, should never define us. Our marital status, while enjoyable and rewarding, is not where we find our hope.

What feminism failed to answer was this question of identity. Where should a woman find her sense of self-worth? Where should she put her hope?

Our circumstances are always changing. When we place all of our eggs in the basket of motherhood, career, home, marital status, gifting, or some combination of all of these, we will always come up short. We can be stripped of those things at a moment’s notice. Any understanding of our role in the home must first be rooted in the fact that our identity is never to be found there. It is to be found in Christ.

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