Friday, October 10, 2008

The Dignity of Women

Notes from reading "Courageous Love" written by Stacy Mitch
Lesson 2: The Dignity of Womanhood

This particular lesson is about being a woman and also what that means in marriage.

Q1a: In what ways has modern feminism advanced the cause of women?
A1a: Modern feminism has done some good by bringing to attention the works and efforts of women. However there is a difference between taking pride in your work and bring prideful. Feminism has opened up opportunities for the "feminine touch" to reflect in our society. Single women and mothers are now able to be self sufficent financially when they have no one else to help them out. It has expanded our education opportunities. Women can vote. Modern feminism has brought forth some fruitful things worth commending. [But don't get me wrong, there is a negative affect.]

Q1b: In what areas of life is the cause of women still in need of progress?
A1b: It is being rooted in selfishness and lacking morality. There has been a change in making it harder for women to be feminine and stay at home. Where this used to be common place, it is now seen as a sign of weekness, submission, and other sterotypes.

Have we really gone from "Stepford Wives" to "Desperate Housewives"?

OKay, I must stop here to let you know that I am not against the working mother. I simply wish that it wasn't a necessity, rather a choice that only must come with financial difficulties. Not used as an escape into selfishness and defining self-worth.

Q2b: What do you think it means to be a woman?
A2b: A women is feminine, sociable, prayerful and is drawn to care and service of many kinds. A woman has a diginified and moral lifestyle dedicated to the tasks of God's vocation set for her. Overall, her life is lived like a prayer.

*Pope John Paul II said (p29)
"Women must not appropriate to themselves male characteristics
contrary to their own feminine 'originality'...
an enourmous richness."

Q3a: What are some of the pitfalls of modern feminism?
A3a: Liberal feminists belive that housewives are lacking in social opportunities, seeing it as a burden rather than the blessing that it is. I myself made the decision to give up my many freedoms in hope for this better life I've found as a mother.

Because of their desire to be equal to men, they give up their feminity through various means including removing fertility, subjecting themselves to pills and abortions. These women put off marriage and children for personal success and adventure. They make their life for themselves and not for God. And it can be hard, because it is not God's natural way.

Challenge: For heaven sakes, type in first "Womanhood" then "feminism" and tell me what you see!

In order to find our original purpose as a woman/wife, we have to look back at the first woman - Eve.
Q4b: Why did God create Eve? And what are its implications?
A4b: God said in Genesis that "it is not good that man be alone. I will make him a helper as his partner." This is a humble role, but active part. "While the man is the head of the family, the woman is the heart, and they are mutually dependent." #27 "This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors..."
So we are to be submissive to our husbands, but not in a way that jeopordizes our right to diginity and respect. And as a married couple we become complete, whole, and depend on each other. It's not a one way street as some people think is the traditional way.
WITHIN THIS LESSON there are several refernces to women in the bible and I was taken by surprise how often. I still recommend this book to anyone trying to find their womanhood as God has designed for us in the single or married life.

In contemplation over this lesson, I definately can see why I haven't acheived my goal to be "lady-like." I seem to have used my knowledge and understanding of things (matters of life and faith) as a dominant weapon in my marriage instead of a tool, and sometimes with others. I will have much trouble becoming more submissive in my role as a wife. Just today, before reading this lesson, I had already felt compelled to be a more traditional housewife. But I let my old habbits take over my busy-ness.

I ask:

How can I humbly use my intellegence and understanding without seeming prideful, arrogant, or snobbish?

How do I appropriately speak with and inform others who are not as knowlegeable and perceptive as me without making them feel like idiots?

I know God has only good in store for my vocation as a wife and mother, as well as in my attempt to evangelize (share my faith). But I must first make a good example of myself before confronting other's lifestyles in debate.

God Bless!

1 comment:

  1. Good job Melissa! You always amaze me!

    Our resolution was to pray for a anonymous priest's soul every day.

    (Remember the resolution is decided from the next Sunday's Gospel)

    it was a fun night at book club, we missed you!!

    Not sure about the barn dance...we'll see!


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