Posted in Current Events, Quotes

The Staggering Results of Femininity

We have an awful lot of us Christian women in this country, and the road of feminine obedience is wide open. Not only that, we’ve stayed off of it for so long it is now completely unguarded. I believe that if we women decided, as a group, to take that road, we would knock a serious dent in the side of our culture’s rebellion. But the truth is, a movement of women doing this wouldn’t be terribly exciting or sexy. It wouldn’t involve marches or protests or petitions or lobbying or T-shirts or fun runs. It would involve a lot of women manning their own separate battle stations in their own lives, in their own families, in the day-to-day grind. It would involve disciplining ourselves in the small, seemingly inconsequential areas of our lives—what we admire, what we try to get good at, what we strive for, what we prioritize, what we love. It would involve faithfulness, obedience, and sacrifice. It wouldn’t seem like much. But one thing we know is that God loves to use the seemingly trivial things to accomplish staggering results.

— Rebekah Merkle, Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity



Christ follower. Wife. Mama.

3 thoughts on “The Staggering Results of Femininity

  1. What do you think that she means by “feminine obedience?”

    I don’t think it has to necessarily be individuals battles fought in isolation; I think back to the women who banded together to stand against alcoholism, to challenge abusive behavior, to create a safety net for poor families, and to win the right for women to vote for the president of the U.S.; it was in banding together that their true strength showed. Fighting one by one, that’s the surest route to fatigue and makes for an easy target. But as they say, there’s safety in numbers and we’re all meant to depend on one another.

    1. Hi Jamie!
      That’s a great question! The words “feminine” and “obedience” have a lot of baggage attached to them, for sure. I’ve only started the book “Eve in Exile,” but in the few chapters I’ve read so far, Merkle is referring to “feminine obedience” as the call for Christian women to fulfill the Great Commission: Go and preach the Gospel to every nation (Matt. 28:16-20), and to do so in a Biblically feminine way. In a previous section, Merkle says, “The job of taking the world for Christ cannot be done by the men while we women sit off to the side and amuse ourselves with tea parties and having the occasional baby. If we take ourselves out of the game, the men cannot possibly accomplish what they are supposed to accomplish any more than Adam could have filled the earth on his own. We are integral to this project, and it’s absolutely critical to the Gospel mission that we recover a sense of our role.”
      And I agree with you completely: Life is not meant to be lived alone. Community was created by God for a reason — to support and lift each other up, to fight oppression and injustice. Merkle’s point, in context of the rest of the chapter, was a both/and statement, rather than an either/or. Discipline in the small, the mundane, the grind of life, is just as important as the large-scale events where people band together. I read a great blog today by Ashley Horne that illustrated this point well. Check it out here:
      Thank you for your comment! I’d love to talk more with you about this, if you have more questions! I’m still working my way through “Eve in Exile,” so more quotes and thoughts to come!

      1. It’s a strange turn of phrase. I found an old Greek lexicon that equated it with submission and an article from the 1920s that said: “Feminine obedience and masculine authority, belonging to the very nature of men and women, imposed themselves, despite of everything, on the human pair. Civilization and politeness have weakened them in practice, without altering their mutual reactions. In vain will feminism rise like Spartacus against this eternal slavery. A freeman could be made of the ancient slave. Never can a woman be made a man.” But being a few decades too early for the civil rights era movements, it suggests that the ideas existed long before the movement itself. One should be cautious of co-opting old terms and re-writing it’s definitions.

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