Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Feminism and Language

This has been a topic I've been thinking of recently. No matter what stage of life you are in as a woman - this applies to you (and to me).
How important is our language? I'm mostly talking about words and tones here - not body language (that is a whole different topic).
Why does it offend me more when I hear women using cuss words or speaking of sexual topics?
Why does it sadden me when I hear women arguing with or defaming their husbands or other male leaders in their lives?
This is what I am NOT saying: I am not saying that women can't talk about tools, cars, football, etc. I am not saying that women can only talk about babies, tea, shopping, baking, decorating, and makeup. As many of you know me - I love football and seldom talk about makeup. That kind of language is not what I am referring to.
I am more referring to warrior terms, battle terms, pastoral terms (pastor role in a church), cussing, language that tears down others, sexual language that is not meant to be talked about outside of a bedroom of a married (male/female) bedroom (and sometimes not even then because it belittles and secularizes the act of sex that God meant for our good as a husband and wife).
Why does it make me just a little uneasy when I hear of women going and fighting in the wars? Why do I cringe when I hear a woman in the pulpit? Why do I hate watching movies where women are in bars or gossiping about things that they shouldn't be talking about?
I think there are a couple of reasons:
1. We are not obeying Col 3.16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
2. We are not obeying Prov 4.24: Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.
3. We are not obeying Prov 5.3: For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil. (We are being the forbidden woman.)
4. We are not obeying Col 4.6: Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
5. We are not being like the P31 woman in that we do not follow these three traits: The heart of her husband trusts in her,and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life and she opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue (Prov 31.11, 12, 26).
So, how can we change this disobedience to obedience?
1. Build up the men in your lives. Encourage them in their masculinity, in the roles that God has created them for, in their walk with Christ. This applies to a Dad, husband, pastor, boss, and your brothers in Christ.
2. Think about what is going to come out of your mouth before it actually does.
3. Watch and read with eyes wide open. Engage your world with a biblical worldview.
4. Encourage other women in your life (your younger women) to be setting the example in speech (as 1 Tim 4.12 says).

1 comment:

Rachael said...

True, there is no one who can bridle her tongue. Yet because we have the sword of life and death in the tongue, we ought to wield that power for the honor of God and the edification of the church. That means to speak truth in love...though it may offend. Sometimes it is remaining silent...though you have the perfect sharp response. As you reminded us, the woman of moral strength and virtue opens her mouth in wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. That takes much refinement of the Holy Spirit. Only by His grace can we open our mouth to build up and not tear down. Love you!