Comments and Letters
"Dear LAF, I was saddened by your negativity regarding a woman staying single in your review of 'The Princess Diaries.' Did not Paul say it is good? Yes he did. So why, when a group like yours attempts to follow the Bible faithfully, do you ignore the virtue of a single woman? The more content I read on your site, the more I feel you do not have the best intentions of Christian women and society in mind. Obvious facts and truths are ignored (such as the virtue of women staying single, the truth and good of women working, etc) and replaced by a need to be taken care of by some nice, cozy, commanding man. I tried, I really did, to see the Truth in your website, but it is spotty at best. ~ Sally"
Keep reading, Sally! We can't write everything at once, and even with over twenty regular contributors, it isn't possible to have all the many-faceted viewpoints up...yet!
Yes, some women are called to remain single their entire lives, and God very definitely has a place for them. But the norm is marriage from the beginning of Scripture to the end. Paul wrote, "I command the young women to marry, bear children, and guide the house" (I Tim. 5:14). That's pretty straightforward language. When he wrote about remaining single in I Cor. 7, he was talking to an audience living through famine and persecution ("because of the present distress") -- not a good time to marry and start a family! God created marriage right at the beginning of the world to be a picture of Christ and the Church. It isn't about marrying some "nice, cozy, commanding man." It is about male and female--mankind, the image of God--working together in complementary roles to take dominion. This requires intelligence on the part of women as well as men! It also requires a diversity of gifts. Not every wife is going to marry the same kind of husband. A man should be seeking a woman whose gifts complement his and can be used for the glory of God -- not a dumb bunny who has to be led around on a leash. A godly wife does her husband "good and not evil all the days of her life," and her "husband safely trusts her" (Prov. 31:11,12). Together the husband and wife are a team and a unit, working for the glory of God and raising up a godly generation behind them even as they build culture and beauty around them.
If a woman is called to singlehood (no desire to marry and bear children), she does not have a lesser role in the church or the community. Indeed, she has a vital role. Single women truly should be the "secret weapon" of the church. In the New Testament church, we see single women and widows serving as the hands and feet of the diaconate as they take food and clothing to the poor (Acts 9:36-41), open their homes in hospitality to the church (Acts 16:14,15; Rom. 16:1), help out in the homes of fellow believers (Prov. 31:15), and help teach the next generation (2 Tim. 1:5). When single women do not fill these roles in the church, everyone suffers. Not that they are the only ones responsible to do these things (all believers should care for one another and reach out hands to those less fortunate). But singles "may serve the Lord without distraction" (I Cor. 7:35). They are vitally important parts of the Body of Christ, and it is sinful for the eye to say to the hand, "I have no need of you" (I Cor. 12:21).
A woman's calling to the role of helper (single or married) doesn't make her an unnecessary appendage in God's economy. In fact, we know that the opposite is true. The first time God said something was not good was when He pointed out Adam's incompleteness without Eve. This isn't just referring to the husband-wife relationship but to the entire makeup of humanity. Humankind is not complete when it is male only. God's image isn't whole without female. Together, complementing one another, they are whole and reflect God's glory. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are God. Just because the Holy Spirit is called the "Helper" doesn't mean He is any less God! It is the same with womankind. Our role is needful, beautiful, and significant. When we do not fill it, humankind is lacking. Our gender-neutral society is a reflection of this. We have lost something precious and important because we have tried to blur our distinctions. When we maintain our God-given distinctions and use them for His glory, what a beautiful picture we show the world of God's image!
To bring this all to a close: If we want to find Truth, we must seek its Source. If truth comes from ourselves, then it is changeable and capricious. It can alter at a whim to match what our culture wants at the present moment. We can disagree about what is truth and what is not, but we must ultimately ground our disagreements in Scripture--unchanging Truth. That you appealed to Paul is good! We must always appeal to Scripture if we seek to come to unity or express disagreement. But at the same time, we must be willing to look at all of Scripture in context and be careful not to "shop" for the verses or passages we like and discount the rest. Our sin nature urges us to do just this. All of us who write for LAF are sinners -- surprise! We can certainly be wrong about things. It is our prayer that, as we write and continue to think, our sisters in Christ will show patience and forbearance, especially when they feel they need to disagree with us or suggest different viewpoints.
And do remember, we can only write so much so fast. I have about forty articles brewing away in my head and only so much time to devote to writing. It is the same with everyone else who writes for LAF. One thing at a time.... Just because we haven't mentioned some issue doesn't mean we aren't concerned with it and don't care about those who might have a passionate opinion about that issue. As time permits, we'll keep writing -- and we'll keep learning! We are always open to correction, exhortation, and even Scriptural rebuke. This is how the Body of Christ is sanctified and continues to grow in grace.
Mrs. Jennie Chancey
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