I never realized how easy it is to suppress men by “taking over”. I think it’s part of the curse. Until recently, I never quite grasped how I was falling into a feministic trap. Let me explain:
I was born into a visionary family. Visionaries are dreamers. They inspire change and they envision the ideal. They are the trumpets of society. I’ve never lived a boring day in my life — honestly. With my Dad’s dreams of “the next project”, my mom’s elaborate ideas, my brother’s war against injustice, my sister’s musical pursuits, and my little siblings budding creativity — I am surrounded by vision. It’s a chaotic, vibrant, roller coaster sort of life. It’s my norm and something I’ve recently embraced; even fallen in love with. But it hasn’t always been that way.
Though I was born to Mr. and Mrs. Visionary, my personality has always somewhat resisted. From somewhere along my mother’s side I received a very small amount of what people call “practicality”. Albeit, it is finite compared to the rest of society, it is painfully obvious in a family of such visionary caliber.
With many dreamers in my family there comes a lot of opportunity to “do”. Dreamers love to dream, but many of their dreams never come to fruition. I also, love to dream, but unlike most my visionary counterparts, it plagues me: the undone. I see dreams and plans falling apart and I step in to mend them. Even if they are someone else’s dream or plan. Recently I’ve seen the negativity associated with this personality trait of mine. If you are a “worker bee”, a “Martha”, a “fixer” this post is for you.
If you are a “worker bee”, a “Martha”, a “fixer” this post is for you.
There are many many needs in the world. There are many needs in our community. There are many needs at our workplace. And there is an abundance of needs in our home. I have taken on plenty of these needs. But in doing this, I have often pondered why there are so few people doing the same? Especially when I take on something that must be done, but could be better met by someone else…or maybe should be done by someone else. But no one else volunteers. No one else is taking charge. Others are slacking. And things are falling apart.
With my habit to rush in a give aid, I’ve realized that I have stolen the opportunity from others to obey God. And what is even more humbling is the thought that I have affected my brothers and brothers in Christ. My “fix-all” tendency can be traced to a feminist root of pride. The Little Red Hen syndrome: “I’ll do it myself!”.
Recently it has occurred to me that maybe the men would speak up more if we would pause a moment to take a breath and be still. Maybe the men would step up if we didn’t consider ourselves the fix-all to every circumstance that called for a willing volunteer. Maybe the men would take charge if we stopped assuming we’re the only candidate for getting the job done. Oftentimes the gentlemen step aside for the determined woman who is ready to take “the bull by the horns” because “no one else will”.
There’s nothing wrong with women leading things. It’s okay to organize an event. Or take on a ministry. As long as we do it because Jesus asked us to, not because there’s a need to be met. Just because no one is rushing to meet a need doesn’t mean it’s our responsibility. Just because we see the need, doesn’t mean it’s our responsibility. It might be. But if so, our King must be asked first. I’m not talking about the obvious commandments. Being a virtuous woman, being a witness, being a godly daughter, etc. We don’t need to ask, we need to obey.
Have we ever considered that maybe God created the need to encourage someone else to step up?
But have we ever considered that maybe God created the need to encourage someone else to step up? So often we hurry to meet needs, and then later complain to God how full our plate is, and beg for more strength. Perhaps we weren’t meant to take it on in the first place. Of course there are legitimate times of “overload” and it isn’t from ourselves taking on too much, but we are tired, we are dealing with health issues, we are experiencing attack from obeying God. But I’m talking about the adopted attitude of “we-must-do-it-all”. This is what is dangerous.
It’s not only dangerous but it also encourages those around us to expect us to take charge. They begin to assume we will meet every need. And we are burdened even more. Now we aren’t the heroine rushing in to hold down the fort, but now it’s our expected duty, and we’re falling on the job if we let needs slip. Our response is: I’m upset, Why won’t anyone help? Why does everyone assume I’m going to head it up and do all the work? And all along we’ve put it on ourselves.
Don’t worry — I know there are times when people are lazy. I know sometimes your intention was to “help” and suddenly you find all those volunteers have abandoned you and left the project in “your capable hands”. I know sometimes your authorities have shouldered you with a responsibility you didn’t sign up for. I know there are people in this world who will assume upon your generosity (or your convenient state of singleness) without you having asked for it.
But humbly look at yourself for a moment. Do we remember to ask Jesus before committing to something? Even those things we know we could do, or have been asked to do?
He desires us to take on nothing but what He wills, and to refuse nothing but what He offers.
God alone knows which paths we are to take. He knows every aspect of our soul and what we should and can handle. He desires us to take on nothing but what He wills and to refuse nothing He offers. This is godly dependency. It’s not laziness to defer leadership. We will only be satisfied when our loads are specifically from Him. His yoke is bearable. Our’s isn’t.
It is possible to rob our men, of the opportunity to be leaders, protectors, and men. If we ask God to direct us and listen for His commands, there might be some “big ministries” that are laid aside, but we can be sure what God needs of us will not be ignored. How many widows are neglected because we are busy “serving God” in a needed ministry? How many children are forgotten? How many mom’s are overtaxed? How many friend are discouraged and ignored?
God will make it clear to us if we ask Him. I’ve decided to bring before Him every need, no matter the size, and ask Him if it’s my order to meet it. I’m laying aside my feminist attitude. I’m praying to be an encouragement and help to my brothers. Habits are hard to break, but nothing is impossible with Christ. I am praying you too can see this tendency in yourself, and be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Take heart Martha, He will create in us a spirit of service as well as submission and love, if we ask.
“Shew me they ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.” Psalm 25:4