The following questions every Christian (male or female) could ask, but I wrote them specifically with women in mind. Why? As I meet and counsel young ladies in the church, I find many wrestling with their life’s direction.
Commonly I hear: am I really just supposed to be a wife and a mom?
I appreciate their searching question, and it is worth looking at the Scriptures to answer. But there are even better questions to ask, questions that go deeper into the heart.
Before I jump into those, however, let’s think about the ladies’ original question.
It reflects two issues of our time:
- One, as many Christian women push Proverbs 31, Titus 2, and other Scriptures to combat the feminist mindset of our culture, the person asking may think her feminine identity is narrowly defined by those titles – wife and mom.
- But two, the doubtful “just” of the question suggests that she may be underestimating the eternal beauty and purpose of those very same roles.
So what’s the root problem behind both of those extremes – of idolizing marriage and motherhood, and of overlooking their value?
Lack of focus on Jesus Himself.
A Christian woman is first and foremost defined by her oneness with Christ. That unity, that new identity changes everything!
A New Creation
We hear and treasure 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
This verse shouts the fresh slate we have when we believe in Christ – our sin is of the past, and by His mercy we stand righteous as a child before our Heavenly Father.
But there’s a big “therefore” starting that verse. What does Paul say in the verses beforehand?
“For the love of Christ controls us…” (v. 14)
“…and [Jesus] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (v. 15)
“…we regard no one according to the flesh.” (verse 16)
In this chapter Paul was defending his ministry to the Corinthian church, but says this to make it clear that he was not looking to boast and was not motivated by a desire for personal gain.
Christ’s love drove him…
…that all who are in Jesus live through Him and for Him, not for themselves
And we no longer gauge others (and ourselves!) based on earthly success and worldly standards (“according to the flesh”), but based on their relationship to God.
When we become new creatures in Christ, we belong to Him. Our allegiance is to Him. And even more, our self becomes one with Him – to the point that whatever we do we do for our Lord‘s Kingdom, and not our own or anyone else’s.
In seeking to be a wife or mother or anything, we must first seek to give ourselves completely to Him.
Our identity is a heavenly one, and an untouchable one at that. It’s not based on our current circumstances. His grace calls us beloved and His; Christ is with us.
Whenever we begin to wonder what the will of God is for our life, and how we should move forward, we must start at this foundational truth:
” I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
A New Calling
No matter what we’re doing, we have to continually assess how we stand with respect to that truth. Are we living in it? Are we living in Christ?
Whether we’re considering our vocation, relationships, or future plans, we have to look from a Christ-centered perspective that’s grounded in the principles of His Word.
Here are five questions to ask yourself during every season, as you navigate life as a Christian woman, with related verses to meditate on:
Am I considering myself as one with Christ? Am I thinking or acting apart from Him, or in accordance with His Word and Person?
Remember, you are not your college major, your career, your relationship status, your homemaking skills, your ministry, or your number of physical children.
You are in Christ – redeemed, forgiven, and righteous, and that in and of itself is everything.
All those earthly titles (i.e. student, doctor, wife, mother, etc.) and works only contribute to your working out your love for Him. . .and like Paul, your work should be born out of Christ’s love, not out of a pressure to prove your worth.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Am I fully surrendered and submitted to Christ right now?
Often when we are struggling spiritually in a certain area or with an aspect of God’s Word, it may signal that our heart is resisting full surrender to Christ. But as our Savior, He is fully trustworthy and asks for ALL of who we are. We are called to self-denial.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25
For more on this passage, see my post: 5 Steps for Living With Authentic Faith
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:7-10
Do my priorities and loves reflect His Kingdom purposes, or my own?
God’s ways are totally unlike the world’s. He values humility, sacrifice, selflessness, purity, peace, unchanging truth, and gospel-driven dreams.
We do not want to be like the seeds in the Parable of the Sower who are choked by the cares of the world, but women who bear a fruitful yield of service for His Kingdom (Matthew 13:1-23).
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
“For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:32-33
Am I open to His will for my life – for my plans to change – especially if it’s not what I or others expected?
The verses below may be familiar but their wisdom is priceless. Are you leaning heavily on what you or the culture thinks, or depending on the counsel of God through Scripture and mature believers?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
We can have aspirations and ideas, but we should hold them with an open hand. His will is always more beautiful than what we can imagine or ask for (Ephesians 3:20).
What Next? A Recommended Resource
Such questions take serious prayer. We can ask them at major crossroads in life, and even in the everyday. Pray over Scripture (such as those listed), and honestly evaluate your heart and answer those questions before the Lord regularly.
For further reading I also highly recommend this book by Abigail Dodds, which helped me to write this post – (A)Typical Woman: Free, Whole, and Called in Christ available at Barnes and Noble and other major booksellers.
After quieting the noise of the world – and your own thoughts – and then prayerfully considering your new identity in Christ with the Word, you can discover clarity and peace.