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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, October 16, 2008

True Woman Conference

I was so privileged to be able to attend the True Woman '08 Conference with other ladies from my church this past weekend. I am so appreciative to to Micah for making all the arrangements and for Martha (Nana) and Mary for taking care of Andrew and Elijah while I was gone.

I have thought a lot about how I was going to write about this event. To be honest, I was unaware of the sincerity of the theme until the last day- last morning session. From what I learned from the speakers, back in the 50's there was a similar conference held in Chicago, attended by a number of women who embarked on an organized, militant attempt to show bitterness and anger toward men for the way they had been treated by them in the past. Let me make this first disclaimer- Women asking for equal rights has seemed entirely appropriate to me. I am aware that women were in some ways responding to true abuse at the hand of men that showed contempt for God's design for them as husbands, fathers, etc.. The ways women had defined themselves before this time wasn't necessarily biblical either, focusing on being domestic divas, controlling their husbands in different, less obvious ways. This campaign took on an equally sinful form, thus also skewing God's design for womanhood. I am still having my eyes opened to the results of feminism in my own life. The subtle ways it has shaped my perception of who I think I am is fascinating to me. Anyway, it was a momentous event; 6,000 women embarking on redefining womanhood based on the instruction of God's word.

I thought I might share from each speaker what I took away personally.

John Piper began the conference with a poignant, yet endearing message explaining how wimpy theology makes wimpy women. So much of what Pastor Piper says is worth noting, but I thought I would share his definition of a biblical woman and God's purpose for marriage.

"The ultimate meaning of biblical womanhood is a distinctive calling of God to display His glory and that of His Son in ways that would not be displayed if there were no womanhood."
I thought this simple, back to basics definition was entirely helpful and placed my identity at the center of God's purpose along with biblical manhood. Of course he fleshed this out through the lens of scripture. He then went on to talk about marriage and singleness. It was so good to be reminded that even before man sinned, even before God created anything, He had ordained marriage to show the relationship between His Son and His redeemed church.

I also appreciated many of the other speakers. The things I took away from them were as follows:

from Nancy Leigh DeMoss ~ I was reminded that my life is not my own and that God can be trusted as He knows all things with immeasurable wisdom and is most concerned with making my life a visible picture of grace.

from Mary Kassian ~ that you don't have to look like an ad for Brooks Brothers to be a biblical woman:)... and to be more aware of the ways the feminist movement has infiltrated our culture. Also, she again challenged me, along with Carolyn McCully to define womanhood the way God defines it in His word.

from Karen Loritts ~ to stop listening (my flesh) to myself and start talking (the truth) to myself. This lesson was particularly helpful to me practically!

from Janet Parshall ~ I remembered how much the story of Hannah in the book of 1 Samuel speaks to me in the remarkable testimony of a woman who trusted and honored the Lord above all. I am also reminded that my voice in not far from the ear of the Lord and how He is writing His story upon my whole life.

from Joni Erickson Tada ~ that my soul is not as frail as I would like to think and sometimes the not-so-lovely parts of me have to be painfully chiseled away. Also, I that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, even though my flesh is greatly affected by sin.

I was encouraged that as God "scripts" (Nancy Leigh De Moss) the story of my life and I respond to my lot and portion, may I be found faithful to the calling to honor the Lord in my womanhood by the grace and power of Jesus Christ.

I enjoyed the time I had to spend alone. This was the lake I walked around to get from my hotel to the conference center. It was such a beautiful part of the city. I think the best part of the whole thing was meeting precious women and getting to know them better from my church. The very best part was spending time with Cara!!!

2 comments:

Jaime said...

Wish I could've been there! It sounds like the conference was so encouraging and convicting.
That's a great picture of you and Cara, too. I'm sure it was nice connecting with an old friend!

Brannon said...

I'm so glad you got to go! Sounds like an great experience. Let's get together soon!