In therapy today I came face to face with another lie that I had been believing — the lie that my unwillingness to submit to an abusive, toxic relationship several years ago was actually an “ungodly” response on my part. I shouldn’t have fought back. I shouldn’t have been so stubborn. I should have submitted.
You see, often churches teach that women are to be quiet, meek, mild, and most often times silent. Some of this sounds Biblical, at first. Women are told to be martyrs. We are to suffer silently for the cause and to turn the other cheek. This is what a gentle woman does. A proverbs woman. A godly woman.
But legalism has twisted Jesus’s words to present something completely different than what I believe He ever intended. Jesus never wanted women to be silent. To be a quiet presence always behind the scenes. A glorified doormat. He certainly never intended her to allow the fire within herself to be beaten down and snuffed out as she becomes emotionally dead in attempts to numb the pain around her. And so, for the women in the church that fight against these teachings, we are criticized and reprimanded. Words like “disrespectful”, “bitter”, and “unsubmissive” get thrown around like weapons.
So today, I discovered I am not a disrespectful, bitter, or unsubmissive woman.
I am a fierce woman.
I fight fiercely and I love fiercely. I have a spirit and fire that was forged inside of me long ago that I have never allowed to be squelched out. I am fiercely loyal to my relationships, but I also make boundaries and require they are respected! This is a good thing! Do you know why? Because it means I see my value!
My value was given to me by my heavenly Father before time even began. HE knows my worth, but do I? If I allow myself to be devalued through a toxic relationship, then am I honoring this gift of life? Am I proving that I believe I am worthy of love when I allow myself to be trampled down by others?
Does this mean I’m not turning the other cheek? Not at all! I’m not suggesting to retaliate abuse with more abuse. But you do not have to stay there and wallow in self martyrdom pity and eventually go numb. Pick yourself up, girl! Stay strong in what you believe. Know your worth and walk away if appropriate! Make boundaries. Prove to yourself and the world around you know your value and that you will honor it.
So let us be fierce. Let us raise our daughters to be fierce; lift each other up to be fierce. And most importantly, let us see the value that God has given us — and embrace it.