Wise Women Build

The March to Real Dignity

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

We women, for good or ill, are a very powerful force. Proverbs 14:1 tells us that a wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. And if you can convince a lot of women, all at once, to tear down our houses in unison, we are capable of tearing down an entire nation. And this, sadly, is what the women in America have been busily doing for the last century and more.

In the early years of demolition, the cultural damage wasn’t quite as obvious. Lots of women assumed (and some still assume) that the feminist cause was nothing more than a much-needed re-model — the kind with “Pardon our Dust, Improvements in Progress” signs tacked up here and there.

But we’re a good ways into the project now, and it’s beginning to be clear that “the women’s movement” was actually a wrecking crew. The body count is now 58 million, the idea of public decency is long gone, our moral compass has vanished, and our nation is clearly adrift. So far adrift, in fact, that those fighting hardest against the system don’t even recognize that the enemy they’re currently fighting is the direct result of their own previous efforts. The feminist outrage against Trump’s lewd comments and flagrant immorality is somewhat incongruous, given that this moment was made possible by the previous feminist victories over anti-obscenity laws and their insistence on the rights to “consequenceless” sex.

“The irony is that after a century of fighting for women’s rights, we don’t even know what a woman is anymore.”

The recent Women’s March on Washington (which was duplicated in many cities across the nation) wasn’t simply a stand against him (righteous as that could be), but a march for “Women’s Rights,” which now means, according to the March’s website, unrestricted abortion as well as the rights of “gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans or gender non-conforming” to “control our bodies and be free from gender norms, expectations and stereotypes.” The irony is that after a century of fighting for women’s rights, we don’t even know what a woman is anymore.

Petty, Indefatigable Nagging

The lofty rhetoric of our great-grandmothers’ generation has vanished, and if your Facebook feed looks anything like mine, then over the last week you were just treated to a breathtaking display of women in home-crafted obscenity hats, demanding the right to murder their children. The “dignity for women” message was somewhat overshadowed by the fact that the women demanding dignity (of all things) had their faces poking out of those unspeakable hats. The various spectacles were simultaneously deeply vile and unbelievably petty, a shocking combination of immaturity and depravity which reminds me of Lewis’s description of intense evil in Perelandra:

What chilled and almost cowed him was the union of malice with something nearly childish. For temptation, for blasphemy, for a whole battery of horrors, he was in some sort prepared: but hardly for this petty, indefatigable nagging as of a nasty little boy at a preparatory school.

The damage to our nation, to our children, to our public discourse is no longer subtle. The carnage is real and extremely daunting. But thankfully, we women are capable of more than just destruction. Proverbs 14:1 doesn’t just tell us that we have the ability to pull our houses down on our own heads; it also tells us that we are capable of building our houses. And similarly, a lot of women, building our houses in unison, are fully capable of building our broken nation back up.

Build This House

But building a house looks different than tearing one down. Making a mess looks different than cleaning one up. The tools are different. An angry protest to match their angry protest is not the need of the hour. Demolition involves shouting and demanding and tantrum throwing. But building requires obedience and faithfulness in all the small details of our lives. It looks like sacrifice. It looks like putting others’ interests ahead of our own. It looks like confessing our sins.

It looks like being faithful this afternoon. It looks like submitting ourselves to God’s word, ready to do what it tells us to do even when that doesn’t seem like it’s very exciting. It looks like loving our husbands and loving our kids and showing hospitality and getting rid of discontent and self-pity and malice. And it looks like doing all these things in faith, asking God to take our two mites and accomplish something staggering. And amazingly, he is a God who delights in answering those kinds of prayers.

“A lot of women, building our houses in unison, are fully capable of building our broken nation back up.”

The wonderful truth is that this kind of life of obedience is how we can actually achieve dignity as women. Christ teaches us in Matthew 16:25 that he who wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Christ’s sake will find it — and we see this poignantly illustrated by the whole topic of women’s rights. Those fighting hardest for “women’s rights” now don’t even know what a woman is, can’t tell the difference between dignity and shame, and insist that “human rights” means legal protection for those who want to kill and mutilate. Up is down, and down is up.

We who are in Christ have true fulfillment and true dignity — but it comes through our willingness to lay down those things we most want in our self-centered hearts. We lay down our dignity, our aspirations, and our dreams — but when we put those things on the altar, Christ gives them back to us a hundredfold. We lay ourselves down and Christ raises us back up — a glorious and redeemed version of “up is down and down is up.”

Our nation is in a giant mess right now, ladies, and we need to roll up our sleeves and build this house.