You go to a women’s class at church. Join a small group. Start talking about biblical marriage with a girlfriend. It doesn’t matter which of these or perhaps another place it is that you are talking about women from a biblical perspective.
What I do notice in any of these situations is the pins and needles. The uncomfortable looks. The little sighs and gasps. And then as the conversation starts to take a turn toward our attitude towards a situation, someone can no longer hold it in any longer.
“I want to make sure I’m hearing you right because surely you wouldn’t just be telling us to be doormats?”
Everyone waits. All those ladies who were having side conversations stop and their ears suddenly perk up. The ones who have been shifting on their seats are suddenly still. And the gasps have all been held as they wait for the answer.
It’s the question that’s been on everyone’s mind.
But she finally dared to ask it out loud.
And there it is, the elephant in the room.
Since we are starting The Respect Dare next week, I guess I thought I should get to this question sooner than later. Especially since this happened in my bible study yesterday – a bible study on thankfulness.
I have no doubt that this question will creep into your own thoughts at some point throughout this journey. “You want me to do what? And he can just…do whatever he wants?”
Becoming a doormat has to be one of the biggest lies that the enemy and our culture have come up with in the realms of motherhood and marriage. It has to be. Or it wouldn’t be one of the first thought on any woman’s mind. It wouldn’t come to an emotional head. It wouldn’t be the first question asked in a study on thankfulness.
So there are two really important parts to this lie – first that women are “less than” in the eyes of the church. In Romans 8:14-17, we see that as believers we are co-heirs. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. We now have the privilege of calling God “Daddy” and it’s the same gift offered to each and every believer regardless of gender.
And the second part of this lie comes from the fact that this church on earth is made up of sinful people who make mistakes. The enemy loves to play off this! These divides make us focus on what someone else is doing instead of what God’s word has to say.
As women, we are specifically sensitive to being thought of as “less than”, “servants”, and “doormats”. We have talked time and again that maybe one of the biggest lies we are currently combating is that we as women have fought for the right to “have it all” and we are doing a disservice to ourselves, our children, and those who came before us by choosing to have any less than “it all”. I talked about this last week, and I would guess, I’ll talk on it again in the future.
Please be aware of this lie. It will hit you in big ways and in small ways. It might hit you square in the face and it might creep in little by little.
How do we combat this lie? Well, I have a few suggestions.
One is to know that you can only have an impact on your own heart. You can’t change anyone else – only your heart can grow as God directs. What about your husband? Well, only God can change his heart too. So pray for him, and pray for how you can encourage him. Realize and own that you cannot change someone else through yelling or nagging. You can only worry about you and how God is calling you to react.
Which brings us to my next point which is that most of this is an attitude change. Our approach to a situation is what we will see change. Our attitude, our heart, our reaction is how God is working. And this is where people see “doormat” but it’s really about the maturity to allow God to work through our reactions.
And of course, surround yourself with women who will encourage you in making these changes, instead of allowing you to wallow or complain and slip back into old habits. These women will have to challenge you and call you out, but that can be beautiful too.
So the elephant in the room – becoming a doormat – is really about our attitude and approach to a situation. It’s not about being a servant or being “less-than”. It’s about looking at the same situation in a different way and letting God work through our reaction.
I am so excited to start The Respect Dare next week. The ministry has had a HUGE week with the Family Life interviews and I know so many women are excited to get started.
Are you planning on joining us?
Dare you to share how you combat the lie of becoming a doormat. Be praying now for how you can be a witness in this way as we start out on this journey together.