Several days ago, I first read Pete Rambo’s article on this site entitled “Does God Hate Women”. Like the author, it challenged me to look at the subjects of patriarchy, covering, polygyny etc. in a totally different light. It sort of reminded me of when the Spirit began to draw me to the idea of foster care and adoption, but I’ll explain that connection a little later on…
I think all of us struggle during our spiritual journey with the idea “does God really love me?” Before we really get serious about studying scripture, and I mean researching the original languages and meanings, we tend to filter everything through the culture we live in. Our everyday experiences along with the ways in which we were reared, really cloud our comprehension of the written Word. And let’s not forget that, unlike how I was taught, our English versions often have a bias or agenda as well. With that being said, it is no wonder that our “solid doctrines” can actually mislead and hinder us from fully grasping the concept of YHVH’s loving care and purpose for us!
As the sole female author here (at least at this point), I thought it important to respond to some of these “new” ideas put forth on this blog. I was like most women when I first encountered some of these paradigm shifts in God’s plan and provision for women. Initially, they seemed very archaic and oppressive…definitely not “freeing”! But this little Voice whispered to me, “Aren’t you always promoting going back to the ancient ways of following Me?” Well….where does one draw the line? I mean literally?
As previously disclosed in my first article, I have personally experienced divorce and single motherhood. Sometimes those years seem like a blur because I was so focused on the task at hand, namely to financially provide for myself and 3 children, as well as trying to fulfill the roles of both mother and father (totally impossible) that everything else seemed very peripheral. Now let me be VERY clear, Yah was so very faithful to care for us during that entire time, even though the circumstances were far from ideal. I had a wonderful support system in my parents, and a good paying job was a gift straight from the Father. But as you can imagine, it totally wore me out and my children were shortchanged.
There were very few opportunities to have any kind of social life outside of church attendance. And as for “dating”, many obstacles existed to make that a non issue for me. I had pondered and prayed, and realized that the root of all the chaos in the previous marriage was a lack of deep spirituality and understanding of headship on the part of my ex. Not that I was innocent; I see that now, but the dynamic of our relationship was deeply flawed. I was prayerfully determined not to make that mistake again. And then the few solid believing men I did encounter were, of course, married or avoided “divorced women with children” like the plague! So I resigned to raising my children the best I knew how, trusting Yah to fill in the gaping holes.
After my boys had reached adulthood and my daughter was nearly through high school, I experienced that HUGE paradigm shift commonly referred to in our circle as the Torah Awakening. I was suddenly “thirstier” than I had ever been for the Word, focusing on the Tanach and the ancient ways. Over the next several years, new (to me) ways of looking at God, Messiah, culture, etc. began to emerge and I questioned everything. Women covering their heads as I had seen in the Orthodox Jewish and Anabaptist sects of Christianity still puzzled me. Many women in the Torah movement often discussed this subject, and while I saw both sides, I couldn’t really nail down what I thought about it. A different perspective on “covering” regarding headship came onto my radar, and I went down that path seeking a clearer understanding. Yahweh began to reveal to me the beauty of his provision for His daughters…the light flipped on! A couple of others in this walk that I regarded as mentors and whose words I highly respected began to see these things as well, confirmation that I, by the grace of Yah was onto Truth.
But, while headship is often talked about in certain Christian and Torah communities, other aspects of patriarchy are more challenging. What parts do we keep? And which parts do we toss, saying “now that’s going too far”. I personally have come to the conclusion that we can’t pick and choose, that it ALL applies! Even polygyny, God forbid?! Yes, I believe that polygyny is a valid and even loving resolution to many of the predicaments of both men AND women. Is it required or a measurement of spirituality, as some errant sects teach? No, of course not. But it certainly is NOT sin, according to scripture. And it may even be a calling!
Now I promised to relate this whole personal understanding to my calling to be a foster parent. When I initially felt that the Spirit was speaking to me about foster care, there were a thousand logical reasons not to pursue it. It was a lot of work, it was way out of my comfort zone and skill level, my family was against it, I could have my heart broken, it could have a profound affect on my own children, etc. etc. And while all this was true, the bottom line was “Is this what God is calling me to? Will I follow Him and not what everyone around me is saying, though it may sound like wise counsel?” In every true thing, there will be adversity…lots of it. But courage in obedience, despite the struggles will always result in blessing beyond our imaginations. God desires to show us His love in it’s deepest, highest, and purest form! Where we are confused and unsure of His care and love for us, it most often is a result of our incomplete understanding of His culture. While we will never fully “get it”, He encourages us to continually seek Him and His ways, and His love will never disappoint!