First of all, it is a conundrum. Many women now days want independence and personal power in order to establish successful careers, live on their own terms in their our own (very nice) homes (until married or otherwise involved) – Still, the traditional concept of Romance tends to war against this.
Romance encompasses the delicious concept of a woman being swept off her feet by a virile, good-looking man with all the answers who (ostensibly) takes her away from all that is threatening and tough and tawdry. Why does a woman get a charge out of this even if she is at the top of her game educationally and professionally? Is it nature or nurture? Can feelings of insecurity (somtimes linked to this mindset) undermine her success if she is in a position of great responsibilty, pressure, and authority?
Most women now days make a complex choice to serve these two opposing emotional masters at the same time rather than be truncated into one or the other classic negative mold. She does not want to “dwindle away into a wife” (as Congreve put it) confined to picking up her husband’s dirty underware, nor does she want to morph into the prickly spinster business woman with her horn-rimmed glasses, chunky tweed suits and sensible shoes.
I have always championed the “complete” life for women, even when it sometimes comes with an occasional emotional undertoe. For some, it has, evidently, been worked out. Sarah Palin in an extraordinary example of this victory. I admire her greatly and would vote for her for president with delight.
When I became a Christian, I thought God would automatically give me all the goodies those cats on television seem to have with their “health and wealth” theology. At first I was disappointed when this did not happen. Instead, it now seemed like every other sermon was on submission of wives to husbands and the lauding of the stay-at-home mom over the professional woman. It was often said that the greatest thing a woman can do is be a good wife and mother. I do not deny that being a good wife and mother is a great thing, but is it for everyone?
From a Christian perspective, it seems to me that the greatest thing that anyone (man or woman) can do is God’s will for them personally. What has He put in each of us individually that is wonderful, workable and unique? I believe that each must find that and turn off the other voices that attempt to invalidate it.
I have never seen a vision or heard the audible voice of God, yet I sense that I am now in His will. I have finally come to a greater understanding of the multiple resources He has put in me and am becoming more adept in using them. As a highly sensitized, introspective, contemplative artist/writer type, it would be easy to fall into an abyss of emotional conflict (as some with that nature have done). I have a mind that probes the depths as well as the heights. That can be a thrilling (but dangerous) business if we cannot put the little crazy man back into his box when we have finished using him for a powerful literary passage or painting.
But this does not happen any longer for me now that I feel God’s unconditional (agape) love and a profound sense of emotional security in Him. Being fundamentally grounded in Him, I can always come home again after such wanderings. Because I know from the Bible that no good thing will He withold from me as His child – because I know He will work all things together for my good and His glory – because He will enable me for every good work – because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – I am free within in a way that neither the NOW nor the once-hoped-for ERA could have ensured.
For me, this is the best of both worlds. Singleness is not for everyone (nor should it be) nor are the arts, but for me they work in a wonderful synergism. I believe that God knew it all along and framed my life accordingly (working around the many mistakes I made and teaching me by them).