I am 47 now,1 middle age solidly upon me. Still, being a woman remains a challenge; being a new woman, “a new thing on the earth who encompasses a man,”2 the greatest challenge. No kidding. Is it any wonder that it would be all but impossible for a man to rule over a woman these days, with her giving voluntary surrender to his heart, thus fulfilling her created purpose?3 Not only that, but also doing her part to restore the universe in the process?4 Woman is the key, but feminists won’t like the recipe.
When I was a little girl around nine years old, I learned how to avoid little boys who gave me a hard time. I didn’t like being chased and caught, teased and made the center of attention. It hurt. I did something about it. I did my best to avoid situations like that. It worked pretty well.
I went to private schools for girls and to a woman's college. In social settings, I only dealt with men whom I wanted to relate to and I did so on my terms. I cherished my heart and my feelings. I didn’t want to spend them on anything but the real thing. During the rise of feminism in the ‘70s and ‘80s (in my twenties and thirties), I judged that I had done the wise and right thing to protect myself. I thought I had fared well in guarding myself from being unnecessarily hurt by men. I could cite a litany of my relationships, feeling like I had come out the other side relatively unscathed.
But as the years pass and the love of my husband brings healing to my life, I am only just beginning to realize some of the hurts that I caused men in the process. I had no idea, and what's worse, I don’t even remember thinking about it.
I have been a new woman (Havah Hadashah) and a disciple of Yahshua for twelve years now. As time moves on, the scales are being lifted from my eyes and I am seeing more and more clearly how I have been deceived by schemes of evil, contrary to God, and how women today are probably the most deceived women of all time. To be deceived means to believe something to be true that is not true, even though you believe it with all your heart. Being deceived is the sin of Eve and of all women. It is sin because we are all accountable for what and who we believe.5 Do we trust good or evil, truth or lies? Eve doubted God's goodness toward her and fallen women continue to do the same, trusting in their own understanding rather than leaning on God and man. It is not theory; it is reality. Look around you — can you see it everywhere?
I’ll give you just one example of a deception that plagued me for years and I didn’t even know it. It is near and dear to my heart. When I was twenty-two, I suddenly fell madly in love when I least expected it. It was mutual. He was a few years younger and it took us both by surprise. It lasted a few months and then “puff!” — he was gone. It vanished faster than it arrived. I was devastated. It caused me great pain for years and I never could figure out what happened, no matter how much I pined away over it. I believed our love was true and I was utterly perplexed at what caused the bottom to drop out of it. We had no fight, no falling out, no final phone call — just “puff!” Communication about it just didn’t or couldn’t happen. I never could reach any resolve in myself about it. Occasionally I would see him around. Mystified as I was by the whole thing, my tender heart toward him remained. I never felt distant or estranged or bitter, just severed. We had not been unkind to each other.
The years came and went. He married. When I saw a photograph of his bride in the newspaper, I knew he did not love her. Then the decades came and went. We had a few good conversations about life, never really about us. He divorced, moved on in his work, remarried. The warmth between us was never absent on the very rare occasion that we would cross paths.
A few years back my husband and I were talking. He told me he thought that this particular relationship took a chunk out of my life that I never recovered from. He didn’t know how or why; he just sensed it. I knew it was the truth. I was surprised how he could single it out like that because the relationship had lasted only a few months. He wanted to help me. He wanted me to recover. He was not threatened. He always trusts my love and need for him. We talked in detail. He told me it was pretty simple what happened twenty years ago — I had devastated my old love when I said no to getting married. It was more than he could handle. The human heart was not meant to “handle” such things.
“I wasn’t ready.” “It didn’t mean I didn’t love him.” “My parents couldn’t take it.” On and on. I had many reasons. But the fact is that I was as much “in love” with him as I knew how to be back then and it had never once, not in twenty-some years, occurred to me that I had hurt him like that, that I had driven him away by my unwillingness to become his wife. I felt so stupid and so bad. I broke down crying when I finally saw what had happened and faced the reality of how I had hurt him. I knew his life had not been particularly happy. I had such deep regret in me for hurting his heart, his loving heart that I thought I had treasured. The spirit of the times deceived me to think something else was more important — my life, my career, my selfish ambition. I trusted it. I believed a lie, but nevertheless I am the one responsible for what I did. It has taken me twenty-five years to see how our “free love” cost a lot — a whole lot.
So last year, after 24 years, I looked him up, went to his place of business, walked in the door and said I had something to tell him. He was stunned and not unhappy to see me. He made the time and we laughed. I confessed to him what I had just learned, telling him how embarrassed I was never to have realized my own selfishness and insensitivity. I repented to him in tears for hurting him, for not trusting the depth of his heart toward me enough to lean my life on him. I had used him and didn’t even know it. All along I had unconsciously presumed that he was as selfish as I was. I was very wrong. He was in stunned disbelief that I never knew why he stopped coming around. He stared right at me, right through me and out the other side saying, “I thought you knew. I thought you knew you were the one that ended it. I loved you.” I assured him in utter shame that what I was telling him was the truth. We both cried and smiled. I don’t think the pain of how I hurt him will ever be gone for me, but I know I am forgiven and rejoice that at least now I am beginning to see these ways as sin, confess them, and receive mercy.
The problem between us was that our relationship went ahead of being in a covenant — a covenant of marriage. It is not the way it is supposed to be. Feminism doesn’t teach you much, if anything, deeper than a woman's own self-interest. Feminism is a lie. It is a deceitful scheme designed to rob women and men both. Don’t do to someone else what you don’t want them to do to you. Remember? The Golden Rule. Why is it that women can fault what men do to them, but see it as their right to do the same thing back, or worse? Do you recall the popularity of the movie First Wives, glorifying revenge? It is an evil approach to life that cannot make anyone happy except those who glory in evil.
Often women feel used by men sexually — after the fact. But if they didn’t sleep with men whom they were not willing to surrender their lives to, then they would not get used in that way. Neither would men. The deception is that women don’t face how seriously they hurt men in relationships — it is wicked that they justify it. It is just as evil as men misusing women. Both men and women forget that they will have to give account for how they relate to one another, not on their terms, but on God's, who designed the protected covenant of marriage where intimacy could be cherished and blessed.
The sooner men and women realize they need each other to be men and women, according to God's created purpose,6 the better it will be — for everybody, including the children, the future adults on this planet. A man and a woman being one the way God intended — man ruling from a place of giving up his life for his wife, and woman surrendering totally to his love — is the beginning of restoration. It is the opposite of broken relationships. It is the foundation of wanted, procreated children who want to follow the vision of their parents, in pursuit of love.
“I’ve looked at love from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow it's love's illusions I recall. I really don’t know love at all.” There was truth in these ‘60s lyrics. No one can know love if he only loves himself. I am happy to be learning how to love for real and to walk in the forgiveness of the One who poured out His life for me when I don’t. My husband leads me on that path and I am so glad I could see past the fears and the lies of feminism to surrender to his love, without reserve. It is wonderful to be a woman learning what my created purpose is. I have no regrets in that act of trusting.
To trust is the most feminine and most godly and most radical act a woman can do. It is the very nature of the twelve-tribed nation that will be Israel, the bride of the Lamb, the slain Lamb who died for her. Restoration must come through woman, through her voluntary surrender. The sorrow that I know is that which comes from the damage and pain I caused others in only trusting myself. I’m glad there is an alternative, a way to be forgiven and have a new life where I can learn to love and be loved, for real.