Is It a "Lost Cause"?
(Plain Truth - November 1965)
THE SCENE was a beatiful semi-tropical garden - a veritable paradise. The young man in the picture seemed to have everything going for him. He had perfect health, radiant good looks, a keen, alert mind. He even had ideal employment and abundant wealth in natural resources nearby.
But, as he walked in these gorgeous surroundings, ate the delectable, natural fruits, observed and petted the friendly animals, an aching, gnawing feeling began to grow inside of him. He was dissatified.
He was just plain lonesome. There was no one of his kind to talk to. No one with whom he could share this beauty as well as his plans, hope and dreams. No one he could love.
He was alone.
WHY Woman Was Created
"And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him" (Gen. 2:18). Then, God took a rib out of Adams own body and used it as the basic substance from which He created woman. Then He brought her to the man. "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man" (verse 23). Then God states: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (verse 24).
Hebrew mythology, you say?
I say that if every young girl could be taught this inspired account of her reason for being, the world would be a much happier place for both male and female! If every young boy could be given proper understanding of this event, the husbands and fathers of tomorrow would respect and appreciate their wives for more than most men do today.
But what do we find today?
A total lack of understanding of womans true PURPOSES in life, of what true womanhood is and how to achieve it. This lack is a major CAUSE of the frustrations and unhappiness of multiple millions of women. The effect on our entire modern civilization has been profound.
Questions That Demand an Answer
In todays mixe-up world, millions of women are wondering - and literally hundreds have written us - questions like the following: "Just what feminine characteristics should a woman have?" "Just where do women fit, anyway?" "What value does the Creator place on women?" "JUST WHAT ARE WOMEN FOR?"
The tendancy of so many modern women is to be aggressive, domineering, loudmouthed and "hard" in their approach to life - distressing phenomena of our age. Distressing, first of all, to these very women themselves.
An obvious sign of this is that ulcers - formerly thought of as an essentially male illness - are now afflicting almost as many women as men, especially women in the business and executive fields. And the more a woman starys into the male areas of life, the more high blood pressure, heart disease and other similar maladies are her lot.
But the deepst problem is not physical, but mental!
Women themselves acknowledge their frustration and EMPTINESS. When they have forsaken the place in life God designed for them and begin to compete with males, with other women and even with themselves, they have lost their reason for being! Noting this, one leading psychiatrist asked many older career women: "What was the most gratifying moment in your life?"
Almost instinctively, they would reply: "When I held my first baby in my arms." Or: "When my husband first proposed to me." They never said: "The day I got my first job." Never: "The first time I swung a big business deal."
Yet, by the thousands, American women have been literally BRAINWASHED into believing it is beneath their intellectual station to be a housewife and mother! False ideas and theories about "freedom" and "equality" are being incessantly pounded into their minds. A young secretary today often considers it more important to scribble on a shorthand pad than to stay at home, help and inspire her husband, and train her children to grow up to be the leaders of tomorrow!
But, if we are willing, the ANSWER to the whole problem is found in the simple, yet beautiful, account of womans creation. Review and analyze this inspired account. It is found in Genesis 2:18 in your Bible. Let us learn what it does NOT say, as well as what it does say.
God said: "It is not good that the man should be alone." Obviously, then, man was NOT the great, all-conquering hero, self-sufficient and in need of no help! Rather, man NEEDED help - and needed it badly. Man was NOT complete unto himself. Rather, each man is INcomplete and in need of the help, inspiration, warmth and balance imparted by the right woman as his wife!
In a way that no animal creature could, woman was created to SHARE with man his life, his plans, hopes and dreams. She was created specifically to help the man.
Without this help, which only the woman can give, man would NEVER achieve the full, abundant, peaceful and balanced life which God intended. Without giving this help, woman becomes edgy, resentful, frustrated, headed up a "blind alley" - for she is failing to fulfill the very PURPOSE for which she was created!
GOALS Women Should Bear In Mind
To be truly happy, a real woman should bear in mind the purpose of which she was created - and set herself definite GOALS to fulfill in the accomplishment of that purpose.
First of all, she should remember that she was called to help and supplement her husband. She should learn to be responsive to him and to his direction of the home, entertainment and way of life.
She should realize that her husbands success is her success also - and fully SHARE and delight in the triumphs and achievements of her husband, knowing that htey are partly her own. Also, she should equally share in his sorrow and disappointments - trying always to give the right kind of balanced and positive sympathy and encouragement so that he will rebound to other successes in the future.
A second area in which a woman should cultivate success and service is that of bearing and TRAINING her children. Certainly, young mothers exert a powerful influence on the leaders of tomorrow. And women should realize the overwhelming IMPORTANCE of zealously and joyously dedicating themselves to this as their highest physical calling. FAR MORE IMPORTANT it is than that of an office worker or secretary on any level.
In His Word, God instructs older women: "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, KEEPERS AT HOME, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed" (Titus 2:4-5).
Here, the Great God who CREATED woman tells her to be a KEEPER AT HOME - not a gad-about, "do-gooder" or business-woman. Christian woman who objectively and enthusiastically give themselves to their calling are adding immeasurably to their own happiness and well-being, first of all, and to that of their family - now and perhaps for generations to come. But it goes deeper than that. They are adding to the entire society in which they live.
How A Woman Can Best Serve the Entire World
This leads us to the third area of womans rightful accomplishment. That of serving- through her husband and family - the society and the world as a whole. Too many want to be career women on their own. Women can REALLY accomplish far more in the end to help this entire world by being the kind of wives and mothers that God Almighty intended.
Take this example. In his book "My Darling Clementine, the Story of Lady Churchill," author Jack Fishman vividly portrays the fact that Sir Winston Churchills wife aided and supported him in a manner that added immeasurably to his tremendous accomplishments. Sir Winston - to "Man of the Century" - would NEVER have been the kind of man he was, or had the stability he had, the patience and fortitude he displayed, and the ability to rebound even from shattering defeat or discouragement - if it had not been for the unusual help, inspiration and support of his dedicated wife.
Putting it another way, perhaps our entire Western civilization might not even BE HERE if it had not been for the steadfastness, wisdom and courage of this man - inspired and greatly magnified by this highly intelligent and cultured woman. She was willing to dedicate herself to being his wife and helper one hundred percent of the time!
Americans should also be familiar with the example of patient teaching, religious instruction, guidance, encouragement and inspiration which Abraham Lincolns mother gave to him. At the height of his accomplishments, this most revered of all American Presidents stated: "All that I am or ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother."
Very frankly, if Mr. Lincolns mother had been working at the corner drugstore instead of inspiring and molding the life of this future President, would there have been an Abraham Lincoln to guide America through its greatest internal catastrophe - the Civil War?
The ULTIMATE Goal
Then, for the woman who reads and understands the Bible, another goal presents itself. That is the goal of preparing to help RULE and reconstruct this entire society in the World Tomorrow (Rev. 2:26; 5:10). Some Christian women wonder how they are being prepare for this. If they, themselves, are not leading and directing businesses, families and public activities today, how are they learning and preparing for tomorrows world?
The ANSWER is that a woman, with the physiological and psychological nature given her by God has magnificent opportunities - too often untapped - for preparing toward this goal. She needs to set herself to be a really successful wife, mother and contributor today. But, you say, she is not getting direct experience in leadership!
Lets put this another way! How many men that you know are constantly "leading"? How many men are in complete charge of every situation wherver they may be? How many men are responsible to no one else?
The answer, of course, is that every man on earth is responsible to others. The overwhelming majority of all men have supervisors and bosses over them during the day. Then, on the way home, they are certainly "under" the authority of the youngest motorcycle policeman on that particulr freeway! Even at home they are "under" the authority of the police, the mayor of the city, the governor of the state, the president, premier or other leader of the nation and the ministers appointed by each of those in governing their respective territories.
And the woman?
All during the day while her husband is gone she is "in charge." Over whom? Over what? The organization and administration of household duties, the children and their training, and perhaps servants, and delivery people who may assist her from time to time.
Her leader, her boss - who should be her husband - is not around and watching over her work nearly as much as his boss is probably watching over his activities hour by hour! It is just that they have different kinds of work and different kinds of responsibility!
If a woman learns to zealously and wisely think out and plan, execute and follow through on her responsiblities, she will be JUST AS WELL PREPARED for any future responsibility in Gods Kingdom as will her husband!
For both husbands and wives, it is important to realize a basic principle of leadership. This is a valid principle taught in many military organizations and quite often civilian ones. It is that you are not ready to give orders until you have first learned how to responsively take orders and to accomplish the assigned job effectively.
Certainly, the very nature and role in life which God Himself has assigned women enables them to learn some very important Christian qualities most directly. They learn in a direct, personal sense to be yielding and responsive, to help and to serve. In a constant and personal manner, a woman has the blessed opportunity to LIVE to its greatest extent Jesus inspired statement: "It is more blessed to GIVE than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
The happiness, the joy, the sense of a deep-down satisfaction and accomplishment which comes to a dedicated and successful wife and mother bears eloquent testimony to the eternal truth of the above inspired statement of the Son of God.
True Femininity is An ATTITUDE - An Entire WAY OF LIFE
Although many women think that femininity is primarily looking pretty, dressing neatly or talking softly and being retiring, these are just outward symptoms of an inward state of mind. These things are important in themselves - yet they alone do not constitute the whole of femininity by any means. Sometimes, in fact, certain women "put on" these outward manifestations which belie their real attitude and approach to life.
The basic ATTITUDE a true feminine woman should cultivate springs from her recognition and agreement with the feminine goals outlined above.
Her attitude and approach, therefore, is that of trying to help and add to the stature of her husband. It is that of gladly bearing and training her children, spending time and effort with them in the realization that they may be the leaders of tomorrow. It is attempting to serve the larger society through - not apart from - husband and family. It is also, finally, preparing for her ultimate spiritual goal in the Kingdom of God by learning the lessons of love, obedience and service here in this life and expressing these to the full extent as a wife and mother.
The above attitude and approach is BASIC.
Every woman who seeks to be truly feminine should inculcate this approach into every area of her life. She should actually write down these areas of feminine responsibility, analyze how she is fulfilling them and write down suggestions as to how she may fulfill them more perfectly. Asking Gods help, she should attempt to LIVE this way in her relationship with her husband, family and society as a whole. Attempting to help, supplement and serve in these areas should be the motivating factor in all of her life and permeate her thinking and approach to every situation!
Something to Study
In meditating on the above approach to life, she should study, analyze and obey Gods inspired instruction found in I Peter 3:1-11.
Notice, in this passage, that wives are to be subject to their own husbands - NOT competing with them! If their husbands are not Christians, God says that they may be "won" APART FROM the "Word" - or Bible teaching - by the conduct (incorrectly translated "conversation") of the wives. The passage explains that if a wife shows deep respect and reverence for her husband, he may be won over to Christianity by his admiration of her willigness to take the place which GOD has assigned the woman in his life. She wins him NOT by "preaching at him," but by her Christian humility in submitting to him as a wife should.
Her "adoring" is not to be the over-usage of gold, pearls, fancy clothes or outladish hairdo. Rather, it is to be the outward way of life reflecting "a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."
In verse 6 of this passage, the Christian woman is instructed to consider her husband as her "lord" or boss.
Most "career women" today might reply with a sacastic sneer to this inspired passage of Scripture - yet these same women for hte most part have men for bosses! They simply want some OTHER man - apart from their husband - to boss them, and not the very man for whom they professed enough love and admiration to marry!
What a pardox!
With the attitude of deep respect for her husband, a truly feminine woman will NOT be arguing, bickering or NAGGING at her husband.
She will anticipate his wishes and his directions. Because of its altered meaning in modern terminology, she may not literally call her husband "lord," but she can and should respond to him: "Yes, sir!" when he is addressing her in an "official" capacity as her husband! If she would do this for her boss, then why not her own husband who begets the children of her body, who should protect her, provide for her, love her and be the one of whom she can lean and trust the rest of her natural life?
Beginning in verse 7, husbands are told to respect the willingness of their wives to take the place designed by God. Then, in verse 8, both man and wife - and all Christians - are instructed to be of "one mind" - with compassion, love, courtesy and a definite SELF-RESTRAINT in the use of the tongue in arguing and bickering!
Truly, as this scripture says: "He that will love life, and see good days, let him REFRAIN his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile" (verse 10). Life is entirely TOO SHORT to spend it arguing, bickering, and fighting with anyone - especially the very man or woman whom you should love the most!
While we are on this subject, let me give you the advice of one eminent physician - with whom I heartily agree - who has said that the words, "Im sorry, dear," are very medicinal in thier effect in peoples lives. A simple and sincere apology often averts a great deal of trouble, bickering and anguish. It takes courage to admit that you - and sometimes you alone - are wrong in a particular situation. But, in marriage above all other insitutions, it is certainly worth it!
In seeking to implement and magnify the above feminine APPROACH to life, let us now discuss five specific feminine characteristics which every woman should cultivate:
I. Responsiveness and Service
Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of a truly feminine woman is that of being warm and responsive. The first man, Adam, was alone, he was lonesome. He had no one to talk to. He was incomplete.
Woman was created to share mans life and love, to respond to him, and encourage him.
If a woman will lovingly and consistently do this, and right-minded man will lavish love and appreciation upon her in return. For this is the kind of person most men truly want to marry and with whom they want to share their lives.
"There are people," said the brilliant French essayist, Raoul de Roussey de Sales, "who transmit to others their particular emotional atmosphere; who show you how to love, to suffer, to be happy, to laugh at the humorous things in life."
This describes the truly feminine woman. Her mind and heart are enthusiastically sharing in the ideas and hopes of the man she loves. She is constantly aware of him and is in the middle of his hopes and dreams - not merely an onlooker.
For her husband - and for all people for that matter - she cares: things not only happen to her, she happens to them.
But in all of this, she is not leading and dominating - but responding to others and especially to her husband. She is sharing and furthering their hopes, interests and joys. She is NOT competing for the center of the stage or trying to "get."
Such a feminine woman instinctively adapts her mood to that of her husband whenever possible. She rejoices in his triumphs, she weeps with him in his sorrow. Yet, constantly she bolsters him, balances him and helps him in every possible way.
Both in her family and in the larger society, she is not only responding but serving. She is constantly attempting to make her home a cleaner, more beautiful, more happy place. As part of her husband and family, she is attempting to do the same thing in the lives of those around her.
An Outside Job?
Should this type of woman ever, ever have an outside job?
This is a basic question - but one that needs to be answered here. The true answer depends upon whether - in taking such a job - she is responding to her husbands true wishes and serving her familys true needs as well as those of the larger society.
There are certainly many situations in which a young, unmarried woman needs to be working as a secretary, shop girl or in some other position. For the young married woman, these situations are distinctly fewer.
Yet they do exist
Especially in the first few months of marriage, a young woman may need to take at least a part-time job before the children come IF her husband requests it, she knows it is temporary, and the right job situation presents itself. But the true interests of most marriage. That is why I said that a woman should respond to her husbands true wishes.
On the surface, he may imagine tha the would like to have his wife work and thus supplement the family income.
But would he like the ultimate RESULT of the wife working constantly, beginning to be more independent, competitive, "hard" and this type of thing?
A woman needs to be very careful about this! With prayer, with timely suggestion and advice, she should do her full part to see that she is not pushed into taking an outside job which will ultimately defeat the very purpose for which it was intended.
Some time ago, the U.S. News and World Report magazine ran an article captioned: "Does It Really Pay for the Wife to Work!"
They pointed out that he added income provided by the wifes job mostly taken up with her travel expenses to and from work, outside lunches, extra clothes and baby sitters or nursemaids fees to take care of children at home.
This article showed that - looking at it economically alone - a family will gain VERY LITTLE, in most cases, by having the wife work outside the home. What the article did not attempt to point out, of course, was the severe DAMAGE done to the attitudes of both husband and wife in such a situation and to the very characters of their young children growing up without the care and guidance fo a full-time mother.
Married women, then, should be VERY cautious and sparing about ever taking outside jobs - even in supposed "emergencies" - and practically NEVER let this develop into a lifetime situation. The ultimate "price" of such a job is entirely too high!
Keep Feminine and Responsive
Another important facet of the "job problem" to consider is that IF a woman does work out, she should definitely choose the type of work whcih will enable her to remain feminine. Such job situations would include that of a secretary, a hostess or waitress in a nice restaurant, perhaps a saleswoman in a reputable establishment or other types of occupations or professions where she is serving others.
In these job situations she is therefore serving and responding to her boss, perhaps her fellow employees, and customers. She is NOT the "driving force" in the business, a high-pressure door-to-door or plant-to-plant saleswoman, a supervisor over men or anything of this sort. Even these job situations, though, take her OUT of the home and - to a certain extent - out of the orbit of her husbands plans, hopes and dreams.
So even these situations should definitely be only temporary.
An outstanding Biblical example of responsiveness is given in Ephesians 5:22-24. Here, the wives are commanded to "submit" to their own husbands "as unto the Lord." Certainly, a true Christian would not "reason," argue ot talk back to Christ!
But how many professing "Christians" women argue, bicker and talk back to their husbands?
If a Christian woman seeks to respond to her husband as to Christ Himself, she will NEVER undermine his plans or hopes, but will do everything possible to make them a success - even when some of the details have not been in perfect agreement with her ideas and suggestions.
The old saying. "There si more than one way to skin a cat," certainly applies here! Everything may not be done her way, but she should try to be "on her husbands team," and see that the play is a SUCCESS even though it is not the particular play that she would have called at that particular stage of the game!
A woman who resents her husbands ruling the home, who begins to resist his decisions and does not back him up is headed for DISASTER. She is not only wrecking at least a part of her husbands life, she is wrecking her marriage and definitely her own character!
But the warm and responsive woman who doesnt try to conquer or rule the man has an inner serenity and security not found in the aggressive, raucous, competitive type of woman. She is glad to be a woman. She has an innate tenderness for a man. She intuitively senses her husbands mood and responds to him - making him feel glad to be alive, sparking his personality, enthusiasm, courage and initiative and gladly sharing in his successes.
II. Tenderness and Beauty
The truly feminine and happy wife is one who wants to have a husband as the head of her home. She does not marry in order to enter into an "equal partnership" agreement.
She knows that a house divided against itself cannot stand. She knows that only one person can drive a car at a time. She wants her husband to be that person!
She respects and admires what her husband is trying to achieve in life. She hopes to help him to achieving it and to make him happy along the way. In thus giving herself to the happiness of her husband and others, she achieves her own great happiness, joy and inner peace.
Since she expects and wants her husband to be the head and the one she can "lean on," this woman has a deep softness and tenderness for him. There is no bristling, no competition, no frigidity.
This tender, yielding state of mind automatically give such a woman added beauty, a sparkle in her eyes an an unusual capacity for patience, love and compassion for others.
Automatically feeling tender and yielding toward her husband, she will naturally walk more softly, talk more softly and dress in a more soft, feminine and attractive way for her husband.
Frankly, any truly feminine woman will dress, fix her har, wear perfume and accessories and so conduct herself in all these ways in a manner to please her husband. She will NOT dress merely to please other women or to follow the latest fashion fads. More often than not, she knows these are dreamed up by "weirdo" effeminate men who actually dont like women in a normal, decent manner anyway.
In the area of tenderness and beauty, a woman should we use her mind to cultivate true womanhood in every way possible. She should keep herself neat and clean. She should take baths every day and wear perfume lightly if her husband wishes. In like manner, she should keep her home scrubbed, clean and warmly attractive in the arrangement of furniture, flowers and other things which only such a woman can add to make a house a home.
III. Intelligence and Understanding
Todays woman often shrieks, "My education has prepared me to do MORE than have babies, change diapers and wash dishes!"
Yes, it certainly should have! BUT, has it taught the modern woman to FORSAKE the God-given role in life for which she was created and designed physically, mentally and emotionally?
In entirely too many cases, the answer is "yes.
For, as stated earlier, many women have been literally BRAINWASHED to believe that the role of inspiring a husband, sharing in his successes, bearing and training children as the leaders of tomorrow is not exciting or "important."
Actually, although both men and women were definitely created EQUAL as fellow human beings, the outstanding kind of intelligence possessed by women is that of intuitively sensing the moods and attitudes of husbands and children, adopting themselves to these family situations and inspiring husband and family in the supporting role for which they were created!
But it does take a lot of intelligence to be the kind of wife and mother described in this booklet!
Yes, a feminine woman needs sparkling intelligence and deep understanding. For she needs to perceive in a very special way how to complement and inspire her husband to accomplish the greatest possible success commensurate with his health, abilities and situation in life.
IV. Christian Virtue
A truly feminine woman is always an outstanding example of virtue and purity. Although among the men, many rogues and scoundrels among the kings, dictators and emperors have emblazoned their names in the pages of history, very few women indeed have commanded continuing interest or respect who have not been examples of decency and purity.
So the Scripture states: "A viruous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is a rottenness in his bones" (Prov. 12:4).
As far as their reputation in this world is concerned, some scoundrels among the men appear to get by. But, among intelligent people of every race and creed, almost NEVER is woman respected who has failed to be an example of decency, purity and virtue.
For, as the Scripture states, a virtuous woman is indeed a "crown" to her husband - adding to his stature and respect even among others. If she has the implicit trust of her husband and constantly demonstrates her faithfulness and loyalty to him, that in itself is a tremendous help and inspiration in his work and accomplishments.
This also inspires him, and his sons after him, to be faithful and loyal to his wife and to all women. The ever-widening effect of this kind of womans dedication to Christian principles may help, purify and strengthen the characters of countless children, grandchildren and friends and relatives by the score.
It is worth it!
As the mother in the home, the woman also has a tremendous responsibility to set an example of Christian character and faithfulness to right principles. Her example - and her diligent teaching and training - will leave an everlasting impression upon her growing sons and daughters.
There is no need to belabor this obvious point. But in a very special way for a woman the dedication to virtue and decency involves a LIVING LAW. Her responsiveness and obedience to this law will protect her from immeasurable heartache, and guarantee a type of lasting love, respect and appreciation extending to generations beyond her own life.
V. Faith, Hope and Courage
A woman who shows faith in God, faith in her husband and faith in herself is one whose price is beyond compare. For such a woman will inspire her husband to think and do more brilliantly than he may have thought he was able. She will inspire her sons to high accomplishment which may well not have been theirs otherwise.
In moments of defeat and despair, such a woman shows faith and hope in God. She will thus rekindle the spirit of her husband - and perhaps others who are "too close" to the situation to see the larger picture. This may save them from even greater disaster and despair.
A feminine woman does not need the type of strength, leadership and dominance which befits a man. But she does need a depth of courage which would befit any man! For, many times, as the help and support for her husband and family, she is able to buoy them up when they need it most.
There will be times, of course, when her husband may be sick, absent or perhaps dead, and she will have to carry on with courage and implicit FAITH in the fact that God will help her do her part, in a feminine way, to act for her husband in his absence.
In this area of life, especially, to be truly and everlastingly feminine, a woman needs to believe in the True GOD. She needs to KNOW - and know that she knows - that the Great God of heaven stands behind the Living Laws He has set in motion and will bless, guide and protect her in her place as a woman as she yields to Him!
What a much better place this world would be if all women were truly feminine!
For all husbands would have real wives, partners, sweethearts and loving "helps" to assist them, buoy them up and SHARE in the highest degree their hopes, dreams and successes.