Darrow Miller and Friends

The Feminine Manifesto

If I could have an honest conversation with Betty Friedan, trailblazer of the modern feminist movement, we would have words! Betty in her seminal book, The Feminine Mystique, dismally described the home and women’s role in it as a “comfortable concentration camp”. If we could talk, I would tell Betty that she has sparked more death in our culture, by so degrading the eternal value of women’s ministry in the home, than the concentration camps in Germany ever did.   

I believed Betty’s lies for most of my life until I had a son and decided to value him and my nurture of him more than any career outside of the home.   

It turns out that from my lookout point here at home, the “comfortable concentration camp” looks more like an enchanted wonderland, full of practical, everyday blessings and miracles. The patriarchy did not force me into this place. I willingly took my place among the joyful nurturers of the world, giving myself to excellence here. In this wonderland, I discover new truth every day. I am also strongly encouraged by means of divine design to grow into the fullness of my Creator’s intention.

To abandon our post as nurturers is to be herded into Betty’s lemming march toward death. We as women then walk away from all the wonder of discovering how the Creator wired us as life givers. We walk away from our biological design, our psychological design, and our spiritual design.

Sadly, women who walk away from nurturing often come to disdain it. Many struggle to cram their beautifully rounded bodies into square boxes and tight pants suits. They try to figure out how to prove that they can be a better version of man and attempt to subvert the beauty of unity and diversity.

I need man, especially the one that the Lord has given to be my husband. I need him to do his job so that I can do mine. I become more of who I am called to be as I honor him and encourage him in who he is called to be. I trust God’s goodness and God’s tender hand of care in my life as I trust those whom He has ordained to cover me.

Does this make me a mousy, quiet woman? No. This makes me a truer woman who has a voice and who has recognized that being quiet and gentle is not a set of behaviors so much as a position and a culture of being.

There are underlying currents. These currents subvert the very building blocks of healthy nations. These currents have worked their way into every crevasse of culture. Thanks to Betty and others like her, they are the waters in which we now swim. They work to revolutionize created design and order. And by and large they are effective. The lemmings are many.

Yet, the word of God stands forever. And from this post, I can see that there are many who have not yet bowed their knees to Baal. We stand in this cultural moment amidst these intense currents as those who bear witness to a reality that will not be shaken, an unshakable kingdom. We stand, peppered throughout the globe in our homes, at our jobs, in our gardens, at our dinner tables. We stand and we choose now to shine!

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Naomi Smith is wife to Austin Smith and a stay at home mother of three living in Wichita, KS. She became fascinated with understanding the world through a Biblical lens after she was confronted with the reality of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection at age 21. Since then, she avidly hunts for what is true, good, and beautiful in every area of her own life and the lives of flourishing cultures. She wrote a book called Home Inspired: A Look at the Micro-Nation of Home for New Moms and has a particular passion to help mothers thrive as they take on the task of bringing the Kingdom of God into their homes. She and her husband love to host all kinds of people at their home with the intention of sharing these kingdom principles with their community and friends.