The message of today’s powerful and influential women is this: “Girls, you can do anything! You can accomplish your dreams! Go out there and make your mark on the world! But if you choose to do so by suggesting that being a wife and a mother is a good thing, we’ll call you nasty names and tell everyone that they shouldn’t listen to you!”
This is reality for actress Kirsten Dunst right now, whose recent remarks about gender roles have landed her in some hot water with the feminist elite. Now, I’m not saying that Kirsten Dunst is necessarily the authority on how women should live; I wouldn’t call her the ideal role model. I think she’s a good actress, and I’ve enjoyed watching her when I’ve seen her movies. She has also made some mistakes.
But what she had to say was pretty good:
“I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued. We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking – it’s a valuable thing my mum created. And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armour. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work.”
See, it was good because it was true. It is valuable when a woman stays home and cares for her home and her family and raises her children. I don’t even need to show you all the research that says that stay at home moms are good for their kids; common sense should tell us that it is a good thing when children are raised by a responsible mom who lovingly cares for her family and household. I’m not even saying that it is bad for a woman to have a career and go to work – and neither is Kirsten, by the way. I’m just saying that she is right that it is a valuable thing.
But the even deeper truth she expressed is that there is such a thing as differences between men and women, and relationships work because of those differences, not in spite of them. In fact, the differences that exist between men and women were intended by our Creator to make relationships great!
That’s why this is a real issue for the feminist elite. Kirsten said something true. That was her real crime. And as all do who speak the truth, she received backlash from the people who “suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18).
So, I would encourage Kirsten Dunst and anyone else who has faced opposition for saying that traditional gender roles are good to join me in making this bold statement to the feminist elite: “Whatever.”
No matter how much they rage, they will never be able to change nature. Men will still be men, women will still be women. So whatever. Say what they will, their opinion doesn’t change reality.
The only thing they can really accomplish is changing how people think about these things. And that’s where all of us can play a really positive role. See, if we let these bullies have their way, then our young women are going to grow up in a culture where they are told day after day that traditional roles are bad, being a homemaker is bad, caring for your family is bad, and the only good you can do is to go make a name for yourself in a career and live selfishly and try to be as much like a man as possible. Where is that going to get us?
I don’t think we want that. So let’s not let them give it to us. Let’s fight back a little. You know where that starts? It starts with you.
This weekend is Palm Sunday, but at my church it is also Confirmation Weekend. That means we have a whole bunch of young men and women who have spent years learning the truths of the Christian faith, and tomorrow will stand up and say they believe it, and they want to keep believing it for their whole lives. It’s a pretty cool thing.
But when I look at some of those young women, I know that many of them are going to struggle with what it means to be a Christian woman who puts into practice the Word she professes. They are going to hear stories like this and wonder what to think. Is it still good to be a mom and wife, or do I need to go and make a name for myself? Can I love my husband and my children and be feminine and still be considered strong?
Here’s the message we need to send those young women: “It is a blessed thing to raise a godly family! If having a career fulfills you, by all means, pursue it! But don’t ever, ever let someone convince you that it is more noble to do so than to raise a family. If doing something notable in the world appeals, by all means, do something notable! But don’t ever, ever let someone convince you that embracing the role God has given you as a woman makes you less notable.”
This isn’t really about life choices, whether a woman chooses to work outside the home or stay home and cook, clean, and raise children. Those are choices God has given. It is about whether or not we are going to raise our girls with a worldview that says that the way God has designed gender and the family is a positive thing and that it is good to live it out. Because they certainly aren’t going to be taught that by the world.