spaghettipie

Redefining Superwoman

The Women’s Ministry at my church just launched our first official women’s Bible study today under the tagline “Redefining Superwoman.” I’m really excited about delving into this topic since I’ve been thinking and struggling with it for quite some time now. Our format will be to have large group teaching (by video for this series) and then break into smaller groups for discussion. Each week we’ll keep the same small group so that we can build deeper relationships.

Today we discussed what “superwoman” means to each of us and how we combat the pressure to be that identity. Here are the main things I took away from our discussion and as I thought about it more later.

1) I realize that as I take the “best practices” (sorry to use a business-ese term) from the other women I know in my life, I compile them together to form a picture of what I think I am supposed to be. I forget that while these women may excel in that particular area, they may not focus on or be as amazing in other areas. I put together this composite woman despite that and then feel frustrated and stressed out that I cannot be her.

2) What God has called me to do, He has equipped me to do. The first major key to that, however, is the “called me to do” part. He hasn’t called me to be all things to all people. He hasn’t called me to get involved in every good opportunity that comes my way. Even Christ was selective in what He chose to do, based upon what God had called Him to do. I put all sorts of additional things on my plate and then wonder why I can’t do everything!

3) When I fail to be authentic with others – sharing the good and the bad of who I am, sharing my struggles as well as my triumphs, sharing all of me – then I, too, take part in perpetuating the myth of the superwoman. So not only does being real with others build community and deepen relationships, it also helps deconstruct the notion that a “good woman” has her life completely together and in order.

I hope to keep sharing with you as we go deeper into the study. As always, I invite your thoughts. (Men, too!)

For more posts in this series, click here.

Photo: Me and my Shadow (2007)

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4 comments

  1. This is good stuff. Are you working through printed materials?

    I was just talking with a Mom yesterday who recently had her FOURTH baby, and she was beating herself up for being so tired. Crazy! Of course the woman is tired! We are so hard on ourselves. I wonder…do men do this at all, or is it just us?

  2. meh

    Your picture of the composite perfect woman reminds me of what a comedienne once said in response to the Proverbs 31 woman. She personally claimed the Proverbs 32 woman: the one who rises up late and her children bring her breakfast in bed…she knows it is in her Bible because she wrote it in herself!

  3. spaghettipie

    LM – Thanks. We’re actually going through a video series by Donna Otto (which does not go under the same title, but I can’t think of what it is right now). I imagine men do this in their own way, maybe?

    MEH – Ha! That would definitely be nice. It’s funny you bring the Prov 31 woman up. As I wrote that, I thought about the picture of Prov 31 and how I’ve heard many people say it’s a composite woman or it’s a woman at different phases in her life. . . and then not too long ago, I read an author who said we all needed to be just like her – in her entirety, at one time and without using ANY childcare whatsoever. Ack!

  4. Your study reminds me of a book I read last year: SuperMom Has Left the Building by Judith Edwards. (I have a review of it on my site.) It’s a great text that covers the myths and reality of the Prov. 31 woman and how we can be her today in this culture and time. I definitely recommend it. And I look forward to reading more of your insights into the study!

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