Conferences tend to be mountaintop experiences—a punch of excitement and conviction—which is not all bad. I’ve attended business training and motivational sessions and spiritual renewals. No matter the focus, I tend to measure the experience’s value by the fruit it produces in me the weeks and months after I come back to regular living.
Based on this theory, I must give the True Woman ’08 conference an exceptional rating, because two specific convictions have stayed with me since October. Both convictions flow out of the essence of radical biblical womanhood, which I detailed in part one of this conference review.
In summary, a radical biblical woman is one who: 1) Dives Deep into the Word, 2) Has a Biblical Worldview, 3) Pursues a Countercultural Life, 4) Resists Fear, 5) Trusts God’s Sovereignty, and 6) Endures God’s Refining Fire.
This picture of a radical biblical woman is not new; these are simple, eternal truths from God’s Word. What was new for me, however, was the realization of how much the world’s flimsy definition of femininity had permeated my heart and mind. God used these messages to convict me so that I might be free to rest in who He created me, as a woman, to be.
The first conviction relates to my role as a wife. God’s Spirit pricked my heart as Pastor Piper compared the role of the wife to the role of the Church. I could envision the Church standing in awe, gratitude, and joy of all that the Groom, Jesus Christ, has done and is doing on her behalf. If my role as a wife is to mimic this, then I should also stand in awe, gratitude, and joy of all that my groom, Mike, has done and is doing on my behalf. The comparison was striking. I know God revealed this tidbit to me as my cue to honor Mike for all the ways he loves and cares for me.
The second conviction relates to the high calling of nurture and life-bearing that God wired into womanhood. Women are called to instill life and blessing upon others, particularly upon children. But God has not blessed Mike and me with children, so I have practically disconnected myself from this part of God’s mandate. The Lord stirred my heart to embrace this calling in the way I am able: in the lives of my 10 nieces and nephews (some familial, some honorary!). This call is now in sharp focus—I have the privilege of nurturing these dear children so that they might be built up and that I might walk more fully as God’s woman.
Both of these convictions put excitement and wonder in my heart: How will I express such appreciation to my husband? How can I be meaningfully involved in the lives of these 10 young people? These questions have become a matter of prayer as I seek God’s help in living out radical biblical womanhood in practical, specific ways. The revolution in my heart’s focus has brought a vibrancy and purpose that only God could have manifested.
I mentioned in part one of my review that True Woman ’08 called women to a spiritual revolution in how they think about and see themselves as women. Quite often revolutions have rebellion at the root. But this call is to a different type of upheaval: It is a call to obedience, not rebellion; a call to humility, not superiority; a call to honor God, not self.
The True Woman Manifesto, which was read corporately and signed individually at the culmination of the conference, best defines the heart of this revolution. And the purpose is to yield to our Sovereign God who revolutionized our hearts in Christ Jesus.
Revolution is both exhilarating and frightening. Change is never easy, and it always requires adjustments. The change I’ve sensed as a result of True Woman ’08 is an outgrowth of the revolution Jesus is enacting in me.
Please know that it is not the movement that has my allegiance; I am not rallying women to attend a conference or sign a document. My allegiance is with the God who infuses the movement and empowers women to become more like Jesus Christ. I am passionate for all that True Woman stands for—the high calling and purpose that God has for women and their place in the world.
It is His call that I am answering by embracing radical biblical womanhood. It’s the sort of life that I don’t want to miss.