She was loud and rebellious,
Her feet would not stay at home.
— Proverbs 7:11 NKJV
Some time back DeNihilist linked to a blog post titled: 21 Signs You’re A Rebellious Woman (language warning). The post begins by explaining that a rebellious woman doesn’t conform to cliché standards:
1. You adamantly refuse to be the kind of woman the world wants you to be. You shun the status quo and loathe outdated clichés of what it means to be a woman, knowing these antiquated views are holding us all back from expressing ourselves fully.
The rest of the list is of course a list of cliché standards, since feminism is no longer at all counter-cultural. Number four however caught my eye:
4. You will never be small or less-than or weak. Your presence is a roar, never a whisper.
This one stood out because it reminded me of a question Pastor Driscoll received at the end of his sermon on 1 Pet 3:1-6. 1 Pet 3:4 instructs wives to submit to their husbands and cultivate “a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” A woman in the congregation was concerned that this spirit was meant to bear fruit. Driscoll invited his wife Grace up to answer the questions from the women in the congregation because:
if I answered all of the women’s questions it would go really bad.
The specific question was (emphasis mine):
Can an outgoing/boisterous wife also have a quiet spirit?
Mrs. Driscoll explains:
I would say yes. Also a quiet woman can have an unsubmissive heart and actions. So it doesn’t have to do with the personality of the person. I have many friends that are more passionate and outgoing but they are fully submissive and respectful of their husbands.
Proverbs 9:13 says: “The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge.” I think the question you need to ask yourself is are you without knowledge in your boisterousness? Are you undisciplined? Are you seeking the Lord? Are you prayerful when you are with your husband and even if you are energetic or boisterous are you praying before you speak words to him? And also consider asking your husband if your boisterousness is disrespectful at all at times to him and be willing to repent if that is the case. But just because you are outgoing or boisterous doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unsubmissive. It doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand.
The best part of her response is when she defers to the woman’s husband to answer. In fact, had she limited her answer to this suggestion, it would have been an outstanding answer. However, it would have been even better had Mark given this answer directly. Moreover, given that Grace is answering the question because Mark feared rebellion from the wives, I don’t think the woman’s husband is in a good position to answer with any real leadership. If Pastor Driscoll fears this man’s wife, no doubt her husband fears her even more.
But more interesting than Grace’s answer, and perhaps more interesting than Mark’s fear of answering, is the question itself. In our feminist era the idea of a woman being quiet and gentle is heresy. “I am woman, hear me roar!” is the anthem inspired by second wave feminism, with ban bossy being just the latest incarnation of the mindset. Even conservative Christians are now terrified that wives will lack moxie. That the Bible would call on women to suppress this central aspect of feminism is horrifying, and this leads to much rationalization. Of course it can’t actually mean cultivating a quiet, gentle spirit. That is flat out unimaginable.
And yet, not only does it say this, but the reflexive reaction by feminist Christian women against actually being gentle and quiet should only reinforce the importance of it.