If Only’s

Jun 7, 2011 | Faith

Recently I’ve been challenged by a Christian author whose perspective of womanhood is a breath of fresh air. My “aha” moment is considering the “If Only’s” women entertain….

If only I were smaller, then….
If only I were smarter, then…..
If only I were prettier, then….
If only I were stronger, more confident…….

The list could go on, but you get the picture. 
 Each of us have our “If Only” list. 

“If Only’s” are lies that creep into (Christian) womanhood.
They weigh down and limit the work God desires to do in  and through His daughters. 
 We miss His best because we live in the land of “If Only’s.”

In the last 30 years, there are things I have dismissed as impossibilities or have cowered away from, fearing rejection, because of my “If Only’s” list.  I wonder how much women have missed by living in boxes or shadows of expectations with binding images of “the perfect Christian woman”…..somewhere in the Twilight Zone between June Cleaver and a docile woman wearing a flowery dress with big hair.  At least those were images of my socialization as a -young-bride-desiring-to-be-a-woman-of-God.  Unfortunately, I didn’t fit the either image.  My “If Only” list just got bigger.

Where did things go wrong for the daughters of Christ? We went from being free in Christ during His lifetime to being boxed-in.  For my generation, advocating for equality in Christ has been a Christian no-no (it has traces of radical feminism).  But the alternative doesn’t fit either, at least in my experience. The promise of the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world hasn’t dispelled my insecurities. It’s only added to them. 

 If only I could perfect the wife/mother thing…….
then someday I might ultimately be worthy
….of something…..

All the while I longed to hear 

I was equal, yet different, 
equally important, complementary, 
equally strong in God-ordained ways.
equally worthwhile outside of my role as wife and mother

I am blessed in recent years to read biblical, Christian teachers who don’t pile on more lists or interpretations of submission or help-mates, but present the Lord’s Word as truth of a woman’s value instead of traditional roles or society’s interpretations.  While I am still learning what being a woman of the Word means, I am encouraged to embrace biblical truths that God loves me as a person first, then a woman.

I don’t remember hearing this much as a young woman in the Church.  Unwritten rules of Christian womanhood are enmeshed in roles, expectations, conformity, and dependency.  For those not fitting that mold, the Christian walk in womanhood can be suffocating.  I’m half-Sicilian, independent, built like a Sumo wrestler, and I embrace conformity like a turkey embraces Thanksgiving Day.  My “If Only’s” list has always included being quieter, smaller, plainer, and a barrage of other things you could care-less-about.

For the first time in a really, really long time, I’m learning worth in God’s eyes is not based on gender performance, but something called “fearfully and wonderfully made” 
(Psalm 139). 
I’m hearing whispers that He created me “as is” and called it “good.”

And it’s giving me courage to throw away the “If Only” list, replacing it with His truth, not (wo)man’s. 
 Or religion’s. 
 Or anything else but Him.

While our experiences in womanhood are diverse and vast, I share my own experience to challenge myself and anyone else with “If Only’s” to see beyond traditions, expectations, and insecurities,

 Looking to the loving God who created each daughter with intent and purpose.
As an individual First in His image, 
then for roles we take on in our human experience. 

All God’s creation, 
male and female, 
plant or animal, 
was designed to honor Him and declare His glory. 

That’s a message that stands alone needing to be heard.

So, Sister, 

are good.

In the image of God, male and female He created them. (Ge 1:27).  
God saw all that He made, and it was very good. (Ge 1:31)”

Books I’ve been reading recently:

Hannah’s Prayer by Kenneth Gividend
Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere


Simple Secrets For A Compelling Life

Do you feel trapped in a chaotic, relentless, demanding lifestyle? No matter where you live or what season of life you’re in, you can find inspiration from the simpler life. 


  1. Justacogitating

    Love it. This made me think of the poem "Whatif" by Shel Silverstein.

  2. my diary

    nice post and encouraging thanks

  3. Susan (My Place to Yours)

    Created in the image of God! If we could only get our heads around that and believe it… So glad you resurrected this post and joined the Olympic challenge!

  4. A multi-dimensional life

    Oh yes, "He created you and is IS good"!!What an inspiration this post is and it is all true…to think that He calls us Beloved!! …(no matter what the enemy says, our hearts are good and we are fearfully wonderfully made!

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