Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:12-13 (NASB)
I am an observer of trends. While I don't personally (typically) follow trends I see them on a daily basis in both my ministry and everyday life. An unfortunate trend I am observing among Christian women is the revelation of hardened hearts.
I am deeply concerned as I see the increasing levels of rebelliousness in the hearts of "Christian" and "churched" women. I have to ask myself what this means... Is it that our churches are no longer teaching on the perils of rebellion and disobedience to the Word of God? Is it that our women's Bible studies are watered down and void of anything resembling sound theology? Is it that these same kinds of studies have become small groups of women affirming a feelings based theology? Could it be that our older women (Titus 2) have abandoned their responsibilities to teach and train the younger women? Is it that the love for Jesus and truth in the hearts of many women has simply gone cold?
I think it is all of the above. I am sick at heart at the weak doctrine I hear is coming from many pulpits today. Pastors, who are charged with feeding their sheep solid Bible truth from the Word of God have in many cases traded their responsibility for the most recent church-growth gimmick. Fearful of upsetting attenders, the word "sin" is now taboo in many churches with many pastors opting to use words like "mistake" instead.
Traditional roles of men and woman are no longer taught either, out of fear of angering the more liberal women and out of a belief that those God-given roles are outdated and not applicable to our day and age. There is little teaching on the value associated with being a keeper at home. Submission is equated with abuse, marriage vows omit the words "obey" and "honor" and women are held to no standard other than "what feels good to me."
It is from these polluted springs that our women's Bible study curriculum's are flowing. Bible studies for women are often aimed at soothing the feelings of women who struggle because they may be violating the Scriptures. In these kinds of studies women are encouraged to learn how their temperament and personality affect their behavior, to be empowered in their churches and marriages, and offered 12 steps to victory in one area of life or another; all the while taking God's precious Word out of context, proof-texting, and using it to support sinful choices and decisions.
The sinful aspects of the heart are being indulged and supported by well meaning (but dangerously wrong) leaders who feel they are helping suffering, struggling women. How do I know this is true? Because I see them, one after another come through our counseling office. Hard hearts are revealed as women are leaving their husbands and even their children because they "feel God does not want me to live this way any more." Hard hearts are revealed as women rebel against their God-given roles and assuming God will bless their abandonment of home and family for something "more fulfilling" than house work and child training. Hard hearts are revealed as more and more women are opting for divorce and extra marital affairs (adultery!) because their husband is not the man they want him to be. They are living dangerously through the internet, connecting with long lost boyfriends and virtual strangers with whom they bare their hearts, becoming involved in emotional adultery if not eventual physical adultery.
We must return to the Word, to the Truth of the Bible for these trends to reverse. We need brave, courageous women with an understanding of theology to take up the mantle of responsibility and step forward to teach, rebuke, correct, and train women in righteousness. We need women who are willing to speak the truth in love, call sin "sin," and stand by Biblical principles regardless of how unpopular they may be among the masses.
Are you one of these women? If not, why not? I urge you to get educated and get in the trenches with me.