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A Recovering Feminist … Finding Balance in a Feministic Society

​“Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am a recovering feminist. It has been several months since my last feminist moment.”

  • Jenni Zimmerman
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“Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am a recovering feminist. It has been several months since my last feminist moment.” Similar confessions are shared when you attend an AA or drug rehab meeting. They say the first step in recovery is to admit you have a problem. My problem is that I have feminist tendencies that I have to fight. However, I do not want to be a doormat to be trampled. I want to be a Biblical woman who applies the Word of God in my life, and helps other women see that neither extreme is Biblical. 

I grew up living in the lie and culture of feminism or in the culture of male chauvinism. There were always two extremes. I knew women who wore the pants in their relationship and I knew women who never spoke up or took a stand when they saw wrongdoing in male family members or their own spouses. Having a strong personality and experiencing abuse as a child, I chose the route of feminism. “Anything you can do, I can do better” became my motto along with “I am not taking anything from anyone. I can do it on my own.” I tried to keep up with the guys in school, outperform them in music; I acted more like a guy and despised those things that were considered girly. 

I got married at eighteen, knowing absolutely nothing about what it meant to be a wife, let alone a godly wife. For the first ten years of marriage, my husband and I were equals. We tried to do everything fifty-fifty. In the first few years, I always got mad when we came from work and I would be cooking and cleaning while he sat and watched TV. Once I became a mother and stayed home, I felt underappreciated for work I did, and in return, I did not show gratitude to my husband for going to work every day. I had my own ministries to do so I could have a sense of purpose. I felt like a monkey could do my job at home. At the time, I thought all a mom did was cook, clean, and do laundry. I was neglecting my true duties of being a wife and a mother. We only had two children at the time. When my second went to kindergarten, I decided to get a job in my daughters’ school to help provide for our family and to boost my ego and purpose in my life (wrong presuppositions and motives). 

That year just about destroyed my health and marriage (although we agreed divorce was not an option); it was not a pleasant time. I quit my job because I was starting to get migraines (not knowing what they were) and then all of a sudden, I was in bed for four months. I could barely get out of bed to do anything without my head feeling as though it would explode. For four months, my husband got up, got the girls ready for school and fed them. He would take them to school in the car, come back to get his motorcycle, and then commute to work. I only had to manage to feed myself and pick the girls up from school. He would come home, help me make dinner, and take care of the girls the rest of the evening as I was back in bed. He was doing about 90 percent of the work to my 10 percent. This is when I first learned that marriage is never fifty-fifty. 

As God started our reformation nine years ago, I quickly learned that I was a feminist. Realizing that I wanted nothing to do with it, I resorted to becoming a doormat. I got to a point where I did not feel like I could make a decision without my husband. I felt I had become a cook and maid and was not good for much more. I felt that since my husband was the leader, and whatever decisions he made were right because he was the head of our home. Feeling “dumb” around my husband, I finally decided to start reading through his theology books starting with the Institutes of Biblical Law by R.J. Rushdoony. I felt like I was too dumb to go through it myself, so I sought the help of a mentor. I shared with several other women who expressed interest in studying it also, and we began an online study

Almost three and a half years later, I now know what a Biblical woman looks like (still working on applying it). The Biblical woman is one who knows the law of God. She studies His Word to be the best helpmeet to her husband. She is his chief counselor; she is fruitful; she teaches her children the Word of God, and raises them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. She is not idle, and she seeks to do her husband good all the days of her life. She finds better ways to run her household. She recognizes that she is the weaker vessel with a submitted role, but she knows that she is made in the image of God and her worth is equal with her husband’s before God. As she pursues the calling God has given her, she glorifies Him. She is worth more than precious gems. She is meek which means power under control like a horse that is bridled. She is not mousy, but strong while being humble. This is the woman I want to be.  Lord willing, as I continue to grow to become this woman (knowing that my sanctification will never be finished on this earth), my feminist and doormat moments will become fewer and fewer. 

  • Jenni Zimmerman

Jenni is a homeschooling mom.  She and her husband, Chris, live in Washington state with their four children. The entire family are earnest students of Biblical law.

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