Do I have the right to have rights?
Feminism seems to be everywhere we look. It’s on TV, in our magazines, and in who wears the pants in the family. One of the first, and perhaps biggest, ways it has affected us is in the opinion of our rights as women. The problem, however, isn’t feminism. It is us. Humanity. We think we have rights, the power to govern ourselves. And when our rights are hampered by certain “outside forces,” watch out – it’s about to get messy!
The right to do as we please.
As autonomy-crazed women, we feel as though we are constantly fighting this mentality of being defined by our gender. Like Anne Hathaway, we defiantly say, “No one has ever been able to tell me I couldn’t do something because I was a girl.” I remember growing up with older brothers, there was this intense desire to prove to them that I could do anything they could do, and don’t tell me that I couldn’t. However, too often we bring this freedom-seeking mentality into our relationship with Christ. But in reality, do we really have the right to do as we please? Am I truly self-governing merely because I want to be or think I am? Unfortunately for me and my agenda, Scripture says differently.
1 Corinthians 6:19 says I have been bought with a price, therefore I AM GOD’S.
Galatians 2:20 says that I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
Over and over again, Scripture emphasizes this fact: I am not my own. I have been bought with a price! If I am a Christian, my life has been purchased by the precious blood of Christ. I no longer have the right to dictate what I do, where I go, or what I say. My life is officially God’s. Why? Because once I was dead in my sin and Christ rescued me: His life for mine. He purchased MY pardon and I am forever indebted to the One who ransomed me. And lest you think that God is just a big tyrannical party-pooper, buying your freedom only to lock you up in “rules,” realize this: We have never and will never be our own. Unfortunately, we always have been and always will be serving something (Romans 8:5). The choice you have is: Do you serve that which seeks your good (Romans 8:10-11, 14), or do you serve that which seeks to destroy you? (Romans 8:13; John 10:10; Genesis 4:7)
The right to own what we have.
There is an unspoken thought that we have the right to own what we possess. For some of us, this possession is our time. We think, “I will marry this man, I will have these children, I will have this job, and own this house,” and do not consult God on the issue. James 4 speaks out against this mentality. Or maybe you’re like me. I’ve submitted to God on the grand scale, but I think I have the right to dictate my day, doing with it what I want, and when an outside “force” takes up my valuable time, rights have been violated. But does God care how I spend my free time? James 4:15 says the problem isn’t in the planning, but in the autonomy of the planning. We can chose what we want to do, as long as we realize that ultimately God is in control over that time and has the right to change our plans…not the other way around.
Some of us think we have the right over our money, our possessions, or our families. If I worked for it or earned it, then I get to decide how I spend it or use it. Remember the woman with the alabaster jar who poured out her earnings as service to the Lord (Mark 14:3-9)? Her possessions were His, and she realized this. And in a picture of reckless abandonment, she sacrificed what was “rightfully hers” to minister to Christ.
Some women think, “As a woman I have the right to bear children.” The Jennifer Anniston’s of this world would take this to the extreme claiming that, as women, their right to bear a child extends to not even needing a husband to fulfill their right. And yet when looking at the biblical women who went through similar circumstances, namely Hannah (1 Samuel 1:3-28) and Jochebed (Exodus 2:1-3, 2:8-10), there was an attitude of maternal resignation they exhibited. They surrendered in their hearts to the will of God… even if that meant they would remain childless.
When it comes to possessions, whether it is time, money, children or whatever, everything we have is ultimately God’s to begin with. Relinquishing our rights is simply being honest about to Whom it belongs in the first place.
Ultimately, it comes down to this: who holds the rights to your life…you or God? Do you take in all that feminism has fed us over the years and demand the right to dictate your life or do you submit to the authority that God has placed over your life?
Only God has the right to our rights.