Many of us in the Christian world grow up with an assumption of a unisex spirituality. Though we readily admit that men and women are different biologically and psychologically, we often stop there in our thinking. In 54 years in church, I’ve never heard a sermon on gender different spirituality.
If we do think further, sometimes we realize that the forms we have been taught as unisex have a distinctively masculine feel, understandably so given the disproportionate influence of the masculine voice on our faith for many centuries. So, what’s a woman to do? Where can we find models for our feminine spiritual growth?
The following except from The Feminine Soul speaks of a time when I began to ask those questions and found myself looking beyond the church at first for answers:
“I began to consciously explore the world of feminine spirituality, both within the church and without. I resonated with books on popular spirituality and feminism. They validated and fostered my new growth. The growth paradigms I learned seemed more effective for me than those I had heard in the church. I drank in seminars and programming focused on empowering women. I joined women’s groups. I pursued experiences that fostered my feminine spirituality. All these resources affirmed my uniqueness as a woman. There was a whole movement out there that seemed to know and understand me. Though at times I hesitated to admit it even to myself, this new path was definitely producing the fruit of God’s Spirit in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.
This world also gave me new eyes to see even more in the stories of women in Scripture. I was continually surprised at how much of the feminine wisdom I had found outside the church could easily be seen in these stories recorded centuries ago! Though the church may have missed noticing gender different spirituality, God had not missed writing it into that ancient sacred book. “
“You will learn to eat new food
and find refuge in new places.”
As the poet says of the Passover journey, during that season of change, I had to learn to “eat new food,” to nourish my soul from a broader range of resources. I also had to “find refuge in new places.” My hope and prayer is that this space will become a conversation that will nourish the feminine soul within us all.
Do you believe in uni-sex spirituality? Have you thought much about gender difference? What has your soul journey looked like? Where have you found soul food lately? What is bringing you more love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control?