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newtimes - 2 month ago

Are “ambitious” women really intimidating? The Christian view

In the twenty-first century, women have come a long way. Nowadays, women are more successful than ever, receiving higher levels of education, and the disparity between men and women in positions of power shrinks every year. Globally, over the past years, several initiatives were launched to support the women to fully realize their potential. For instance, in Rwanda, the strong political commitment has resulted in great strides in the promotion of women’s empowerment. Currently, over 60 per cent of the MPs in the country are women, the highest number of women lawmakers in the world. Although much more needs to be done, women have demonstrated unwavering capability to excel in the workforce, education and leadership. In fact, women have caught up with men in many areas, and even begun to surpass them. For instance in the United States, women have more master’s and college degrees, better GPAs, and in some professions smarter women have landed higher income paying jobs. Growing up, there are some people who advised me to avoid some activities that I thought would help my career because they seemed too ambitious in their perspective. They would add that, in the world of dating and relationships, I was risking to scare men who otherwise would be attracted to me. However, I believe what motivates most girls to pursue their dreams isn’t because they want to impress others or make them feel any inferior to their accomplishments. Personally, I pursue goals because that gives me joy and a sense of meaning. And, when I read Proverbs 31, it tells a story of a woman who is bold and hard-working, selfless and ambitious, and that woman is described as an invaluable jewel. That woman is revered as someone to be praised, not feared. As far as dating is concerned, that is the kind of woman a Christian man should desire, according to the Bible. But are ambitious, smart successful women really intimidating? Obviously, all men are different, and to generalize an entire gender would be wrong. There is still a small portion of the male population that clings to the 1950s definition of what a man is supposed to be, but for the most part, men are past those notions. Most men are not intimidated by strong and smart women, they rather find these qualities very attractive. Yet, men argue that the problem arises when some of the qualities that make a woman such a big success (eg: being very opinionated, strict, fierce and decisive) cross over into the romantic relationship. Moreover, I can hardly imagine anyone, man or woman, would want to go home to a hostile, hard-headed, controlling partner.  My male friends’ insights were great reminders of how being empowered women should mean embracing the beauty of womanhood and femininity rather than trying to behave overly like men or in some occurrences compete with them. One “there is always beauty in how God created things. The fact that God created both male and female genders should be appreciated and celebrated. Women don’t need to lose their femininity to win “the modern world”. You can be strong and powerful and still maintain your feminine qualities such as sensitivity, warmth, understanding, beauty and sweetness”.   “When the strong woman also presents typically female characteristics, the “threatening” attributes disappear and she becomes more attractive and liked”, another one chimed in eagerly. Well, as I see it, women being strong and successful is not the problem but what makes a big difference is how each woman manages that success/power and whether that affects her behaviours as well as her feminine mystique. It is very important for smart women to leverage their feminine strengths and learn how to wield their power and success in a way that the outcome brings more fulfillment. It may be well to recall here the fundamental concept in human physiology about the duality of existence of both masculine and feminine energies in each person. If this inherent duality could be well understood, we can be able to bring these dual energies into balance within ourselves and as a result, the society at large (There are a number of salient points in this concept, something which I am saving for another article). “In my opinion, two individuals must be independent first before they can be interdependent”.    I believe that God created us, men and women, to be compatible with one another. In many ways, we need each other, but we can survive apart from one another. In fact, we can do more than survive, we can thrive even while we are waiting. In my opinion, two individuals must be independent first before they can be interdependent. The only One we need to make us whole and complete is God, our Creator. Late Dr. Myles Munroe for example, elucidated this notion in his talk on living fully in your singleness.   The inner strength that God builds in us is the trait that often gets overlooked. So many times we get caught up in the superficial qualities of people. Yes, everybody has their own checklist and non-negotiables, but when we meet someone that fits that checklist, we need to make sure that we are not just focusing on the outer man or woman but also on the person s cha is this person whole in Christ? Can this person be supportive of the dreams that God has placed on your heart or will they be jealous or intimidated by your drive and success? So, singles, why not seek to be whole in God and pursue His purpose for your life. Then, when God allows a man of integrity to find a woman of noble character, that man should be grateful for a woman with qualities that will never fade. When God pushes a woman to her best, she should be thankful that He has built her into a woman whose value is far above rubies.  We sometimes forget that charm and beauty fade, not just on women, but on men as well. A woman in pursuit of her mission with a true heart and passion for the Lord is to be treasured. You are treasured by God; you should accept nothing less than that from anyone else. Live a life filled with character and reverence to God and everything else will fall into place in due season. Most importantly, we should thank God for entrusting us with dreams and passions to pursue. As we strive to find or maintain our true inner balance, let us pray to always know and remember our worth, and to only allow ourselves to be treasured, and to recognize the treasures that surround us.  The writer is an Urban Planning Consultant. She has a strong passion for gender justice and women empowerment.


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