I've developed a theory about millennial women based on a few interrelated messages they have received. Just theories, folks. But the longer I am in ministry and serving millennial professional women, I'm more and more convinced that although I may not have the full picture in view, I've got some puzzle pieces in the right places. Maybe just the corners.
The most common question I am asked is about the state of women today, specifically their general disengagement from the local church, their distance from the living God, and their seeming disinterest in the things of God. This is hard for me to process as I am exposed to arguably the smartest, brightest women on the planet through Polished. Women all over the globe are doing incredible things in Christ's name and for his glory. History has shown us that the daughters of the Church have been, and I believe always will be, invested in Kingdom work. And many women love Jesus with reckless abandon now.
But I understand the questions because the women I'm working with are different than previous generations that were considered the backbone of the American church.
I'm launching a blog series titled "Unintended Consequences" in which I'm going to outline my theory. I've shared this before at Dallas Theological Seminary, too. Whether we intended this or not, millennial women are receiving these messages from the Church...
Message Received #1: Marriage is the greatest joy of Christian womanhood.
This is obvious idolatry. The greatest joy of any Christian is loving God and loving others. Not to mention women are marrying later in life and many are choosing to remain single. It's no wonder many singles feel lonely and disenfranchised.
Message Received #2: Motherhood is the highest calling of Christian womanhood.
This is obvious idolatry. The highest calling of any Christian is loving God and loving others. Not to mention the millions of women who will struggle with infertility.
Message Received #3: Single women need to prepare for a spiritual demotion once they get married.
The message being received is: pursue God, pursue God, pursue God, and then when you get married you can defer, defer, defer.
Message Received #4: Godly men have to be more godly than their wives so they are able to lead them well.
Message Received #5: The more godly a single woman becomes, the less desirable she is to godly suitors because she becomes harder to lead.
When a single man starts to deepen his relationship with Christ, his dating pool grows in Christian circles. When a single woman starts to deepen her relationship with Christ, her dating pool is limited to the men that are more godly than her.
Message Received #6: Submission is the hallmark of a godly wife.
Submission is such a beautiful part of The Big Story of the bible. And it's modeled within the godhead (although I do not affirm the eternal subordination of the Son). But the hallmark of a godly wife and any Christian is the fruit of the Spirit.
Message Received #7: Submission is hard when you have strong leadership skills.
Is it though?
Message Received #8: Married women with strong leadership skills will eventually ruin their marriage because they will have a hard time submitting to their husbands.
Message Received #9: Godly married women can blame shift almost anything onto their husband if he is not leading his wife/family well enough.
Jesus juke cop-out.
My theory is that young women are intentionally choosing not to love the Lord their God with all their heart, all their soul, all their mind, and all their strength because the messages they've received from the church have made loving God with their all a short-lived pursuit at best and a futile pursuit at worst.
Read the rest of this series here...
- Key Differences - Barna
- 5 Factors Changing Women's Relationship with The Church - Barna
- Women are the newest US mission field - Christianity Today
- Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S Labor Force - Pew Research
- By 2017 Millennials will have more buying power than any other generation - Time