The Influence of the World -- By: Martha Peace
JBMW 9:2 (Fall 2004) p. 26
The Influence of the World
Biblical Counselor and Author, Peachtree City, Georgia
All my life I have been influenced by what others have thought. Thinking back to my childhood, I can remember believing that everything my parents said was right and true. It was quite unsettling the first time I realized they were wrong about something. As I got older, I was more influenced by television, education, and friends. I graduated from high school and also nursing school in the sixties. Those were the years of the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution, and the beginnings of the modern feminist movement.
I remember when the abortion debate was raging and I hoped fervently that Roe V. Wade would pass. But what really got my attention and my heart was the lure of wanting to be someone significant. That, according to the feminists, would only happen through my education and career. To be relegated to a life of servitude to a family was to be sentenced to a life of being a “non-person. “After all, I was certainly as important as my husband-to-be! Gone were the days of “McCall’s Magazines” full of articles reminding wives to vacuum under their beds and sofa cushions once a week. And gone were the wives and mothers who (almost magically) appeared in the mornings fresh with their starched cotton dresses, high heels, make up, and ruffled white aprons to begin their day of work at home. What had come in her place was a newer version of “thoroughly modern Milly” who would forever more be searching for her identity.
Betty Friedan led the search of the early sixties feminists. Her book, The Feminine Mystique, took the country by storm.1 Women embraced her philosophies and any man in his right mind certainly wanted to become sensitive and not remain a male, chauvinist pig! What the sixties feminists wanted were equal rights and equal pay and they believed that their identity was determined by what they personally accomplished through education and career. Back then almost all pastors were men and, of course, all soldiers were men. Little girls played with doll babies and their fondest dreams were to marry and have children. Well, those were what my children call the “old days.” It would be nice to think that the “new days” are better but, in truth, they’re not. People are still self-focused, sinful, and have come up with new and ever-so-creative labels for the same old sin - love of self and a lack of love for God and others. Non-Christians and Christians alike are searching for their identity, their significance, their worth, their esteem, or their security. Many people, even Bible believing Christians, have been much...
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