Elusive Wapiti quoting Elspeth quoting Kieth Drury:
In a spiritual formation class we work on how Christians can get victory over sin as a part of their spiritual growth. To start the unit I ask students to list the sins Christians face most today. They list four sins immediately:
Then they pause…they run out of sins…At the pause I usually ask, “OK, for each sin on our list let’s decide as a class if men or women are more inclined to this sin. In all three classes they have agreed that while women are sometimes tempted in these areas men are more inclined to these four sins.
So I say, “Only women participate now—decide among yourselves what four sins you’d add to the list to that you think women are more inclined toward. Silence. Furrowed brows. Thinking…
The last two times I did this activity the women unanimously agreed on what they considered the chief besetting sin of women:
Lack of self esteem
I’m serious. So were they. The last two times I did this when a women offered “Self esteem” the entire group of women audibly responded, “Yeah—that’s it!”
You see where I’m headed? Lack of self esteem? To the men in the class these co-eds were saying, “While you men struggle with pornography, lust, pride and anger we women struggle with not thinking highly enough of ourselves.
A while back, Sunshine Mary noted a real gem in Christianity Today: “The Spiritual Sex: why are women better Christians than men?” (Degree of spiritual advancement was measured by anonymous self-assessment.)
By almost any measure, women are better Christians than men are. They’re more likely to read Scripture, believe it, practice what it teaches, and tell others about it. (Studies suggest that women are also more devout Muslims, Hindus, pagans, etc.) And they’re feeling pretty good about it, too: in August, the Barna Group reported that 74 percent of Christian women say they are mature in the faith.
One of the only categories on which men scored more highly was agreement with the following:
I strongly believe God is angered by my sins,
Also according to Barna, women don’t struggle with any of the seven deadly sins:
Churches have long taught the seven deadly sins or modern interpretations of them: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. For women, these traditional sins do not seem to be a problem; they claim instead much more “modern” struggles. In fact, when asked what they struggle with, women most often point to disorganization (50%) and inefficiency (42%).
As for the traditional sins, women are least likely to admit to lust (8%). And, against common stereotypes, women also say they rarely battle jealousy or envy—less than one in eight women (13%) admit to feeling envious often or sometimes. When it comes to other negative behaviors and attitudes, about one third (36%) admit to feeling anger, one quarter say they struggle with selfishness (25%), one in five say they are prone to excessive arguing (19%) and just over one-sixth (16%) say they can be arrogant.
So, in case it isn’t obvious, the vice most likely to ensnare a Christian woman is PRIDE.
One may still wonder if this is something biologically innate or a result of cultural conditioning.
Filed under: Gender roles | 20 Comments »