Woman Commits to Following Biblical Instructions for Full Year
A woman who calls herself a feminist Christian decided to do more than just read the Bible for one year.
Rachel Held Evans committed to following all of the instructions for women given in both the Old and New Testment for a 12 month period and has written about her unusual project in an upcoming book called “A Year of Biblical Womanhood.”
In order to follow the instruction to submit to her husband, Evans began calling him “master”, grew her hair long and made all of her clothes rather than go shopping for them at the local department store.
“Starting this month, I will commit one year of my life to following all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, from Genesis to Revelation, from the Levitical code to the letters of Paul, there’s no picking and choosing… Well, except for polygamy and a few other things that I’ll tell you about later.”
One of the most challenging instructions she agreed to follow was to live apart and not interact with either her husband or any other family members, friends or community members while she had her menstrual cycle.
Evans lived in a tent outside her home during these times, abstained from sexual relations and carried her own seat cushion.
So what did Rachel, learn?
“To call into question that there is a single blueprint of how to be a woman. There’s no single model in the Bible – as soon as you think you have found it a woman comes along and breaks it. “Everyone picks and chooses. There are verses that say ‘submit to your husband’, but also those that say ‘submit to one another’. The more women know about the bible the more they can respond when people try to silence them.”
Evans told Slate that she wishes the saga had played out differently.
“I often hear from evangelical leaders, ‘Oh we’re really eager to have more female leaders,’ ” she said. “I want to say, ‘This is my voice. This is what it sounds like.’ ”
Last month, Evans was featured on Christianity Today’s list of 50 Christian women shaping “evangelical church and North American society,” alongside such high-profile women as Michelle Bachmann.
“A Year of Biblical Womanhood” is Evans’ follow-up to her successful 2010 memoir, “Evolving in Monkey Town.” According to the Amazon book description, “Evans embarked on a radical life experiment—a year of biblical womanhood. Intrigued by the traditionalist resurgence that led many of her friends to abandon their careers to assume traditional gender roles in the home, Evans decides to try it for herself, vowing to take all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible for a year.”