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Opinion | Sexuality

Christian Women Need to Know Their History

By celebrating the stories of generations before us, we better understand our own.
Christian Women Need to Know Their History
Image: funky_abstract / Flickr

You don't have to spend much time around the evangelical blogosphere to know that something's afoot. Whether you frequent "mommy" blogs or theology blogs, whether you are progressive or conservative, you won't get very far before you hear a common theme. Women of this generation are restless to embrace the fight for justice and find our place in the Kingdom. Books like Sarah Bessey's Jesus Feministand Trillia Newbell's United along with movements like the recent IF: Gathering, inspire us to take on the world. We are ready to stand for the rights of the poor, marginalized, and defenseless.

But even as we do, we need to take a moment to listen. We need to hear the stories of our mothers and grandmothers who fought these same battles—sometimes hundreds of years before us. We need to know our history.

I grew up in a family that understood the power of stories. I can remember lying in my grandmother's bed, snuggled against her under the crocheted afghan, listening as she told me about the time she overturned the butter churn as a girl and spilled the family's cream for the week. She had grown up in Appalachia, the middle of ten children, and churns and chores were an essential part of who she was. I also remember the stories of my maternal grandmother—how her widowed mother raised her and her four siblings in a paper mill town in New Jersey, how she left home at sixteen, traveling over 700 miles to become the first in her family ...

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