I’ve been pondering the question of womanhood lately. I suppose the word womanhood could be defined as many ways as the word love. It may very well mean something different to everyone. In 2017, does being a woman mean something different than it did in 1917, 1817, or 400 B.C.? Our chores are certainly different, but has our purpose changed? What was a woman’s role in 400 B.C.? What is a woman’s role in 2017?
While I pride myself in being a hard worker, I’m glad I live in 2017 and can enjoy the modern conveniences and technology that make my life so much more comfortable than the women of other time periods experienced. Putting aside the actual physical chores of womanhood, our actual role is still the same now as it was in the Garden of Eden. Heavenly Father created Eve and designed a plan for Eve and her daughters that was very specific and important.
The role of women is to be partners with the men in the task of bringing all God’s children back to Him. In 2017, it isn’t politically correct to say this, but women are the nurturers. We are the caregivers. Does that mean we are subservient? Of course not! We have been given the great responsibility of nurturing not only children but our male counterparts. We bring spirituality into our homes—and into the world. The only thing different about 2017, is that many of us have forgotten that we are daughters of God who are honored and loved by Him and have been charged with this great responsibility.
I’ve spent a good deal of time lately wondering why we have forgotten our role in Heavenly Father’s plan. I think we can all agree that being a woman isn’t easy in the modern world. We are expected to wear so many hats. Often, we are treated like second-class citizens. The expectation of perfection in the role of wife, mother, community leader, volunteer, and career are everywhere—but that’s not the problem. The problem is that we have fallen into the trap of believing that we really do have to be perfect in all things. So, the whining begins.
While we are busy whining about everything that is expected of us as women, we fail to see what is expected of the men. We forget that things have changed for men as drastically as they have changed for women. Men are now expected to fill in as nurturers and caregivers in our absence because of careers and other expectations.
We forget that our partners in crime are struggling too. I, for one, would like to see the whining stop. A lot more would get done to save our children and spread the gospel to all God’s children if we decided (male and female) to play the hand that God gave us.
Life is hard, but it’s supposed to be hard. We came here to learn and grow, and that can’t be done if we are living the life of luxury 24/7/365. Whether male or female, we are expected to work our way back to our Heavenly Father. As a woman, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to learn.
We are afforded so many opportunities for growth—and they don’t necessarily come from a formal education. Very often the best learning and growth come from fulfilling our individual roles as wife, mother, caregiver, and nurturer—whether in our own homes, in our Church callings, or out in the community.
My current Church calling is the compassionate service leader. Our ward has a large number of older people. Some people in our ward are homebound and can’t come to Church. Those who can come, often have health issues or other problems that come with aging.
The holidays often bring loneliness to those who may be unable to see family members. By nature, I’m not a very nurturing type person, so this calling is requiring me to hone my skills as nurturer/caregiver.
I spent this afternoon on the phone checking up on some people who may need a little extra love these days. Most of the elderly people on my watch list won’t ask for help, although I wish they would. Occasionally, someone will ask me to transport them to a medical appointment. I’m happy to do that, but I wish there was more I could do. I’m learning, however, that sometimes it is enough that they know that I love them enough to make the phone call. Each call I make teaches me a little more about nurturing.
Being a woman is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We just need to remember that what we do is important. We also need to stop comparing ourselves to others. Ask your Heavenly Father what He wants you to do, and then simply go about doing it. There are thousands of ways to be a woman/nurturer. It isn’t the same for me as it is for my neighbor, my sisters, my daughters, or my ward members.
We are each given spiritual gifts to go along with our earthly assignments. If we seek guidance through prayer, fasting, studying, and temple worship, we will know how God wants each of us individually to fulfill our role as nurturing women. Womanhood is wonderful and beautiful once we have learned to embrace it by using our spiritual gifts.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.