“Then Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
I wanted to open this Wisdom of Column with a popular passage from Jesus. Because today’s topic is about Women and Guilt. I sincerely hope for the women who read this column will gain some sense of comfort from any guilt they are carrying.
One of the most interesting things I have seen in my life is how women have carried the load and felt responsible for everything in their lives. And because of that responsibility, they have felt a tremendous sense of guilt.
Growing up with four sisters and a mother, I have seen the old cliche, “When mama ain’t happy nobody’s happy,” in action.
I’ve always wondered why my sisters felt like anything they did was never good enough. I could remember overhearing some of their conversations (when I was a boy) and how upset they would get about something in their lives and I had no idea why.
Even my mother, who did a wonderful job raising eight children would have this pained look on her face. I would ask her what’s wrong and she’d tell me everything was alright. But, her face told me a different story.
Also, I remember when I lived in Albuquerque and was dating this woman who I thought the world of. She would always criticize herself about her body, especially her lower half of her body being too big. I know that a lot of women are critical towards that area of her body, but she’d really beat herself up about it. I would compliment her and listen to her feelings in hopes of making her feel better. But the next day, she would go back to condemning herself for being fat.
Looking back at that time in my life, I realized that there was nothing I could have said or done with my sisters, mother, or girlfriend at that time to make their guilt go away. Even though I could see it in their eyes, I didn’t (and still don’t) have the ability to take anyone’s guilt away. I was not created to handle that kind of role.
I believe that women because they are wired to be nurturing feel they have keep everything together and control every aspect of their lives even if means subjugating their own needs and desires. And if an aspect of her life isn’t right…there is a huge sense of guilt that arises from it.
Whether if she’s a single mother, married with children, or a professional woman trying to climb the corporate ladder, the myth of the Superwoman is real and many women try to live up to it. And when they fall short (in their eyes), it’s their fault.
Well, Jesus says in this passage from Matthew is it not your fault. Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
The Prince of Peace is the only one who can make that claim. He can give you rest. Not your husband (no matter how great a husband he has been), not your parents (no matter how well they have raised you), not your boss or pastor, or even your girlfriends.
We not built to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Also, we are not to condemn ourselves as well when life sometimes gets out of your control.
“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Women in our society deserves rest. Without you, our culture would not function the same. However, when you feel overwhelmed and guilt ridden, there is someone who can get you through it.