I was asked a very interesting question by a woman who had come to hear me speak. She said to me, “Are you a liberated woman?” That question caused me to stop and ask, “What is a liberated woman?” Women’s liberation has become a much-used term during the last two or three decades and, on this day we celebrate the freedom we have in our country, it’s a good idea to ask that question again: What is a liberated woman?
For some women, to be liberated means they are free from the control of men, or from the traditional roles that women have been confined to in the past. There are some women who would say that a liberated woman is one who is free from the sexual restraints of the past and has sexual freedom. Often liberated women are defined by their status: how far up the ladder they have climbed; how much money they make; how much power they have—assuming that the higher you climb, the more you make and the more power you have, the freer you are.
What does that term mean to you—a liberated woman? Are you one? Do you know any? How do you recognize one when you see her?
Let me begin by saying that I consider myself a very liberated woman! Indeed, I do! I’m liberated—set free—because I’ve been set free by Jesus Christ. Feminism does not offer me that freedom. No organization can offer me that. No job can offer me that. No amount of money or power can give me freedom. No other person can liberate me. Only Jesus—he has set me free.
I can certainly understand the desire and passion for freedom and liberation that women feel. Everybody wants to be free. Throughout world history, we’ve seen incredible struggles for freedom from slavery, freedom from aggression, freedom from abuse, and freedom from discrimination. All those struggles are understandable and legitimate.
I appreciate the freedom women now have to pursue any career for which they are qualified. I have benefited from these opportunities available to women, and it gave me some measure of freedom to be able to choose my career based on my interests and abilities. It wasn’t that long ago that many of those opportunities were either denied to women or made extremely difficult.
But, my friends, as one who has pioneered some new paths for women, let me tell you that you won’t find true, lasting liberation in a career—no matter how good it may be—nor in new role definitions, worldly success, status, money, or power. Freedom is found only in Jesus. That is not a trite cliché—it is truth.
Jesus said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Regardless of your circumstances, you can be a truly liberated woman when you are set free by the power of Jesus Christ.