Mary Kassian on Feminism, God, and Hating the Color Pink

Screenshot 2014.01.21 14.56.37A carpenter’s daughter, Mary rewired the basement when she was just a teenager. Her hobbies included being a tomboy and hating the color pink.

The bottom line is this: Mary Kassian never expected to spend her adult life talking about embracing biblical womanhood.

“Talking womanhood in my younger years would have made me almost puke,” she said with a laugh. “But what I’ve discovered is that womanhood means becoming who God has created you to be, not following a list of what everyone else says. It’s a heart issue, not a list of rules.”

FEMINISM AND GOD

MaryThat discovery was made in the early ‘80s at the height of feminism on university campuses when lots of women were asking questions about God’s opinion of women and how it differed from what they heard from the world.

“Engaging with them on that became a discipleship issue,” said Mary, who surrendered her life to Jesus’ leadership and authority at an early age. “As the ideology of culture has changed over the years—in regards to what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a man, the meaning of marriage, gender and sexuality—it’s become even more of a discipleship issue and it will continue to be one.”

Using a strategic relationship in Mary’s life, God opened the door for her to show a close friend that God did not, in fact, hate women but quite the opposite, thus beginning a new track of life for both of them.

“We just started looking at all the Bible passages for women and really wrestled with them,” Mary said. “It was the questions that were being asked that caused me to really do a lot of reading and studying on the feminist theory, feminist philosophy and theology.”

As Mary began to understand what the feminist movement was all about, she started to see the point of departure between it and what the Word of God says, something that still applies to women today.

“I believe that for all of us as women in this culture it’s something that we need to intentionally wrestle with,” she said. “If we don’t then the default setting, I think, is just to go along with culture. There [are] just so many messages coming at us that if we don’t address it and look at it, then I don’t think we’ll be living the way the Lord wants us to.”

Now Mary is a full-time wife and mom to three adult sons. She is also a renowned speaker and author, as well as a distinguished professor of Women’s Studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

For the rest of Mary’s story, including a Q&A regarding advice to women, young girls and those discipling other women, as well as the most important thing she wants to say to women, download the free March/April edition of RTM Magazine.

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