There's a time to hold your tongue
Time to keep your head down
There's a time, but it's not now.
Sometimes you gotta go,
Sometimes you gotta speak
when you don't have the floor
Sometimes you gotta move
when everybody else says you should stay
No way, no, not today
These are lyrics from the song "Born for This" by Mandisa as the character of Ester in the CD The Story. Ester was a young woman who became the wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus. Shortly afterward, she learned of a plot by the advisor Haman to destroy the Jews. Ester risked her own death by marching into the king's court when he had not called her (Ester 4:11). Ester informed the king of the plot and rescued her people.
In this song by Mandisa, I heard a woman who was bold, determined, and courageous. Truly, a genuine inspiration to women. I wanted to dance and sing that this is indeed women's empowerment.
And now, in light of this song, I remember how Christianity is often accused of oppressing women and of degrading women. Listening to this song, I laugh at the ridiculousness of the accusations.
How does the secular society - atheists or non-Christian people - empower women?
Consider the current cultural icon Lady Gaga. In her Bad Romance video, two women stripped another woman and stepped back to stare at her breasts. Another scene in the same video showed Gaga dancing scantily in front of a man who eyed her coldly as if she were a piece of meat. In the song, Government Hooker, she repeats, "I wanna be your hooker." Then, there is the Twilight series where Bella has zero self-motivation and floats lifelessly until a man comes along.
Sex is completely absent from the Ester song "Born for This," yet Mandisa as Ester sings about a woman who defies the authorities keeping her silent. Ester is assertive and courageous for the sake of justice and righteousness. Ester became a champion to the Jewish people. Sex is irrelevant to women's empowerment, yet the secular society focuses almost entirely upon sex. T
he ultimate end of this secular focus is to the sexual enslavement of people who do not recognize their own chains and who admire their own bondage. When Gaga repeats, "I wanna be your hooker," she embraces a role in which women exist solely for giving men sensual pleasure. The human dignity and individual worth is lost. The secular message reminds me of what Peter wrote in his second letter: "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption." (2 Peter 2:19)
Why and how did women fall from championing their intelligence and their bravery to championing the abandonment of their bodies for men's pleasure?
But there is a true championing of human dignity and individual self-worth in Mandisa's song "What if we are real,"
"What if I share my brokenness
What if I tell you how I feel
What if we weren't afraid of this crazy mess
What if we were real?
We'd think a little less of ourselves
We'd care about somebody else
'cause we'd know just how they feel
Maybe we could let someone love us."
I wish that Mandisa and her message of pure and untainted empowerment could soar through the airwaves and educate the young women about the importance and value of their own inner strength - of the strengths and souls that they were born with in the image of their Creator.
Ask yourselves, do you want the daughters of the next generation to sing:
You gotta ask
if you want answers
Sometimes you gotta stand
apart from the crowd
Long before your heart could run the risk
you were born for this.
Or do you want the daughters of the next generation to sing "I wanna be your hooker?"