Phyllis Mathis

Licensed Counselor, Spiritual Mentor, Life Coach

Sometimes it takes more than education, experience, and expertise. Sometimes it takes a certain kind of soul.

 

I

I’m Proud to be an Ex-Good Christian Woman

I was not raised in a religious home. For a while during my school years my mother sent us to Sunday school, but we were not a religious family. Which is why, when I decided to become a Christian at the age of 16, I felt I was taking a bold new step.

I loved everything about being a Christian: the learning, the singing, the belonging, the knowing. I especially loved the idea that with Christianity I had a way to be truly good, to be good for a good reason, and to be good for all eternity. 

I was the good girl in my family. The middle child. The conformer. The pleaser. I spent my soul’s energy trying to make everyone in my family okay by being as good as I could possibly be. The effort of such a futile endeavor left me feeling powerless and invisible. 

And then I became a Christian. Finally, a way to save the world by being good, with the promise of divine power to accomplish the task!

And when I got a whiff of what it meant to be a Good Christian Woman, I eagerly bought the package: 

The Good Christian Woman is above all, nice.

She is submissive and knows her place.

She is soft-spoken, gentle, and loves the home arts.

The good Christian woman dresses modestly.

She does not flaunt her sexuality.

She learns quietly at home or at church, without needing to ask questions.

The Good Christian Woman longs for marriage and children.

She seeks nothing more than to raise them up to be Good Christian Children.

The Good Christian Woman supports her husband and defers to him in all things.

That was our version of the Good Christian Woman. I signed up for all of it. 

And then I began to fail.

Thank God.

Striving to be good, playing roles, and living up to stereotyped ideals is the antithesis of true spirituality. It took me the better part of 35 years to figure that out.

The stereotype of the Good Christian Woman is deeply rooted in Evangelical Christian culture. We can be so steeped in trying to be “good” that we miss the greater good of being our true selves. 

This is why Kathy Escobar and I have written a course entitled, “The Ex-Good Christian Women’s Club (Online).”  We know that, just like us, you need the company of brave souls moving against the tide to help you stop striving and dare to be yourself. Dare to be enough. Dare to be something real, instead of the cartoon cutout of the Good Christian Woman.

We would love for you to join us. 

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