The podcast, Sheologians, that I cohost with my best friend Joy started two years ago because I don't understand the sway Amish romance novels have on Christian women. These books are vaguely religious, marketed to Christians, written by Christians, for Christians. As if writing a less-steamy but still-love-triangley novel is somehow more Christian. Or maybe it's just easier to pretend that Fabio with a haircut and farmer's hat is suddenly pious-Fabio. Sometimes, well-meaning Christians are easy to deceive. A romance novel is a romance novel and Christian women tend to eat them up, despite the fact that the wool being pulled over their eyes is actually see-through.
My soon-to-be cohost Joy and I were joking about the predictable plot lines of this kind of pretend-art when our soon-to-be producer Marcus suggested we start a podcast and talk about the kinds of things we already liked discussing—art, culture, politics, and how they all effect Christian women today. We thought it would be fun. We didn't know that we would debut in the number two spot next to Joel Osteen on the iTunes charts, or that we would have over a million downloads a little over a year later. Truthfully, we didn't plan for or expect any of it. We don't do anything particularly special on our show—we just love puns and a good discussion.
So my job is kind-of-really weird. I sit in front a microphone with my best friend and discuss some topic with her—discipleship, doctrine, feminism, a topic we invite a guest on to help us discuss, you know, what-have-you. I work with our designer on our website graphics, write up topic explanations, post episodes, answer emails, travel, occasionally blog, and respond to a lot comments across social media interacting with our weekly discussions. I do this in between being a mostly stay-at-home-mom of four young kids, which means my social media interaction and episode posting are always punctuated by kitchen timers, sibling fights, grocery shopping, bath times, bed times, and the conquering of laundry mountains.
I hope that the work I do in my ministry, my attempt to encourage and edify women in the church through podcasting and writing, is effective. I hope that I can be a tool in God's hands to that end. I have myriad feelings regarding what qualifies as Christian content these days. In a time when fiction portraying God as a woman make the bestselling "Christian" charts, there is a lot of reason to be skeptical. As image-bearers of a creative Creator God, there's no reason for Christian art and content to be as vapid and one-note as it often is. Our God tells the best stories. He is the best teacher. He has the most magnificent eye. We should strive to image him in that when we take on any creative project.
Mostly my prayer is that Joy and I are faithful. What that looks like on the back-end of Sheologians is that I've spent maybe a total of an hour over the course of the last two years looking into Facebook algorithms, what hashtags are trending, or how to optimize our website. In other words, we aren't interested in what's going to gather the most listeners, but in how we can use our gifts as faithfully as possible. Sometimes that means putting out an episode we know might upset some folks. The point is never to be upsetting—the point is speak faithfully and Biblically into areas that are difficult, counter-cultural, and hard to talk about publicly.
Our conviction is that Christian women need to hear more hard, Gospel truths than they need to hear another self-help message. Women were created by our creative Creator God to come alongside Adam and work. Women were built with hard labor in mind, and neglecting to put our hands to the plow God has placed in front of us isn't going to do any good. We are the weaker vessels, but that doesn't mean we belong on the fainting couch. It means we must take up the call to be teachers of good, models of good, peaceful down to our very souls, and ready to get our hands busy for the Kingdom.
Women are exhausted. Just check the trending memes on mom-blogs. But Jesus has promised a light burden for his children. That means that women need to be encouraged to eat of the feast that God has set before them in His word. To love God properly, we must know God. To rest in God, we must know who it is we are resting in. And the more we know, love, and rest in our Savior, the easier it is to have courage in a world that is so hostile to it's creator. As long as I am able, I want to encourage women to this end. Sometimes that means sharing my own personal struggles or attempting to break down a certain doctrine in an understandable way. Sometimes that means Joy and I spend ten minutes every episode just laughing together. Christians should be the most joyful people in the world, right? I want to encourage women to laugh like that's true!
So, yeah. I have a super weird job. I work in a medium where my content is more likely to get censored and removed than posts glorifying baby-murder (no, seriously, that's happening now on Facebook). Nevertheless, this is where God has placed me and I will be faithful in it for as long as it's the plow in front of me. The thing about being a Christian is that it's our job to be faithful and simply trust God with the results. So whether that means saying something unpopular publicly, learning a new creative project you will likely be bumbling at for awhile, or conquering Laundry Mountain, the question is: can you do this and be faithful? Can you not do this and still be faithful? Nothing else matters. You plant. You water. God gives the growth.