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JUN
20
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Women, Religion & Stress

Women, Religion & Stress

A while back, Tim and I were watching a television segment about a US company sponsoring celebrations of Hispanic culture, especially food.  He mentioned there are holidays and celebrations for Latin Americans, African Americans, women, etc.  “Where’s the celebration of the white man?” he joked (seriously – joking!).  At first the conversation was lighthearted and comical.  It soon became more serious as I asked him the question, “describe for me a time when you’ve been treated as inferior just because you are a white male.”  He could not.  I went on to explain a few of the many times I have been treated as less than because I am a woman, and that sometimes the reason for that treatment is based on a Biblical interpretation.

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In 2006, I wrote my first book, Life Without the Monsters to provide support to women dealing with anxiety, fear, stress, and depression.  Because much of my healing from stress and anxiety came from Biblical support, I included Scripture-based advice and activities. I researched a great deal before writing, examining religion, psychology, and science.  Since then, I have traveled around the world speaking to women about stress, emotions, communication, and conflict.  Often I’m brought in as a female motivational speaker, sometimes as a trainer, and sometimes as a speaker for women’s church retreats. The point is, lots of women in lots of different settings. I’ve noticed 2 important trends.  First, women in church often express guilt over taking medication or refuse to admit they have too much stress because it means they “don't have faith.”  Second, in business seminars, many confide that being raised in religion has caused them to be riddled with guilt for falling short of fulfilling the roles assigned to women.  This leads me to believe there is a disconnect somewhere.  Biblical advice does not seem to be helping American women, and it should.

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