I Hear You, Candace! Sometimes, You Just Can’t Win

On Monday, Full House star Candace Cameron Bure made her debut performance on Dancing With The Stars (DWTS for those in the know). D.J. Tanner has grown up!

I have been watching Candace for several months now. She first caught my attention with the release of her new book, Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose, where she writes about her life as a child actress, finding faith in Christ, and living that out in her every day life.  Candace is vulnerable and honest in her book and, though a very easy read and at times a little disjointed, it is clear she is walking a journey with the Lord, not always doing it right, but learning each day to become more Christlike.

Candace received praise from Christian women and her Facebook fan base soared when popular media criticized her because she recognizes that she honors God when she intentionally chooses to follow and respect the leadership of her husband. She states, “I chose to fall into a more submissive role in our relationship because I wanted to do everything in my power to make my marriage and family work.”

But the tide quickly turned when Christian women became the critical voice when it was announced she would be on DWTS and because her Facebook was not “religious enough.”  It seems like Candace just can’t win leading her to address her critics on her blog.

Wow, can I ever relate to Candace (minus the cameras, of course)! Sometimes you feel like you just can’t win. There are days that seem like I am constantly bombarded with opposing messages, all coming from the same Christian circles.

  • You’re too passive. . . you’re too aggressive . . . now you’re passive aggressive
  • Lean in….lean out
  • You’re too fat…..You’re too thin
  • You’re too theological….you’re too relational
  • You earned another degree? . . . But you don’t have the “right” degree.
  • You’re too bossy…you really need to act like a dean
  • You’re a spiritual mom . . . but you should have adopted
  • You’re a strong, professional woman . . . but you really shouldn’t be working

 

Ladies, I know you have experienced the same thing!

You are not REALLY a godly woman unless you:

  • Homeschool . . . Public School. After all, it’s a mission field!
  • Baby wise….Attachment parenting
  • Take care of yourself . . . you can do it all (the Proverbs 31 woman did.)
  • Provide homecooked meals . . . What? These Bertolli’s aren’t from scratch??
  • BSF . . . Beth Moore

As a self-proclaimed “people pleaser,” I often find myself acting more like a chameleon, trying to make myself match whatever is that hour’s predominant message. I think it comes out of a fear of being accepted, of having no value, or of being a casualty of the faith. (Have you ever noticed that Christians can sometimes be the most brutal on each other?)

That’s when I have to stop, reground, and refocus on what . . . or shall I say WHO . . . really matters.

Paul asks the Christians in Galatia two questions: “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man?” (Gal 1:10).  A group of people were visiting the churches in Galatia, distorting the Gospel, by telling these Gentile believers that they weren’t REALLY Christians, unless they were circumcised. Nothing in the lists above are anything that drastic, but isn’t that the same message?

You aren’t REALLY a Christian, or at least a good Christian, unless . . .

I must admit this is a hard lesson for me and one that I am constantly re-learning. My only task as a follower of Christ is to obey and glorify God. When I do that, the voices of my critics will fade in the background.

Candace’s openness and commitment to  “[never] stop being the real me to be an illusion of a better but fake Christian version of myself” is refreshing. Maybe we, as women, would all learn more from each other if we exposed our struggles and daily challenges to obey all that God has commanded. And rather than looking for the perfect Proverbs 31 woman on earth, we “looked to Jesus and only Jesus for perfection.”

Candace is not perfect, but neither am I . . . no one is. That doesn’t mean we don’t keep striving to learn each day, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, rather than on the cacophony of sounds around us, and encouraging one another to do the same.

I am cheering for Candace on DWTS. I love the fact that she can use her talent, maintain her modesty, and declare her faith all at the same time and, hopefully, have an impact on this dark world.  She’s a winner in my book . . . more importantly, she’s a winner in God’s book.

 

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