Since Leslie's post I have thought much about her questions. I did not take the poll on her sidebar because I only had the option to answer yes or no. I found it entirely too difficult to respond to those questions with one word answers. I'd like to think it is because I am a writer but more then likely it's due to my strong opinions. I am sure your not surprised.
Here are my answers to the poll questions.
Do you consider yourself a strong willed women?
From a cultural perspective....Yes.
(Okay, I can answer this one with almost one word :o)
Is a strong willed women a positive or negative characteristic?
This is a loaded question! It all depends on who you ask. I don't personally see it as a negative thing in my life. I can imagine about 10 years ago when I had little restraint and thought I was God's gift to the world, it being negative for those around me. All things God gives us are good! We are very capable of sinning in those gifts but that doesn't make them bad.
Does a women have to give up her strong will to follow Christ?
This question really makes me want to "rename" the strong willed women. Scripture tells us that our will must be submitted to His. So the literal answer would be yes. But I would question the label being correct. To be strong doesn't mean you are willful and this label makes me feel rebellious when I think on these lines. To be able to make restrained, reasoned decisions not based on emotion and whim is not being willful but wise. See my definition of a strong willed women here. If I am pushing my way then I am not following. If I am not putting others before myself them I am not following. If I think my ideas have to be heard then I am not following. Draw your won conclusion.
Does your strong will hinder or enhance your walk with Jesus?
Ahhhh...tricky. Every person has their weaknesses and besetting sins......those things that will be with them until we reach home and our sinless state. I think women who are gifted (as each person has gifts) in this way have similar struggles. Sin hinders my walk with Jesus, so yes my "strong will" has an impact on my relationship with God. I tend toward self sufficiency and independence ever so easily. This effects my marriage, parenting and other relationships.....as well as my relationship with Jesus. I tend to think more highly of myself then I should which is in opposition to the gospel. Every women has hindrances in their walk, they are simply different.
Do strong willed women have a difficult time fitting in with other women in church? Okay, I am going out on a limb with this one. Don't throw eggs! I think if we struggle to fit in (which I have struggled with) it is because we are looking too much at ourselves. We are to be peacemakers. When people criticize (trust me I've been there) I think strong women can develop a chip on their shoulder which for me lead to pride. I am no better then any other women, I just have something different to contribute. And realise I am only addressing the strong willed women here not the responsibility of those being critical and their reactions.