I’m a nerd, and by nerd, well I love nerdy things. I have had a few outbursts of nerdiness appear on here one or two times, but for the most part I try to keep my nerdiness to myself. I’m not ashamed, I just am aware that not everyone feels comfortable around the nerd-babble. Anyway, if you have read and watched as much fantasy stuff as I have, you are bound to hear the name Lilith. You don’t even have to be a nerd to have heard a reference to Lilith a time or two (Fraiser Crane’s ex-wife’s name, for example). Hearing this allusion to some female demon over and over made me curious, who is this Lilith character that I had somehow missed in Sunday School? Of course, I Googled it.
From what I had found, the story of Lilith came from some guy who’s name was not Moses, Abraham, Isaac, you get the picture, it wasn’t from a prophet. Not having a prophet back up this information, I feel pretty comfortable calling it a myth. This myth claims that Adam had a wife before Eve. She was made of dust like Adam was made of dust. She and Adam fought about being the dominant one and she ran away from him. Adam tattled to God about it and God sent angels to retrieve her. She refused to come back and begged the angels to give her sons. She was cursed to forever be barren. God then made Eve from Adam’s rib. And, well, you know the story from there.
This was years ago that I had researched this, but it bothered me then and it bothers me now. It really ate away at me for some time. I found myself talking to other women inside and outside of religious groups about this story and their thoughts. Women of my Faith were appalled like I was. Eve is very respected and beloved in my Faith, to hear such a desecration of her is hurtful. Women outside of our Faith saw Lilith as a champion for women’s rights and equality. I actually found many websites calling Lilith the mother of feminism.
As I mulled over Lilith and Eve, I was brought back to Satan. If Satan had a wife, it would be Lilith. She was viewed as the mother of demons, he is the father of lies; they make a good couple. Granted, Lilith is probably more accurately his daughter (after all, she, herself, is a lie). Whatever her relationship to the Prince of Darkness, the Son of the Morning, is she is perpetuating lies. I felt that Lilith had been working on the women of the world. She has been whispering lies to us since her creation and they have only snowballed and gotten worse. The tragedy is we not only accept these lies: we embrace them.
I am going to shine the light on these dark lies. I want you to see them for what the really and truly are: things used to keep us from who and what we really are. I want you to stop believing and promoting these lies. I want us to rise above Lilith and her dark web.
Lie #1: Your worth
History is filled with women being viewed as property, objects, and inferiors. This doesn’t even end with the 20th century, it is still happening today in various parts of the world. This devaluing is obvious and easily spotted. Deeper, harder to see is the lie that your worth lies in your career, your looks, your title, your money, your talents, your friends, anything other than how Heavenly Father would measure your worth.
When I was a young teenager growing up, there were many girls in my ward (congregation) that I had grown up with. These girls were all very talented singers. They had beautiful voices along with a deeper understanding of music. One girl with an exceptional talent was my best friend Emmalie. Emmalie had the voice of a bird singing the songs written by the Creator Himself. She never held back from sharing her talent at church, at school, everywhere. On the other hand, I sang, but it was just average. When there were choirs, I joined, but I was always a background, blended voice. Any solo went to one of the other gifted girls, often Emmalie, but never me. Part of me wanted a solo, wanted to be the bird singing heaven’s sons, but never did it happen. I grew insecure and embarrassed about singing. I even felt like I had no talent for it.
It was years later before I realized that Emmalie’s ability did not diminish my ability. Her talent did not make mine less. Just because someone else can do something that you can do better, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use that same skill to glorify God.
In the parable of the talents, the man with two talents didn’t give up because his two talents were less than the ten talents of the other guy. He didn’t even puff up because he had two and the other guy only had one. The man with two talents got the same reward as the one with ten. If we take what we have and work on developing and becoming more, even if we aren’t the best, we still make Heavenly Father happy.
It isn’t just talents either. Many women feel that they can’t be stay at home mothers because it devalues them. They need a career because that is where they get their worth. (The opposite can be said as well). We even devalue each other. Women are other women’s harshest critic.
I love the story of the woman who daily complained to her husband about the neighbor’s laundry. Every morning at breakfast she would look out the window and comment on how the next door neighbor (who was hanging up the wash) was doing a terrible job cleaning her clothes to her husband. This happened for many weeks. One morning the woman called to her husband with filled with excitement, “She finally did it, her laundry is so clean!” The husband’s response “Her laundry is no different, I just cleaned the windows.”
We often look at each other through dirty windows at each other. We devalue each other because of what we deem is right and good. In reality we need to learn that every voice is needed for the choir. Every woman makes an impact on the world. We need to see our own value, we need to accept our own talents, we need to accept and value others. We need to value women.
Lie #2: Your body
We are bombarded in every which way about bodies. There are movements promoting all different body types and shaming others. There is no perfect body. Everyone has something that they dislike about their body, no matter their shape, size, curves, BMI, it doesn’t matter what condition they are in, there is going to be something they are insecure about. There’s nothing Lilith likes more than for us to hate ourselves. She revels when we hate each other’s bodies.
The body issue is even deeper than just our weight and shape. We live in a society that promotes doing all sorts of things to our bodies. We binge watch, we binge read, we binge eat, we binge work out, we binge everything. Binge used to be a bad word; binge eating was usually followed with bulimia, now it’s how we talk about our weekend. “I binged an entire season on Netflix and binged an entire carton of Ben and Jerry’s.”
Besides the new trend in no self-mastery, we do all sorts of things to our bodies in the name of freedom and being “adults”. Adolescent girls are now more likely to drink, do drugs, and have risky sex than their mothers ever were. Why? Because we buy into these lies dressed up and peddled to us by Lilith that it makes us “adult” that it’s our “rite of passage”, and that it makes us “strong, independent, and powerful”. All it does is diminish our true potential and limit future choices.
Another issue with our bodies is we begin to see ourselves as our bodies. We forget that we are not physical bodies with the occasional spiritual experience; we are spirits having a physical experience. We are spirits, learning and growing through our bodies. It’s like when we go to art class and we learn how to make clay pots, we couldn’t learn how to do those things without bodies. We cannot progress and become more in this realm without a physical body to act as our clay, our access. We are not our bodies, we are in control of our bodies (unless we choose to let our bodies control us), we have the power, not our drives and impulses.
Lie #3: Your gender
When I was a small child, I wanted to be a boy. I thought boys got it all. My brother was proof of this: later bedtimes, cooler toys, more freedom and independence, better activities, and so on. I told my mom daily that I wanted to be a boy. Good thing my mom wasn’t part of some new movements and understood that my desire to be a boy was probably more of age envy. He was older and that is why he got more things, more privileges.
Lilith spends a lot of time trying to eliminate gender. If you remember from earlier, Lilith wanted to be the same as Adam. Well news flash, women and men are biologically and spiritually different. We have different roles to fulfill. We have different needs, different brains, different social ways, different everything. Lilith wants you to forget that, she wants you to destroy truth, to justify her rebellion.
Besides gender lines getting fainter and fainter, we have another issue, Lilith tells us that our gender is nothing special. We are nothing special. Women are no different, or if women are, then they aren’t as good, special, or important as men.
This is a horrific lie. Women are the crown jewel of creation. Women have a great innate power, a power where we can influence others, men, children, and groups of people. This power is not sexual or dirty, it is just a natural thing that we inherited as women.
At eighteen months old, my daughter loved going to the grocery store. It was her favorite activity. I would put her in the cart and talk to her as we wandered through the aisles talking about the items we need for the week. As we walked around, I began to notice that the other people around us were reacting in different ways. My daughter was smiling, waving, and saying “hi” to every single person we passed, and in return, people were smiling. Some people would stop and say “hi” back, others were suddenly lighter, happier, and having better days. Such a huge change was brought about by the simple smile of a little girl.
It’s not limited to little girls in shopping carts. Think of history: Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth. Now think of your own life. I am sure you can think of a time where you or some woman that you know influenced people, for good or for bad. You don’t have to be in major power, you don’t have to be mother to nations, you just have to be true to yourself, as a woman and as a daughter of Heavenly Father.
Lie #4: Your modesty
I recently read this awesome blog post about a woman in Jerusalem. She talked about how in the USA, she felt conservative in her dress, but in the Middle East, she felt practically naked. She spent time talking to these women who wore the hijab. She realized that they didn’t wear it just to be modest, but they wore it because they understood that their modesty went far beyond just their outward appearance. Every aspect was modest, their speech, their attitude, the way they treat others, every aspect of their conduct was modest.
Lilith hates modesty. Why be modest and humble when you can be loud, crewd and rude? Why treat others with love and respect when you can demand it? Why be kind when you can be in charge? Why apologize when you can point out flaws? Why be gentle when you can be harsh?
Modesty is not keeping your skin covered to keep men under control. Modesty is about being meek, humble, and most of all, a child of God.
Don’t believe Lilith. She hates us, she hates everything. Lilith only spews lies (mostly because she is a lie). To listen and believe her is to deny yourself your true inheritance. Stop listening to her lies and claim what is rightfully yours.
How is Lilith lying to you? How do you rise above her lies? I would love your feedback and insights on this one!