The punches kept coming. I didn’t know what to do. I tried to protect my face and my body to no avail. As I began to see stars, the hyperventilation came. I could not breathe properly.
I hit the ground and it was soft and blue. This was only training, and I was getting my tail kicked. Growing up as a little tom-boy, I would have told you that I wanted to be in the military, and later that dream morphed into becoming a police officer. After high school, I got a degree in criminal justice and I later became a police officer after I joined the military.
My dreams were being fulfilled left and right. I did not think I was doing anything wrong, nor did I think it a big deal for women to be in the military or police force. But shockingly, I did believe that the Bible set forth a precedent showing that it was not right for women to be in combat. I knew it was wrong.
However, in my mind, my job in the military was a “non-combat” job. This was an easy justification. It wasn’t until I was asked, “Is it Biblical for women to be in the police force?” that I began to consider what the Bible taught regarding this subject of male and female roles. My conclusion after actually studying what the Bible taught regarding gender roles is that a woman being a police officer goes against God’s design for the way He made women.
God made women for specific purposes and law enforcement is not one of those purposes. There are many reasons why I came to this conclusion, but I would like to share my top three reasons why I quit my job as a police officer:
1. The police force was destroying my femininity.
2. The police force is combat.
3. The uniforms police officers wear is cross-dressing.
Please understand that this was not a flippant decision. To quit my job, initially, was one of the hardest decisions of my life. It took a year worth of praying, studying the Bible and many, many conversations regarding this topic of study that brought me to my conclusions. I was raised to believe that such women were heroes. My life was being turned upside down. Everything I held dear seemed like it was being ripped from my soul.
The difficulty began at the very beginning. It came to my attention that I walked like a man. Yes, someone actually told me this. He said, “Try walking like a lady.” I tried and I couldn’t. I was so embarrassed. I walked with my shoulders swaying back and forth with my legs slightly spread apart. After this shameful and humiliating confrontation, I began to pursue feminine qualities. This was harder than any physical fitness I ever took. Harder than any workout I had ever done. Harder than the police academy and military basic training combined. And no, I am not exaggerating. I maxed out every physical ability test at the women’s standard and was always extremely close to maxing out the male standard. This was easy. What was difficult? What made me want to quit? Trying to put makeup on for the first time. Trying to curl my hair without burning myself made me want to throw in the towel. My life was backwards.
However, after coming home from one of my shifts, I decided to give this “girl thing” a shot. On one of my weekends, I consciously tried walking and talking more like a woman. I was doing so much better (granted, I was very intentional about it). When the beginning of my next work week started, I went into the locker room to change into my uniform. It was almost like flipping a switch. My body reverting to my manly walk. My voice naturally became lower. I was stunned. I was flabbergasted! I could not believe it. All that hard work down the drain. The police force environment was destroying my delicate femininity.
I would characterize myself as taking what the Word of God says quite seriously. If the Bible tells me so, I strive to follow what it teaches. Like I mentioned above, I was against women in combat. The problem was, I thought only of the military in terms of combat. I did not think that the police force was combat. Call me stupid and I wouldn’t be offended. I simply did think about it. It didn’t take me very long to realize that everything I did was combat. It is true that I was not in combat on a daily basis, but the job entailed combat. When the bullets start flying, the officers go towards them. When other people are in danger and are running away, the police officers go where the danger is. Every single contact a police officer makes is a potential for combat. A police officer by virtue of the uniform alone is a target for combat. Yes, indeed, police work is combat.
The last reason that compelled me to quit my job was the fact that women wearing the police uniform is cross-dressing and goes against Deuteronomy 22:5. What other clothing is more masculine? If you were to separate male clothing from female clothing, where would the line be drawn? Regardless, these uniforms are inherently masculine. I would be lying if I said that the uniform was not cross-dressing. Beyond the clothing itself, as one author has put it, “Men are not to behave as women; women are not to behave as men. As the CEV puts it, ‘Women must not pretend to be men, and men must not pretend to be women. The Lord your God is disgusted with people who do that.’ While popular culture shrieks in outrage at the very notion of a ‘man’s job,’ God is outraged at the very notion of a woman doing a man’s job.”
I have heard many arguments about why I shouldn’t quit my job as a cop. One argument is, If a woman can handle the physical requirements, she should be allowed to be a police officer. This argument is saying that it doesn’t matter that God made women different than men. This argument is also saying that being able to run a certain distance at a certain speed and doing “x” amount of push-ups and sit-ups makes one qualified for a job. There is more to the job than being physically fit. Apart from this though, it still doesn’t touch on the three reasons I quit my job. I was extremely physically fit. I surpassed the female standard and scored 100% on the men’s physical fitness standard. In regards to the argument of women in combat, being physically fit does not matter.1
Another argument Christian people have told me is that my desire to become a police officer was from the Lord and no one has the right to squash my dream. This is one of the most ungodly pieces of advice I have ever heard in my life. My heart is deceitfully wicked (Jer. 17:9). I do and desire that which is not pleasing to the Lord (Rom 7:14-25). And someone tells me that the desire I have is from the Lord? Yes, it was a desire, but hindsight is 20/20 and my desire was wicked. My desire was to satisfy my proud, selfish tendencies. In the depths of my soul I was shaking my fist at God for making me who I was. This is where it is so incredibly vital for us as Christians who give advice and counsel to other Christians. Be very, very careful saying what is God’s will and His desire. We will be accountable for what we advise other people.
As I mentioned above, I wrestled through this for about a year. I did not initially have a burning desire to quit my job. I worked a large part of my life towards the goal of becoming a police officer. I was getting paid well, I enjoyed the majority of the people I worked with, I was my father’s pride and joy, and almost everyone was telling me not to quit. The world was against me, but I knew that what I was doing was not honoring God. I was fighting against femininity, against the beautiful way He made me. The Lord opened my eyes to the truth of His unique purpose that He gives to both men and to women. As I look back at my past, I would characterize myself as being “free in my prison of passion.”2 It wasn’t until, by God’s grace, my eyes were opened to see that that my true liberation is found in being a woman, set free in Christ.
Citations & References1. For a deeper look at the differences between men and women, look at the secular author Kingsley Browne and his book, Co-Ed Combat.
2. Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Nicole LeamanSee More Essays
Nicole Leaman is a wife and mother of four daughters. With a degree in Criminal Justice, she writes essays about social matters regarding women and culture as a Senior Contributor to The Reformed Conservative.