Am I supposed to be more than I am or am I supposed to forget that I exist at all?
I get the appeal of both sides. I like hearing that if I work as hard as Hollis, I can fly first class too. But Jesus really is better than first class.
Truth is, there’s something to learn from both sides.
It’s a privilege to spend time with these girls, my friends, at the club. I’m 100% convinced the only difference between “them” and me is they don’t know yet how they are fearfully and wonderfully made by a Savior (Ps 139:14).
Chauvinistic evangelicalism is a demented, sinful expression of complementarianism; a misogynistic strain of a disease that sickens the church.
I often feel like a fish out of water among women. I’m the woman who cringes when she gets an invite to a women’s retreat, especially if it has teacups on the cover. I was never the girl who daily dreamed of marriage or motherhood. And even now as a wife and mother, I’d rather do push-ups than craft at your kitchen table. I used to feel ashamed in the church because I didn’t fit the mold of the Christian woman I often felt was modeled and taught.
But here I am, a women’s ministry leader.
When Harry Met Sally made the question famous, but it’s been one we’ve been throwing around for at least the last century. Society has changed; the days of men in the field and women in the kitchen are by and large distant memories. Today, men and women are side by side in just about every arena. Men and women do not just meet in order to get married and have babies, but are co-workers and equals in the business world. This has forced men and woman to learn how to interact with one another outside of romantic relationships.
If we want both men and women to respond in the freedom of Christ and to live using our gifts to His glory, we need a space in our churches where men are specifically taught by men, and women specifically taught by women (not exclusively by the same gender but alongside of the regular preaching of God's Word of the pastor) . If we continue in the pattern of not having solid sound teaching for women by women then women will either start leading as men or will go outside of the church. Neither of these is good.
We treat singleness as if it’s this horrible haircut that no body wants but somehow your hairstylist continues to give you the wrong cut over and over again – and everyone sees it and knows it. You’re single and it needs to be fixed.
We have confused glorifying God in all things with being the best at all things at all times. When we succeed at doing something we think is great, we feel good about ourselves. However, when we are striving to be like Jesus, we’ll never be perfect at friendship till heaven. If there is a genuine try towards godliness, arrogance won’t even be an option because we’ll be incredibly aware of our desperate state of being. As we disciple and teach, we shouldn’t be pushing women towards being the better wife, we should be teaching women to be a better Jesus-imitator. The result will, in fact, be a better wife.
As women we have long passed the 50’s housewife image, for better or for worse we have progressed. But the image of a woman who is ladylike has not progressed. We still see ladylikeness as a woman who is very proper, elegant, quiet in well-pressed clothes. This woman’s house is never a mess, she always has dinner ready on time and her children never cry in public.
Having a husband and being a mother has certainly changed me. Not because that’s the only thing in life that can change a person, but because God has chosen this specifically to bring about change in my life.... while being a wife and mom has changed me, it hasn’t budged my identity. If anything, it’s made me more certain of it; and I don’t mean I feel "made for" or am a natural at motherhood or holy matrimony. I'm not more sure in my identity as a Mom (that's just a fact), but I'm more sure of my identity as a Christ-Follower (also a fact, but my heart often wanes).
The last place a woman should feel oppressed is in the local church. When we think of women being oppressed in the local church we automatically assume it’s coming from the top down. It must be the pastor or the male ministry leader, but it’s not the men causing the oppression. More often it’s women oppressing other women.