Peace-Out “Love & Respect” Gender Roles: A Response to Douglas Wilson #EgalitarianMarriageSeries (Pt. 2)

peaceout

My husband, Luke, and I met in Virginia Beach at Regent University, where we both attended graduate school. Luke was attending a strict complementarian church at the time and asked me to accompany him. In Luke’s defense, he had no idea what complementarianism was; he simply liked the church.

Ironically, I was slowly but surely becoming a Christian feminist, as I spent hours upon hours studying and writing about women in church leadership in the Bible and in Christian history.

I grew up in a pretty conservative home, which was egalitarian (although not named that), but my parents didn’t have great things to say about feminism.

As far as my church culture was concerned, feminists were bra-burning liberals who fought against the Bible. When Regent University allowed one of my favorite female professors to create and teach a class on Christian feminism, I jumped at the chance.

Dr. Alexander is a black woman who taught what I deemed as “serious” theology classes at that time. Most of the other female professors taught “spiritual formation” and stuff like that. Not only that, but Dr. Alexander thought outside of the box and I think she enjoyed defying odds and pushing boundaries. I loved that about her.

Could I really be a Christian and a feminist? I wondered.

Doctor Alexander encouraged the women in the class to break out of teaching in conservative seminaries if we could. “The world needs our evangelical perspectives,” she would say. She inspired us to reach for higher degrees. She empowered us. She told us we were not just of worth in the home, but our voices, our minds, our teachings, our originality, and our authority as women were wanted and needed by many institutions of higher learning.

I struggled in school prior to college. I was simply uninterested in mathematics, language, literature, and science. I did, however, understand the Bible. I read it to my girlfriends before bed at sleepovers. I preached sermons to any youth group that would let me.

Christian leadership and teaching the Bible were arguably the only things that drew forth both my passion and an exceptional ability in me.

Prior to graduate school, my education – AA in Practical Theology and BS in Church Ministries –  was “loved” but it was not “respected.” Many would say, “You go, girl. Women Preachers. Yes!” But when it came down to actually hiring me to teach or preach to adults, I was always passed over for a man.

My degrees and calling were often “loved,” but rarely “respected,” and the truth of the matter is that the lack of respect left me feeling far from valued and loved. 

At 23, I attended this complementarian church with my soon-to-be fiance. I wanted Luke and me to start our relationship out right, so we signed up for a “Love and Respect” Bible study based on the best selling book “Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

To be fair, Dr. Eggerichs does have a hilarious and bright daughter who preaches to both men and women, so he does not seem to be a full-blown complementarian. Unfortunately though, his book is being used by complementarian ministers to keep women in “their proper place” in both the home and church.

Recently, extreme complementarian pastor, Douglas Wilson, wrote an article entitled Love and Respect: Basics for Marriage (FIND HERE) in which he provided similar arguments to those Dr. Eggerichs gave in his book. Both Wilson and Eggerichs argue that men need respect more than love and women need love more than respect. The greatest issue with this stance is that there is virtually no biblical evidence to back it up. Ephesians five’s marriage passage is not sufficient proof for this argument.

Secondly, both Eggerichs and Wilson assume that submission and respect are one and the same when they are not. Submission is defined as the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person. While respect is defined as feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

One can certainly respect someone without submitting to their will and one can certainly submit to someone’s will without respecting them in the least.

Thirdly, the foundation of Ephesians five’s marriage passage is mutual submission: Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ (Eph. 5:21). The Apostle Paul begins this passage with the heart of the message which is that wives and husbands are to yield equally to the will of one another. Paul goes on to charge husbands with sacrificial love and wives with sacrificial submission, as this was the cultural understanding of “household structure” in Paul’s day.

Remember, in the same letter as the “marriage passage,” Paul also tells Christians to “treat their slaves well (Eph. 6:9)” as owning slaves was part of ancient “household structure” among Romans and Greeks.

Paul’s theology, however, is clear that men and women are equal in both worth and authority in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:28). In fact, his message is that all Christians are inherently equal in both worth and authority regardless of their gender or race, or whether they are enslaved or free. This is our privilege as followers of the one true God.

Just as American Christians eventually let go of enslaving human beings in the name of the Bible, it is time to let go of ancient household structures that limit and oppress women in the home and church. We must distinguish between Pauline theology and cultural instructions to specific churches/Christians that are not timeless and universal truths.

Of course, we each have different functions on this earth and some jobs carry heavier earthly authority than others, but these callings are based on gifts and seasons of life, not on gender, race, or social status (notice that 1 Cor. 12 makes no mention of functions/roles/gifts within the body of Christ based on gender, race, or social status).

My feminist grad school friend, Laura, asked, “Jory, do you know that church you are attending does not permit women to teach or preach to men?” I was able to ignore the injustice for a while. Luke liked the church for good reasons and I liked that he was enjoying a church. During this “love and respect” class, I became convinced that Luke needed to be respected more than he needed to be loved and that I needed to be loved more than I needed to be respected.

Looking back, I realize this philosophy played on our weaknesses as men and women, not on our strengths.

I reasoned, “If building up my man’s ego would make him love me more, I can do that.” Likewise, I think Luke determined, “If loving Jory better will help me earn her approval more, I can do that.” The issue is that I never stopped needing to be respected and Luke never stopped needing to be loved and the grand solution is to find neither in marriage, but in the tender love and approval of Jesus Christ.

The reality is that the emphasis on gender roles was not helpful to our marriage. I was still crying out to be respected and honored. I wanted my gifts to be seen and used by a church or a university and I wanted my authority on the Word of God to matter. I wanted to submit to Luke, but I wanted him to submit to me, too.

The cry of my heart could not be limited to “love and respect” boxes; I was searching for it all – love, respect, truth, justice, equality, and fairness, and I believed that was the cry of God’s heart, too.

The “love and respect” philosophy is simply another attempt to provide a marriage formula because marriage is so dang hard. It does not matter if one is an egalitarian or a complementarian – marriage is hard and there are no perfect formulas. There is, however, great power in mutual love and mutual respect/submission without regard to gender roles.

It took Luke and me about six years of marriage to totally let go of the idea of gender roles, since we both grew up in the evangelical church.  As a result, our marriage has never been as functional as it is today. Luke sometimes says in a cute way, “You got it, boss.” I love when he says this. It shows great respect and makes me feel loved and appreciated.

The truth is that I am his boss, but he is my boss too. We are both the “CEO’s” of our home.

The truth is that I am naturally a more conventional leader than Luke, but he has taught me so much about sacrificial love and has led me in true Christlike servitude. Luke has shown me that a leader must also learn how to follow. We have grown to a place where I no longer expect Luke to lead as “traditional church gender roles” encourage him to lead and he doesn’t expect me to submit in the way “traditional church gender roles” encourage me to submit.

Not so long ago, we threw all the so-called “biblical” gender role formulas in the trash and decided to focus on allowing each other to be ourselves. We have never been happier. We are finally free from those chains. 

Luke has thanked me for being the spiritual leader of our home and I have thanked him for being the servant-leader of our home. These things come naturally to us and we accept it and honor each other for it. I think our leadership gifts will rub off on each other organically, but we will no longer try to force each other to be people we are not.

No offense to the writers and promoters of “love and respect” philosophies, but perhaps it’s time to simply allow men and women to be who they are in both the home and the Church.

Let’s stop emphasising “gender roles” and start emphasising “individual gifts and callings.” To continue to emphasise a man’s “need for respect” is to perpetuate gender inequality in the home and Church. Of course a man needs respect, but an overemphasis of this fact downplays a woman’s equal need for respect.

As a woman, I am certain that women need respect just as much as they need love. If we have to lay down our Christ-given authority to be loved by a man or a church, those men and churches can keep their “love.”

peace

This post is part 2 of an #EgalitarianMarriageSeries. Egalitarians are Christians who believe that the Bible teaches husbands/men and wives/women are equal in both worth & authority in the home & church. We oppose “complementarianism” which teaches that Christian husbands/men and wives/women are equal in worth, but husbands/men inherently have greater authority in the home & church.

Read Part 1 of this series (HERE).

Follow Jory Micah’s Blog For More Egalitarian Marriage Theology & Advice by Inserting Your Email to the Right or Below! #BreakingTheGlassSteeple

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57 Comments

  • Check out the works of Kevin Giles on the Trinity and how Grudem and Piper have tried to base submission of women on their (erroneous) idea of the eternal submission of the Son to the Father.

  • “Ephesians five’s marriage passage is not sufficient proof for this argument.”– EXACTLY! We were given this curriculum in pre-marital counseling, and I watched ONE of the seminars and was immediately, like, “This is taking that passage completely out of context!” Paul wasn’t engaging in Pop-Psychology! His point was something else completely. (And I have yet to hear a sermon from the pulpit about how revolutionary it was for Paul to tell men to love their wives…) When we divorce scripture from its context, we are at a loss for applying it correctly in today’s world. I am an A/G member and it boggles my mind that they (correctly) apply context to 1 Tim. 2:13-16, and support and encourage preachers and teachers who are female in the church but refuse to do the same thing to Ephesians 5. The Love v. Respect ideology is just bad theology wreaking havoc with people’s fears. Not to mention, it’s still manipulative– I will do X so that you will do Y for me. Keep on preaching, Jory!

  • I would like to introduce Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to these pop-psychology pundits and pastors. Disrespectful behavior is not loving and unloving behavior is disrespectful.

  • Love this. Biblical & just makes so much sense. Been married 31 years & the years we spent forcing ourselves into those gender roles were the most miserable of our lives!

  • Bam Jory!!! And there it is! I love how you put this. It’s amazing what we can make the Bible say we want it to say something. We can create all kinds of theology. We as humans should not have to choose between love and respect. We need both and so much more just as you stated. We fail to embrace the full humanity of both men and women when we insist that they have a singular need/characteristic.

    • “We fail to embrace the full humanity of both men and women when we insist that they have a singular need/characteristic.” SO GOOD!

  • I agree with your perspective of this. Gender roles have played an important part in families for years due to strengths and capabilities of the genders, but these strengths seem to be very basic when it comes to gender, such as upper body strength for men, and reproduction for women. The traditional roles of provider and homemaker were practical and often overlapped, but they’ve degenerated through politics and egotism and then that whole ‘sex is bad and women are the reason’ period of church history.’ But today, technology has eliminated this distinction. There is no practical reason for a man to provide for the family and the woman to attend to household affairs. Women can earn as much as men in today’s work field (yes there are still some discrepancies, but by and large the earning potential of women is as great as men’s) and the products women traditionally provided in the home such as clothing as food, are easily acquired by either gender.

    From a Biblical perspective, there are a few mentions of gender roles, but often these bits here and there in the Bible are blown out of proportion and disregard the Gospel of Christ, especially where he lays out the fundamental point of being alive. He tells us simply that our purpose is to love God, love each other, love ourselves, and the rules and laws and restrictions all are aimed at accomplishing these goals. If a particular issue such as what role does a husband or wife assume in their marriage, they each must take into account these fundamental values first. The idea that men need more respect and women need more love, or men are the heads because Eve ate of the fruit first may be true, but the decisions regarding these roles must stem from the fundamental purpose of our creation.

    If the gender traditional gender roles are to be accepted, then the burden of submission is as heavy on men as it is on women. We can look at the verses in the Bible that say that women are to be submissive to men, but then we often disregard the following exhortation, that men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and we forget that Christ sacrificed himself for the church. When the behavior of the man fails in reflecting the love of Christ, the whole structure of the relationship fails, and that’s the point of why we need Christ in the first place.

    In any group, there needs to be someone who can call the shots when they need to be made. If the man is following Christ, sure, let him make the call; but similarly for the woman. There is no higher position between men and women, but both recognizing their dependence on Christ and struggling to reflect his love as they discover how they fit together in a marriage.

    • Kim: I love what you have written here. It is a perfect answer. Rebelliousness is a sin according to scripture and how many complementarian wives and husbands rebel inside when the man makes the decisions all the time for the wife? There is more harmony in the marriage you and Jory are describing here. I have been married 32 years and love my life in Christ. God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

      Those who question being a feminist and being a Christian, yes they are compatible. Happily so. The only way to salvation is faith in Christ, and we are free to be all God created us to be. To add on and say because we disagree we are not Christians goes against the message of scripture which all points to Christ. BTW in the interest of honesty and openness I am a Five Pointer in my doctrine Yes, that too is very compatible with my egalitarian view. 🙂

  • Few questions from a complimentarian –

    1. If the problem is that the word is respect instead of submit, what do you do a few verses later, when it says submit, or be subject (Eph 5:22)?

    2. Do you guys never disagree? That sounds nice but at our house we do. Maybe one or both of you is kind of wishy washy, but my wife and I arent. A few weeks ago we had a disagreement: She wanted us to take our kids to church A for Awana for good reasons that she could articulate. I wanted to take them to church B for good reasons that I could articulate. Two CEOs wouldnt work. Someone had to make a decision and we had to follow that decision. What would you do in that situation?

    3. Does the Bible tell us to just be who we are and thats good? I missed that part… the whole Jesus having to die in my place because me being who I am would just destroy me and offend him thing… I’m just not seeing that point in the Bible.

    4. Regarding Dr Alexander pushing you to be of worth outside the home as well as in: Is one more important? Because it seems like you are saying one is more important. I’m not a woman so maybe I cant understand. But what I do outside the home – my occupation – I do to provide for my family. My family is my first ministry. Its what really matters to me. Nothing else even compares. Its a 1000:1 ratio. Do you think your academic or ministry career outside the home is of greater importance and value than your role within the home as a wife and possibly mother (I dont know if you have kids).

    5. Can you be a feminist and a Christian? Is feminist your identity? Why would you want your identity anywhere except in Christ. I guess I have a problem with the question, not the answer.

    Sorry if too snarky. But I’m just not sure how your thinking works or if it is biblical. But I like thinking about it. Its interesting.

    • Yes, you are way too snarky and I won’t engage with snarky people. Also, 5 questions? If you would like me to engage: lose the snark and ask one question at a time.

      • 1. If the problem is that the word is respect instead of submit, what do you do with Eph 5:22? I dont think this question is snarky at all.

        • The word is not “respect.” The word is “submit.” That was a point I made. Respect and submission are not one in the same.

          • So you are saying that Wilson is taking the text which says “respect” and trying to make it say “submit?” I had assumed you meant respect is OK but submission is not OK because it doesn’t say submission. I agree with that, but other places say submission. I guess I just dont understand your second point.

          • I was saying that I think submit and respect are two different words and cannot be used interchangeably.

            I believe in submission in marriage, just not one-way-submission.

            Thanks for asking one question at a time. I get so many comments and questions on my blog and all over social media. I love to chat with people who don’t agree with me, but it is overwhelming when it’s more than one question at a time. 🙂

          • Ahh, I see what you’re saying. Thanks. Some interesting idea – stuff to think about. Not that I whole-heartedly agree but I see your points. Questions still abound.

            On a side note – I agree that snarkiness is a problem on the internet. I dont try to be one of those guys, but it comes so natural I cant hold it in sometimes. Anyways… write on!

    • I see this “CEO” argument a lot and frankly, it strikes me as patently absurd. First of all, a CEO is not all powerful- if they don’t do a satisfactory job, the board of directors will fire him (and they typically make a decision to do so by majority vote, by the way). Secondly, lots of businesses function quite well with “two CEOs” (or more), actually, in a setup called a partnership. They are not mired in perpetual deliberation as you would suggest. I wonder, when you and your buddies go camping, does one of you serve as the Alpha, making all the decisions about where to pitch the tent, the best fishing spots, etc, while the betas snap in line behind his leadership? If you don’t need a CEO in your relationships with other men, why do you need one with your wife?

      I think a more apt analogy for the complimentarian husband would be that of a benevolent dictator- he’s more like Peter the Great of Russia or perhaps Queen Victoria 😉 He is not hired based on past performance, giftedness or qualifications like a CEO would be, he gets his authority by divine right. He sets family policy based on advice from a trusted adviser (his wife, maybe?), revelation from God, or his personal whims, or whatever, but ultimately, all the decisions are his alone. I wonder though, that if living under a monarchy was so repulsive to American men that they fought a revolution over it, then why on earth do they think that women would enjoy living like this any better?

      • Furthermore, if practicing Complimentarianism is so rewarding, why do the women need so many seminars on contentment? And why do so many of the men need profiles on Ashley Madison? My goodness, Doug Phillips, Bill Gothard, Mark Driscoll, Ted Haggard, Josh Duggar- if comp leaders can’t even keep it together, what hope is there for the average comp Joe?

        • One last thing- I don’t know about you, but my marriage is not a business arrangement- it’s a relationship. And any relationship in which one person always has to give in while the other always has to get his way is desperately unhealthy. No thanks!

  • “Paul’s theology, however, is clear that men and women are equal in both worth and authority in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:28). In fact, his message is that all Christians are inherently equal in both worth and authority regardless of their gender or race, or whether they are enslaved or free.”

    Gal. 3: 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, ….28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female,for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    Jory, this Galatians passage is about being heirs, God’s children, as opposed to not being heirs or God’s children. It is not really about “worth and authority”. The “value” of being an heir is in what the heir will receive. Being an heir informs an individuals worth but does not measure an individuals worth, equal or otherwise.

    Here is what The Word says, directly about the idea of authority:

    Luke 22:25-2725 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

    Here is what The Word says, directly about the idea and worth of gender roles:

    1 Peter 3Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

    Here is where The Word shows the best example of worth and authority in practice:

    Luke 7“Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

    9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

    We must distinguish between our own, imposed theology and cultural incursions, and submit them as we learn, to the timeless and universal truths of God’s Word.

      • This is not a reply, it’s an appeal to authority, a fallacy. Lots of people who disagree with you can trot out years of education and advanced degrees. I would love to see a feminist interact with the other, what? 5 or so passages that directly command wives to submit to or respect their husbands; instead of running to Eph. 5 where they can read in their doctrine of “mutual submission in marriage” (despite the fact that even there the difference between what is required of a husband and wife are clearly spelled out). JFS gave you a chance to do that by referencing 1 Peter 3. Why not just deal with that text? It is hardly fair to not allow comments to be too long, in your estimation, but then respond to a challenge by referring people to your thesis.

        • Well, since this is my blog, I get to make the rules and if you don’t like my home rules, you can see your way out. 🙂

          • I actually already had given up on your blog. You can thank Doug Wilson for my return. (I am sure he is generating a lot of traffic for you. Smart to try and take on the big boys. Although for someone who can’t handle snark you certainly picked the wrong target.) I always refer back to the source when I read a rebuttal. That is fair play. If you have to make “rules” in order to deal with legitimate criticism you might want to see your way out of the discussion. Reminds me of kids yelling “it’s my house you have to play my way!” Don’t you think that discussions about rightly dividing the Word might require us to grow up just a little?

          • Is it GOD’s blog or your blog; make up your mind now.

            If you wish, go create your own religion and get it through the IRS; that worked well for the church of Scientology. Within Charity, if you do not feed, clothe or educate the living; then stop soliciting.

            If you are going to continue discriminating against the Freedoms of Speech and Religion of others with solicited funds; understand that will not be tolerated. At least a basic understanding of citizenship is required; civil and the Church.

            Respect is earned and the BIBLE has rules for entry into calling, that you do not meet (1 Timothy 3). I do not see you teaching as required in Titus 2 or have testimony in 1 Peter 3 as required; did you not want to fill this commanded calling first?

            Liberal theologians are a dime a dozen on the street now; with more than 5 million leaving the liberal churches over the past few years, Isaiah 32:
            5 The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.
            6 For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.
            7 The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.
            8 But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.
            9 Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech.
            10 Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come.

          • This blog belongs to God and I because we are one. God is in me and I am in God. We work together. God is my abba and my mama! 🙂

            Also, watch your tone. I block rude people. This is your only warning.

          • Jory, thanks for the response. It drills down to the deepest point. Which is:
            “Who’s blog is this anyway?”
            Is it realy “yours”? You are correct that it is not “mine”.
            Who do our dreams, hopes and aspirations belong to? Yes, in a sense they belong to “us”,
            but dear Jory, please understand that you, me and all other Christians are not our own, we were bought with a price.

            We honor each other the most when we Honor God. Even in exchanges like these, I think that we learn to honor all, better and better.
            Thanks and Salt, JFS

            IJ, thanks for the help! I also am appealing to Authority, not my own of course, but God’s. We should all do that all of the time!

          • Wow. Simply, wow Carol. I am reading Jory’s post and saying yes to every word she is writing. Believe it or not women do have brains, Christian women do have the same Holy Spirit to discern the scriptures, and I think Jory has done an excellent job in taking on Doug Wilson’s post.

            I think it’s arrogant and against scripture to tell Jory she is not born again because she disagrees with keeping women down otherwise known as complementarianism which is really hierarchy teaching.

          • I would also add that Jory and those who are Christian feminists have shown more charity, than all of you who boast to be Christians and complementarians. If this is what this view does then I will stay egaltarian. You are showing no respect for women at all when you use language that has been posted here. Read 1 Corinthians 13 a few times. If you are going to read the Bible, read all of it.

          • So what have your christian (lower case) feminists ever done in the name of Charity? Looks like from this blog they solicit but do nothing. Most of the feminists in total we end up supporting in the end anyway. Your point?

            From 1 Corinthians 13 Charity is perfect and does not fail; though prophecy, waggling tongues and knowledge will vanish. We wiped our eyes and put away the childish things. The needs are accommodated in Love; to provide when and what is needed.

            Isaiah 32 is listed below and pointed out in the Spirit once again. The vile liberals are noted for their villany. Do we want such around our Churches, families or children? Are you commanded to Love as Christ, provide or protect? Do you help with that? Does any of your actions help with anything of or commanded by HIM?

          • Maybe you can do your commanded calling and actually help with something.

            Teach the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed as commanded in Titus 2. Maybe they can see your chaste conversation coupled with fear in testimony required in 1 Peter 3. Then maybe we wouldn’t have 1.5% more females entering the jail system each year; we could divert funds from building jails to Charitable purposes. The male prisoners dropped almost like percentages; maybe we can divert those jails.

            With the mother now responsible for causing or allowing 40% of child abuse, twice any other classification; maybe you help there in teaching and we could use those funds elsewhere.

            Then maybe we could work on national security; so we could guarantee the protection of everyone? Right now estimates are 30% would run and 20% would die protecting them, but the 20% are the most needed; those with strength and conviction.

            Or maybe just go find anything to help; other than sit and talk. We are in perilous times; we need to build, not tear down as HE commands.

          • Sadly, “Wilson Fans” who come over to my blog almost always talk like this. Complementarianism breeds nasty tasting fruit (at least in Wilson’s circle).

          • Thank you for your kind words Debbie. I had to delete Carol’s posts since she did not respect my comment rules. 🙂

          • Jory, you break your own rules all the time. That is normal however, for someone who distorts theology due to their own hurts, and has set up their own “ministry” based on a lie. You are your own queen, accountable to no-one, how convenient. I suppose next thing you will have a guest post from a female pastor endorsing same sex marriage. You are actually a sick and twisted individual.

          • “theology due to their own hurts”
            This is another response I see a lot. To me, it sounds like someone walking up to a person dying of lung cancer and saying “you only hate cigarettes because you had a bad experience.” If “bad experiences” or “hurts” seem to be correlated with a thing, at some point, it’s a good idea to question that thing. And the CDC lists a strong belief in gender roles as a red flag for domestic violence. Proof’s in the pudding, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Thanks, Jory. I have had a similar experience. My wonderful, gentle, loving husband often loves me best by sharing that he thinks highly of me and supporting me in my work. Many years ago when we were first married, he gave up a good job, moved cross country, and worked terrible low-paying positions to get me through the schooling necessary for me to do some of the things I’ve been called to do. He treats what I do and who I am as important and worthwhile. Part of his obedience to the God we both serve is the way he makes sure I also am free to be obedient to God. My husband often feels the most loved when I show him that I’m just crazy about him–that I know and love and delight in him.

    Allowing the love/respect dichotomy to shape our early married life was costly. Thank goodness we’ve learned better and no longer feel like we ought to fit those ridiculous, made-up molds. What on earth do they have to do with how our good, loving God made human beings? They certainly have nothing to do with who we are. How could you love someone as well as a husband should love his wife without a deep and abiding respect for the way God has made her and the gifts God has bestowed on her? Likewise, how can you respect someone as well as a wife ought to respect her husband without a vibrant and enduring love that illuminates the heart of the beloved, and reveals the true self that can be celebrated and valued?

    I see everyday in the context of marriages of other delightful Christian friends the cost of trying to live as if women primarily want love and men primarily want respect. It’s stifling and hurtful. I just want to tell them: “IT IS FOR FREEDOM THAT CHRIST HAS SET US FREE!” The good news is good for marriages, too.

    • What I meant by this is that understanding the Bible was an area in which I thrived and still do. In no way does this mean that I have it all figured out though. Some are good at math, others are good at English; I am good at the Bible. Most ministers have a natural love and a deeper understanding of the Word of God. But again, I know that I see only partially as all humans and so humans have a deeper understanding of the Bible than I. God bless. 🙂

  • Thank you so much for writing this blog! I really appreciate any good, biblical information I can find on men and women in the church. I grew up in an extremely conservative, closed community where women have absolutely no voice. Even after leaving, it took many years to lose the mindset that men are naturally over women. My theology has been completely turned upside down the last 6 years, and I have sorted through hundreds of articles and dozens of books trying to get to the heart of God’s will for me as a woman and mother. I thank God constantly for a husband that loves me like Christ loves His church-he is an amazing servant-leader. I will totally be stalking this blog! 😀

  • In this world, it tends to be men who are respected more so than women. So *who* needs respect more? Those who already get more of it, or those who get less? There are many biblical reasons why this concept is problematic; it’s also problematic from a simple logic perspective.

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