A woman’s place
After the tips on the differences between men and women, it seems only fair that I share my opinion on what the Bible does and does not say about “a woman’s place”. For the record, this subject has been a bit of a moving target for me over the last three decades, but I have had a fairly consistent view of it for about five years now. My changes in opinion over the years have been the result of what I see in Scripture based on ongoing study.
First the church – The Bible has no lack of commands and examples on the place of women in “church” – but consistency sometimes seems lacking. After digging through all the impact of pre and post resurrection, culture, and the reality that much of what Paul wrote was correction, I have come to the opinion that there is no Scriptural limitation placed on what women may do in ministry. In my mind, the mention of a female apostle “of note” in Romans 16:7 pretty well trumps any “interpretation” that makes such an apostle wrong. I won’t go into the nitty-gritty of the Greek, but I am convinced that one cannot make the name male without violating the integrity of the Word. Additionally, I have come to see the limits Paul speaks of in a couple of places as based on culture – such as when he was speaking to a church in an area where a certain major cult was ruled by women.
The above said, I think that having created the differences in men and women, God fully understands those differences. I also think God tends to call us based on who He made us to be. That is not a back door way to limit women, but rather to say I would expect that certain positions would be predominately held by women, while other positions would be more predominately held by men. To fight that just to try to meet a gender-neutral quota seems unwise to me. God will use all of us as He wants, if we allow it for ourselves, and for others. I fear some are fighting God on this, and that is very costly!
In the household – No matter how I look at it, I am unable to lose or explain away the “headship” of the husband that I see in the Bible. I have some very good friends who don’t agree, so I’ve heard the “other side” a number of times and a number of ways. I always end up seeing what is said in Scripture as based neither on culture nor the times, but rather on something God set into motion long, long ago. I’ve seen the Greek tortured in passages about this, and it still does not break in my mind.
That said, I do not see headship as having any resemblance to what most people think of when you say “headship”. I see Jesus as my example – a SERVANT leader. Jesus leads, and those who wish to follow – He does not command, force, or push – He just leads. My goal is the same, to lovingly do my best to lead, and leave following or not following up to my bride. (For the record, Lori, who has studied this even more than I, agrees with this, and thus does follow.) I see my job as husband to be full of responsibility, and lacking in authority unless my bride chooses to give me the authority.
In practice what Lori and I do is so subtle many folks assume we have what some call an “egalitarian marriage”. In reality we rarely disagree, and when we do we seek to come to consensus. It is extremely rare that we don’t get to consensus before a decision is needed. On those rare occasions, I have made a decision, and she has always chosen to follow.
As to the “why men” – I have no idea. It seems to me that a creature with two heads is bad plan, and as we are to become one in marriage, one must “lead” to avoid the problems of two heads. Why God picked men I can’t say. Historically women have certainly been hurt by “male dominance”, but in reality headship done as Jesus taught is more difficult for the leader than the one who follows (or chooses to not follow). The true servant leader is the lowest of the low – and that is what I, as a husband, am to seek to be.
So, have I managed to write a post that no one agrees with completely? :mrgreen: