I probably don’t say this enough, but I am extremely hopeful about the future of women in the Church. Sure, there are some extra-loud voices calling for women to conform themselves to narrowly defined roles that have more to do with an idealized conception of pre-feminist America than with actual “biblical womanhood,” but I believe these cries represent the last desperate throes of a dying movement. I sincerely believe that, if I have daughters, they will be welcomed as equals in most evangelical churches, and that egalitarian marriages like my own—in which my husband and I work together as a team of equal partners—will become the norm within Christiandom.
Several posts this week encouraged me:
Dan Brennan with “Friendship, Marriage, and Ongoing Sexism”
“But for Mark and Grace, their model of marital friendship is not a voluntary equal-footing friendship. It only allows the woman to go so far in their friendship, community, and their culture before she must surrender her gifts, her body, her decision-making process to the embedded sexism in the marriage and surrounding community. Yes, there is mutuality on the surface, but underneath the shallow mutuality is sexism by default. Is this what is meant by “neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”?
Roger Olson with “Truth, Authority and Roles”
“This is why I am adamantly opposed to so-called ‘complementarianism.’ No matter how much they say that the husband should love his wife as Christ loves the church, they (the leading complementarian preachers and scholars) are handing husbands the right to ignore truth when it is his wife who has it and he doesn’t—that is, when his wife is right and he is wrong. I am waiting to read or hear a complementarian say to Christian husbands: “When your wife is right, she is right and you must obey the truth...I’m afraid that complementarians love authority and roles more than truth.”
Morgan Guyton at Red Letter Christians with “Why Gender Hierarchy Makes No Biblical Sense to Me”
“Servant leaders who emulate Jesus can never impose their will on others by force. Jesus’ power is derived in His complete submission to those who disagreed with Him to the point of letting them crucify Him when He had all the resources of the Creator of the universe at His disposal. If Jesus is my model for how to love my wife like He loved the church, then I can’t see a reason why there would be any gender hierarchy in my household.”
Rachel Stone at Her.Meneutics with “How We Can Harness the New Domesticity Without Diminishing Women"
”This domesticity will look different in every family. My husband’s mom made her own everything, even mayonnaise; to my mom, home-made cake meant Duncan Hines as opposed to buying ready-made cakes at the bakery. My dad did (and still does) all of the laundry and cooked a fair share of the meals, too; my mom was (and is) more likely to keep on top of car maintenance and to do most of the driving on long trips, whereas in my husband’s family driving was clearly the province of the man. But my husband and I both grew up in homes where we were welcomed, sheltered, nourished, loved and where we experienced the outflowing of that love toward strangers and near-strangers in the form of Christian hospitality."
JR. Forasteros’ review of 'Real Marriage’ for Relevant
“The model of marriage, family and maturity the Driscolls build is more a reinvigorated idealization of the nuclear family than something that arises from the Scriptures. And that would be fine, except the Driscolls present this model as every person's created intention. It's not presented as an opinion, but a divine command. The Driscolls assume full personhood is found in marriage and child-rearing. There's no picture of biblical singlehood and little discussion of how married and single persons integrate into one larger whole in the Church.”
And I know I’ve already shared this one...like, twice already... but Sarah Bessey’s “In Which Love Looks Like Real Marriage” is one of the most beautiful depictions of egalitarian marriage I’ve ever encountered:
“Well, who is in charge here?
Yes, but if push comes to shove, who is the leader?
But then who is the spiritual head of your home?
It's a slow-dance still, isn't it, my luv? You lead and I lead, we are both following His music, no hierarchy here. We move together, one body, all for intimacy and beauty, the dance of lovers that know every curve and lean into the unknown parts with full trust in the hands they hold."
You may also find this interesting:
Amanda MacInnis with "Being a Smart Consumer of the Academic Literature: Gender Differences and the Comp/Egal Debate"
What about you? Do you get the sense, as I do, that the evangelical tide is turning in favor of egalitarianism? What have you found that encourages you?