Dear One, thank you for taking this journey with me. My sincere hope is that this last post will provide you with a few words to hold onto when you feel that your femaleness is not enough. In the first part of this series, we discussed the importance of holding Paul’s declaration of submission against how Jesus treated women. We looked into the cultural context of the letters Paul wrote and finally asked- “why are we telling women to submit to anything other than God?”
In the first part of this series, we discussed the importance of holding Paul’s declaration of submission against how Jesus treated women. We looked into the cultural context of the letters Paul wrote and finally asked- “why are we telling women to submit to anything other than God?”
Part I can be found here
This second installment continues with two reasons my husband and I find no place for female submission in our marriage. Expanding on translation issues and the imbalance of power that can be harmful to men as well as women.
Submission.The word alone causes my heart rate to increase and my eyes brim with tears. I find the theology of submission in a religion that promises freedom in Christ absolutely maddening.
I’ve spent many hours attempting to tame my language in this series. My sincere hope is that my passion for women comes across without too much scorn for submission. Honestly, I tried. My desire is that you read through this series with an open mind, knowing that my only goal is to argue for a new understanding and not against any one person or people.
A few weeks ago, a colleague approached me at the coffee pot and asked me a pretty simple question, “So what are you doing this weekend?”
This weekend… I was doing a church thing.
My woman’s group hosts an IF: Gathering each year where we join thousands of women across the world for a weekend of powerful speakers and calls to action (IF is a Christian conference, for more information click here.) This was my second year attending, and after the year of spiritual growth I’ve had, I honestly wasn’t sure if the messages would resonate with me in the same way they had in the past. I approached the weekend cautiously optimistic but with very real reservations.
Friday night we watched remotely as Jennie Allen, founder of IF:Gathering shared her personal struggle with 250,000 women worldwide. She asked us: “What is the darkness that comes against you that threaten the flame of your faith?”
I’ll never forget the first time I saw Judith with the Head of Holofernes, I was enthralled. Who was this woman? One hand grabbing the hair atop a decapitated head, her other holding the knife, and an expression that dared you to ask her what she had done. Her face so determined, her skin so pure,… her dress so clean for having just cut a dude’s head off.
This may come as a surprise to no one- but I identify very strongly with Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet of the Christian Old Testament. I feel things- suffering specifically-so very deeply I am sometimes paralyzed. A simple conversation with my husband about gender roles and careers has had me sinking into a quick sand of thousands of years of patriarchy and “this is what we do to women” in a matter of minutes. And before he knows it I am sobbing for all the women of generations past with unrealized dreams because they were unfortunately born with the wrong sex organs. I can hear a sermon with only male gendered pronouns and find myself weeping for girls being sex trafficked in countries 1,000 of miles away- the connection so clear to me it pumps through my veins and leaves me exhausted from pain.
This week my hometown community lost someone very special-my childhood pastor, my only pastor, really. A man who was exceedingly loving and kind and passionate. He devoted his life to his church and to his faith. His family was a pillar in the faith community. He was the type of father a fatherless daughter couldn’t help but envy.
When I finally allowed myself to feel the loss it came in waves. My sadness and heartbreak turned into confusion- How? How could this happen to someone who was so faithful? If anyone deserved healing it was this man. If any family deserved a miracle it was this family.
This loss came on the heels of a rather rough few weeks for me. You may have noticed I’ve missed a few scheduled posts. Been a little absent. A little off the radar. I’ve brushed it off as “being in a funk” or “seasonal depression”- and that’s probably part of it. But underneath that is something more.
Faith has not been easy for me, and calling myself a Christian has become harder over the years. As I find myself more and more “on the edge of the inside” of Christianity, I’ve collected some sparklets of truth that keep me from giving up. These are my lamp posts- welcoming me further into the mysterious land of building my own theology. They are my north star when I feel lost and alone, the comforting […]
“But how do we remain contemplative and engage in activism?” A question I didn’t even know I had until I heard myself ask it. Better to say The Question I didn’t know I had. Or maybe I did. Maybe that question is what some of my earlier writing was asking, but I was not ready to hear the answer.