Tag Archives: sexism

#ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear trended on Twitter this week

This Tuesday night, Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist, started the hashtag #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear and it took off.  Here are my favorites:

This is a drop in the bucket on contributions to this thread.  Definitely checkout the hashtag and scroll through the sobering collection.

Then Christians began redeeming the conversation with the hashtag #ThingsChristianWomenShouldHear:

This is my prayer too:

Amen.


Thanks for visiting The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors.  We are a community of Christians who believe that men and women are equal in the Kingdom and indispensable partners in Kingdom building and restoration.  Follow us hear and on Facebook!

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Too Sweet, Or Too Shrill? The Double Bind for Women.

hidden-brain-imageA couple days ago, the Hidden Brain podcast had a fascinating episode on how sexism affects women in leadership.  You can listen to it HERE.

Here is the transcript from the episode, as provided on the NPR page (emphases mine):

Fewer than 1 in 5 members of Congress are women. At Fortune 500 companies, fewer than 1 in 20 CEOs are women. And if you look at all the presidents of the United States through Barack Obama, what are the odds of having 44 presidents who are all men?

If men and women had an equal shot at the White House, the odds of this happening just by chance are about 1 in 18 trillion.

What explains the dearth of women in top leadership positions? Is it bias, a lack of role models, the old boy’s club? Sure. But it goes even deeper. Research suggests American women are trapped in a paradox that is deeply embedded in our culture.

When Moseley Braun was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, she achieved a powerful first. She was the first female African-American senator. And in her race for office, she assumed that racism would be a more daunting obstacle than gender bias. But she says, that wasn’t the case.

“I think in some regards the gender biases are more profound and more central to our culture than even the racial ones, and that to me was the surprise.”

One moment in particular still stays with her, more than 20 years later.

“There was a cartoon from one of the newspapers in the state that showed me as a puppet, with my campaign manager’s hand up my dress,” she says. “And the idea that I was a puppet of this guy that who was managing my campaign was shocking to me.”

But shortly after Braun won her race, she says she confronted a second trap. One day, she made an impassioned plea on the floor of the Senate. But she says, all her colleagues could hear, was a shrill black woman.

Her experience is one that researchers have described as a “double bind” — a set of assumptions that get at our implicit assumptions about men, women and leadership.

“The female gender role is based on the stereotype that women are nice and kind and compassionate,” says social psychologist Alice Eagly. By contrast, she says, “in a leadership role, one is expected to take charge and sometimes at least to demonstrate toughness, make tough decisions, be very assertive in bringing an organization forward, sometimes fire people for cause, etc.”

So what’s a woman to do? Be nice and kind and friendly, as our gender stereotypes about women require? Or be tough and decisive, as our stereotypes about leadership demand? To be one is to be seen as nice, but weak. To be the other is to be seen as competent, but unlikable.

Connie Morella served for 16 years as a Republican congresswoman from Maryland. Like Democrat Braun, she says at times she struggled to be heard.

“In a committee room, when I wasn’t chair of the committee, I would respond to a question or comment on an issue, [and] they’d say, ‘Thank you, Connie, that was great.’ And a little later Congressman Smith would say the same thing, and it was, ‘Oh, Congressman Smith … that was fabulous, let the record show …’ and I’d think, ‘Gee, I just said that.’ ”

How can we tell, with scientific certainty, whether women like Morella and Carol Braun were the victims of bias? When we look at a female leader who appears incompetent or shrill, how do we know if we are seeing reality, or just seeing the world through the lens of our own unconscious biases?

That’s where researchers like Madeline Heilman come in. She’s a psychology professor at New York University who focuses on gender stereotypes and bias, particularly when it comes to leadership. In one study, Heilman asked volunteers to evaluate a high-powered manager joining a company. Sometimes volunteers are told the manager is a man, other times they’re told it’s a woman.

“When the person was presented as a high powered person, who was very ambitious, we found that the person was seen as much more unlikable when it was a woman than when it was a man,” she says.

In these studies, the high-powered male and female manager are described in identical terms, down to the letter. The only difference is that one is said to be a man, and the other is said to be a woman.

Heilman says that the double bind arises because our minds are trying to align our stereotypes about men and women, with our stereotypes about leadership.

“We have conceptions of these jobs and these positions and what is required to do them well, and there’s a lack of fit between how we see women and what these positions require,” she says.

The biases Heilman describes aren’t just held by men. They’re held by both sexes, which explains why many female leaders encounter derision and suspicion from men and women.

“We have very strong feelings about how men and women are, and that leads to this dislike when they go over the line, when they tread where they are not supposed to be.”

The good news, says psychologist Eagly, is that our culture’s views are always changing. And that includes our views on women, men and the meaning of leadership — whether in elected office or the workplace.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Carol Moseley Braun was the first African-American U.S. senator. She was in fact the first female African-American senator. An initial version of the podcast episode with the same error has been corrected.

The Hidden Brain Podcast is hosted by Shankar Vedantam and produced Maggie Penman, Jennifer Schmidt, and Renee Klahr. Our supervising producer is Tara Boyle. You can also follow us on Twitter @hiddenbrain, and listen for Hidden Brain stories each week on your local public radio station.


Follow The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors on Facebook for daily links regarding gender equality in the Church and culture at large.  Thanks for stopping by and come again!

Your Guide to Voting as a Beautiful Kingdom Warrior

If I had to sum up Your Guide to Voting as a Beautiful Kingdom Warrior, I would give you three points to bear in mind:

micah-6-8

This is what the Lord requires of us.  

Yeah, this post is more about how to be a faithful Christ-follower during the Presidential election and less about how to vote.  And I am preaching this post to myself, friends.

Walk Humbly – adj. “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.”  As much as any of us may read up on this election and the candidates’ platforms, we cannot have a perfect grasp on the issues and we cannot predict what will happen in the coming presidential term.  We are all handicapped by biases, ignorance, and limited perspectives-not only our own, but also those of our sources and community of influence.  Humbly listen to others, considering them better than yourself (Philippians 2:3).

Love Mercy – n. “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”  Be merciful especially to those who will be casting their ballot differently than you.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.  Do not call names.  Do not slander or malign others.  Be slow to anger.  Try to understand their perspective and be charitable, loving and kind.  Hate any speech that is unmerciful.

Act Justly – n. “based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.”  Vote your conscience.  There is much that is broken in our country that needs healing, redemption, and justice.  Consider what is best for the “least of these,” the most marginalized and voiceless members of our society – certainly that includes unborn babies as well as those living in poverty, those caught in the pipeline to prison, those without adequate healthcare, unequal pay, refugees seeking asylum from war, and the list goes on.  There is abounding injustice to dismantle.

I would also add, Do not be afraid.  We have been told over and over that there is much to be afraid of and that the outcome of this election could trigger the End Times.  Enough pandering to fear-mongering!!  Place your trust in Jesus alone and do your best to faithfully follow Him, leaving the rest up to Him.

do-not-be-afraid

This election season has been fraught with controversy and emotion.  It is critical to remember that as Christians, our battle is not with flesh and blood but with principalities and powers (Ephesian 6:12).  We must pray for discernment while maintaining our allegiance to one King only, our Lord Jesus Christ, and His coming Kingdom.  We cannot place our hope in a political candidate or party to save us.  God is making all things new, He is redeeming His creation and has invited us into this redemptive work.  We are to be His ambassadors of peace.  And that starts with loving our neighbors.

As an advocate for gender equality here at The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors, I am going to post links in the footnotes to relevant articles and Tweets from recent days.  I do not want to diminish my point that as Christians, though, we are called to be the hands and feet of God’s love.  Let’s be respectful and kind to others when we are talking politics.

Regardless of our political views, we must remember to walk humbly,
love mercy and act justly.  


Here are some articles I’ve posted to our TBKW FB page:
Petition: A Declaration of American Evangelicals Concerning Donald Trump

Evangelicals Are Supporting a Sexual Predator.  It’s Not the First Time

I Just Had to Explain Trump’s Pussy Comments to My Sons

Many men talk like Donald Trump in private.  And only other men can stop them.

Excellent Tweets responding to Trump’s “locker room banter” about assaulting women:

The Liturgists Podcast: Ep. 40 “Woman”

the-liturgists-woman

The Liturgists made an outstanding podcast episode about sexism in the context of church and culture.  It is a must listen!  Check it out HERE.

Featuring Austin Channing Brown, Caroline Lee, Christine Chester, Emily Capshaw, Lisa Gungor, and Rev. Sarah Heath.

And while we’re listening to Gungor and friends, you will also be blown away by this new track from their album One Wild Life: Body.  “Tree” is about body image and it’s powerfully good!

“Did the tree of life divorce the body?  Seek to save the soul but hate the bark?  Long for freedom from it’s branches?  Despise the roots that plumb the dark?  Are trees ashamed of needing sunlight?  Feeling guilt for being what they are?”

Best of Summer Link-Up

We have a lot of catching up to do, Beautiful Kingdom Warriors!  Once again, it has been a busy summer here in Vacationland.  Thank you for being patient and sticking with Becky and me even when our lives are overflowing with non-blog-related activity.  Every day, we post great links on our Facebook page, and I have just scrolled through to share my favorites here from July and August.  But first, feast your eyes on the scenery around my home in Maine.  Then you’ll understand why it’s such a popular destination!

~  On Biblical interpretation  ~
6 reasons 1 Timothy 2:12 is not as clear as it seems
“A broad principle we might derive from 1 Timothy 2:12 is “bad or bossy teaching is not permitted.”

Indispensible: Women Who Plant Churches “It’s hard to imagine a stronger affirmation of women as indispensable church planters than Paul gives the women of Philippi. Church planting efforts multiplied because he broke with tradition to partner with his sisters in Christ.  The mission Jesus entrusted to his church is demanding, so demanding that it requires a Blessed Alliance of men and women working together. In this challenging post-Christian world, we are learning afresh of God’s desire for the partnered ministry of women and men in seeing the gospel embodied and advanced through the planting of new churches. We must reclaim the biblical and apostolic conviction of the indispensability of women in church planting!

~  On how patriarchy hurts men and women  ~
How the Christian ‘masculinity’ movement is ruining men
“The Christian Bible paints for us a view of manhood that is much more complex than these simple stereotypes allow. For every biblical reference to warriors like Samson or Saul, we read of characters like young David, a harpist, who through no power of his own defeated a giant. We meet Simeon, known for patiently waiting decades to see God’s promise revealed. Jesus himself notably refused to fight back, even giving up his life and physical body in a history-making display of spiritual strength.  A closer reading suggests that the Bible’s heroes aren’t meant to be models of outward toughness but exemplars of inner fortitude. So why have so many Christians accepted secular standards of masculinity as the basis for biblical manhood?”

No, Focus on the Family, I do not want to civilize a barbarian
“I think our problem is a society that encourages men to be violent, not that women should be whatever-definition-Glenn-T.-Stanton-has-for-feminine so they can motivate men out of being a malignant cancer. If appreciating a woman’s opinion is life-changing, let men and boys, single and married, respect women and their opinions in every sphere of society – including in politics, in church, in the home, at work and in social settings.”

Why Donald Trump is Good for Evangelicals
“Kinder-gentler versions of manhood and calls for men to ‘man-up!’ and take charge that thunder from evangelical pulpits and appear in books addressing men merely situate evangelicals on the cultural manhood continuum. Such definitions are woefully inadequate and run the risk that men, like Trump, will take things too far. Worse still, they fail to offer men and boys the indestructible identity, dignity, meaning, and purpose that their Creator intended when he bestowed the imago dei on all his sons and daughters.”

Its Not OK, and We’re Not Alright
“Just because not everyone experiences the fallout of an oppressive system in the same way does not mean that the oppressive system does not exist. When someone reduces all the harm, damage, and trauma of purity culture down to something “weird” or calls our responses “melodramatic,” they are erasing us and dismissing our legitimate grievances. This happens because they have had the privilege of living in an oppressive system and not being significantly harmed by it.”

~  On abuse and protecting your children  ~
The Courage Conference – Lynchburg, VA   October 28-29
“Did you know that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience abuse in their lifetime, including those in church? And, for the last five years, child sexual abuse has been the number one reason Churches or Religious Organizations have ended up in court.  The Church is often the first place victims of abuse go to seek help and healing. If we are not educated and equipped to properly serve these hurting individuals, we can unintentionally neglect or even re-victimize them. This is why we created The Courage Conference. 

Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife –  A Review “Reading this book also requires a willingness to reconsider one’s view of marriage. This is no simple task because her story raises questions regarding deeply held beliefs about marriage roles, male headship, and female submission that many evangelical Christians consider sacred and nonnegotiable. Yet the “silent epidemic” of domestic abuse that concerns Tucker is so dangerous and life-threatening within Christian circles, and so easily concealed, we cannot afford to brush her off and refuse to listen.”

5 Phrases That Can Help Protect Your Child From Sexual Abuse
“That’s your vulva.”
“Stop.”
“No secrets.”
“Did you feel safe?”
“High five, wave, or hug?”

5 everyday ways to teach your kids about consent.
1. Ask for their consent often.
2. Teach them that their “no” matters.
3. Model to your child that “yes” can become “no” at any time.
4. Seek to understand.
5. Keep “regard” at the forefront of your mind.

~  On the complementarian vs. egalitarian debate  ~
Someone mansplain complementarianism to me (ormen, what is wrong with us?)
“Because ironically, the greatest argument against this elevated religious view of men—is men. We’ve created a historical body of work reprehensible enough to make Complementarianism laughable. If the abhorrent behavior of men is trying to make an argument for moral superiority, we ain’t looking’ that good, fellas. I think we need to make room at the table and the pulpit and the office, and realize that it’s been a long time coming and it’s a really good thing.” 

5 False Assumptions about Egalitarians
1. Egalitarians don’t respect Scripture.
2. Egalitarians are wishful thinkers when it comes to the Bible.
3. Egalitarians don’t understand complementarianism.
4. Egalitarians deny that men and women are different.
5. Egalitarians undermine the church.

History of Complementarianism – Part 1 and Part 2
TWW Commenters Weigh In On Complementarianism
A FUN read full of gems like this John Piper spin-off:

“If a complementarian man finds himself being taught by, or under the authority of a woman, I think he should endure it for a season.”

Mary Kassian Compares Women Who Teach Men in Church to Fornicators
“Kassian’s boundaries are difficult to follow since it appears that she finds loopholes for just about anything so long as she is doing it.”

safe_image

~  On sexism  ~
Are U.S. Millenial Men Just as Sexist as Their Dads?
“Taken together, this body of research should dispel any notion that Millennial men ‘see women as equals.'”

9 Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women
Let’s finish this link-up with a bit of humor.  It’s funny because it’s true. 🙂

Book Review: A God I’d Like to Meet by Bob Edwards

I am excited to share a review of Bob Edward’s book, A God I’d Like to Meet, especially today as Amazon has dropped it’s Kindle price to $1.99 for the week.  You only have a few days to take advantage of this deal, and I HIGHLY recommend that you purchase this one!  Also, check out Edwards’ amazing blogs, God is Love, and Biblical Equality for Women and Men in the Christian Faith.  I first found Edwards through his blogs, and have been truly blessed by his knowledge and scholarly writing on the roots of Christian patriarchy and complementarianism (the ideology that God has ordained male-dominated authority over the Church and Christian homes).

41q4U+IK76L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_ CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE ON YOUR KINDLE FOR $1.99!!! 
THIS WEEK ONLY!

Let me share the “About” blurb from one of his blogs:

Bob Edwards lives with his wife and two children in Ontario, Canada. He holds degrees in Religious Education, Social Development Studies and Social Work. In 2013, he received the Delta Epsilon Chi award for intellectual achievement, Christian character and leadership ability, from the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Bob has been a Social Worker since 1996, providing psychotherapy in a variety of settings. He was the Director of Counseling Studies at a multi-denominational Bible College, teaching courses in Psychology, Sociology and Counseling. His hope is to share a vision of God’s impartial love towards women and men everywhere.

Bob is also the author of the best-selling book entitled, “Let My People Go: A Call to End the Oppression of Women in the Church, Revised and Expanded.”

“A God I’d Like to Meet” is an example of what Edwards does best: a scholarly dissection of Calvinist theology, demonstrating its roots in Plato’s philosophy, and the damaging effects that have resulted from reading the Bible from a worldly perspective.

Here is the description of the book from the dust jacket:

Throughout history, prominent theologians and church leaders have made sense of the Bible through the interpretive lenses of ancient Greek philosophy.

As a result, our traditional beliefs often portray God as an all-controlling deity that frowns on emotion and subjects women to male authority.

Throughout this book, the author explores the origins of these theological traditions, and seeks to restore a vision of God as depicted in the New Testament — a vision of God as love.

Calvinism is a prominent strain of Evangelical Christianity today, as noted in this New York Times article from January of this year. Notable Calvinists include Mark Driscoll, John Piper, and Tim Keller.  Calvin’s “Institutes” was required reading in my seminary Intro to Theology class.  Edwards’ insights were very eye-opening to me personally.  In answer to the question, What is Calvinism? Edwards writes,

Simply put, it is an interpretive framework that tells people what to look for in the Bible, where to look, and how they should make sense of what they find.  This interpretive framework consists of what Calvin referred to as “the principal matters” of “Christian philosophy” (p. 16)

A valuable aspect of Edwards’ writing is his background as a counselor.  He explains many psychological processes that impact the lens through which people understand their world.  In Chapter 1: Bad Religion, Bob says,

I’ve been a Social Worker and Psychotherapist for nearly twenty years now.  During this time, I’ve provided individual, family and group counseling to thousands of people.  Many of them have told me that they have difficulty believing in God.  Most of them have experienced horrific forms of abuse: physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and spiritual.  Many of them were told, at one time or another–often by well-meaning Christians–that the terrible things done to them or to their loved ones were either allowed or caused by the “Sovereign Will of God” (p. 6).

Edwards wraps up chapter one, where he has described how Christians have explained the problem of pain, with this paragraph:

We now have a picture of a God that is allegedly in control of everything, causes evil to befall humans because they (in their vileness) deserve it, or because we are expendable in the accomplishment of “the greater good.”  Of his servants, this God requires the death of self, and the rejection of what it means to be human.  In particular, human beings must apparently deny that they are sexual.  Historically this has led male leaders in the church to project blame for their vilified sexuality onto women.  This projection has led to the subjection of all women to male control.  I submit that this is a portrait of a God who is controlling, abusive, unethical, unloving and sexist.  Simply put, in the minds of many, this is not a God they would like to meet (p. 10).

This book is not a long, cumbersome read.  I couldn’t put it down once I started, and finished the book in two hours.  He explains how, in setting up “the principal matters of Christian philosophy” as an interpretive lens for the Bible, Calvin was facilitating “top-down processing,” and how “Rather than seeing new information objectively, human beings are strongly inclined to perceive and interpret the world around them in ways that confirm what they already believe” (a “psychological phenomenon known as ‘belief perseverance'”, p. 18).  A very brief explanation of the lens through which Calvin made sense of the Bible is through his high opinion of St. Augustine, who made sense of the Bible through his reading of the Greek philosopher, Plato.  in his 8th book of Confessions, Augustine wrote:

Simplicianus congratulated me that I had not fallen upon the writings of other philosophers, which were full of fallacies and deceit, “after the beggarly elements of this world,” whereas in the Platonists, at every turn, the pathway led to belief in God and his Word” (p. 21).

The rest of the book unpacks how this Platonic philosophy impacted St. Augustine’s and Calvin’s interpretation of Scripture, and thus how Calvinism “impacts the way some Christian leaders today understand, preach and practice Christianity” (p. 24).  Specifically, how Calvinism makes God responsible for evil (chapter 3), how Calvinism confuses emotion with sin (chapter 4), and how Calvinism leads to the subjugation of women (chapter 5).

Edwards leaves off with the redeeming message that “the distorting lens of Platonic philosophy can be removed from our perception of God.  When we remove this lens, I believe that we have an opportunity to see God in the way the biblical authors intended.  We are able to perceive that God is love” (p. 98).

If you are an Evangelical Christian, there is a good probability that you have come across Calvinist theology at some point, if not regularly in your faith community.  I emphatically encourage you to pick up this book for the low price of $1.99 and consider the implications of Edwards’ research into the roots of Calvinism.


Thank you for visiting The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors!  Please Follow us, Like us on Facebook, and come again!  God bless. 🙂

Raising Homemakers or Clipping Wings?

I joined the CBE – Christians for Biblical Equality group on Facebook and have gotten into the habit of checking in every day to see the interesting posts members share.  A couple days ago, one man, Erik, shared an article that had brought his wife to tears of shame and guilt that morning:

You’ve Trained Her in the “How” of Homemaking, Have You Trained Her for the “Why?” by Jennifer at Raising Homemakers.  This is a blog about clipping your daughters wings – training her to see her role in life as a subordinate to her husband whose sole work consists of cooking for and cleaning up after others.

Here are some highlights lowlights:

“If your husband were to come home, unexpectedly, right now… what would he find? A cared for home and family, or chaos and disorganization?”

Here was one excellent comment:  “... If you were at a paid job and weren’t doing the work that’s expected of you then your employer would be unhappy. So, depending on what you and your husband expect from your role at home, are you upholding your end?”

Exactly. Our husbands are gone all day, working for us and the children, sometimes doing work they don’t particularly enjoy, in conditions they may not find pleasant.   On the other hand, we are in the sanctuary of our homes, typically spending our time as we see fit.

Another reader wrote to me privately: “Am I doing my part? Sometimes yes, most times no.  Truly makes you take a step back and say if I was working at a real job, would I still be employed?” 

We must train our daughters that keeping their homes clean and orderly, working heartily as unto the LORD (Col. 3:23) is their reasonable service (Romans 12:1) and is necessary, that the Word of God be not blasphemed (Titus 2:5).

 

Although the intent of the author is clearly to encourage wives to put their best foot forward when it comes to caring for their home and husbands and “training” their daughters, the effect is quite the opposite.  Like Erik’s wife, most of us women feel the weight of impossible standards bearing down on us.  We can never do enough or be enough.  We feel judgment when our house is not perfectly tidy and our children are not perfectly behaved and our appearance isn’t perfectly put-together.  We also feel like we are losing ourselves when we don’t have any space in our lives to spend our time “as we see fit,” but are always tied to the responsibility of assisting and caring for others.  And on top of that, if we are not completely happy while trying to meet these impossible standards, we again feel like we’ve failed.

There are women who are naturally inclined to order and homemaking who could read this post and nod in agreement, without sensing the undercurrent of sexism and shaming.  But the truth is, we women come in a wide variety of personalities and giftings, and our value and worth does not come from where we land on that spectrum.  It comes directly from our Father, who imprinted us with His image so that we can display His glory as creative, life-giving people (whether that is in creating meals, sermons or spreadsheets…whatever our work may be).

crafty people maker

What I think the author gets wrong about homemaking, is that God does not command all women to be June Cleaver.  In fact, He doesn’t command any women to be June Cleaver.  God does not tell women that they are solely responsible for the laundry and meals.  The other side of that coin is that God does not tell men that they are off-the-hook when it comes to helping out with the household upkeep.  God tells both men and women to steward creation, but He leaves it up to each couple to decide how they are going to accomplish that in their own home and family.

Additionally, the author seems to be completely blind to her privileged position as a full-time homemaker.  Most families cannot survive on one income in today’s economy.  Yet the author makes it seem that the only way for a wife to be living in God’s will is to be keeping a clean and orderly home.

I would also object to the image of the husband as the disgruntled boss who inspects the home upon his arrival at the end of the day to see if you are holding up “your end”, as though marriage is merely an exchange of goods.  Excuse me for choosing to see my husband as my friend and partner in life – and as my co-warrior in ushering in God’s kingdom in our family and neighborhood.  At the end of the day, if work and child-care took precedence over the dirty dishes, there is nothing I appreciate more than family clean-up time.  What would take me two hours on my own can take half an hour when Logan and the kids are all helping me.  We are a team and we understand that we all need each other to pitch in and serve together.  In this way, we are also training our sons to take responsibility for their own messes and to appreciate that putting all of the homemaking responsibility on one person robs that person of pursuing what makes them truly human.  By dividing the work evenly, we all have at least a little bit of time each day to spend “as we see fit.”

It is imperative that we allow our daughters to be fully human – i.e. to dream and explore and discover; to follow their aspirations and giftings and to follow God’s prompting, even if that leads them into the workforce.  We must teach them to find their identity in God, not in their home or husband or career or any other category.  When we understand ourselves only in those categories and not in the light of God, we will lose sight of who we truly are.  Let us train allow our daughters to fly.

 

That’s my two-cents.  Here are some of my favorite comments in response to this post from the CBE Facebook community:

Deborah: Ok, maybe I’m jaded.  I work AND keep my home clean and orderly.  I really don’t see a reason to continue enabling bad habits in men of not being capable of both.  I teach my son how to keep his room clean, fold his clothes, and when he’s old enough, how to cook his own meals, babysit, and do his own laundry.  Because not doing that is to severely handicap him.  If he wants a maid, he can hire one, but I will make darn tootin’ sure he doesn’t think he’s going to marry one.

Joy:  The “real job” bit is offensive.  While supposedly elevating homemaking, she actually degrades it.

Beata:  “Our husbands are gone all day, working for us and the children…” – nowadays many women work outside the home too.  Why only women should clean, cook, etc.?

Bethany:  Another reader pointed out that this woman fails to recognize that it is often physically, mentally, and psychologically easier to go to work, with less demands, less headaches, less need to train your co-workers to be competent, and more immediate, measurable rewards (e.g. paychecks, health insurance, breaks, etc.).  The author responded by telling this woman to stop “making excuses” and get to work, because “God commands it” so it doesn’t matter if it’s not easy.  She tried to phrase it slightly more politely than that, but that was the essence of her response.  I was appalled.  Homemaking is valuable and, to a certain degree, necessary.  But it is not easy, and it is not always rewarding or lovable (very often, it’s the complete opposite).  To ignore this fact is disingenuous, especially from those who are attempting to elevate homemaking as a woman’s “highest calling” (barf).

Brian: Is there anything particularly wrong with a woman that wants to stay home and take care of the house and kids?

Bethany: No, not at all.  But to say it’s her only option and that God commands her to always have a clean house is false, and it makes a lot of women feel not only as if they’re failing at being mothers/wives/homemakers, but that they are failing at being Christians too.

Erik:  It is the pressure created by unrealistic expectations that is harmful.

Deb: Gak!  I guess single women have no worth, because there’s no one to clean up after.

Faith:  We taught both our daughters and sons to cook and do laundry…they taught their friends in college and tech school…Such skills are helpful to everyone.  We view the house as everyone’s responsibility.  We are each supposed to pick up after ourselves, wash dishes, cook, etc…Sometimes we do divide chores traditionally…but it is our choice to do it, not a Biblical mandate.

Faith:  What about training our daughters to be Kingdom people…seeking first the kingdom of God…taking the gospel to the ends of the earth, healing the sick, raising the daed…feeding the hungry and ministering to the widows, the orphans and strangers…caring for children and family is important…but so is the kingdom of God.

Mabel: southern Baptist seminary has homemaking classes for the women and theology classes for the men.

Ronda:  I am so sad to hear this about Southern but not surprised.  I am an alum but graduated when women at Southern could be theologians, apologists, pastors, evantelists, ethicists, counselors, etc.

Mabel: This article is NOT about if anyone wants to be a housewife, it is about telling ALL wives that’s what they should do and the reasons why.  It says we “MUST” train our “DAUGHTERS” as if sons don’t need to learn to keep a clean house.  It is all the women’s “role.”  She aslo accuses women of not doing their part, her answer to a reader’s question “am I doing my part” is “Sometimes yes, most times no.”  She shames women and accuses them of not doing their part “MOST TIMES.”

Billie: Do we want our sons to get married just to have someone to cook and clean for him?  That would be raising a very shallow child.

Bronwen: I’m a bit saddened by the implication that the only useful way to spend time with our kids is to “teach and train” them. Yep, that’s PART of a parent’s job…As a chaplain in a government school (in Australia) and as someone who has worked a lot with kids in churches, one of the things I hear most from kids is that they wish that a parent spent more time with them and listened to them.

Julie: My DH is from America.  Sometimes we have mused between ourselves, is the USA so devoted to slavery that, having lost black slavery, they must now create a new slave class to do all their cooking, cleaning and thankless chores for them?  It sure looks like male headship is less about exegesis and more about preserving male privilege and entitlement, no matter what.  Who knew that servitude could be spun to look so shiny, glossy and “godly?”

Joy:  Has perfect housekeeping become a bit of an idol?  I remember Martha and Mary had some tension over this.


Check out this great post from “Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood”: God is Not Your Boss

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