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My friend’s father is a godly man. She credits him, along with her mother, with the development of her Christian faith. Yet, this amazing example of faith is often not validated or welcomed by the body of Christ. Even worse, he cannot be “at home” with himself and his gifts in the church. Here’s why: Her father is a man with creative and artistic gifts. He has expressed these through many vocations—in creative advertising, as a talented painter, and even as a wedding planner. His paint creations and wedding designs are exquisite and help tell a beautiful story. They provoke emotion and delight. I remember when I graduated from seminary, my friend gave me one of her father’s works. In the painting, a man and woman walk along a beautiful pathway through... Read more
I’ve known for a while that I just don’t fit. I don’t fit the prescription for biblical womanhood. I’ve squirmed and I’ve stretched, impatiently, hoping to slide easily into the mold. And even then, after years of barely squeezing myself into the category, I’ve still found the box too constraining. My womanhood is messy. I think many men and women can relate to that realization. Most of the time, our personalities and gifts don’t fit into the neat little categories of masculine and feminine. People are messy. And, it’s a beautiful, messy world. So, when I see men and women struggle to squeeze into the compressed vacuum-storage box stereotypes of masculinity and femininity, only to find that they just can’t make themselves fit, I feel... Read more
I have always admired Deborah. She is a woman, but she embodies both “traditionally” male and female characteristics. She just doesn’t fit into stereotypical boxes of masculinity and femininity. Further, Deborah’s relationship with Barak is a beautiful picture of biblical equality that I deeply appreciate—as well as both leaders’ relationships with their communities. Deborah had a very important role in Israel. She was a judge and prophet for Israel at the end of a time of oppression at the hands of Jabin, King of Canaan. In studying her story further, I took note of all the characteristics displayed by Deborah, Barak, and Jael in the two chapters focused on Deborah: 1. "Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was a leader of Israel at... Read more