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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
Why couldn’t women read Scripture from the pulpit in my church? Why weren’t they allowed to lead corporate prayer? Why weren’t they asked to pass the offering plate? Why were they so soundly overlooked? What was this gender discrimination communicating to the young people, male and female, in the congregation? In observing the consistent gender bias in our congregation, I began asking questions about the patriarchal practices of our church. Yet, in doing so, it seemed that I had crossed a line. In a meeting with my pastor, I dared to question him about the Scriptural basis for these customs. After looking down for a long moment, he finally responded that he didn’t know the answers to my questions. And I mistakenly assumed that he just needed enlightenment.... Read more