The Life of Faith in Pink and Blue? | CBE International

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The Life of Faith in Pink and Blue?

On March 26, 2014

Have you ever read a book, heard a sermon, attended a conference, or listened to a Christian radio show that suggested that men need respect, whereas women need love? Just this week a CBE member asked if we were aware of a ministry which encourages men to love their wives while instructing women to respect their husbands. This member pointed to the obvious. "How can you ever separate respect from love? To love someone is to respect them! If my husband fails to respect me, I don’t feel loved!" Here is another example of a familiar problem—that of coloring our spiritual and moral lives in pinks or blues.

Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen gave her freshman class a list of the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. She then asked them to identify these as feminine or masculine qualities. What made this experiment interesting was that she "disguised" these attributes so that no one associated the characteristics with fruits of the Spirit. Can you guess what the results were? Most indicated that the fruits of the Spirit were feminine qualities!

If women, rather than men, are expected to be loving, joyful, patient, kind, good and faithful (exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit), then perhaps women are better qualified for church leadership! However, Scripture makes it clear that both men and women, regardless of their gender, are to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit. All men and all women, including all husbands and all wives are to love one another. Christ said we are to love others as we love ourselves, that there is no greater love than to lay down our lives for our friend. And, the apostle Paul never once indicated that the spiritual gifts came in pinks or blues! May we all love as Scripture calls us, and may we think more critically when tempted to turn our life of faith into pink and blue qualities!

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CBE advances the gospel by equipping Christians to use their God-given talents in leadership and service regardless of gender, ethnicity, or class. Together with supporters and ministry partners from 100 denominations and 65 countries, CBE works to inspire and mobilize women and men with the Bible’s call to lead and serve as equals.

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