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Some people believe that 1 Corinthians 7 means that husbands are entitled to sex and wives have an obligation to supply it. But the text, properly interpreted, doesn't support that argument. In fact, it opposes it. Let's take a look: Now concerning the matters you wrote about: 'It is good for a man not to touch a woman.'  But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his duty to the wife, and likewise the wife to the husband. The wife does not exercise authority over her own body, but the husband, and likewise the husband does not exercise authority over his own body, but the wife. Do not deprive each other, unless by mutual consent—for a time, so that you might have leisu... Read more
Recently I wrote an article titled “Egalitarian From the Start: Practical Tips for Engagements and Weddings.” The article covered ideas like going ring shopping together, re-wording some traditional parts of the wedding ceremony, and making newlywed life decisions together. However, I did not address one of the biggest life changes and challenges for many couples: having children. When it comes to pregnancy and the early stages of parenting, biology works against us. Try as we might, there is no way to equally share the joys and struggles of carrying a child, giving birth, and breastfeeding. When my husband and I were ready to grow our family, I wondered how we would be able to maintain our nontraditional gender roles and split work equally. As a psychologist, I was familiar... Read more
Folks, it’s the most wonderful time of the year—CBE’s annual writing contest. This contest is designed to give those passionate about biblical gender equality/egalitarian theology/Christian feminism an opportunity to share their stories and insights. We can’t wait to hear from you! We’ve also got more great prizes this year! Winners: Get published with us Win a $20 Amazon gift card Win copy of Natasha Sistrunk Robinson’s new book with InterVarsity Press: A Sojourner’s Truth Get a free year-long subscription to CBE’s award-winning Mutuality magazine Topics: We want to hear from you on one of these seven topics! Each broad topic includes a series of bullet point prompts to help you understand the intent o... Read more
During my first semester of seminary, a woman in my Greek class said she could see me as a pastor. Unsolicited, she came right out and just said it. I laughed. As it turns out, though, she was right. But I wouldn’t know that until five semesters later. I’d enrolled in the required preaching class for all MDiv students. I was terrified of the class and probably would’ve put it off until the very last semester of my degree had the professor teaching it not been about to retire. Incidentally, it’s also a class I wouldn’t have been allowed to take had I chosen to attend a different Baptist seminary. In the span of about six weeks, I went from being tentative about preaching to downright exuberant. I fell in love with the process of crafting a sermon. I fell in l... Read more
As we all know, Jacob (also called Israel) had twelve sons. You probably also know from the tragic story in Genesis 34 that Jacob had a daughter as well. Her name was Dinah, and she was born to Leah in Genesis 30. But did you know that Jacob had other daughters? If you didn’t, you’re in the majority. A first step to learning about the women of the Bible is focusing on the big names—Eve, Sarah, Deborah, Mary, Priscilla, etc. But it’s important to go further. It’s important to notice the numerous other Bible women, the ones who are easier to miss. Jacob’s daughters, like too many Bible women, often go unnamed, are mentioned only in passing, or both. The Bible tells us twice that Jacob had daughters. After the (presumed) death of Joseph, we read, “... Read more
As egalitarians, we’ve all cringed at certain wedding traditions. There’s the practice of a father “giving away” his daughter—as if daughters are property to be transferred from one man to another. There are the wedding vows in which the bride promises to “submit to and obey” her husband. Then, there’s the announcement of couples as Mr. and Mrs. [insert just the husband’s full name]. These are just to name a few. Not all tradition is bad; honoring the past can be a beautiful thing. I also have no judgment for any woman who wants her dad to walk her down the aisle or takes her husband's last name. Each of us gets to decide what traditions we do and don’t incorporate in our day. Yet I do think egalitarian couples have a unique... Read more
At eight years old, I realized that—even if I started that very moment—I would never be able to reach every person in the whole world with the love and grace of Jesus. This was devastating to my young self because I earnestly desired that other people would know what I knew, experience what I had experienced, and love the Jesus I loved. What started as an urgent spark in an eight-year-old’s heart to see others encounter the transforming, life-altering power of Jesus grew into a passionate flame. Fast forward almost twenty years: I was studying theology, working at a church, and raising my young son. I’d long ago accepted my calling and was pursuing that spark from my childhood into pastoral ministry. With vigour and confidence, I began the formal process to become... Read more
“We did not find the relationship abusive. We also do not believe that there is need for church discipline [...] We found a deep level of insecurity and unhealthy expectation for [your partner] to fill your need for love and security. In prioritizing your relationship above all things, even your own well-being, you made an idol of [your partner]. This set you up for deep hurt and pain, as only God is the one who is able to make us a whole and complete person. We also found that you held onto anger and resentment in the relationship, despite your ‘quick forgiveness’ during the relationship. There is still bitterness in you from what you experienced, and we are concerned that you not let this root of bitterness remain and cause you to miss the grace of God, as the Scripture... Read more
Recently, my church group of married couples in our thirties discussed gender roles in marriage and the church. Not surprisingly, all the other couples voiced a belief in male headship, female submission, and complementarian gender roles. For those unfamiliar with the term, complementarians assert that God designed men to serve as leaders in their families/churches, and women’s role is to support men. My husband and I were the lone couple to hold different beliefs in mutual submission, equal leadership, and an egalitarian understanding of marriage. I’m struck lately by how many young Christian couples claim to be complementarian but their day-to-day marriage routine looks similar to mine. This is especially surprising because I live in the South, where you might expect couples... Read more
The evangelical purity movement of the 90s and early 2000s is a hot topic among Christians today. More and more women (and men) raised in purity culture are sharing their stories of trauma, dysfunction, and abuse. Born in 1992, I grew up during the shimmery golden age of the evangelical purity movement. Purity culture is a strange beast. Initially intent on constructing a helpful sexual ethic for Christians, it instead produced oddities like purity balls, where girls accepted “True Love Waits” rings and promised their fathers they’d remain virgins until marriage. Purity culture also set impossible standards for evangelical girls, planting the seed of self-hate when we didn’t measure up. Many of us came to regard our bodies with suspicion and even to outright rejec... Read more

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