When people share their stories of harmful church teachings about gender roles, we’re accustomed to real horror stories of abuse. We also know that the problem is far more widespread, and it’s not always so overt.
Female theology students in a rural context are often online students who don’t regularly see flesh-and-blood role models: women who are leading in church, teaching a mixed congregation and fulfilling other roles.
“Healthy” is not exactly the adjective I would match with the word “sexuality,” especially when it comes to the ways the church and Christians have portrayed and lived out what we believe about sex these past few centuries.
On average, one woman a week in Australia is killed by a man who says he loves her. The prevalence of domestic violence is staggering. The figures are breathtaking and hard to believe. An unimaginable number of women’s lives are blighted by this scourge. In the US, Europe, and Australia, one in four women will experience physical abuse from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
The Christian masculinity movement isn’t helping men or women. It’s damaging young men, and their relationships with others, and it’s distracting us from what should be our true focus—discipleship and imitating Christ.