In the past few years, numerous people have asked me why I make such a big deal about gender equality. Have I experienced such extreme inequality? What traumatic experience drives my activism? Why am I so passionate and outspoken about this issue? People often assume that a tragic event in my personal life led to this behavior.
“Do you want a divorce?” My husband was momentarily speechless. From the earliest days of our marriage, we struggled with sex. By the time I asked the question that so shocked my husband, it was apparent that we couldn’t resolve the issue by talking to each other or to our friends or by reading books.
Christians are used to hearing about Joseph and Mary, usually around Christmas. Then, they’re the supporting cast, and Jesus is the focus. They certainly don’t often come up in conversations about Christian marriage. Perhaps they should.
Growing up in a complementarian, Baptist church environment, I thought I knew exactly what God expected a Christian wife to be. I was confident that a good Christian wife keeps her house clean and orderly; it is to be her hard-working husband’s haven. She ensures that her husband comes home to a homemade meal every evening. She stays out of the financial affairs of the home because her husband is the breadwinner. She obeys him without question. She supports him no matter what. She does not complain. She does not rebel. She is her husband’s faithful (albeit often silent and invisible) helper.
Every week, members of our small group Bible study share their “highs,” their “lows,” and how they’ve seen God this week. A couple of weeks ago, I co-led the group in a discussion on what it means to be both a Christian and a feminist. To begin, women in the group spoke openly about our “lows,” “highs,” and “how’s” of being a woman in the church.
A summer issue of Time magazine caught my eye with the title: “The Childfree Life: When Having it All Means Not Having Children” by Lauren Sandler. The link will not provide you with the full article, so I encourage you to either purchase the issue online or run by your favorite local bookstore/library for some coffee and a relaxing read.
My personal journey has led me to be more vocal about getting women involved in ministry and about encouraging women to take leadership. I try to teach in both formal and informal arenas as the opportunities present themselves.
This recording examines the attitudes that negate God’s purpose for marriage often in the form of religious restriction on women in the home, church, and society. It then outlines the purpose, place, and sanctity of marriage, and shows how marriage relationships can be improved through mutual submission despite storms worsened by socio-economic situations.