The odds are high that there are women in every church congregation who have experienced miscarriage. A church that supports women’s equality needs to be vocal about women’s embodied experience, including miscarriage
Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Malala Yousafzai—international women's education activist and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner—was invited by TED to share his experience as a mentor and father to his influential daughter. His words were wise, simple, and elegant. What had he done to make Malala "so bold and so courageous and so vocal and poised?" "Don't ask me what I did," he instructed, "ask me what I did not do." Ziauddin concluded his TED Talk with the now famous phase, "I did not clip her wings, and that's all."
According to Genesis, the only cloud hanging over Eden was man without woman. "It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper as a partner" (Gen. 2:18, NRSV). What is the good or strong help that women offer?
Instead of allowing fairy tales to reinforce gender stereotypes, Christians can use them as an opportunity to show girls how they can live out the calling of all followers of Christ to follow in his footsteps.
We spent many years of our marriage and raised our sons in a church that sought to form men into manly Christian leaders and women into submissive followers. Thankfully, we realized that model didn’t make sense for our marriage or for our sons.
Some say gender hierarchy is God’s perfect design—a pristine plan for women and men’s good and flourishing. They point to Genesis, arguing that God clearly intended patriarchy from the start. But the text tells a different story.