When the curtain on male headship is pulled back, it shrinks from the light of logic and truth. Consider the most recent defense of male headship by John Piper. He offers three reasons why he believes it will endure, but in pulling the curtain back, we find each deeply flawed.
The widespread misunderstandings and mistranslations resulting in gender hierarchy are damaging to people, marriages and the body of Christ. I am going to start by diving into the most famous (or infamous) passage on marriage in Ephesians Chapter 5. It’s amazing to discover what this passage really says!
As women we should be encouraged. We may be soft on the outside, but we’re strong and mighty in spirit. We are God’s secret weapons and the enemy knows it. He takes us seriously, even when others don’t. The enemy’s strategy has been to keep us quiet and in hiding. But God is doing an end run. He is going to release so many of us at once that the enemy is not going to know what hit him!
Womanist interpretation seeks to use the Scriptures to explore and empower the construction of black womanhood, the experiences of black women as it relates to the world, and the black community and church.
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.
Back then, I didn't know any feminists, and I didn't think it was possible to be a Christian and a feminist. It didn't occur to me until years later to think critically about the jokes, or to question why so many—including evangelicals—write off feminists.
For a seminary internship, I became involved in a non-profit organization dedicated to building peace and safety in Christian homes. Assisting Catherine Clark Kroeger, I began to see into the shadowy corners that hide the horrific treatment many women face behind closed doors.
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."
Throughout the ancient world, gender was identity, and gendered spheres were guarded by the long arm of patriarchy. Yet, notice how Scripture boldly defies patriarchy by celebrating women whose achievements paralleled and often eclipsed men's in business (Proverbs 31), in political strategies (Abigail: 1 Samuel 25, Esther 4:4-17), in military tactics (Jael: Judges 4:17-22, Deborah: Judges 5:7), in theocratic leadership (Deborah: Judges 5:7), in biblical exegesis (Huldah: 2 Kings 22:14ff, 2 Chron. 34:14-33, 2 Kings 22), and in righteously preserving kin (Tamar: Gen. 38:26, Ruth: Ruth 2:1-4:10).