Youth and Family | CBE International

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Youth and Family

While growing up in the 1960s, I heard women in our neighborhood complain about being called housewives. “I am not married to a house!” they would say. Of course the term typically meant that they were wives who spent their time caring for a house and those in it. But still, it offended these women who, by the way, didn’t even consider themselves feminists or egalitarians. Being called housewives simply assigned them a label they thought was inaccurate and, frankly, a bit demeaning. As I made my way through high school and college in the 1970s and early 80s, I saw women who spent their time caring for their houses and those in it (notice, I didn’t say housewives) bristle when someone asked if they worked. “Of course I work” they’d cry “wha... Read more
We homeschoolers have been rattled by the sex scandals of Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, two of the homeschooling movement's most notable advocates of the past twenty-five years. I consider myself a proponent of home education, too. I own and operate a publishing business for homeschool debate curriculum, so naturally I support homeschooling's healthy expansion. The number-one tenet in the mind of a patriarchal believer is that God is male in nature. The idea that fathers have a God-given authority in every facet of life, especially the family, stems from the first of Phillips' seven tenets, and probably the most important in his mind. I propose that this is a point of theological error that should not be part of a framework of a Christian worldview. To me, the gender... Read more
Do you recognize these girls? One hint: they are in biblical order. I approached an Egyptian princess with a bold idea. We five sisters asked Moses to allow us to inherit land. I bravely carried secret plans outside the walls of Jerusalem to help David. My enemy captor heard my suggestion to entrust his health to Israel's God. My sisters and I helped rebuild the walls of Jerusalem under enemy opposition. I felt death and then I felt the hand of Jesus. Now I have two birthdays. We were mere maids, but we questioned anyway. My "friends" called me "silly" but they soon found out the truth. I was possessed by the python until Paul made my voice my own. My three sisters and I discovered our gift of prophecy in Caesarea. Finally, well into the... Read more
“What pushes someone toward becoming a workaholic?” “What do we get out of spending too much time at work at the expense of our families?” These are the questions we pondered recently in a Sunday School class I attend. Answers ranged from the desire to provide for a family to employment insecurities to a desire to contribute to creative, meaningful work. What stood out to me, however, was even though the group was comprised of equal numbers of men and women, each person who offered a personal anecdote was male. The females of the group turned our heads in sync with each other toward the various commentators, occasionally making appropriate sympathy noises. But otherwise we were uninvolved in the discussion. The topic eventually shifted and the class moved on.... Read more
Among responsible and useful methods of promoting egalitarian thinking -- writing about it, supporting organizations like CBE that promote it, seeking out churches that put it into practice -- my favorite is what I call the “auntie model”:  consistently giving loving ideological nudges to those in my closest circle, especially the little ones. I grew up in a patriarchal family and church.  Though I have had my “aha!” moment and embraced the egalitarian position, most of the rest of my family continue in the patriarchal tradition.  And they take “be fruitful and multiply” seriously: just three siblings have given me (so far) 13 nieces and nephews, none older than 8.  For the most part, their parents are not actively cultivating ge... Read more
Karen Till, CBE member and friend, is the author of this post about being a homeschool parent and an egalitarian. My journey towards equality and gift-based leadership began about three years ago when I read Cunningham and Hamilton’s book, Why Not Women. I was ready for it. At the time I was struggling with much of what the “homeschool way” was teaching about gender roles. I see now that God was preparing my heart. We have homeschooled our children for 14 years. We have 5 children—our oldest graduated a year ago and our youngest just started school this year. When we began we felt called and challenged by the Lord. I was delighted to take the task on and thrilled to have my kids with me instead of sending them away. My dream to have a family and be a st... Read more
There is a very disturbing thing going on to encourage abstinence among Christian teenagers and children. It started with Purity Balls' "a memorable ceremony for daughters to pledge commitments to purity and their fathers to pledge commitments to protect their girls." I could not find the pledge the daughters make on their website, but here is the pledge the fathers make: I, [daughter's name]'s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come. This year th... Read more
In a recent pre-Christmas sermon on Mary, it was suggested that fathers should take their sons to see the movie, The Nativity Story. By seeing this movie, it was said, young men will see how they can be loving husbands, like Joseph, and protect their wives in difficult circumstances like these—“these” circumstances referring to their long trip to Bethlehem. I don’t know exactly what the preacher meant, but in the context, it made me laugh. I don’t anticipate making that kind of journey with a pregnant, God-Man bearing wife riding on a donkey anytime soon. Those circumstances belonged to someone else. It also reminded me of something else, that is, the many times I’ve heard someone appeal to the biblical narrative (or any biblical passage) witho... Read more