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It was a warm, sunny Sunday morning and Gibson and I were outside playing kickball. It was one of his favorite activities, and playing with him was one of mine. In the middle of an enthusiastic kick, Gibson stopped abruptly and said, “Aunt Nancy, look! There is a blue reflector!” I was amazed to discover that there was a blue reflector embedded in the concrete. I had walked by, driven over, and played ball around this spot on the parking lot hundreds of times. I had never seen the blue reflector. Gibson asked, “Where is the fire hydrant?” I still did not make the connection. My young instructor continued, “The blue reflector lets the firefighters know where to look for a fire hydrant. Look, there it is!” And there it was. The fire hydrant on the corner was across from the blue reflector. Read more
Karen teaches adult education in her church. Her classes are exciting. Despite her denomination’s support of gift-based roles for men and women, she is frequently questioned and criticized by a few who challenge — not the fruits of her labor, but whether women should even be fruitful. The more she tries to persuade her critics, the more weighed down she feels. Read more
When I reflect on my childhood and young adulthood, it’s not difficult to see why I struggled to understand God’s intent for gender roles. I was surrounded by mixed gender messages from my denomination, my family and my Christian college. Read more
Being married to her is the greatest happiness a man could feel. I could never love anyone more. My only desire is to love her and provide for her. I have made sacrifices for her, but she is worth every single one. I always want to be there for her. I want to save and protect her. I want to shield her from worldly dangers. She is my woman, and I want to be her man. I want to take the burdens away from her. I want to handle all the stresses of life for her. I will make the tough decisions. I don’t want her to have to worry about anything outside our home. I want to give her the perfect family and a life where she can just be a wife and a mother to our two boys. I want to give her everything. Read more
As far as anyone knows, I was born an egalitarian. My grandmother was a college professor beloved by a generation of students, especially women. They remember her as an influential figure who encouraged them to explore and use all of their gifts. My parents shared leadership in the home. My church had strong female leaders and staff members. When I went to college, I chose the Wesleyan school where my grandparents taught, Houghton College, and learned about the Wesleyan Church’s historic dedication to women’s rights and women in ministry. After seminary, even though I wanted to do PhD work, I encouraged my wife Jill to pursue hers first and resumed my own studies two years later, part-time, while pastoring a church. From an early age, I understood—and preached—biblical equality Read more
The more leadership I took on in the secular world, the wider the gap became between who I was at work and who I was expected to be at church and home. Read more
The Blind Side is a powerful story of redemption that struck a resonant chord with me because the heroine is a Christian mom with grit. Spunk. Pluck. Call it whatever you want. Leigh Anne Tuohy can and does go toe-to-toe with obstinate high school teachers, coaches, skeptical friends, drug pushers, and gang bangers. Leigh Anne is smart, sensitive, compassionate, and generous. And she’s no cream puff. You don’t mess with Leigh Anne. You especially don’t mess with her family, which includes Michael when the Tuohys become “Big Mike’s” legal guardians. Read more
My friend confided in me because she was “tired — no, exhausted — of being single.” She had prayed for a spouse, but worried that because God had not answered her prayer yet, maybe she was not meant to be married — an idea that deeply saddened her. Or worse, she feared that because of sins she had committed in past relationships, maybe she was not worthy or capable of being in a strong Christian marriage. Read more
The landscape of the debate between egalitarians and hierarchists (self-styled “complementarians”) has changed drastically owing to decisive gains that have been achieved by egalitarians on scriptural grounds. Read more
I’m starting this article with the end. There is really only one thing I hope each of you — man or woman — gets out of this. Manhood is about the agonies and ecstasies of being human, and the hunger and hope of loving and being loved. But that is only part of it. Most of all, manhood is about the strangely active surrender of heart, body, and desires to Christ, a lifelong conforming of one’s own will to his will. Does that sound like a good definition of womanhood as well as manhood? Ah, you’re on to me. Read more

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