What To Do About Women’s Roles {Velvet Ashes}

Elizabeth is over at Velvet Ashes today for their discussion on Roles.

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I’ve sat around the table and been told – on more than one occasion and on both sides of the ocean – that what I’m doing is not Enough. That I am not working Hard Enough. That what I’m doing with my children is Too Small. That I’m not Properly Serving the needs around me. And all the while, I’d been following, to the best of my ability, what I thought God had for me in that season of my life.

There have been times I’ve been beyond frustrated at the state of church culture. A culture that seems to honor and esteem men above women. A culture that grants men more options in where and how to serve God than it grants women. A culture that judges women for the few options they do have, no matter which ones they choose. You stay at home with your children? You should be working all day. You work all day? You should be staying at home with your children.

Sometimes I wonder why men are privileged to choose their ministry emphasis, but wives are pigeon-holed into their husband’s jobs. Is there no difference between the way God fashioned the two parts of a couple, that they might possibly be able to serve in different capacities?

I have cried so many tears over this.

I’d love to see a Christian culture that places fewer unattainable expectations on women. I’d love to see a Christian culture that ties up fewer heavy burdens on women’s shoulders. I’d love to see a Christian culture that lifts a finger — or five — to ease those unbearable demands.

The reality is, we may not be able to bring cultural change across all of Christendom. We may not be able to exert organization- or church-wide influence. But we can attend to the one thing we do have influence over: our relationship with God.

Click here to read the hopeful conclusion.

Paul, the Mysogynist?

by Elizabeth

While this tends to be a faith-walk type of blog, and not a theology blog, I’d be a fool not to admit that some of my biggest personal crises happen at the intersection of faith and theology. As this is an enormous subject, and as I am not a Bible scholar, this post is not meant to offer an authoritative stance on my part, or even to start a debate: it is simply an important part of my faith journey that I feel the need to share. I asked God to help me write something that honors Him but that expresses my struggle to understand certain parts of the New Testament, and this is the result.

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Saint Paul, by Raphael

I always loved the apostle Peter. It seemed to me that he said whatever he was thinking before he had time to think about it. He was impulsive, given to emotional outbursts, and faltered under fear — and I could relate. Yet Peter always returned to Jesus, and he lived Forgiven.

Paul, on the other hand, was never quite so important to me. I only started getting to know him several years ago, in a counselor’s office, as I worked through the concept of grace. Week after week I sat on that couch in the counselor’s office, crying, trying desperately to understand the doctrine of Grace, trying to accept the fact that God loves me completely, apart from anything I do or don’t do.

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