Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dear LadyLike: How then shall we live in this sick sad world?

Question posted to Issues, Etc.:

In a world that has so feminized men, and masculinized women, where men have gotten so comfortable yielding their roles to women, and women appear so eager to take the reins, how would you recommend that men, and women, go about restoring their lives together to be more what God desires for them?


Dear Christopher,

Or a brother sometimes. :D

My recommendation (worth exactly what any person's recommendation is worth) is that we just don't play. Christian boys need to act like boys and Christian girls need to act like girls. It can feel weird and lonely. A lot of it we have to figure out on our own since it's not what most of us are used to seeing, and most other people are playing the "do what you aren't" game.

What does this look like, though?

It means we quit feeling bad and embarrassed about what Scripture teaches.

It means that if there's a board without a woman on it, or a faculty or administration page with all male photos, no men apologize and no women complain (and no women apologize and no men complain).

It means that we quit cheapening the currency of women's talents by stooping to the world's doltish tokenism.

It means women defer to the God-given authority of men, and work always to see and take comfort in the wisdom of the divine order. It means that women confess that our resistance to this is real and sinful. It means that all Christian men and women be willing to receive in trust what our good God has appointed for us.

It means that we work to live out the goodness of God's order without compromising in advance in the name of potential exceptions and abuses.

It means the husband is the husband and the wife is the wife, and no being silly about what that means. We're not so far removed from this experience or memory that we don't really know. But the next generation might be, so we need to be deliberate about teaching them by exhortation and example.

It means that the wife doesn't pull the hurt feelings card when her husband acts within his duties and rights as the head of the family, and the husband doesn't call it nagging when the wife is appeals to him for something. It means no manipulation, and grownups acting like grownups.

It means men run churches, and women don't "step up" and do men's jobs. It means if the pastor can't find a man to fill the vacant elder spot, the team of elders gets one person smaller. It might mean a church closes, or a woman takes her family to another church (the one in Thyatira, maybe).

It means pastors do pastor stuff and the rest of us don't. Anything that looks like a pastor thing is a pastor thing. He conducts the service, he tends the flock. The Good Shepherd says, "I know my sheep." Pastoral duties by which the shepherd comes to know his sheep, and by which the sheep come to learn and love his voice, should never be farmed out to a hired hand (even a generous, willing, capable, Christian hired hand).

Probably some other stuff too. :)

This way of life puts Christians into a kind of prisoner's dilemma. It costs us human esteem and money not to play the game everyone else in the world is playing. But those are things Christians have never been into anyway.

Thanks for a really good question.