Women's Issues

Five Ways to Harm Your Husband by Being a "Good" Wife

Good Wives Guide

Several weeks ago Wendy Alsup wrote a striking post about how complementarians (folks who believe that men and women have differing roles in society, the home, and the church) are shooting themselves in the foot with faulty reasoning and extra-Biblical teaching. It seems that on our way to understanding manhood and womanhood, our generation has started taking some shortcuts—shortcuts that are going to have significant consequences for whether or not we develop a fully biblical understanding of gender and human relationships. In this sense, the concerns she mentioned are serious; but even more so is her overarching point: while we may have a seemingly noble goal, if we don’t reach that goal in an authentic and legitimate manner, we undermine everything we are trying to accomplish.

This is not a new problem for us humans. Whether it’s yelling at our kids to be quiet or speeding down the highway to avoid being late to an appointment, we regularly—although often unintentionally—conduct our lives under the assumption that the end justifies the means. Wendy’s post also got me to thinking about how this kind of pragmatism can invade our relationships, specifically our marriages.

Is it possible that in our attempts to reach an ideal, in our progress toward becoming “good” wives and husbands, we could actually be harming each other? I think it’s more than possible; I think it’s very common. And like so many areas of Christian living, the danger is not so much in what we’re doing, as what’s happening in our hearts and revealed through the process of doing them. And while I can’t speak for the men, here some problematic tendencies I’ve observed among Christian women—they are simply things I’ve heard, things I’ve seen, and truthfully, things I’ve done myself at times.

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Faith and Babies: Reflections on 1 Timothy 2:15

1 Timothy 2:15: “Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control” (ESV).

It’s the kind of passage that makes even the most stalwart inerrantist want to pack up shop and slip out the back door before anyone notices. Maybe Paul was simply a misogynistic recovering Pharisee after all. Of course, if we truly believe that all Scripture is God-breathed like we say we do, then we have plenty of reason to stay and grapple with it. And given the state of our current culture, I’d say that we must.

State of the Union

For several generations, our society has wrestled with issues of gender identity, reproductive rights and the sanctity of marriage. The struggle has entered the church in the form of feminist theology, female clergy, widespread acceptance of divorce, and most recently, the blessing of same-sex unions. As the conservative church, we have responded with a full-out push back, reaffirming biblical norms and principals.

But, I’m afraid, recovering a conservative understanding of gender has been accompanied by a growing legalism surrounding roles and applications. You can’t deny that ours is a subculture where the Duggars are celebrities and more and more Christian couples are equating their ability to reproduce with their spirituality. By extension, being single or infertile is increasingly a spiritual liability.

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"We have feminism to thank for convincing women to think of themselves first ..."

What feminism hath wrought
“We have feminism to thank for convincing women to think of themselves first and foremost, and that to do otherwise would be to betray womanhood.”
Marcia Segelstein on Venker & Schlafly’s new book, The Flipside of Feminism.

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"the report calls for the elimination of [policies] that prohibit women from being directly assigned to combat units"

“A military readiness watchdog says a Pentagon commission’s recommendation that the military allow women to serve in direct frontline combat units has ‘little or nothing to do with military reality.’” Recommendation: women should be in ground combat

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Women in the Life and Ministry of Jesus

The popularity of The Da Vinci Code has forced Christians to realize that their beliefs are open to challenge. As a result, many Christians are interested in subjects that used to draw yawns. A few years ago, no one wanted to hear about the Gnostic Gospels and why we reject them, for example.

One issue raised by The Da Vinci Code is Jesus’ relationship to women. We can easily surmise that the Mary Magdalene nonsense of The Da Vinci Code is bogus, but what was Jesus’ real attitude toward women?

On the one hand, He established the church by training her basic leaders, the apostles. Only men were chosen as apostles, and the concept of male leadership in the church is consistent throughout Scripture: the Old Testament priests had to be male (according to Moses) and Paul teaches that church leaders who teach doctrine or Bible to men must be male, as must elders (1 Tim. 2:9-15, 3:1-2).

On the other hand, God used prophetesses as a channel of divine communication (e.g., Miriam, Deborah, in the Old Testament and the daughters of Philip in the New), and both men and women were encouraged to prophesy in the early church (1 Cor. 11:3-11).

Most of us understand that the reasons for these restrictions on leadership have nothing to do with competence or ability. Most of us know strong, capable godly women who have mastered the Word, as well as not-so-godly Christian men who have not. Nor are these restrictions justified on the basis of ancient culture (and thus no longer relevant). Instead, they are anchored to the order of creation and the events of mankind’s fall into sin (see 1 Tim. 2:9-15), past events that do not change (as does culture). The leadership of men in the home or in the church rises or falls together since they are mandated with similar justification. However, it takes quite a stretch to translate this concept into the political or work world.

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