Kingdom Women

How are men impacted by the teaching about women?

On Friday I posted about eighteen things I had been taught about women as a young Christian–things which impacted me for decades of my life. To be honest, even as I wrote them down, I found myself angry (hopefully with a righteous indignation) at the cage I had been trapped in. Thankfully, Tony, my husband, is a wonderful and gracious husband, but even today, I remember well him trying to explain to me why I had been removed from a leadership team because of my gender–because our church had just come under the influence of teaching that didn’t allow women in leadership, but that it was okay because I could exert an influence through him.

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I’m not blaming the guys, They were taught these things as much as I was, and for some of them, the strain of trying to live up to this view of the man’s responsibilities must have been just as difficult as it was for us as women. What about the man whose wife is naturally more outgoing, where he is more content to be in the background?  Or the man who is more pastoral and less apostolic than his wife?  Is it fair for one person in a partnership to be responsible to always make the correct decisions? Tim Day had a thought-provoking post on this over the weekend too–well worth pondering.

I’d be very interested to hear how this teaching about women has impacted the men. What stories do you have?

8 replies on “How are men impacted by the teaching about women?”

I agree with what Tim wrote. I lead a fellowship and we’re heading toward an organic fellowship, but all that while, I have always been grateful for my wife’s leading in the areas that I just don’t enjoy doing. I couldn’t imagine being left with the sole responsibility of leading the fellowship. I like to teach and that is it.

I also run a carpentry business and I tell people that my wife is my manager. I don’t know what I would have done without her managerial skills.

For hundreds of years, the church had been impotent because women were suppressed. It also makes me angry when I think about how much more souls could have been saved if women were treated equally, for indeed the harvest were plentiful and the worthy labourers were prevented from fulfilling the great commission.

If I may generalise, women are more hard working than men, so just imagine what the Ekklesia would be like now, if women were active.

Christopher, thank you for these insightful comments. I remember Yonggi Cho telling Tony and I once when we met him that we in the West will never see a move of God until we release our women. What might happen in our day if women were treated equally and fully released to work in the harvest?

I commented on Tim’s post, which is excellent, and thought I would put basically the same thing here…

I love how he mentioned power as being revolving between the members of a particular community (marriage, church, whatever). Our culture treats relationships mechanically rather than organically, which coincides with its infatuation with reason over intuition. Because of this, we view power as permanently held in position (or gender), rather than being revolving.

If you were to spend time with a community operating organically, you would not be able to pick out a member that continuously holds the power. Yes, you will have dominant personalities, but that is different. It creates an atmosphere where no one is put in a position that is beyond their competencies. It allows individuals to contribute in ways that they are truly competent in.

When everyone shares power, no one feels powerless. So they don’t try to assert their authority on each other in response. In this environment, everyone is valued. Not just with lip service, but with action.

I totally agree with this, Michael. Part of the problem is that hierarchical structures invite power wars. Where everyone is competing to be a servant, much of this disappears.

I love following the discussion about women. I’m all for empowering women to take their rightful place, exactly how I feel. We can clearly see in the NT especially in Paul’s life how women were fully involved in ministry. I’m working in several Asian countries and empowering women is a key to see multiplication (there are other keys but it is an important one). The simple church approach really helps a lot to break down that barrier. I’m meeting some men who are OK at this stage if women are involved in leading house churches, but they still might have a problem if they led a large church. I’m learning to go step by step and to allow these people time to change.

Juerg, I really appreciate your comments. Like you, I believe one of the main advantages in releasing women concerns the harvest–we see that with our friends in Asia too. We once had the privilege of meeting with Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho and he told us in no uncertain terms that we wouldn’t see a move of God in the West until we were prepared to “use our women.”

The Lord is giving you wisdom as you go step by step. For all of us, change is more easily acceptable as a process.

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