Me and My Big Mouth
We go to the eye doctor pretty frequently in our family. My youngest son has a condition that has caused him to need a pediatric ophthalmologist since the age of eighteen months. Over the course of years of frequent visits, we’ve developed a relationship with his doctor, who is a highly successful, much respected woman in her field. Probably the most sought-after specialist in her geographical area.
One day after an appointment as we were headed to the check-out, we lingered in the hallway finishing a discussion we had started in the exam room. Somehow (I can’t recall exactly how) we got on the subject of the absence of stay at home moms these days. Standing there as a simple homemaker speaking to this very successful, professional doctor, I blurted out the following message (not necessarily these exact words):
“I believe the reason we have such weak men in our culture today is because women have not embraced their God-given roles. We have asserted ourselves and placed ourselves in leadership over our husbands, and we are miserable for it.”
Yes. I said that.
To a very successful physician and all her nurses.
Did I mention I often have a foot-shaped mouth?
Please understand, I had developed a relationship with the doctor over several years, and I wasn’t just walking up to some random stranger saying these things. This was said in the midst of a conversation in which I was free to share my thoughts. However, my view was so counter-cultural that she and all the nurses just stood there for a few seconds staring at me like I just grew another head.
Then the doctor replied, “You really believe that?” To which I responded, “Yes, I do. And let me tell you why.”
Now, let me tell you why.
God has created every human distinctly male or distinctly female. Contrary to modern cultural pressure to believe otherwise, each of us were born the exact gender we were intended to be. I am a woman because God designed me to be a woman. Instead of lamenting the fact that I’m a “woman in a man’s world” (or some other untruthful cliché), I should embrace the beauty that is womanhood. Instead of fighting to be equal with men, I should realize that according to Scripture, I already am.
Men aren’t greater than women. Where did we ever come up with the idea that they are? Women aren’t lesser than men, either. We are both equally important in God’s sight. We are both created equally by Him and we were both given distinct purposes for Him. Perhaps the verse from 1 Peter 3:7 has gotten twisted. That verse says women are “weaker.” We are. There’s no reason to be angry with God for saying that or to try to make that statement untrue by acting like something we’re not.
Men are, generally speaking, much stronger than women in the area of physical strength. 1 Peter 3:7 says men are to live with their wives “in an understanding way.” There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that your husband is physically stronger. Peter goes on in this verse to point out that men should show their wives “honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life.” We are both heirs to the grace God offers. We are both equal children in the sight of God. We just have different roles.
Peter wasn’t the only one who understood this concept of equality in God’s sight. Paul says in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you all are one in Christ Jesus.”
In my next article, we’ll explore why women struggle with staying within their divine roles and what it means that we are all equal in God’s sight