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Friday, May 12, 2006

What is a woman’s role in society? What is her role in the Church or the family?

Can, or should, women serve in governmental positions in the Church or the State? Can, or should women serve in leadership positions? Can a woman be the head of a household?

This is the first in a series of posts that I will address such questions.

I have asked these several questions, in different terms, since I was in grade school. I remember pondering why only men were pastors since it seemed like women could preach from the pulpit as good as any man. Growing up, I remember my mother expressing her discontentment with how she felt that men were selected over her not only in the workplace, but also in the church. My mother has always felt slighted, as her dream of playing as a professional bassoon player ended by discovering that all the symphonies were only comprised of men. Instead, my mother became a music teacher, as women make great teachers. The discrimination that my mother always felt looming over her head seemed to me like a figment of her imagination.

Despite my mother’s insistence that gender discrimination was a reality, I never encountered it. I often stood alone in my college courses highlighting the tremendous change in a woman’s position in society over the course of history. I have never seen women as victims of society or men as brutish dominators.(Yes, this is a message I heard often at WU.) I’ve never felt like a victim. And if anything, I’ve received preference because of my gender. So, yes, there is discrimination, but in a woman’s favor.

Dr. Alber Mohler’s recent blog entry More on the Mommy Wars discusses Kay S. Hymowitz’s article reviewing Caitlin Flanagan’s book To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife. Hymowitz’s writes, “Flanagan believes that feminism’s doctrine that ‘caring for children and husbands and households constitutes subservience’ is at odds with women’s continued long for domestic satisfactions.”

Society makes it seem as though being a mother isn't enough. Why isn’t motherhood depicted as worthy “occupation”?

My University counselor looked at me with confusion when I said I wanted to be a mom. She said, “Well, it only takes 9 months,” as if being mother is just a couple weeks off from a “real” profession.


Lauri said...

Right on! I, too, shocked one of my most critical teachers by explaining my desire to not only be a wife and mother, but also to homeschool my kids. Then, I went through the extreme challenge of blending in to a feminist "gender communication" class. It's good to see both sides of the whole story and either stick more strongly with your own beliefs or change beliefs or opinions. God made any rules for our good. Because He is a good Father, we can avoid bad consequences. The family runs the most smoothly God's way because His thoughts and his ways are higher than ours as the heavens are higher than the earth. We would be wise to listen to Him!

The Peacemaker said...

I agree with you. Many people are trying to blur lines. In my esteemed opinion, however, there are two colors:

Green and red.

That way you know when to keep going, and when to stop.

People need to stop being so PC and start thinking along the lines of something resembling intelligence. My how the lowest have fallen further.

-the peacemaker

ps. nice to meet you

Richard Bentall said...

Greetings from the UK

Ruth theology has given the women the role that they have and not God. First and foremost we must understand our calling in life and live it "according to his purpose". I thank God for great women (first and foremost my wife -let me cover the first base :o) ) that have inspired me and there are a whole host more in the bible (Esther, Ruth, Lydia etc).
With respect to leadership, I was married by a lady vicar !! and from there started to understand that women can have a position of authority - however I do believe that it is limited. God appointed Adam and then Eve (please this is not male pig head)I do believe that a man is the head of the house hold and then women. I will highlight that 'men' are required to do this role and should take the responsibility rather than leaving it to women