The Joint Mission of the Sexes

I want us to go to the Bible. I want you to be able to handle the Word in explaining what you do and do not believe. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine; God will not be asking you about that when you stand before Him. But I do want you to look at the questions and the topics from all angles, using all of the Bible. The Bible is supposed to inform how we live, and if we have weird theology we do one of two things. 1. We ignore the theology and live in a way that makes sense. That is clearly a problem. It might be because we know that the theology is wrong but we don’t know how to show that from the Bible. It might be because the theology opposes things that we can see in real life. God is intensely practical. (And no, I do not mean that He always makes sense to us.) 2. We try to live by the theology and then wonder why it’s not working out very well, especially for certain groups of people

I’m going to be doing Instagram stories about this and saving them in a highlight. Some of this is much easier to talk through than write about and I’ll also be addressing questions and things I see on the internet. Follow me there to stay caught up with those.

I’m going to try to blog about this in some sort of order. That would, of course, be easier if I wrote it all out beforehand and rearranged it. I won’t be doing that. I’ll do the best I can with the time I have.

Women and God: why this conversation is even necessary

I want the Bible to be my guideline. Of course, I don’t live that perfectly, but it is my goal to constantly be growing as a student and practitioner of the Word. If you know me in person, I think you know that. If you follow me on Instagram, I think you know that. If you read my blog, I think you know that too. So my questions of how I’m supposed to show up in the world as a woman are shaped by what the Bible says about being a woman.

But the stories I’ve heard about being a woman have always had holes. I’ve had questions that no one has answered; questions it seemed no one else was asking. And, let’s be honest, the questions weren’t welcome either. I’ve spent years sweeping the questions under a mental rug and moving on. But the questions got bigger and bigger and then I added in questions about how I was supposed to raise my boys as men. Avoiding the questions wasn’t a feasible way to do life anymore. So I brought all the questions back out. Truth can handle questions. Truth isn’t intimidated by my questions. I put down all the stuff I was reading that people had to say on the topic (all complementarian, by the way, and raising more questions), and went to God.

I did a lot of reading. Most of it was not about what the Bible says specifically about women. I went right on with my normal Bible reading, but my heart was pulled toward the topic so I saw relevant connections everywhere. I started taking notes. I started comparing passages. I prayed over what I was reading and what was happening in my heart and what was taking place in the world around me. I expected my reading to fill in the gaps that I was finding in the story I was told. But instead I found the holes were there because of the story we were telling.

Unconventional Rest: Going to the Movies Solo

I don’t know anyone else that goes to the movies alone.

(I know you’re out there, ok?)

Almost every time I tell someone that I go to the movies by myself, they respond, “Oh, you should have told me and I would have gone with you!” I try to smother my laughter because I know they are trying to be nice, but I intentionally go to the movies by myself. I look forward to it. I put it on my Powersheets as a goal almost every month. It makes me giddy all day anticipating going after I tuck the boys in bed.

I turn the music up louder on the drive because the kids aren’t in the van. I don’t chit-chat while I stand in line, and nobody says, “mom, mom, mom,” not even once. I order a large Dr. Pepper and a medium popcorn and I sit in silence. Once the movie theater was completely empty except for me. The best part- the reason I’m going- is to get lost in a good story.

What Is a Kingdom Woman?

I love being a mom. Occasionally strangers in the store will express their condolences that we only have boys and I am quick to point out how much I love having boys. I love creating a home, putting flowers on the table and snuggling on the couch with books. I am deeply invested in my husband and these four boys and their good. But they are not my goal or my aim or my purpose. They are not what I live for; they are not my highest calling. My worth is not tied up in how clean my house is or how successful my husband is or how well my kids behave. I’ve grown increasingly convicted that we, as Christians, easily build an idol of home and family.  Homes and families are things to steward for God’s glory, not altars where we worship or the fulfillment of who we are.

This whole thing, all of life, is about Jesus. Nothing else. There is no cookie-cutter image for women besides Jesus. The “ideal Christian woman” usually isn’t based on the whole canon of Scripture, but rather on just a few verses, pulled out of context and robbed of their beauty. There are strange ideas circulating about what it means to be a woman, so let’s recenter as often as we need to.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Pssst…that doesn’t mean seek God’s kingdom and get a husband or a baby or a new job either. Go read the whole context.)

Instructions on Repeat

Not only do I do the same things every day-hello laundry and dirty kitchen floor- I say the same things everyday as well.

“We don’t call people names.” “We don’t hit our brothers.” “We need to speak kind words.” “Keep your hands to yourself.” “When we have work to do we need to do it with a good attitude.”

It’s easy to think that I only repeat myself to the boys. It’s because they are young and they haven’t had much practice and they need reminders. But I’ve found I need reminders as well. I’ve found that I spend seasons of life repeating the same things over and over to myself.

Show up. Work hard. Be faithful.

Whose Mission Is It Anyway?

I’ve been a tad obsessed with gender conversations and a Christian worldview over the past year. This has started for a variety of reasons and continued because a lot what I keep reading online (even from Christians that I respect and mostly agree with) was not meshing with what I was finding in the Bible.

I think we should tell God’s story. I think we should live God’s story. Do I have the corner on truth on this topic? Absolutely not. Am I going to God’s Word asking to know His heart? Absolutely. I hope this is something I grow in for the rest of my life.

However, I kept bumping up against this theme of women being subordinate (actual word a prominent theologian repeatedly uses about women) or secondary or servants. Or a theme of hierarchal marriages where the woman is beneath or under or less than her husband. (I’m just going to skip the theological issues with that umbrella model.) Or a theme of women only being equipped for a very tiny portion of life. I couldn’t figure out where this came from. Now I know where it comes from (we’ve discussed it on multiple podcast episodes) but I also realized that part of the story is actually missing.

For the Mama Who Never Finishes the Work

I’ve been a mama for over seven years now and each time we’ve added a baby it’s added a lot of work. Laundry, middle of the night feedings, more food, more discipline. All the good stuff lives on work.

I have just tackled the added work and went with like a machine. Not only did I do this but I felt like I had to. That’s what good women do. Good women have a clean house; they have perfectly-behaved, beautifully-dressed kids; they cook organic, from scratch dinners, etc, etc, etc, with all the cultural standards (bonus points if you’ve been taught they are Biblical as well) for mamas.

At some point you think I would figure it out. But honestly, I like taking care of my family and occasionally I’m a slow learner.

Then I started coaching ball last year and toned down a lot. There was regularly laundry waiting to be folded. We ate in the van frequently. I constantly tried to juggle cleaning and doing school. Then we had another baby and summer happened and I’ve been forced to slow down.