Millennial Monday: A woman’s role
This is a topic about which I could go on for days and still not have fully spoken every word on my mind. So, please ask me if you are interested to further explain my thoughts after reading this. Yet for this specific post, I will focus on one, culturally-relevant topic.
There is controversy in the Baptist world that has made it mainstream, relating to controversial statements made by Paige Patterson, a renowned Southern Baptist Leader. I first read this article (click here) by the Washington Post to get one side of the story; then I read this post (click here) by Christianity Today, and many other writings on this topic have since appeared, as well. As with any news story, I recommend you first read as much as you can on the topic before regurgitating anything I—or anyone else—says about the topic.
What I want to talk about most in my post today is a recent post by Beth Moore, a prominent female leader in the Southern Baptist world. On the Living Proof Ministries blog, Moore wrote a blog called “A Letter to My Brothers” (click to read) in which she addresses head on the problems related to the Patterson situation, as well as misogynistic attitudes/behavior in Baptist, or religious circles, in general.
Seriously, stop what you are doing and read the blog now. It is powerful, level-headed, well-thought out, and she comes from a place of love and respect rather than condemnation. I agree with every word she wrote.
As a woman in the Baptist world, not only as a church member but professionally as well, there have been many situations in which I find myself that I often think male co-workers would not encounter.
As Beth Moore says in her blog, these situations do not come as a shock to me. I realize I have to take different things into consideration being a professional in a mostly male culture. Most of the time, any incident that happens because I am a female is minor. However, from time-to-time, I do encounter a male who, from my point of view, has a lack of respect for me as a professional because I am a woman. I find issue with that way of thinking.
One thing Beth Moore said in her blog that resonated with me on this subject is this:
“Scripture was not the reason for the colossal disregard and disrespect of women among many of these men. It was only the excuse. Sin was the reason. Ungodliness.”
In the Bible, in fact, Jesus held women in high regard. He respected women, and Beth Moore points this out:
“The dignity with which Christ treated women in the Gospels is fiercely beautiful and it was not conditional upon their understanding their place.”
“Their place.” This is something that I find myself facing. I firmly believe I have just as much of a right to equal pay, equal opportunity and an equal right to eternity one day. With that set of beliefs, I also believe that I should be held to the same standard professionally as any male co-worker. I don’t want the “easy” way or the “ladies” way out. I am not afraid of hard work.
That being said, I will never find offense to a man holding a door open for me or any type of chivalrous behavior, just as I am okay with doing the dishes at home while my husband always takes out the trash. I acknowledge times that I should submit to my husband, and my ego is not so large that I would strip him of the role of being the leader of our household, as that would be against God’s Word as well.
I don’t find issue with gender roles. I find issue with the sin, disrespect or disregard of any one person.
In any race, gender, nationality, you name it, it is never acceptable to elevate oneself above another. Our Savior humbled himself, as recorded in Matt. 25:40, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
So I challenge you, brother or sister in Christ, to see past gender, to see past race and see past the types of things our world has labeled as “weaker” or “less-than.”
The main issue at hand in Patterson’s case was the topic of domestic abuse.
No form of abuse is ever okay.
No form of superiority due to any of the above listed categories is okay.
As a Christian, it is our duty to stand against such evil things. Today, you can stand against this abuse by voicing your thoughts against it, as well as “talking the talk” should you encounter a situation like Patterson did. Be the voice of truth and reason and, most importantly, be a righteous voice in a world full of nonsense.
Finally, I will leave you with one of the last things Beth Moore said in her blog, and please don’t miss this—
“The irony is that many of the men who will give consideration to my concerns do not possess a whit of the misogyny coming under the spotlight. For all the times you’ve spoken up on our behalf and for the compassion you’ve shown in response to ‘Me too,’ please know you have won our love and gratitude and respect.”
To those men, you are honorable, brave and I applaud you. Thank you for being our voice when we don’t have one. To other men, if you can’t, in confidence, place yourself in that category, now is the time to change.