What is Traditional Marriage Anyway?

Recently a friend told me that they “just believed what Christians have always believed for thousands of years” about marriage. Hmmmmm. Really?
Do they believe in arranged marriage? Marriage for family connections or financial gain? Women being forced to marry their rapists?

There was an excellent article written this week on this very subject called, Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves by Jay Michaelson on Religiondispatches.org. In it Mr. Michaelson pointed out in answer to the assertion by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council that marriage has been one man, one woman for over five thousand years by pointing out the following (from the Bible):

Abraham had two wives, Sarah and her handmaiden Hagar. King Solomon had 700 wives, plus 300 concubines and slaves. Jacob, the patriarch who gives Israel its name, had two wives and two concubines. In a humanist vein, Exodus 21:10 warns that when men take additional wives, they must still provide for their previous one. (Exodus 21:16 adds that if a man seduces a virgin and has sex with her, he has to marry her, too.) But that’s not all. In biblical society, when you conquered another city, tribe, or nation, the victorious men would “win” their defeated foes’ wives as part of the spoils. It also commanded levirate marriage, the system wherein, if a man died, his younger brother would have to marry his widow and produce heirs with her who would be considered the older brother’s descendants.

He goes on to make the points that marriages up until 200 years or so ago were all arranged marriages (the idea that people would get married of their own volition to a spouse of their own choosing was a radical notion), and that in Europe and North America, marriage was mainly a commercial proposition rather than a romantic one. As he says,

Princes married princesses not because of fairy tales, but because their parents had political alliances to consider. Further down the economic ladder, people married for a variety of biological, commercial, and genealogical reasons—but rarely for love. (See Stephanie Coontz’s excellent Marriage: A History for more.).

And finally he raises the issue of interracial marriage, which certainly was not traditional and was even seen by some as a crime against nature and God up until the 1960s.  We must remember that a century ago, African Americans were not considered fully human by religious conservatives. Interracial marriage—as much as it’s disgusting to even say so today—was seen as an unnatural marriage between different species.

Last week I also ran across a little something that BLEW MY MIND. Now, in all fairness, these ceremonies were mainly “civil unions” more for legal purposes and not carnal ones, however there are indications in some of the cases where the men concerned were also called lovers. My point in bringing it up here is that these “unions” certainly call into question at the very least what “traditional marriage” actually means.

Prof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, wrote a little book called, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century. In it he cites liturgical church documents which discuss, Christian ceremonies dating from the 10th-12th centuries called the “Office of Same-Sex Union” and the “Order for Uniting Two Men”.  These church rites had all the symbols of a heterosexual marriage: the whole community gathered in a church, the couple was blessed at the alter with their right hands joined, they exchanged vows, a priest administered the Eucharist and a wedding feast for the guests was held afterwards. These elements all appear in contemporary illustrations of the holy union of the Byzantine Warrior-Emperor, Basil the First (867-886 CE) and his companion John.

The chronicler Gerald of Wales (Geraldus Cambrensis) recorded Christian same-sex  unions taking place in Ireland in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

Boswell also tells of same sex unions as late as 1578 that took place at St. John Lateran in Rome (traditionally the Pope’s parish church).  As many as thirteen same-gender couples were joined during a high Mass and with the cooperation of the Vatican clergy, “taking communion together, using the same nuptial Scripture, after which they slept and ate together” according to a contemporary report. Another woman to woman union is recorded in Dalmatia in the 18th century.

Records of Christian same sex unions have been discovered in many archives such as the Vatican, in St. Petersburg, in Paris, in Istanbul and in the Sinai, covering a thousand-years from the 8th to the 18th century.

The Dominican missionary and Prior, Jacques Goar (1601-1653), includes such ceremonies in his collection of Greek Orthodox prayer books, “Euchologion Sive Rituale Graecorum Complectens Ritus Et Ordines Divinae Liturgiae” (Paris, 1667).

British historian Alan Bray in his book The Friend, gives a Latin text and translation of a similar Latin Catholic Rite from Slovenia, entitled Ordo ad fratres faciendum, literally “Order for the making of brothers”. Also see Allan Tulchin, “Same-Sex Couples Creating Households in Old Regime France: The Uses of the Affrèrement.”[4] in the Journal of Modern History: September 2007, which article demonstrates the ceremony of affrèrement in France joined unrelated same-gender couples in life long unions which raised family, held property jointly, and were in all respects the same as or equivalent to marriages in terms of law and social custom, as shown by parish records.

In an article written by Allan Tulchin titled, The 600 Year Tradition Behind Same-Sex Unions, he states,

The affrèrement, which existed in France and elsewhere in late medieval Mediterranean Europe, was a contract that provided the foundation for non-nuclear households of many types and shared many characteristics with marriage contracts, as legal writers at the time were well aware. Non-nuclear households were quite common in Mediterranean Europe — more than half the population probably consisted of people in such households. So it is hardly surprising that the law provided for affrèrements as a means to regulate them.

The consequences of entering into an affrèrement were profound. The new “brothers” pledged to live together sharing ‘un pain, un vin, et une bourse’—one bread, one wine, and one purse. All of their goods usually became the joint property of both parties, and each commonly became the other’s legal heir, cutting off other close relatives. They also frequently testified that they entered into the contract because of their affection for one another. As with all contracts, affrèrements had to be sworn before a notary and required witnesses, normally the friends of the affrèrés. The model for these household arrangements is that of two or more brothers who have inherited the family home on an equal basis from their parents and who will continue to live together, just as they did when they were children. But the affrèrement was not only for brothers, since many other people, including relatives and non-relatives, and even married couples, used it.

He also writes in an article in the Journal of Modern History:

But non-relatives also used the contracts. In cases that involved single, unrelated men, Tulchin argues, these contracts provide “considerable evidence that the affrèrés were using affrèrements to formalize same-sex loving relationships.

While my post today doesn’t clear up much on the topic of marriage, one thing is for certain, marriage as recognized and practiced by American churches and the U.S. Government is anything but “what Christians have always believed for thousands of years.”

You can look up the research in these places.
http://www.amazon.com/Christianity-Social-Tolerance-Homosexuality-Fourteenth/dp/0226067114
Saints Sergius & Bacchus, Roman martyrs. Their Catholic feast day  is October 7th. Catholic Encyclopedia [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13728a.htm ]
John Eastburn Boswell (American Council of Learned Societies); Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, Random House, June 1994

If all are Martha Stewart where is Amelia Earhart?

Yesterday Rachel Held Evans Wrote an amazing post about how we as women are enough. Just. As. We. Are.  In her post she laments the seeming agreement between much of the messages given in the church about the “Proverbs 31 woman” and the media headlines and magazine covers which ask, “Are you beautiful enough?”, “Are you sexy enough?”, “Are you crafty enough?”, Are you woman enough?” or in the aforementioned cases, “Are you Biblical enough?” and of course, the recent TIME magazine cover, “Are you mom enough?”. In her post Rachel has this to say about being enough,

…by “biblical,” most pointed to a glamorized, westernized version of the Proverbs 31 Woman, who rises before dawn each day, provides food for her family, trades fine linens for a profit, invests in real estate, and works late into the night weaving and sewing.  Christian books and conferences tend to perpetuate the idea that a woman’s worth should be measured by the details, rather than the message, of Proverbs 31, and like the magazines in the checkout line, often  focus on fitness, domesticity, beauty, and success as ways of earning the favor of God and men.

But here’s the thing.

The poetic figure found in Proverbs 31 is not the only woman in the Bible to receive the high praise of, “eshet chayil!” or “woman of valor!

So did Ruth.

And Ruth could not be more opposite than the Proverbs 31 Woman.

Ruth was a Moabite (a big no-no back then; men were forbidden from marrying foreign wives).

Ruth was childless.

Ruth, was a widow— “damaged goods” in those days.

Ruth was dirt poor.

Rather than exchanging fine linens with the merchants to bring home a profit to her husband and children, Ruth spent her days gleaning leftovers from the workers in the fields so she and her mother-in-law could simply survive!

And yet, despite looking nothing like the ancient near Eastern version of a magazine cover,  Ruth is bestowed with the highest honor. She is called a woman of valor. Eshet chayil!

She is called a woman of valor before she marries Boaz, before she has a child with him for Naomi, before she becomes a wealthy and influential woman.

Because in God’s eyes, she was already enough. 

 The brave women of Scripture—from Ruth to Deborah to Mary Magdalene to Mary of Bethany—remind me that there’s no one right way to be a woman, and that these images of perfection with which we are confronted every day are laughable to those of us who are in on the big secret: We are already enough. 

We are enough because God is enough, and God can turn even the smallest acts of valor—letting go of a grudge, cleaning puke out of a kid’s hair, inviting the homeless guy to dinner, listening to someone else’s story— into something great.

Proverbs 31:25 says the wise woman “laughs at the days to come.”

I don’t think the Proverbs 31 Woman laughs because she has it all together. 

I think she laughs because she knows the secret about being enough.

For me the best part about getting older has to be that I have finally become me. By that I mean I am embracing who I am and how I was made. Surprisingly, rather than causing me to compare myself to all the amazing women I know, this has freed me to celebrate them for all that they are as well. My lovelies, the truth is we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses and it is only when we fully embrace the amazing women that God gifted us to be that we realize how much we all need each other. We are humans complete each other. We fill in the gaps. Like it says in 1 Corinthians about the body of Christ, if all are the eye, how do we hear? I submit to you: If all are Cindy Crawford, where is Mother Theresa? If all are Martha Stewart where is Amelia Earhart? If all are Rachel Held Evans, where is Michelle Krabill?

So, you know what?

I do not scrapbook, and I am enough.
Lots of days I don’t wear makeup, and I am enough.
My kids aren’t perfect (but they are awesome), and I am enough.
I am a horrible secretary and not well organized, and I am enough.
My kids only breastfed 6-8 weeks and I didn’t really enjoy it, and I am enough.
I didn’t cry the first day my kids went to Kindergarten, and I am enough.
I do cry when I get angry, frustrated or upset, and I am enough.
I don’t like confrontation, but I like to challenge the status quo and ask questions, and I am enough.

I laugh at the days to come. Eshet chayil!  I am enough.
And you know what else?

You are too.

Your Existence Gives me Hope

Image

So I woke up today with a strange feeling of hope; hope that the tide is shifting; hope that the conversation is taking a new shape. Hope in the face of setbacks like a female attorney who bows to the will of her client,  by wearing a burqa; a client, who if he had his way, would have prevented her from becoming an attorney in the first place and who would strip her of her freedom to practice law and even from leaving her home unaccompanied if given the opportunity. Setbacks like the state of North Carolina passing an amendment that robs fellow Americans/humans of enjoying the same privilege to marry their beloveds and not to be alone, that is why God designed marriage, remember? It is not good for us to be alone, we need someone who is a perfect fit for us.

But like I said, I am feeling hopeful today. Why?

1. The existence of Kent Krabill; Proof that God loves me.

2. The existence of my children who live and breathe and change the world with their love.

3. The existence of Novitas (aka the island of misfit toys) who continually challenge me to love more and judge less.

4. The existence of the countless new friends I am discovering daily.

5. The existence of inspiration. I finally feel like I am learning who I always was.

6. The existence of the Holy Spirit who continues to lead me into the truth and to change me.

7. The existence of the amazing Rachel Held Evans (who inspires me over and over) and her new article.

8. The existence of Justin Lee and his 30 confessions.

9. The existence of magical moments. I mean did you see Josh Hamilton hit 4 home runs in one game? Have you been to Disney World?

10. The existence of Sixty Percent and people who write such things.

11. The existence of Kathy Escobar and The Refuge, Alise Wright, Amanda Miller Garber and RISE church and Pam Hogeweide and all the other UNladylike women of the church.

12. The existence of Brian McLaren, Wade Burleson, Rob Bell, Jay Bakker, my husband and every other men who supports the UNladylike women of the church.

13. The existence of Bert & Evelyn Waggoner and the influence he had on my life and the seeds of change planted in Kent and I at the Sugarland Vineyard.

14. The existence of Derek Watson  who set in motion the tectonic plates of our lives.

15. The existence of Laurie Watson and the work she does as a sex therapist who happens to be a follower of Christ.

16. The existence of the parents I know who are trying to teach their kids to love people, all people.

17. The existence of a shift that has begun in our country and the church toward freedom, equality and acceptance.

18. The existence of people who fight for these things every day.

19. The existence of groups like Christians for Biblical Equality.

20. The existence of the Marin Foundation.

21. The existence of common ground: President Obama and Vice President Chaney both support gay marriage.

22. The existence of Matthew Vines.

23. The existence of people who refuse to stop loving or believing better of people; even the ones who disagree with them.

24. The existence of my parents and grandparents and all the people who have helped to make me who I am.

25. The existence of art, music and poetry.

26. The existence of my God who never stops loving, never stops pursuing, who will one day make EVERYTHING right, who loves all and gives everything to bring his children home to him.

27. The existence of…YOU. YOUR EXISTENCE GIVES ME HOPE

I Will Let These Women Answer For Themselves

Margaret Thatcher

Hilary Rodham Clinton

Jael – Biblical personality

Rachel – Biblical personality

Deborah – Biblical personality

Ruth – Biblical personality

Priscilla – Biblical personality

Lydia – Biblical personalit

Miraim – Biblical personality

Madeline Albright

Mary the mother of Jesus

Mary Magdeline

Jane Addams

Susan B. Anthony

Marie Antoinette

Saint Joan of Arc

Aspasia of Miletus

Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Jane Austen

Ella Baker

Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike

Clara Barton

Florence Bascom

Simone de Beauvoir

Aphra Behn

Ruth Fulton Benedict

Shirley Temple Black

Elizabeth Blackwell

Bonnie Kathleen Blair

Rosa Bonheur

Louise Arner Boyd

Pearl S. Buck

Marie Anne de Cupis de Camargo

Rachel Carson

Catherine the Great

St. Catheri

Cleopatra

Juana Ines de la Cruz

Marie Curie

Agnes George de Mille

Emily Dickinson

Amelia Earhart

Marian Wright Edelman

Eleanor of Aquitane

Beatrix Jones Farrand

Edith Flanigen

Anne Frank

Rosalind Elsie Franklin

Betty Ford

Nancy Reagan

Betty Naomi Friedan

Elizabeth Gurney Fry

Margaret Fuller

Indira Gandhi

Sarah and Angelina Grimke

Caroline Lucretia Hersche

Judith E. Heumann

Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin

Ariel Hollinshead

Mary Phelps Jacob

Helen Keller

Billie Jean King

Aleksandra Mikhaylovna Kollontai

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Susette La Flesche Tibbles

Ruth Graham

Anne Graham Lotz

Maya Lin

Juliette Gordon Low

Anne Sullivan Macy

Wilma Mankiller

Barbara McClintock

Catherine Boothe

Catherine de Medici

Lise Meitner

Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Maria Montessori

Mother Theresa_

Baroness Murasaki

Shikibu

Florence Nightingale

Georgia O’Keeffe

Vijaya Lakshimi

Pankhurst

Rosa Parks

Eva Peron

Christine de Pizan

Pocahontas

Queen Anne

Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Isabella

Queen Victoria

Jeannette Rankin

Sally Ride

Alexandra Romanov

Eleanor Roosevelt

Sakajawea

Margaret Sanger

Sappho

Rose Schneiderman

Lucy Stone

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Russell Strong

Bertha von Suttner

Emma Tenayuca

Valentina Vladimirovna Nikolayeva Tereshko

Alexandrine Pieternella Francoise Tinne

Sojourner Truth

Harriet Tubman

Tz’u HsiYoshiko Uchida

Phyllis Wheatley

Mary Wollstonecraft

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow

Rachel Held Evans

Sarah Bessey

Ann Morr – my mother

Gladys Elliott – my Grandmother

Doris Morr – my Grandmother

Beth Moore

Judge Barbara Lynn

Chief Judge Edith Jones

Justice Ginsberg

Kathy Escobar

Pam Hogeweide

Mariah Smiley – Teen founder of Drops of Love

Laurie Watson

;

This is a list of women who currently hold CEO positions at companies that rank on the most recently published Fortune1000 lists (the Fortune 2012 list). Women currently hold 3.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 3.9 percent of Fortune1000 CEO positions.

Fortune 1500 (18 CEOs)

Fortune 501-1000 (21 CEOs)


And millions and millions more whose hard work, dedication, LOVE and passion change the world EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Sir, you should be ashamed.

The War on Women is NOT limited to Republicans

In the past week alone…

  • Hilary Rosen, a DNC consultant, has insulted stay at home mothers everywhere by saying women like Ann Romney have “never worked a day” in their lives.
  • We have learned that women in the Obama White House are earning 18% less than their male counterparts while President Obama travels around the country condemning this very problem.
  • The Republican Governor of Wisconsin repealed the state’s Equal Pay law. Republican state senator Glenn Grothman, who was an enthusiastic fan of repealing the law, actually said,
    • “You could argue that money is more important for men.” and “I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious. To attribute everything to a so-called bias in the workplace is just not true.”
  • John Piper , influential pastor and author, posted, “When the Titanic sank 20% of the men and 74% of the women survived. That profound virtue was not nurtured by egalitarianism.”
  • Of the 740,000 jobs lost since president Obama took office, women accounted for 683,000 of those jobs.
  • Ashley Juddhad took to the internet to decry the morbid fascination people have with women’s appearances and the glee they seem to have in picking them apart (especially other women). She wrote,
    • Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.”

The “war on women” is not a war waged by Democrats vs. Republicans; Men vs. Women or Christian vs Atheist. It is not a war of gender or a war of politics. It is a war of ideas.  It must be turned into a war, not on women but a war on patriarchy. According to dictionary.com:

pa·tri·arch·y [pey-tree-ahr-kee]

noun, plural pa·tri·arch·ies.

1. a form of social organization in which the father is the supreme authority in the family, clan, or tribe and descent is reckoned in the male line, with the children belonging to the father’s clan or tribe.

2. a society, community, or country based on this social organization.

As Ashley Judd so eloquently said, “Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate.” I know plenty of men who, armed with love, education and justice wage war against patriarchy. I also know all too many women who defend patriarchy even when it means the subjugation and abuse of themselves, their daughters and other women.
I know many, many patriarchalists, some of whom believe with all their hearts that it is the answer to all of societies ills and for whom if they were honest would admit that they would prefer it if we could roll the clocks back to when women occupied the private sphere and men the public. I do not doubt their sincerity, I do however disagree with them vehemently on the roles of women in the family, in society, in the workplace, in politics, in church and in every arena.

Today My Daughter’s World Changed and It Broke My Heart

This morning I was reading the news and  my daughter walked in and asked me why this woman was crying. My first reaction was to say, “It is complicated” and just sweep it under the rug and hide it from her. She is 9 after all. But then my son came downstairs…
And then I remembered that Kent and I have never shied away from talking to our kids about sex, about pornography, about politics, about death.
And then I remembered that it is women’s history month.
And then I remembered what Rachel Held Evans taught me about honoring and remembering those who have been unjustly killed or harmed.
And then I remembered that nothing changes if I don’t teach my children.
And then I remembered that my son and my daughter must hear from me how wrong this is and how tragic.
And then I remembered that I have to teach them that we must stand up for those without power.
And then I remembered that they have to be told over and over and over…

that women are not less than
that women are not the cause of men’s sin
that women are not to be covered up
that women are not to be silenced
that women are not subhuman
that women are made in God‘s image
that women are equal to men
that women should be able to drive
that women should be able to go out alone
that women should be able to talk to men
that women should be able to have an education
that women should not have to live in fear of their husbands
that women should not have to live in fear of their sons
that women should not have to live in fear of their parents
that women should not have to live in fear of their brothers

I told them why this woman was crying. I told them about Fakhra Younus. I told them about acid attacks and honor killings. I told them there were cultures where women don’t get to go to school, or drive, or go out without a male family member, or speak to a man who was not a family member.

My daughter sat silent and motionless and then she looked up at me and said, “Why?” Why women? Why girls? Why would they do this? Afterall, she has been taught that she is equal. She has been taught that she is valued. She has grown up where she can choose her clothes and go to school and someday learn to drive and have a job. But as I looked at her I could see that she realized that there are people in the world who will always look at her and see less than. There are people who if they had their way would clip her wings and cover her beauty and squelch the fire that makes her an amazing reflection of the image of God. It broke my heart.

We had to leave for school. But we will talk about it again, and again and again. Because my son needs to know. Because my daughter needs to know. And so do yours. Or nothing will change.

Why I Love Being a Woman

I love being a woman. Why? In honor of Women’s History Month I will share with you some of the reasons I love being a woman.

Because God calls me the same thing he calls himself: ezer kenegdo.

The Hebrew words used here to describe woman as a helper are ‘ezer kenegdo. The word ‘ezer means “helper” and is never used in the Old Testament to refer to an inferior or to a subordinate. In fact, the word is used in reference to God as our helper (Psalm 10:14; 30:10; 54:4; 70:5; 72:12; 121:2). Clearly God is not our subordinate. ‘Ezer is a sign of strength and power. Kenegdo is a Hebrew preposition and adverb meaning “corresponding to” or “face to face,” so it is best understood as meaning that Eve was a fitting partner for Adam, for she was like him. Eve was created as an equal to Adam. She was given equal authority and dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:28).

Because God has made me and Kent to be a team.
Carolyn Custis James in her book, Half the Church writes: the ezer was designed to be a warrior.

Descriptions of the woman as dependent, needy, vulnerable, deferential, helpless, leaderless, or weak are – to put it simply – wrong. Such definitions betray cultural biases and I fear a deep-seated misogyny. The ezer is a warrior. Like the man, she is also God’s creative masterpiece – a work of genius and a marvel to behold – for she is fearfully and wonderfully made. The ezer never sheds her image-bearer identity. Not here. Not ever. God defines who she is and how she is to live in His world. That never changes. The image-bearer responsibilities to reflect God to the world and to rule and subdue on His behalf still rest on her shoulders too.

Because on my own, with or without Kent I bear God’s image.

So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Gen 1:27-28, TNIV).

Because I love being married to Kent. I love being part of a greater whole. We are better together. He is my other self.

 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  (Gen. 2:23-24, ESV)

Because I love being a mother.

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.  ~Washington Irving

Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.  ~Linda Wooten

Because there are as many ways to be a “biblical” woman as there are women. We are all different. We defy pidgeon-holeing. We are complex. We are mysterious. We are creative. We are powerful. We are sexual. We are nurturing. We are warriors. We are defenders of the weak. We are lovers. We are smart.

Because there are so many reasons to love being a woman. I didn’t always. There were times in my life I wished God made me a man because I thought they had more autonomy, more freedom, more power. Now that I am older, I know better. In spite of the challenges and the occasional dismissal because of my gender, I treasure being a woman. It is an amazing privilege. Just as is being a man. It is not that it is better to be a woman, but that it is better to embrace all you were made to become. For me, it is my great honor to reflect God’s glory in all that it means to be me. I must embrace my womanhood in order to do that in order to truly love God and my neighbor with all that I am.

 

Here is a list of the other people participating in today’s synchroblog:
Marta Layton – The War on Terror and the War on Women
Ellen Haroutounian – March Synchroblog – All About Eve
Jeremy Myers – Women Must Lead the Church
Carol Kuniholm – Rethinking Hupotasso
Wendy McCaig – Fear Letting Junia Fly
Tammy Carter – Pat Summit: Changing the Game & Changing the World
Jeanette Altes – On Being Female
kathy escobar – replacing the f-word with the d-word (no not those ones)
Melody Hanson – Call Me Crazy, But I Talk To Jesus Too
Glenn Hager – Walked Into A Bar
Steve Hayes – St. Christina of Persi
Leah Sophia – March Syncroblog-All About Eve
Liz Dyer – The Problem Is Not That I See Sexism Everywhere…
Sonja Andrews – International Women’s Day
Sonnie Swenston-Forbes – The Women

10 reasons why i’m an advocate for women’s liberation

I am out of town this week and am reblogging some favorite blogs from the last couple weeks while I spend time with my family at the happiest place on earth! See you on the other side.

Today’s installment comes to you from Kathy Escobar and was originally published 3/9/12. Enjoy.


yesterday was international women’s day.  and like usual, i’m always a little late to the party.  some people think i’m a broken record when it comes to women’s equality. i’m glad. i want to use my voice & hands & feet in any small ways i can to shift the tides of inequality & injustice that strip the dignity of women.

here’s why i’m pro-woman, pro-equality, pro-liberation-of-half-the-population:

1. i think Jesus was.  every interaction Jesus had with women was to set them free and lift their burdens of bondage.  and he said we were supposed to be like him.  i don’t know why the church built on his name has done the exact opposite; it still baffles me.

2. women’s wisdom will make the world better.   it’s said that the same way of thinking  that got us into our problems can’t get us out.  it’s time for some new minds & hearts to get in the mix so that more creative, peaceful, collaborative solutions can be considered in our families, cities, churches, ministries, and organizations.

3. it’s good for men, too.  i don’t want things to shift to women on top & men beneath them, either.  i’m pro-equality.  our freedom is tied up together. when we learn how to be equals, alongside one another as partners, brothers & sisters, teammates, and friends, it reflects God’s image in all kinds of beautiful ways.

4.  the church should be the leader of restoring dignity and equality, instead of dragging along behind.  so i may not be able to change the whole big church but i can play my part in cultivating equality & freedom in our little one.

5. others need us to fight for their freedom.  many can’t fight.  we have liberties others don’t.  our freedom is all tangled up together.  if we stay stuck, others stay stuck. if we get free, we can participate in setting others free, too.

6.  i have to look in my daughter’s eyes.  i have a responsibility to do whatever i can to make sure she has every opportunity she deserves inside & outside of the church.  i can’t tolerate someone telling her she is less because of her gender.

7.  i have to look in my son’s eyes, all 4 of them.  they deserve equal partners who will show up, and participate in relationship instead of remain silenced and diminished.  they deserve to be set free of the bondage of male stereotypes that limit and damage.

7.  yeah, the next generation needs us.  we can’t leave them hanging.  we have to keep paving the way, like the brave men & women before us, to make their path less & less bumpy.

8.  when we are silent, we stand on the side of the oppressor. it’s easier to play nice. it’s easier to follow the status quo.  it’s easier to stick with the crowd and keep supporting churches & the media & systems that strip dignity and freedom.  but when we do, we condone inequality and align with oppression.

9.  we must be the change we want to see.   i can’t sit around waiting for the church to change.  the kingdom isn’t going to drop out of the sky.  God uses people to change the world.

10.  freedom isn’t just a bigger cage.  liberation means full freedom in Christ, not just lesser-oppression.

happy international women’s day, one day late.

may we keep playing our part in liberation.

what about you?  what motivates you to keep advocating for freedom?

How to Get the Right Guy to Like You? Really???

Doesn’t this whole thing ENTIRELY miss the point?  It makes me want to sit my 9 year old daughter down tonight and say, “The goal of your life is NOT to get the “right guy” to like you.”

Sadly, I think that many people in and out of the church miss this point entirely.

The point, young women, is this:

1. Your worth as a woman is not about what kind of guy you can get to like you.

2. It is not your responsibility to “get a guy to respect you.”  It is your responsibility to be a woman of character. This does not guarantee men will respect you. Trust me.

[Ironic, in the video he says your self worth shouldn’t come from any guy you date when the whole video is about getting the “right guy” to like you.]

3. Be educated. About everything. Know your God, know your body, learn everything you can about every subject that interests you and many that don’t.

[I am totally for learning about what my husband likes and finding out why he likes it, but the video implies that guys like (and girls don’t like) things such as call of duty and football and only girls like shopping (I personally know people of both genders who disprove this type of thinking including my husband who likes football & shopping and not CoD).]

4. Don’t let your dreams be limited by your anatomy.

[a penis should not be required  for entry into any profession, vocation or discussion]

5. Your “highest calling” (I am not exactly sure what this means) may or may not be motherhood. It is rather becoming all that God created you to be. Which may include being a mother.

6. Go after life with gusto.

[in spite of the fact that some may call you pushy, domineering or worse]

7. Don’t even consider a man that doesn’t consider you his spiritual and intellectual equal.

8. Men have self control just like women do. They are responsible for their own sexual sins. We are equal in the eyes of God.

[Many simultaneously and erroneously believe that women are both the source of all sexual sin and somehow the gender that possesses the self control and even has the responsibility to say no to sex.]

9. Playing “hard to get” is a game and it is manipulation. Don’t play games in your relationships. Be honest, say what you feel. You don’t have to play “hard to get” to get the right guy to like you.

[Do you know what it means to play hard to get? http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Hard-to-Get%5D

10. Become a woman you would love to have as a friend, be interesting, be educated, be honest and treat everyone with love & respect, including yourself.