Three influential factors that led me out of complementary/patriarchal theology: the racism inherent in allowing white women to teach BIPOC men overseas but not white men in our own churches, the wake of devastation left in my own church from the vacuum of female leadership, and…the teachings of Paul.Continue reading
Jesus teaches the foundation of Christianity is for all believers to “Love God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Later, Paul expounds that love includes mutual submission: “Submit to one another” (Ephesians 5:21) before he breaks it down into wives submit, husbands love—NOT wives submit, husbands lead. Nowhere in the Bible does it explicitly state, “Husbands lead, wives submit.” When the church twists the Christian message of mutual love and submission into “lead and submit,” LOVE is lost.
In a recent social media post, my husband captured the corruptive nature of complementarian theology (male leadership/female submission) in marriage no matter how well-intentioned the couple. Thought I’d share.
My wife and I were “healthy” complementarians for a long time, and worked to make decisions mutually, but it’s pretty insidious how the mindset of “Godly women submit” seeps into everything. For a woman, you can’t truly have a voice when you’re taught theologically that your voice is not as valuable.Continue reading
Living in “complementarian” spaces was death by a thousand cuts. It can be hard to articulate, because each cut on its own sounds petty. Also, some of my pain is intertwined with other women’s stories, and it can be difficult to know how to talk about my own role without oversharing the details of their stories. This is my first attempt to put down in words the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual pain of living in patriarchal spaces most of my life. I think this old outline I recently rediscovered is a good place to start, because it shows my head space when I still considered myself comp.Continue reading
In white evangelicism, the fanaticism, money, & extrabiblical rules that revolve around sex scream idol worship and the humanity of women is sacrificed on its altar. The evangelical message that married sex will fulfill you is really no different than the larger culture’s general message that sex with whomever, whenever will fulfill you.Continue reading
When Adam and Eve chose the rule of humankind over the rule of God, they tragically ushered in the Age of Patriarchy
I fell in love with the erotic poem Song of Songs in the Bible when I was twelve years old. Of all the different ways a young girl could receive her sexual education, I’ll be forever thankful that mine was partially formed by a poem celebrating mutual male and female ecstasy. The Song revealed that sex was a good gift, and the refrain “do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” taught me that it was something powerful to be handled with care. I do not regret those lessons. Song of Songs guided me well during my sexual awakening, so it’s fitting the Song again led me to a spiritual epiphany during my mid-life crisis of faith when I discovered the “desire” of the man in 7:10 is the same “desire” of the woman in the Genesis curse.Continue reading
I wanted to share specific ways I found sexual healing in Scripture as a woman raised in a Christian culture that overwhelming focuses on male sexual desire:
1. The female singer initiated sex. The poem opens with her desire:
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth…Song of Songs 1:2-4
Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.
Did God design women to be less sexual than men? Or do we live in a culture that shames women to behave like prudes?
dedicated to all the complex biblical whores recognized by name in Jesus’ genealogy
Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary
thank you for your faithful witness
may we not grow weary and lose heart