As a high school student immersed in fairly conservative Christian culture I encountered several girls who held very passionate views regarding Church and Household leadership. As a high school guy, I didn’t hold a passionate view as much as mirror the view of the girl I was talking to. Seeing each one as a potential girlfriend, I needed to avoid arguments. I got pretty good at supporting both sides of the proverbial fence.
It wasn’t until I got to college that I started to feel the need to explore these questions for myself. Spending the first 16 years of my life living with my Mom and primarily being raised by her, the idea that men needed to lead the household didn’t exactly make much sense to me. As a kid who didn’t really grow up in Church, I didn’t know what to think about women being pastors and priests, but I leaned more toward thinking it was silly to say they couldn’t.
I met my wife my Junior year in college. At that time (she laughs at this now) she wanted to be a Youth Pastor. Suddenly, the debate over the role of women in Church became personally significant. I needed to solidify what I believed so I knew whether I could truly support her in her vocational pursuit. The nutshell of this chapter in my life is that I studied a lot, wrote some papers and talked to some Biblical scholars who landed on either side of this issue. My conclusion: We need the leadership of women, equally alongside men, in the Home and Church.
I’m glad that’s where I landed philosophically, but I came to a hard realization recently. While I believed strongly in the Egalitarian view of Marriage and Church Leadership, I was a poser when it came to practicing what I believed! I noticed that I couldn’t find a single woman in my list of authors I had chosen to read over the years. I wouldn’t choose to forget the wisdom those men have taught me, but I have been doing what most of the Church has done for the past two thousand years. While I have been supportive of women in word, I have chosen to fill my ears with the wisdom of men and allow the women of our faith to go unheard.
I say all of this as a bit of a confession. I also want to publicly commit to end the charade! I am done simply saying “I’m Egalitarian”. I want to intentionally lend my ear to the wisdom of the feminine voice. This new chapter of my journey started with a book written by a local Pastor called Pastrix. You can find my thoughts on this book here. Now I am on to Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. Though I am only on book #2 on this journey, I am already beginning to realize how much is lost when the voices of women are ignored.
Feel free to make suggestions. I will continue to share my thoughts about the books I am reading. I hope to inspire a few more people who find themselves in my shoes to intentionally invite the feminine voice into their spirituality.