“The question is this: why don’t women preach in our church? It’s a good question, isn’t it? Especially in this day and age. I mean surely there are certain cultural norms and standards and values from Bible times that we can leave behind? Like slavery. Haven’t we left slavery behind? Surely, we are more enlightened and liberated than they were and its time to move into the 21st century.”
Two Common (Incorrect) Answers
“Let’s try and be honest with each other. Let’s talk about the two most common answers to that question; the answers our culture would give. The answers that perhaps some of you would give, if you spoke freely.
Why don’t women preach in this church? Well, number one because the men in this church are using the Bible to cling to power. Or number two, because men in this church don’t think women are good enough to preach. Those are two possibilities.”
But they are not the reason that women don’t preach at this church.
God’s Design for Humanity
The roles of men and women is a hot topic amidst churches. Why don’t women preach in church? Why is the man called to lead the family? Surely these are archaic beliefs that we all have moved on from? In this sermon Roydon Frost addresses the topic of gender roles by first looking at God himself and then at humanity.
The sermon helps each of us see how we can further exalt God and find value in our own distinct roles. There is a beautiful dance carried out when men and women live how God created them to. Just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have specific and distinct roles within the one Godhead, men and women play different roles in one humanity. It’s not about one being of more value than the other. It is about order and living by God’s design.
Text: Genesis 1:26-27 and Matthew 20:25-28
Preached: 4 August 2019
Location: Christ Church Midrand, South Africa
There will be two passages for today’s Bible reading. The first is Genesis 1:26-27.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
The second reading is Matthew 20:25-28
25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This is the word of God.
We are in the middle of a series on hard and controversial issues. We have done LGBTQ last week. Before that abortion and before that “The Intolerance of Tolerance” – of the tolerant. If you would like to pick up any of those they are on our website and you can go on this journey with us.
This morning we are looking at the roles of men and women. we are gonna approach that general issue from a specific question. A specific question that came out of our studies in Titus earlier this year. A number of people came to me with this question.
Why Women Don’t Preach Here
The question is this: why don’t women preach in this church?
It’s a good question, isn’t it? Especially in this day and age. I mean, in our day and age, surely there are certain cultural norms and standards and values from Bible times that we can leave behind? Like slavery. Haven’t we left slavery behind? Surely, we are more enlightened and liberated than they were and its time to move into the 21st century.
So, why can’t women preach at CCM? Women are preaching in other denominations, why can’t they preach here?
Three Common (Incorrect) Answers
Let’s try and be honest with each other, and let’s talk about the two most common answers to that question. The answers our culture would give. The answers that perhaps some of you would give, if you spoke freely.
Why don’t women preach in this church? Well, number one because the men in this church are using the bible to cling to power. Or number two, because men in this church don’t think women are good enough to preach. Those are two possibilities. I’m going to treat them as as live possibilities.
Let’s Start With Who God Is…
Well, before we get to what it says about preaching, before we even get into what it says about men and women, let’s start with what it says about God. He’s the hero of the story after all.
He is ultimate reality. He is more real than we are. Do you ever think about that? He is the source and origin of our reality. His reality governs ours. And therefore, he is a good place to start. So it is with any difficult question. A good place to start is with God himself. So let’s start with God.
Who is God? We are all Christians here this morning. How would you answer that question? Who is God? At least we profess to be – perhaps some of us are seeking, some of are investigating. But many of us would claim to have an answer to that question. What would your answer be?
If we took a survey of people at the Mall of Africa perhaps some would say God is power. Others might say God is in nature; he is in each one of us; he is all around us. Some might say God is a myth – he is a projection out of yourself.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Christians who take the Bible seriously have a unique answer to that question, don’t we? We say that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That’s the Christian name for God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Does it mean that there are three Gods? No. Does it mean there is only one God who changes form – a kind of a shape-shifting God? No. Christians believe in one God who is three persons. Three in one. One in three. But what does that actually mean?
C. S. Lewis helps us, as he so often does. And I quote: “in Christianity God is not a static thing—not even a person—but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance.”
The Dance of the Trinity
God is a kind of dance. Now that’s just a model, it’s just a picture with the ordinary limitations of any picture, but it’s a helpful picture, isn’t it. Because in a dance the dancers relate to each other. The dancers exist for each other and for the dance. They don’t exist by themselves and for themselves.
The moment one dancer goes off on a kind of tantrum on his own, the dance is no longer a dance. It’s a collection of solo performances. God is a dance. This is the sort of thing we mean we say God is love. The Father, the Son and the Spirit in an eternal dance of mutual self-giving.
Listen to the sound of this dance in Scripture.2 Corinthians 13:14 “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Or Matthew 28:19. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Or Ephesians 4:4-6. “There is one body and one Spirit… one Lord… one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
What we need to notice is that God is one God, but there are three distinct persons. Not three separate gods. And the one God is not one person. One God; three distinct persons.
Equal and Distinct
The Father and Son are equally God. But the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father. And the Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. All three are one God.
It’s a mind-bending reality. So if you have a headache, welcome to the Trinity. It is mind-bending, but this biblical glimpse into who God is… this idea that God is a dance… is not just hard, its beautiful. Who God is, is a wonderful truth with some glorious implications.
Three Dancers, One Dance
Just think about it some more with me. Just for a little bit longer. If God were one person, then we lose the possibility of eternal divine love. How does one person love? Who does he love? If God is one person then love is not fundamental to God in eternity. Love is something that came later, at creation. But because God is a dance of three persons in eternity, love is essential to who God is in himself. Love is eternal, because God is love, in himself.
Let’s look at it the other way around. If the three persons were three separate gods, we lose not the possibility but the nature and power of divine love. If they are three, well then of course they have the option of love. But again, love is not essential to who God is.
And yet the love between the three persons of the Christian God is so powerful and so essential that it binds the three together in perfect unity. Perfectly one. God is love. That’s the first thing we are trying to understand today. God is a dance. There are three are distinct dancers, but one dance.
The Different Roles Within the Trinity
The second thing we need to know is that within that dance, there are different roles. So open your Bibles if you have them with you. Please open them to John chapter 1. We need to look at this together. John 1:1. We will start there at least. Matthew, Mark, Luke and then John. It says this, it begins in the beginning.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So look at that verse. What do we see? The Word was God. But the Word was also distinct from God: “the Word was with God”. The Word was God, the Word was with God. One God, but distinct persons.
Jesus is the Word
Go down to John 1:14 and we read on: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Here we discover that the Word is the only Son from the Father – that’s who the Word is. The only Son from the Father. And that Word, the Son, took on flesh and came to us from the Father.
And then in John 3 we read about the Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son and brings new life to believers. And so in these early chapters of John we find a picture that we actually find all over the New Testament. It’s everywhere! Once you have eyes to see it it’s everywhere.
Of the Father sending, the Son obeying, the Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son to bring life to humanity. One God, three persons, three distinct roles. God is a dance.
God Creates Humanity
You know what the most extraordinary thing about all this is? God invites us into his dance. And he does that, in the first place, by creating us as dancers. Genesis 1:26 – it was our passage this morning. So you can go back to Genesis. We will spend some time in there. Genesis 1:26. “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Verse 27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Humanity is a dance. Let me ask you: Is God Father? Or is God Son? Or is God Holy Spirit? The answer of course is, yes. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Humanity is Male and Female
Now, we see something similar with humanity. Is humanity male? Or is humanity female? And the answer of course is yes. Humanity is male and female. God created humanity male and female. God without the Father is no longer God. Humanity without women is no longer humanity.
One dimension of being created in the image of God is our unity in diversity. We are a dance. It’s what we are. It’s what we’ve been made to be.
Order in the Dance
There is order in the divine dance. We’ve already said that. The Father sends, the Son obeys, the Spirit proceeds. The Son never sends the Father; the Father never obeys the Son. That does not mean that the Son is less God than the Father. What does it say? “the Word was God.” We’ve just read those words. The Word (the Son) was God. Let me put it to you this way. It is as divine to obey as it is to send. I am going to say that again. It is as divine to obey as it is to send. There is order in the dance of God.
There is also order in the dance of humankind.
Let me show you that order, the order in humanity, from Genesis 1-3. So turn to Genesis 2:7. We are looking for order in God’s design of humankind. The first clue we have is that the man is made before the woman.
Adam’s Role and Responsibilities
Genesis 2:7 says this: “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” God makes man first, which doesn’t amount to much on it’s own. But we keep reading.
Second, Genesis 2:15-17. The all-important commandment not to eat from the tree is given to Adam, before Eve has been created. And that says to us that God holds Adam responsible. He holds Adam responsible.
Third, Eve is created as Adam’s helper. Genesis 2:18. “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Again, this suggests that primary responsibility is with Adam.
Fourth, Adam names Eve, twice. Naming was part of Adam’s dominion, it was part of his responsibility over the rest of creation. So, look at Genesis 2:19. “Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.”
Adam exercises that same kind of dominion over Eve. So you can have a look Genesis 2:23, and Genesis 3:20 Adam names Eve. Now in the context of Genesis 3 and in the context of that culture, of that time – that place – naming implies Adams authority for Eve.
Fifth, God holds Adam responsible for the Fall. That original sin. Now if you know the story of that sin you will know that Eve features very prominently in that story. You can have a look, Genesis 3:1-6. Eve is mentioned 6 times. Adam is mentioned only once. Otherwise it’s all an interaction between Satan and Eve.
And yet, when God comes to hold humanity to account for the single most serious act of rebellion in human history, who does he come to? Who does he speak to? Well Let’s find out. Look at Genesis 3:8. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” God holds Adam responsible for the sin of humanity.
Are Women Worth Less than Men?
So there we have five pieces of evidence pointing to order in humanity. Five echoes of God’s call to men to take responsibility. Now of course the key question for us is this. Do any of them, or do all of them taken together cumulatively, do they mean that women are worth less than men? Or in any way inferior to men? Not for one moment.
There is no sense in which men bear 60% and women 40% of the image. Together they bear the image of God.
Listen to what the Bible actually says. Listen carefully, Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Men and women together – together – bear the image of God. That’s what it is to be human. It’s a gendered reality.
Men and Women Together Bear the Image of God
There is no sense in which men bear 60% and women 40% of the image. Together they bear the image. The image would be incomplete without either one. Just as the Father is God and the Son is God, so the man is human and the woman is human. But we are talking about one God and one Humanity.
Genesis 2:22. “And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 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.”
The man and the woman are made from the same stuff. But it’s more than just flesh and bone. It’s an essential humanity that they share. So there goes any possible claim – any possible claim – of superiority or inferiority across the sexes.
As Matthew Henry put it: “Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”
Our Culture Hates to Submit
The point is this: different roles cannot, and do not, imply superiority or inferiority. They don’t in God, and therefore, they can’t in humanity. Because we bear God’s image. The Son is no less God because he obeys. The woman is no less human because she submits. But that word is a trigger for us, isn’t it.
Submission. We think it must mean she is worth less. Why do we think that? Because we think like the world. And the world says the one at the top, the one who gives orders, must be worth more than the one at the bottom who receives those orders. That’s how we think.
Just look at our salary structures. We attach value to being at the top. Sometimes the differential between the CEO and the tea lady can be a hundred-fold or more. 100 times as much or more. But that’s the world. That is not the kingdom of God.
Jesus Came to Serve, Not To Be Served
Just listen to how Jesus speaks to human authority and how it should be exercised in the Kingdom. We heard it read earlier. Listen to the language of power here. “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”
Jesus submitted to his Father. Do we think any less of him because he submitted, because he obeyed?
Greatness is not in having the power. Greatness is in using the power to serve. Having authority doesn’t make you valuable in and of itself. It’s what you do with it that counts. A different role does not imply a different value or worth. It’s a dance. Someone has to lead, and someone has to follow – or it’s no longer a dance. And following doesn’t make you any less of a dancer. In fact, it often it makes you more of a dancer.
Someone Must Lead, Someone Must Follow
In the 8 O’clock service I spoke about Fred Astaire and most of the people knew who I was talking about. Anyone here know who Fred Astaire was? OK there is a few – a smattering. Fred Astaire, for those of you who didn’t know, or haven’t heard of him, was a famous 20th century performer. Actor, singer, dancer.
He won a big pile of Golden Globe awards and Grammys and you name it. He would often dance opposite a lady by the name of Ginger Rogers. There we go! The groupies are in the back there somewhere!
So Fred was the really famous one, but as one reporter said, and I am gonna quote: “[Fred Astaire…?] sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, … backwards and in high heels.” Following doesn’t make you any less of a dancer. It often makes you more of a dancer.
Jesus submitted to his Father. Do we think any less of him because he submitted, because he obeyed? We worship him for his submission and his obedience. God is dance. Humanity is a dance. Different roles in the dance don’t mean you are any more or any less of a dancer.
Roles in Marriage
Let’s look at how the human dance plays out in marriage and then in the Church.
Marriage is a dance Ephesians 5:22. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.”
Wives, Submit to Your Own Husbands
What are the roles in this dance? Wives “submit”. Submit is a dirty word in our culture. It’s a swear word, it’s a curse word. This passage was read at my wedding and when I gave the reading to the Bible reader, he said “I can’t read this” because of that word.
Submission doesn’t mean you are a doormat – you ever get the sense that Jesus was a doormat?
After the sermon, the preacher was verbally assaulted by one of our guests, because of that word. But I am hoping by now that we can see that the problem is not with the word. The problem is with the culture. The culture invests all value in being at the top. Power is everything. You are only worth something if you’re in charge. But God himself submitted!
Submission is divine. There is deep beauty and infinite value in submission. Submission doesn’t mean you are a doormat – you ever get the sense that Jesus was a doormat? And remember, your final allegiance, your final submission or your ultimate submission, is always to God. So that rules out all manner of ungodliness that might creep in to worldly version of submission.
Submission means allowing your husband or the men in your church to lead. It means offering wise and godly counsel, encouraging, praying, affirming, supporting correcting. All of those roles.
Love your Wives as Christ Loved the Church
“Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church.” How did he love the church? He suffered for her. He bled for her. He died for her. He exercised all authority in heaven and on earth for her. He didn’t boss her around. He didn’t bash her around. He didn’t demand that she submit first before he would lift a finger. He served her. He gave up everything for her. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church. It’s a high calling.
Do you see the beauty of this dance? Maybe thinking about the alternative will help us. What’s the alternative to love and submission? What does it look like when there are no roles? Where everybody leads and nobody follows. What do you have? Well you don’t have a dance. You have a contest, you have a competition. You have an arm wrestle. You have a rugby scrum.
The ball is the power. The ball is control in the marriage. The man and the woman are pushing and shoving and eye-gouging and spitting and scratching and punching to get control of the ball. We all know marriages that look like that. And sometimes our marriages look like that – and we know it is not pretty.
But the dance of marriage in Christ, with a man leading through loving service and a women helping him lead through loving submission – that is beautiful. Each, in his or her role, loving the other. Humanity at its best is a dance in Jesus Christ.
Roles in The Church
We dance that dance in marriage we dance it in the church. The church, after all, is a family. You heard David this morning. It’s a redeemed family. In the redeemed family men and women are once again called to play their respective roles. Final responsibility and authority lies with men. They are to exercise that authority in loving service. And women help them to do so.
Now what does that mean practically? Well, all authority in the church is derived from God’s word. It’s not as though men have innate authority. The authority is derived from God’s word. God’s word is our final authority. And because Sunday preaching is the high point in exercising that authority, Sunday preaching must fall to men. Men must serve the congregation by leading the church in this way. It’s what we’ve been called to. And men will be held accountable.
Who is Accountable?
If this local church, if Christ Church goes South, if we go off the rails, God is not going to ask Martha, or Lauren or Dudu “what happened here?” No. He’s gonna ask Martin, Eddie, David, Roydon. “What happened here?” The final responsibility, and therefore the final authority, must lie with the men.
But that doesn’t for one moment exclude or discount the absolutely essential role, in indispensable role – and I choose that word carefully – the indispensable role, the thing doesn’t work without it – the indispensable role that our women can and are playing in this church.
Women are Indispensable in Church
We have women teaching the Bible every week – they are doing it right now in fact – in C-Zone and with our teenagers. We have women standing on the stage regularly encouraging all of us – a mixed audience – by sharing how Christ has changed their lives. We have women in leadership roles – you saw them this morning – on our church council, in our management committee. Our music director is a woman. That is a key gospel ministry.
It’s true. Women do not preach in our church. But ask yourself, ask yourself this question – and I think it’s quite telling – does that mean that God values what Josephine is doing right now with the grade 2 girls less than what I am doing here with all of us? If you think it does, if you think he does, your thinking is born of the culture, and not of the kingdom.
We Value Our Women
I lead a life group. Do I value the contributions of the women any less than the men? I can’t, because they are not any less valuable. Often they are more valuable. Where are my gents? Gents we need to raise our game. Lance, Kelvin, Temi, guys, we’ve got a bit of work to do.
But the thing that convinces me that we are not completely failing in this area is Cate and her experience. Cate came back from a REACH SA conference on the roles of women in ministry. We were all on the edge of our seats. Were there fireworks? Were those fireworks header our way? What went on there?
Cate’s response was “Well, it was okay… Its good stuff but it’s a little boring for me… we just don’t have those issues at our church.” Now that’s from our women’s worker. From time to time she gets frustrated with ineffective male leadership, and she has a right to. But she doesn’t – and I have asked her this question directly – she does not feel oppressed, abused, downtrodden, undervalued, disempowered. None of those things. And she buys wholeheartedly into this dance of distinct roles in one humanity.
God is a dance, and so the image of God, Humanity is also a dance. We do that dance in marriage, we do that dance in the church. The dance requires one to lead and one to follow. And so we have different roles to play, each role is as important and the other. And the dance depends on both. There is no dance without either.
But Really, Why Don’t Women Preach?
Let’s go back to our initial objections. We said at the beginning that women don’t preach in this church 1) because men are trying to cling to power and they are using the Bible to do it. 2) men don’t think women can preach. I am hoping by now that you feel empowered to reject both of those options. But let’s go through the exercise together.
Is it a Problem with Men and Power?
So, women don’t preach in our church because men are trying to cling to power and they are using the Bible to do it. Well, the first thing to say, is that in this day and age, often men don’t want the power. And the reason is because we don’t want the responsibility.
Feminism has given us a taste of the back seat and we are quite comfortable there. Ladies, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we men are quite happy being passive and lazy. But passive and lazy is not what any of us – men or women – were called to. And I imagine, I imagine, it’s not what the women want from their men. Passive and lazy.
Feminism has given us a taste of the back seat and we are quite comfortable there.
The second thing to say, is that sometimes men do want the power in unhealthy ways. So a big red flag for me when I’m doing pre-marital counselling and we are looking at Ephesians 5 – the chapter we have just been looking at now “wives submit to your husbands. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church.” And the young man in the couple all he can focus on is wives must submit to their husbands. Right? That’s his focus
Gents, when we focus there, we are completely missing the whole point of the passage. Paul actually uses something called the vocative case when he addresses the women and the men. That just means he goes to… he goes out of his way to say “I am addressing you now.” Wives, listen up. Men: pay attention.
And notice what he doesn’t say. He doesn’t say “husbands,, I want your wives to submit to you.” He doesn’t say that. He addresses that to the women, because that’s their role. So gents, submission is actually got nothing to do with us. It’s not really any of our business. We have our own role to focus on. And if we do that role well, it will help our wives, and our women, do their role well.
If we love and serve them sacrificially, put their best interests first, in the home and in the church, well then submission will be a joy. So we are back to our dance.
When the Dance Goes Wrong
You know that scene in the ballet – my wife tells me about this – the scene in the ballet where the lady skips across the stage and then she sort of launches herself into a swan dive and the man catches her and holds her there? Anybody know what I am talking about? Don’t leave me hanging here! Just have that image in your mind. OK? What is he doing with his power at that moment? What is he doing with his role as leader?
He is lifting her up. Exalting her. Making her look beautiful. He doesn’t pick her up and slam her down on the stage, just because he can. He doesn’t say, “look, I’m not really feeling up to it today – do you mind picking me up?” If he does, the dance is a mess! It’s ruined.
Instead, he uses his strength to pick her up; to exalt her, to make her look beautiful. And she is letting him! She has to, or there is no dance. She doesn’t slap him down and say “get your hands of me! I’m not letting you perpetuate this misogynistic patriarchy!”
It’s a dance, they are doing what they were created to do and they are doing it together. And it’s beautiful.
Are We Underestimating Women?
Second objection. Women don’t preach because men don’t think women can preach. Well the plain fact is they can!
At Bible college the women and the men train together because our denomination recognises that there are many, many contexts in which women can preach – and must preach! Men must not go there. Of course not every context but many contexts.
This is not a question of gifting. It’s is a question of calling; its a question of role.
And so we would train together. We would have preaching class on a Friday together. Sam passage. David Kobedi and I were in that class together, and I can tell we ate some humble pie. The ladies would get up and they would blow the lights out. And then Dave and I would get up with our 3 points and completely underwhelm the masses.
Women can preach. This is not a question of gifting. It’s is a question of calling; its a question of role. And neither role is worth more than the other.
But I’m Still Not Convinced…
What if you are not convinced? What if your experience tells you that men always abuse power, and they always think they are better than women. And that this dance is impossible, it’s a fairy tale.
Take a Look at Jesus
I would say two things. The first on is: look to Jesus. Look to Jesus. Not only did he do this dance perfectly, but because he did it perfectly, he makes our dance possible.
His perfect sacrificial service, on our behalf, means that there are men, I know them – some of them are sitting here this morning – there are men that have been so affected by the love of the suffering servant king, that they are committed to serving the women in their lives at great cost to themselves. They are leading through service. They are not perfect, but they are growing in Christ.
And Jesus’ loving submission to the Father also gives women a picture of what submission can be. I know women – many of them are sitting here this morning – for whom submission is not about admitting some sort of fictional inferior value, it’s a declaration of supreme strength and beauty. And so they submit to their husbands joyfully. They are not perfect, but they are growing in Christ. First thing, if you are not convinced, look to Jesus.
Take a Look Around You
Second thing, look to those in the redeemed family who have been doing this dance for some time. I’ve just mentioned men and women who are doing this dance well because they are taking their lead from the Lord Jesus Christ. Find them. Speak to them.
Ask the older, more mature women if they feel oppressed by their husbands. Ask them how they submit, what does it look like? Ask them how they feel about not preaching, or about submission in marriage; submission in the church. Ask them how they deal with struggles they may have in those areas.
And then find the faithful older men. And ask them how they experience the loving submission of their wives. What has it meant to them? How has it helped them? Ask them what servant leadership looks like? What are the joys, what are the hardships?
You see, If we look to Jesus, and we look to each other, we can turn this battle of the sexes that is raging out here and raging in here sometimes – we can turn it into the dance for which we were made.
Father, we thank you for making us in your image, men and women. Help us to find peace and joy in the roles to which you’ve called us. Help us to bring you glory as we partner in this dance called the Christian life. We pray this through your Son and in the power of your Holy Spirit.