When your own bias stares you in the face...yikes. Ah, the roles of women. Forever a tension and a work to move past the stereotypes, biases, and messages I have received since I was young. Messages that stated I was supposed to fit this specific archetype for a woman, a wife, a leader, and a mom. While I deeply value my Christian heritage, the traditional and misled values for women are in my DNA and God is forever deconstructing those as He reveals more of His image in me, and forms His hopes and purposes for me - transforming me to understand how He sees me and how He calls me.
Deconstruction at its finest is Christ work in us as He works to transform us from the inside out so that we can best reflect the image of our Creator God.
In my efforts to study scripture and hear the voice of God - God has long sense clarified scripture and His intent for me as a woman. My calling, my ability to hear His voice, to make decisions, and overall relationship is not framed or formed or understood through my husband or any other male. The beauty of Christ’s death and life is that in making us “one in Christ”, He paves the way for each of us to have a direct connection and relationship to Him. I don’t need a mediator, I have the invitation and calling to partner with my husband to spiritually lead our family. And, through Jesus Christ, I have the invitation and calling to make a loving impact on my world in any way, position, or role that God sees fit.
That’s where I’m sitting this morning as I rest with my sick baby girl. I am having moments of clarity or revelation.
My husband wasn’t too keen on me staying home. In fact, he recommended/suggested that He should stay home and I go and lead the service. We walked into the creation of this church, Co-Pastoring and working to clarify roles and what all of that would look like. And it has been a journey. A journey that we are still on.
He felt he should stay home with Havyn and I attend service, because:
- I am fully capable of leading the service.
- He is fully capable of caring for Havyn.
- He also enjoys being with the kids when they are in need.
- I was scheduled to lead worship.
- We were scheduled for another conversation style sermon with both of us, yet the content leaned more on my side.
To him it just made sense, and we had to spend 3-4 hours yesterday reworking the service so that it was just him.
Which is fine. And God moves in His grace and always works it all out. We don’t stress too much about things that don’t work out as we planned, because it’s God’s thing anyways.
BUT, it wasn’t all fine because as I examined why I immediately rejected his recommendation - I realized I wasn’t participating in this decision based off of spiritually discerning what would be best. I made it off of my practical and logical reasons (and bias) of:
- I’m the mom and the mom is better at illness.
- I’m the mom, and the mom stays home.
- Havyn says I smell better and probably prefers me. (Yes, this is just true, lol)
- I’m not as important as you when it comes to the spiritual weight of leading through the whole service.
- I know we co-lead, but you are the real Lead Pastor.
The first three undermine Brad’s ability or calling as a father to be present with his child during illness even IF a child has a specific preference.
The last two undermine my calling, anointing, and gifting that has been given by God Himself.
Those last two aren’t about pity or insecurity, mind you, they are genuine messages that run through my mind. They are things that have been told and said to me, and they are things that have been modeled for me. The messages are becoming less and less, but it’s these moments that reveal they are still present. God continues to work to deconstruct these messages and assumptions. And this is the type of thing that can interfere with women fully following Jesus in all that He has for them. These are things that create fear, insecurity, and a paralyzing inability to move in the way we are gifted and called.
In our situation, either decision is fine, really.
BUT, what bothered Brad and I the most was my motivation for the decision. It was another moment where Jesus said, why are you making this decision?
In this journey of learning the Father’s heart for the role of women, I keep seeing my own bias and keep learning ways I have resisted following Him or accepting His invitations for loving impact because of this bias.
He continues to pull up roots, clearing out the fragmented mess that hinders me from following Him wholeheartedly.
This is why it’s important to talk about the role of women. This is why it is important to speak to bias, stereotype, stigmas of ALL kinds. We need ALL people in the body of Christ making a loving impact on their world to their full ability and God-given purposes. God does not desire that we live broken, fragmented lives-He desires wholeness and we have to work through the ways we have fragmented people by our biases, assumptions, and misunderstandings of scripture and God’s heart. As we work through this, God brings wholeness, truth, and the impact on His Kingdom increases.