This will probably be poorly written until I go and edit it (if I ever get around to that).
Tonight, my church (which I LOVE) talked about “Parenting.” The reason that is in quotations is because it moved from a talk on Parenting to gender roles, with a bit of parenting advice/biblical parenting thrown in for good measure.
To get them off my chest, here is a list of quotes / communicated ideas that I took note on (partially because I was offended or confused by them, partially because if I don’t make note of something that offends or confuses, I end up dwelling on the idea and cannot focus on the rest of whatever is being said):
- The home of one of the pastor’s “father figures” was “too maternal“
too maternal? Really? Because the man you were referring to consulted with his wife on things? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know exactly what kind of relationship that this man and his wife had in their family, perhaps she did rule the roost too much, but please don’t make a maternal home sound like a sin. It makes me feel like being a woman is a curse, like I am a failed version of a man and my maternal instincts are wrong.
- “Nowhere in scripture do women sit at the gates,” as a proof that women have no main leadership role in the family.
does what men do in society really translate exactly for what they are supposed to do in the home? Also, wasn’t ancient Jewish society mainly patriarchal? Wasn’t a lot of ancient society mainly patriarchal? How do we separate society from what God is actually saying through scripture?
- idea: “The single mom needs to rely on the elders in the church as father figures for their children.”
The idea itself really isn’t bad at all, but the way it was communicated implied that she must do so or it was bad for the children and her to have to have all the responsibility of both parents.
- Call to single women: “Look for men who will lead your house well.”
Yes. I want a man who will lead my house well. I also want to lead my house well. I want to be a co-Leader, not VP. Also, why is the call to single women to always be looking out for a man? Seriously? I think this is something churches get very wrong and it hurts us. I want to be enjoying my singleness, seeing it as a gift from God to grow in areas that I may not be able to grow in when I’m married. “When I’m married?” If I get married, if. Not that I don’t want to (I would very much like to be married, one day), but, if you build up my hopes and make me believe that I will, no doubts about it, get married one day because that is what God is calling all singles (not just single women) to, and I end up never being married, how much will that A) suck, and B) be a waste of my time, emotions and effort to be seeking after marriage and putting my hopes in a husband when I could be focusing on what God really wants me to be doing.
- “America is becoming a maternal society- we can’t blame the women because we’ve left them…America is declining because men aren’t [standing up].” Continuing, he equated “America’s downfall” to the destruction of Europe due to the Black Plague.
The Black Plague. THE EFFING BLACK PLAGUE. I wish he would have expounded on this more, just because I don’t understand how America becoming a maternal society (yes, because men aren’t standing up, I do agree there, that’s part of the reason that there are so many single mothers, also, because people are having sex outside of marriage, before they’re mature enough to be in a relationship at that level and because they don’t have Jesus, but it’s not only because men aren’t standing up) is killing 30%-60% of America’s population. Also, again, femininity, maternal things, are bad(he didn’t say bad, but, if something isn’t good, it can only be bad).
- His wife (because this was a duo sermon) “When you peel those carrots and feed them [your family] nutritious food, you are giving them love.” (After talking about spending 2 hours on a meal that will be eaten in 20 minutes, leaving you with dishes and a kitchen to clean- presumably by yourself.)
First of all, I’m not cooking and doing all the dishes. My kids are going to do the dishes. Mom cooks, you clean. Dad cooks, you clean. You cook? I’ll clean. It’s only fair. Secondly, yes, feeding your family nutritious food is giving them love. But I don’t want to just cook my family love. I don’t want my job to be reduced to love-cooker (okay, that sounds scandy, but you know what I mean). I don’t even think that domestic house-work is a bad thing, I just don’t want the only (read: main) way I show my family love to be through nutritious meals or washing dishes. Sorry. [And guess what? One of my top spiritual gifts is service, I want to open a cafe’ one day, and one of my love languages-in showing love to someone- is Acts of Service.]
- A quote from my journal that I wrote in response to all of this in the middle of church because I couldn’t concentrate any longer without crying out to God about this struggle in my soul:
“God! I have to come back to the next session in this series [it’s a two part Parenting sermon- Fathering and Mothering], I need to talk to Van Zandt [my Contemporary Women Writer-read “Feminism,” professor]. God! Why do I need someone to lead my house? Why, why, why? eff [Why, yes, I do abbreviate curse words in my prayers]. This is crushing my dream of a family. I don’t want to be stuck serving, subserviant, in my home. I want an equal, contributing relationship. Please, God?”
Honestly, I need someone to help me with this, I do not understand. I’m going to talk to
- Sally- good friend and co-struggler
- Daena- friend, smartest girl I know, and daughter of the pastor and his wife who talked tonight
- Dr. Van Zandt- favorite prof, mentor, co-struggler, wealth of knowledge, Contemporary Women Writers prof, cause for all of my thoughts on this topic.
- Joanna Jung-female Bible prof, who has hopefully struggled with this issue as well.