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audrey ruth

December 21, 2013  1:21pm

God's Word schooled me in femininity, and I am eternally grateful. I grew up in an unChristian home and was totally conformed to the Godless world in which I lived until the Lord moved in my life in a marvelous way which still boggles my mind today. Thank God, He transformed my life into something completely different and infinitely more valuable, by the power of the Holy Spirit working through His Word. Romans 12: 1-2

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Wit D

December 21, 2013  10:13am

Paul Bryce: well said... AMEN to that. But sad to say that many "so call christians" want to apply the same failed feministic approch to the chaos in the culture and the church. Mean while many(not all) are doing what is right in theis own eyes... A recipe for confusion. This is classic lunacy; doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. May God raise up Men of Valour (not effeminate men) in these days like the Men of Issachar and 1Corinthians 16 v13 men...

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Paul Bryce

December 19, 2013  4:32pm

I Love my wife and am learning each day (by God's grace) how to Love her more. I am seeing results in my families healthiness from being separate from this world and living in Christ. Homeschooling, Family spiritual guidance from Dad (not the pastor/youth pastor), giving to others, thinking less of ourselves (working on that), stepping away from Church (in the organized/structured sense), leading by example (still working on that), teaching respect of themselves to my daughters/wife through modesty and strength, looking at my son as a future leader in Christ at home and in His Church, (big stretch for me). Mostly teaching my family to be Christ centered leaders not followers! Western Conservatory is a recommended resource site. (prepare yourself for Patriarchalism - if that's not a word it should be) Sorry, to all the Christian Feminists, I love you in Christ but it is not working.

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Paul Bryce

December 19, 2013  4:07pm

When daughters are taught to be the "helpmeet" at home as a child and boys are taught to be "leaders and providers" we get the obvious result in our Husbands/Wives in the next generation. If we were to believe all the feminist hype that has been forced on us with lies and deceit in the last century we would have to conclude that all the marriages of our grandparents and great grandparents were similar to a Russian gulag for women! But unfortunately this does not bear itself out in what they produced in their generation and what we are producing in our current generation. They had strong families, low debt, good ethics/values/morals, good governance, healthier Church's, etc... We have weak to non-existent families today, high debt, poor ethics/values/morals, lousy governance. No, they were not without their faults but on par I would rather live back then than today. So with the Family in decline which model do you want to follow? Women (feminists) in control have not improved life.

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Paul Bryce

December 19, 2013  3:59pm

I will share my thoughts from a "back engineered " point of view. Looking at our society or lack of it I am compelled to conclude that the breakdown of the family unit is at the root of our decline. Families provide healthy stability for raising children in Christ as well as a basis for building a Christian society. So how do we get healthy Families? Need a God fearing Dad who because he fears God loves his wife and children. Need a God fearing Mom who because she fears God loves her husband and children. The wife is best designed to nurture and raise children and the Husband is best designed to protect and provide for his family. When wives do not "raise up" their husbands with the intent of helping them to be the best they can be in Christ they fail. When Husbands do not "Love & Provide" for their wives to be the best they can be in Christ they fail. We have roles given to each of us in a family and as husband and wives.

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Wit D

December 19, 2013  2:04pm

If gender roles are tie to culture, then women and slaves are to be oppressed today ? and if the culture changes again to oppress men and whites, should we keep that ? and for how long? As a christian , we are admonish over and over not to conform to the world system, but to be transform by the Word.. there is no instruction in the bible[kjv] that allow for role reversal and oppression. We are to contend for the Faith that was once given and this does not contain oppression of one over another. Also, there is no verse in the bible[kjv] that has ever ask a husband to submit to his wife.. we must be careful to interpret Eph 5 v21 to mean humility of both man and wife and ALL to do what is specifically ask of them to do.. (wife submit and husband love) both tasks requires humility... not self/pride.

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Angie S

December 18, 2013  10:11am

Jason, I appreciate your perspective of the author's relationship. I think the comments overwhelmingly show she wasn't understood to be communicating mutuality and celebrating the strengths, humility, passion, leadership, charisma, and servanthood that they "BOTH exhibit regularly," because she states some of these traits are distinctively masculine and others are distinctively feminine. If they both regularly exhibit these qualities, one can't help but wonder why the author claims certain traits masculine and others feminine, as if those traits are mutually exclusive of the other?

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Jason Bilbrey

December 17, 2013  7:59pm

I have the great privilege of actually knowing the author in real life. Emily and her husband are in my church small group and live just down the block, so I see them fairly often. Reading some of these comments, I felt compelled to sign up for an account to Christianity Today just to say this: I think it's important, when talking about the dangers of complementarianism, to remember that what matters most is how these beliefs play out in one's marriage. Personally, my wife and I totally reject a complementarian view of the genders. (I'm a stay-at-home dad for crying out loud). But it's surprisingly easy for me to read this article knowing that Emily and her husband have a relationship that is so mutual and celebratory of the strength, humility, passion, leadership, charisma and servanthood that they BOTH exhibit regularly. I am so willing to overlook some theological quibbles when the outcome looks so biblical: "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." You go, Sauermans!

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Vic Christian

December 17, 2013  7:11am

K. Smith - I have followed some other writings - and unfortunately they are not coming from God's Word. I can see some of their viewpoints, mainly those that are in marriages where husbands are not properly fulfilling their roles. However, that does not change their (the wife's) role. Bottom line - pride, self-fulfillment and wanting to change what God says is consistent in all of their writings.

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D. McDonald

December 17, 2013  4:27am

@ K. Smith, it is ironic that you accuse Vic Christian of being ignorant and then tell him that he should go read up on egalitarianism (which he may have to; I don't know--that's not my point), and then you end your comment by painting all evangelicals with the "obsessed about gender" stereotype. Why is being ignorant about what others believe/value only acceptable when it is you who is being ignorant about what others believe/value?

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D. McDonald

December 17, 2013  4:23am

@ Kathi Vande Guchte, what's your point? I'm not being cheeky, I really don't know.

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Wendy Willmore

December 16, 2013  11:26pm

Thank-you Adam. We are NOT cardboard cutouts. God has created each person with strengths and weaknesses. I would suspect that at least 25% of the problems I watched in my parent's marriage had to do with trying to fit into some pseudobiblical ideal that did not suit their particular relationship. Many of my parents' qualities and roles are EXACTLY the opposite of what traditional complementarian theology would describe them to be. This sort of angst caused no end of trouble in my family of origin. As an oddball myself, it has made me wary of marriage and (most times) thankful for the gift of singleness. I do think the sexes complement each other in every relationship and role or position in life, but not in the same prescribed way all the time.

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K. Smith

December 16, 2013  10:52pm

Vic - I would suggest reading up on egalitarianism so you would at least know where egalitarians are coming from. As for Julia and Paul Child, from what I know, I think they had a far healthier marriage than many evangelicals because they were true friends and equals and didn't obsess about gender as evangelicals so want to do.

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Kathi Vande Guchte

December 16, 2013  8:21pm

D. McDonald: But gender roles ARE tied to culture. It is not possible to separate the two. Culture does influence gender roles, but it depends on what/where the culture is.

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Kathi Vande Guchte

December 16, 2013  8:20pm

D. McDonald: But gender roles ARE tied to culture. It is not possible to separate the two. Culture does influence gender roles, but it depends on what/where the culture is.

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D. McDonald

December 16, 2013  7:32pm

It's sad that so much talk about gender roles in the church is defined by culture, not the bible. Why is it odd that God would create men and women to "complement" each? Why do non-complementarians have a problem with women being put into specific stereotypes, and then out of the other side of their mouths they are perplexed that an author such as this says that femininity is more complex than "girly girl" stereotype society has placed on them (i.e. you don't have to be one type of woman). What's the problem? Also, "submission" is all about equality and rights in discussions like this only because our society places these things on a divine platform. Submission according to the bible, though, isn't a bad thing. Just because women are asked to submit to their husbands (Eph 5:22) has nothing to do with inferiority any more than it means Jesus is inferior to the Father because he submits to him. Likewise, men are told to submit to their wives (Eph 5:21). They do so in complementary ways.

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Vic Christian

December 16, 2013  4:33pm

Crab Grass - who are you to refute what God says? He clearly lays down the purpose for the roles in both marriage and His church.

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Crab Grass

December 16, 2013  4:14pm

I was a long time Christian who desired marriage, but I never met the right guy, and those Christian promises of "trusting in God" for a mate turned out to be bogus. I am in my 40s and I'm still single. Regarding this quote from the editorial: "Keller illustrates how God's purpose for marriage is tied to his purpose for two genders. We are built to need relationships that complement our characters, passions, and ways of thinking". As a never married woman who is in her 40s, I can tell you that you do not need marriage to define you or your womanhood, or to "give you a purpose." Also, gender complementarians have made an idol out of the male gender... there is no such thing as "equal in worth, not in role." The whole gender comp thing is a church sanctioned practice of sexism, it is not biblical. Also: stop making marriage into an idol, evangelicals. Not all Christians marry or have children.

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Angie S

December 16, 2013  2:52pm

I am thoroughly confused by this article. The author speaks of distinctive and intrinsic femininity contra masculinity, yet the feminine qualities she describes are not uniquely feminine for even Sauerman says Jesus, a male, exhibited so-called feminine qualities. Also, the masculine qualities she listed are not uniquely masculine. How is passionate about work, strength, magnetism, helpfulness, austerity, gracefulness, etc. distinctively feminine or masculine? YES, to what Adam Shields writes: "If we find that the described attributes can accurately be used of either men or women, then they are not actually masculine or feminine attributes." This article seems like a conflation of cultural ideals of femininity (as it is commonly defined and used) and character and personality traits, which are not the same, baptized in complementarian-ese.

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Adam Shields

December 16, 2013  12:35pm

My difficulty with complementarian language is that while I agree that there are differences between men and women that are both observable and quantitatively real when we look at the whole of humanity, when we look at individual men and women the differences between the full range of either men or women are far greater than the average differences between men and women. So we can think of women that are tall, forceful, meek, creative, shy, outgoing, nurturing, brusk, etc. Those same words and can be accurately described of men as well. It is not that I think men and women are the same. But when we talk about what characteristics are masculine or feminine our language inevitably fails. Because the language is always apt at describing both men and women. If we find that the described attributes can accurately be used of either men or women, then they are not actually masculine or feminine attributes. I have learned quite a bit from Julia Child and I am male.

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Melanie Springer Mock

December 16, 2013  11:05am

I like the uniqueness of this article, esp. your reflection on Julia Child. Discussions of "femininity" as a "godly asset" always feel problematic to me, though. I've never been feminine, especially as defined by our culture, and have often heard from the church that my lack of femininity (again, defined by my culture) makes me an outsider. If we are truly going to believe that "feminine strengths come in all shapes and flavors," I think we need to let go of the idea that there are certain traits that define our genders, and that these traits are going to be complementary. Are the qualities you list--helpfulness, wisdom, magnetism--truly feminine qualities? Or others you list--physical strength and passion for work--truly masculine? This is why such language is so grating to me: it is, in part, my physical strength and my passion for the workplace that has benefited my marriage and family; as has my husband's wisdom and patience.

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Winnie S.

December 16, 2013  9:54am

I think we should know that Julia Child had her own career and her husband supported her. With Kathy Keller, the opposite. She wrote, “My first encounter with the ideas of [male] headship and [female] submission,” she writes, “was both intellectually and morally traumatic.” Somehow I don't think Julia Child had that experience on marrying.

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