It’s time to speak

This morning I foraged through all the different lists of the ‘top Christian female bloggers’ from 2012.  I get pretty excited about having new women to follow; new writers who inspire.

But after spending some time browsing blogs today, I’m a little discouraged.

speak up

The blogs I read this morning were full of radical and passionate women.  Their writing is smart and funny and inspiring.The good news is: the number of women who are ready to step up and lead this generation is growing.  The restlessness, the movement happening is tangible.  I’m not the only one who is done with apathy.  I’m not the only one who wants to be spent.

And yet, I’m discouraged.

Because blog after blog I read the same thing: a call for women to embrace a radical life for God.  Awesome.  Except that blog after blog seems to define that radical life as pursuing a woman’s right to the highest level of leadership in the Church.

Scroll down on any one of those posts and you’ll find the opposite viewpoint in the comments section.  But the voices defending the conservative position on gender roles seem to come across as heady, dry, emotionless and archaic.

And it makes me wonder: is there a place for me? An emotional and messy girl who feels all the tension and passion that I hear in the voices of my generation.  But at the same time, a girl who believes desperately that God alone is God and that He holds out to us an absolute truth that is not negotiable.

Look, no one wants to get into a debate on gender roles.  Least of all me.  Trust.

But the quieter I am, the more it seems like there are only two options ahead of women: either you are passionate and radical and fight for a world without lines and distinction or you are biblically conservative, speak in Scripture and resign yourself to an irrelevant life.

I’m writing this post because I think there’s another option.

I think we can be a part of a passionate movement of relevant and radical women, who talk about real things and don’t pretend to have it all together.  And we can be women who are willing to draw hard lines where Scripture draws them.  We can be women who aren’t afraid of biblical words like submission or sovereignty or inerrancy.  We can be women who don’t apologize for what Scripture says, even if it is offensive and annoying; even if it gets in the way of our ambition.

I have long been avoiding talk of gender roles. Because I’m a coward.  And this topic is polarizing and controversial.  And I don’t want this blog to be hijacked by whatever the hot ‘theological’ topic is.

But I think it’s time to speak.

Because there is something more important at stake in this conversation than the practical implications on our career paths or our earthly marriages.

What’s at stake is the character of God and the source of our authority.

If we think that equality is about having the same access to visible leadership, what does that testify about our God?  The Father asks the Son and the Spirit to submit to Him.  Do we need to pull the Spirit aside and encourage Him to be more ambitious; to stand up for Himself more and not be ‘just a helper’?  Do we need to counsel Jesus that He has as much right to be the one ordaining the Cross as the one hanging on it?  Who decided who was going to be the ‘suffering servant’ anyway?  Did they draw straws?

Here’s the deal: Father, Son and Spirit have different roles and they are still equal.  Their worth is not defined by their tasks.  It’s our worldview – not God’s – that assigns value based on role.  As long as we find our worth in our to-do list, we will confuse equality and sameness.

I don’t know what this year holds for us.  But I can hear it: the hum of a generation of women waking up all across this country and deciding that they want to be a part of something crazy.

Gosh, me too.

Ambition burns within me: fierce and bright.  But more than I want significance and a radical life I want to trust my Creator.  He made me.  He alone gets to determine my purpose.

And honestly – I think He has grander ambitions for me than I can even dream.  He calls me to bear eternal fruit and to engage in spiritual battles.  May He save me from the foolishness of forsaking His leadership to trust in my own understanding.

23 thoughts on “It’s time to speak

  1. WOW!WOW! WOW!

    Time to speak indeed sister

    I pray that the entire body would arise and have the conversation on gender roles and actively grapple with the ‘two options’ that christian young adults (especially are grappling with).
    I like the statements you make ‘either you are passionate and radical and fight for a world without lines and distinction or you are biblically conservative, speak in Scripture and resign yourself to an irrelevant life’…..Biblical femininty and masculinity is definately not about being irrelevant. I don’t even want to get started on the conservative stance…too polarising.

    I also like the point you make with the following statement ‘there is something more important at stake in this conversation than the practical implications on our career paths or our earthly marriages’……I personally think we’ll be shocked when we get to heaven and realize how overrated we’ve made these two things in our earthly lives.

    Please do share the women bloggers you’re referring to. I’m always on the look out for quality blogs to follow.

    Thanks again for sharing Fabs

  2. I agree 100% with you, Fabs.
    And I want to encourage you that you’re not the only one.
    Check out “Revive our hearts” ministries.
    Or blogs of Reformed Christian women.
    I don’t read many for lack of time, but I’ll try to hunt some down.

    You’ll feel the vibe of what you’re saying…and what I believe Scripture commands, for our good and God’s ultimate glory!


  3. This is a fantastic post! I’m so glad my friend posted your blog to Facebook because I too am growing weary of the new standard for young, radical, and passionate women–either we affirm Christian feminism or we are antiquated and irrelevant. I’m actually working on a blog post for this week on this topic, having just read Rachel Held Evans’ Biblical Womanhood book. Thank you for speaking up, your courage and words were exactly what I needed to read.

  4. I couldn’t read this without adding my voice to all these comments about how needed and wonderful it is to hear a woman so beautifully articulate this biblical view. Thank you for not just preaching complementarianism, but for also living it to its fullest and providing a compelling example to single women like me of what God intends for our lives and our ministries.

  5. Thank you for writing this! There are many women out there who are in the same place– I hope they find your blog!

  6. INcredible. I love it when God syncs up the desires and passions of His people. I am with you.

    P.S. This new web design is baller status.

  7. “We can be women who don’t apologize for what Scripture says”.

    Fabs, I have truly enjoyed your blog and been inspired by your love for God!

    As a Christian who is not complementarian, however, one of the assumptions I find frustrating is that the choices are either “complementarian” or “doesn’t take Scripture seriously”. Having wrestled and fought and *studied Scripture*, I, along with many other non-complementarians I know, genuinely feel that Scripture’s examples of female deacons and apostles as well as Jesus’ treatment of women provide a different view.

    We all hate being put in boxes and having assumptions made about our beliefs. I wholeheartedly can imagine how frustrating it feels to you that it seems the choices are “feminist” OR “dry and emotionless”- and I admire how you speak with passion for complementarianism!!

    But many “Christian feminists” find it frustrating as well that this seem dichotomy is applied to us. Rather than being open to considering that we STILL hold such a high view of Scripture and just in fact have drawn different conclusions FROM THE WORD, it is assumed that we are either complementarian OR don’t trust and love God.

    Emily Goldberg

  8. Thank you thank you thank you!!! My husband and I have been talking about this for a while now and it is definitely something very heavy on my heart. I am so tired of only having 2 options. I love being a mom and wife, but treating as women as if that is the end goal of biblical womanhood is really becoming a hinderance to ministering to other women who might not be either of those things at this point and might not ever be. I am seeing it happen in my church and women are falling by the wayside, content to discuss what tv shows their toddlers watch and go no deeper in small group discussions than to express frustration with the terrible twos. I feel something lacking and I am so excited to see how God is going to use you to help spread the word about what being a complentarian truly means in light of Scripture.

  9. I am a female complementarian and I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I was directed here from your post on The Gospel Coalition. I am hugely encouraged, and immediately shared with some sisters in my life.

  10. as a slightly older woman who has been swimming upstream for years, teaching and reading about gender roles and the beauty, wonder, awe, depth, wildness of those roles. that are different! that are worthy! that are infinitely valuable in God’s economy! that bring strength and wisdom! thank you for writing about this. and teaching others God’s good news for them.

  11. I am almost speechless (but of course not quite!) that the words you wrote so much reflect my heart. Oh that every Christian, male and female, could read your words and unleash women to our true godly role in the church and in the wider hurting world within our God- given strengths and talents.

  12. Praise God for your bravery to write this! I am shouting from my desk! We need more voices like yours. And it’s exciting to see all the comments here that agree!!

  13. i know this was months ago, but I LOVE IT!! I was raised charismatic and I was fine with that until my late 30’s when I began to question some of the harder scriptures about women the church etc.. No one wanted to talk about it. I a still trying to figure out where I stand on some of this stuff, but not so that I can be all that I can be, but so I can follow after God’s heart not mine. thank you again 🙂

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