This is a fine piece full of insight written by Jen Wilken who asks men to consider how we interact with women in ministry, in the church, and (I would argue) in the world. She enjoins us to follow a thought experiment about three female ghosts that “haunt staff meetings where key decisions are made, classrooms where theology is taught, and in prayer rooms where the weakest among us give voice to hurt.” These ghosts “strike fear into the hearts of both men and women, and worse, they breathe fear into the interactions between them. Their every intent is to cripple the ability of men and women to minister to and with one another.” Wilken urges:
These three ghosts don’t just haunt men; they haunt women as well, shaping our choice of words, tone, dress, and demeanor. When fear governs our interactions, both genders drift into role-playing that subverts our ability to interact as equals. In the un-haunted church where love trumps fear, women are viewed (and view themselves) as allies rather than antagonists, sisters rather than seductresses, co-laborers rather than children.
Read the whole thing.
HT: Gary Shogren via Facebook
Also, this is especially good: The Ezer-Kenegdo: Ezer Unleashed on the wife being a mere “helper” or “helpmeet” to the husband. She notes that:
scholars tallied up the twenty-one times ezer appears in the Old Testament: twice in Genesis for the woman (Genesis 2:18, 20), three times for nations to whom Israel appealed for military aid (Isaiah 30:5; Ezekiel 12:14; Daniel 11:34), and here’s the kicker — sixteen times for God as Israel’s helper (Exodus 18:4; Deuteronomy 33:7, 26, 29; Psalms 20:2; 33:20; 70:5; 89:19 [translated “strength” in the NIV]; 115:9, 10, 11; 121:1 – 2; 124:8; 146:5; Hosea 13:9). This last piece of information created quite a stir as you might imagine, prompting the upgrading of ezer from mere “helper” to “strong helper.” ….. Like the man, she is also God’s creative masterpiece — a work of genius and a marvel to behold — for she is fearfully and wonderful made. The ezer never sheds her image-bearer identity. Not here. Not ever. God defines who she is and how she is to live in His world. That never changes. The image-bearer responsibilities to reflect God to the world and to rule and subdue on His behalf still rest on her shoulders too.
So c’mon, guys, MAN UP! and read the whole thing! I’m confident you’ll be challenged in all the right ways.