June 1, 2007

The Role of Women

When I first started seminary there was an influx of young, unmarried women preparing for the ministry. Most were wonderful, but some were very angry and every male was target. I have always been supportive of developing a strong biblical understanding of the sexes without forcing the other be something they are not.

Men and women are different. We were created that way. My friend Shawna has a great post about the original Hebrew word often translated "helpmate" in the Creation story. Just for the record, she wasn't one of the angry ones.

Probably because of the focus of her post, she didn't talk about the role of Adam naming Eve following the Fall. Dr. Coleson pointed out that for one person to name the other person was to take power over them. Adam naming Eve was an act of taking power over her following the Fall. It was man's fall into sinfulness that started the marked attempts to lord the power over women.

Let me reiterate. Men and women are equal in purpose, ability, and standing before God. I do not believe we are meant to be the same. Physically we are different. Emotionally and psychologically we are different. We were meant to be different. And, while I believe that a person can be single and in the ministry. I also believe that God most often intends for man and women to complement each other under the marriage covenant.

June 11 will be my 13 year wedding anniversary. Lori and I are very different. But we complement each other. She has gifting that I don't have...like being able to listen before speaking...like being able to be the thoughtful one...the list goes on and on.

Be sure to check out Shawna's post.


  1. Eric,
    Thanks for posting Shawna's post great read, very enlightening and inspirational; I have been an artist all of life ,like both of my parents who possess this talent as a God - Given - gift, and just by reading her post has put another idea into my brain for another painting. Skecthes will begin as soon as I send this to you, so I will not forget the topic. PBWY, RAD

  2. Thank you! I agree that men and women are very different too. But I also think our "traditional" gender roles miss the mark too. I think we should look more to our giftings, emotions, and just what we like as to what we should be doing and relating to each other.

    I'm chuckling because I'm remembering a passage from a book I read, and if you went by their lists of what a man should be and a woman should be, I should be a man. :)

  3. I think this is my biggest fear as I feel called to full-time ministry: will the fact I'm single affect not only the ministry I hope to have after I finish seminary, but will it also affect my ability to get hired?

    I just hope my singleness can offer a perspective that other leaders don't have... but I fear I will simply be looked down upon because I have not "secured" a mate.

  4. Stephanie,

    I think you are right. There are a lot of people who won't hire someone simply because they are single. They believe, mistakenly, that there is greater risk or something. Although, I have seen some women, because of a perceived sexism, get really hateful and begin to think that everyone is out to get them.

    I also believe that God will provide a place for you to minister.