Thursday, September 9, 2010

Women Have Power, Real Power

Athletic competition is a magnificent thing. The court or field is a battleground where physical strength, mental preparation and weeks, months or years of practice is tested. The Olympic games are the stage for the best of the best, both men and women, to display their strength for the world to see.

Funny thing. Men still compete with men. Women still compete with woman. Our society, even the church, is obsessed with the idea of equality and egalitarianism and yet we segregate our athletic competition. Do we really want equality?

Women would argue, “You can’t expect women to compete at the same level as men. It just wouldn’t be fair. Our genetic make up is different.”

You are right. God made us different right down to our genetic make up. I think we can see this in athletic competition better than any other place in all of creation. To expect a woman to power clean the same 580 lbs (current men’s world record) is absurd. She got close with 412 lbs (current women’s world record). The men’s high jump world record stands at 8 feet 0.46 inches while the women’s is at 6ft 10.28 inches and I could give stats all day. Somewhere out there yes, I’m sure a woman has “beaten” men in some display of physical or athletic strength but by and large, men excel in these displays over women because we are different by design.

Our genetic make up, the way our bodies are made, suggests that we are different. We can accept it in athletic competition, in fact we even expect it, but in relationships, the business world and every other area, we demand equality.

Before you quit reading or start writing your own rebuttal, hear me out. God made us different, and that is ok. Do I believe women are capable of leading bible studies, churches and fortune 500 companies? Absolutely, and probably better than I ever could! Can they “wear the pants,” be the leader and primary breadwinner etc etc in a marriage? Yep, and many are. But do I believe that is how God designed it? No. Does that mean you have to stop doing those things? No. Especially because the guy you’re with probably won’t start doing those things.

God made us differently. That is all I’m trying to say. We are wired differently, we give and receive love differently and when we (men and women) can figure this out AND ACCEPT IT, only then will we begin to love and serve as Christ has called us.

It’s sad because that is really where it should start. Out of our love for Christ, we will sacrificially love and serve in relationships but we don’t. Until we get what we want and are treated fairly, we won’t bend or break. Somewhere, someone has got to give in. It SHOULD be men. We are called to lead, sacrificially, even to the point of laying down our life for women (Ephesians 5:25). Nowhere in scripture does it place such a high calling on women, that they give up their life for a man. We are called to lead even to the point of death.

We are ALL called to love sacrificially even when we are not receiving it, “as to the lord.” (Eph 5:22 for women, 5:25 for men).

Ok, lets take God out of the very picture He created. We are caught in a vicious cycle that until someone steps out and breaks it, will continue to go round and round. I love sharing about a trip to Chicago I made my freshman year of college that fits this to a tee.

It was a disaster from the word go. Plans fell through and it ended up being me and four women (your saying “and your complaining?!”). We made it to Chicago, crammed 6 people into a studio apartment down town and several of us spent the night on the hard wood floor. It snowed nearly two feet overnight and the next morning I went into survival mode. I borrowed a shovel from a neighbor and proceeded to unearth the wrong vehicle. I finally found the right one two blocks away and dug it out. The rest of the day was a clash of personalities, frustrated meals, bad directions and getting lost. You couldn’t have paid me to drive around Chicago in broad daylight, much less in two feet of snow.

I was not happy. The girls were having fun but thought I was a pill and I probably was, but that didn’t change how I felt. Somewhere by the end of the day as we were driving out of town trying to make our way to one of the girls homes, no one really knew where we were or where we were going. You could have cut the tension in the car with a knife. As I drove down the freeway barely able to stay on the road due to the setting sun and the snow still blowing horizontally across the road, a small, loving voice with the most sincerity I have ever heard chimed from the back seat, “Seth, thank you for taking such good care of us today.”

At that moment every feeling of dread, anger, frustration and anything else that was weighing on my mind disappeared. I would have driven all night, changed a flat tire in the sub zero temps or done ANYTHING for ANYONE of those girls (even the ones I was still upset with) because that one girl showed me respect and appreciation. She had power. She new it and how to use it.

Ladies if you can learn to speak and love as my friend did, you will hold the power of the atom bomb in your hand. A man will swim oceans, scale buildings and climb mountains when he has the sincere love of a woman behind him.

As guys, we should recognize this. We should lead sacrificially, “as Christ laid down his life for the church” and we will ultimately find that we’ll receive this kind of love and respect from women. We’ve got to start doing that.

To the egalitarianists and people that want equality, we are different. Physically and emotionally and nothing you or I say is going to change that. Our world doesn’t want to accept God or the bible but really, it lays it out for us. 1 Peter 3:7 cautions husbands to love their wives as they may be weaker (physically/emotionally) than you, BUT they are your EQUAL heir in Gods gracious gift of life.

When we, the church, the bride of Christ, actually open up the bible and begin to understand not only WHAT it says but WHY it says it, only then will we come to a true understanding of our heavenly father and how He has designed us to love and be loved.

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