One of the most controversial subjects that is likely to come up in Sunday school (right behind “Are margaritas sinful?” and “Is it ok to have a big screen TV when there are impoverished children in India?”) is the role of men and women in the church and, more specifically, in the family. This battle of the sexes has been raging for quite some time, and you can just give a cursory glance around the internet and find hundreds of blogs dedicated to the subject. My generation has been rightly taught from birth that women can do anything men can do. And, when that fact runs head on into the truths in Scripture where God names men the head of the families, it can really cause a lot of confusion and struggle in the female heart.
But, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a real resurgence, so to speak, of women my age who are not only accepting that their men are the spiritual leaders in their families, but they are embracing their own role as second-in-command. They are working mothers and stay-at-home moms and they are taking a step back and giving their husbands room to be in charge of the spiritual growth and training of the family. Competent and intelligent women everywhere are choosing this path. To do so doesn’t make them gullible or ignorant or weak. But, I always wonder if we are subconsciously taking on a complex that says, “God doesn’t think you’re fit for being a leader.” Or, at the very least, “The church doesn’t think you’re capable.”
But, my fellow mothers, don’t let all of this submission talk convince you that women aren’t spiritual leaders. I can’t think of any sphere within the human experience where a person has more influence than a mother has with her children. To take that enormous amount of influence and exclude spiritual matters from our everyday teaching of our kids would be an extreme waste of our abilities. We are spiritual leaders of the most crucial kind, as we are the primary care-givers, lesson-teachers, and story-tellers. We can’t just place the responsibility for spiritual training on our husband’s shoulders and breathe a sigh of relief that at least that’s one job we don’t have to do. No, I’m afraid a huge part of that burden lies squarely on us.
And, we can take joy in knowing that while God does give our husbands great responsibility to spiritually direct the family, He has also placed us in the unique position of having a huge role in that spiritual direction.
So, let’s stop wallowing in our inferiority complexes and realize that God has given us a powerful position in the family, one that supports our husband and forever shapes the attitudes and thinking of our children. We can stop wondering if we’re called to lead in our families and move on to the real issues, like how that big screen is affecting the third world countries.