A retired soccer coach talks to women. It was a pep talk, a halftime hoorah speech.
Mark Chanski spoke last night at Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, NC. I went to hear him after reading some of both of his books, Manly Dominion and Womanly Dominion during my years at SBTS. I also wanted to go because I’ve recently been married so I wanted to be encouraged in my now-role as wife and helpmeet.
Mark Chanski is a husband, father, and pastor in Holland, MI. He writes from three decades worth of husband-experience and shares his discernments from God’s Word in both of his books.
1. Play Your Position
2. Win It!
Those were both of his exhortations to us ladies (ranging from 11-80ish). (Side note: I was very thankful to see females from every age group. True Titus 2 living!) Pastor Mark would spend the next 45 minutes broadening his meaning of these two coach’s screams.
Womanly Dominion Culturally Challenged.
The Word of God is true and unchanging, living and active. So, why would we think God’s commands and prescriptions for us as females would not come under attack by a world that doesn’t consider truth to be absolute? The serpent under-minded God’s spoken word in Genesis when he confronted Eve’s understanding of God’s goodness. The serpent still undermines God’s truth today. But, God’s Word stands firm and will never fail.
The culture around us wants to challenge our personal intensity. No matter the age – we will be bombarded with problems in this area:
In high school, we will be challenge by either extreme: set our minds and focus on the best GPA possible (at the cost of all other objectives) or to slouch and not do our best. We will be tempted to not pursue callings and gifts that we have because the world will tell us that they are not a worthy cause.
In college, we may be tempted by a professor to pursue a PhD (which is not evil in its own merit) to the dismissal of marriage, which is obviously a patriachal institution.
As single women, we will be tempted to go forward in relationships that aren’t pleasing to the Lord or to be the pursuer in relationships – not willing to wait on God’s perfect timing in His giving us all good gifts (Romans 8:32).
As married women, we will be tempted to run hard after everything we can, forgetting we are called to be a helper suitable to our mates, a wife of a husband. We will be tempted to have our homes live up to the latest Pinterest home or Pottery Barn catalogue.
Chanski encouraged us no matter the assignment in life – to be tough minded, sober-minded in that and fulfill our assignment with excellence.
We will also hear the world questioning the positional authority God has given to us. We need to be firm where God has assigned us and not let the world and all of its lies lead us astray. God has called each of us to where we are. It might change (like mine just did, more on that later), but God never changes. Listen for His voice.
Womanly Dominion Scripturally Expounded. Mark stayed in two verses for the evening: Genesis 1:27-28.
Domination. Since we have been created in the image of God, that is a given statement, we are to be like him. In these verses, we are to be like him in our “bringing into bondage” the earth. Subdue the earth, work the earth. Before God spoke the world into creation – the earth was without form and void. Since creation, it has order and design. We are to not let our “given assignments” be chaotic or out of control. That is not how we are to be like God, mirroring and imaging our Creator.
Procreation. Through childbearing – we women (men can’t have babies, deliver babies – though we need them in the process) – we get to participate in salvation. We get to have children that will help populate the earth who will be part of the throng around the throne from every tribe, tongue, and nation. After the Fall, Eve’s “punishment” came in the form of pain during childbearing. I was reading this morning that even though there is pain, motherhood is still worth it (and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity one day). In the focal verses: we are giving the command and sacred focus on filling the earth. What questions does that raise? How many childrend should one couple have? Should you/must you adopt? What about sexual protection from pregnancy or medical help to seek out infertitlity. This one verse touches on so many familial and birth ethics in today’s society.
Position. Chanski affirmed our sameness in essence with men. We are not higher or lower – we have just been given a different position. He spoke briefly on the Trinity and how their positions in the Godhead give us great insight into our position as women – same in being, different in position. To see more on that topic, see Bruce Ware’s book: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. We are not to be androginous which society would like us to lean toward: women in battle, women playing men’s sports, men wearing skinny jeans or wearing earrings, parents raising their children “sexless” until they can determine what they want to be. We see it. This denial of the truth of sexuality. There is diversity in function in the created sexual genders. God has a beautiful plan for males and females. He does all for His glory.
So, in a nut shell: know and play your position. Don’t assume your position. Know it. Trust it. Make sure it lines up with the Word of God. Then, play your position with all your might as unto the Lord and not unto men.
Here are my take home moments. My encouragement from my husband was to listen for the Shepherd’s voice.
1. Assignment. As we have been studying 1 Corinthians 7 this week in home fellowship group, I have been thinking about my current assignment. It has changed. I am not a wife, a helper (hopefully) suitable to E. That is my primary role that God has given me. How is it different from being a single living to the glory of God. Being a wife living for the glory of God is quite different. My brain goes a million miles a minute imagining the judgment and expectations from those around me. I need to listen to the Word, listen to E, and listen to wise counsel around me (and not the voices in my head).
2. A new book that I’ll be reading is Excellence by Kostenberger. I’m very much looking forward to the hard read. And that was Chanski’s whole entire second point – Win it! Play your position with excellence. So…how do I keep my home with excellence? How do I love and serve my husband with excellence? How will my relationships with friends change but still be lived with excellence?
3. My only caution: women – don’t focus too much on the domination. When I think of the word domination I think of ego, power, complete control, mean-spirited, take over. While E has given me “domination” over the keep of the home (meaning, he tells me the home is my domain), he is meaning that to be a blessing. So, while I have complete “domination” over the menu each week, that doesn’t mean I should fail to get his imput. That domination needs to still be lived out under our husband’s authority and the grace of God.
Play your position and win it!
It’s encouraging to hear your thoughts on the message. You are so right in your final point. It can be easy for our flesh to make us want to dominate completely even in seemingly small things, and we do well to remember that our role is that of helper. Are we carrying out our roles in a way that truly seeks to help our husbands and not in a way that puffs us up and makes demands? Only then can our home be the refuge that nurtures our marriage and family as God designed.
Thank you for the kind and thoughtful response!