Raising Boys in a Post-Biblical Marriage Culture

Raising Boys in the Post-Biblical Marriage Culture

It is no surprise to most people that the SCOTUS handed down a favorable win for same-sex marriage yesterday.  This doesn’t surprise me at all because we are not a theocracy nor are most of the people in government controlled by the Bible. In a way I don’t find fault with a non-Christian society to assume that all marriage should be allowed.

However, even though my family lives in America, we are more controlled by the God of the Bible and know that He is sovereign over all, Jesus is no longer in the tomb, and God even controls the government and the leaders and the decisions by His sovereign will.

That being said, I, as a parent to two little boys, have a God-given responsibility and grace to teach these little ones in my care (and my husband’s care) about a biblical view of marriage and how to be men of God.  So I’ve thought about it the last couple of days and here are some points that I will be instilling in their little souls and will pray that God captures their hearts at an early age, that they grow up to fight for Truth and freedom, and that they love God with all their hearts.

1.  God’s Word is the Truth.  There is no false teaching in the Bible.  Every word of it is true.  It is the final authority.  In our lives, it is the final authority now.  Unfortunately, those who don’t know Jesus don’t live under this truth.  They choose to disobey a loving God who has a great plan for their lives.  They will one day know that God is the only God and his truth is supreme.  2 Timothy 3.16-17

2.  God has called them to be men.  Men.  Men of truth, valor, and integrity.  Men who love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.  Men who will unite themselves to one woman for the rest of their lives and seek to live out the Gospel in their home.  Men who will lead, provide, and protect their wives and children.  Men who will fight for justice.  Men who will stand for truth. Ephesians 5

3.  God is Ruler over everything.  Many places throughout the Bible we see God the Father orchestrating the hands of government to do his will.  This decision of the SCOTUS does not surprise him one bit.  He is the Ruler and He knows all.  He has a great plan for His great fame in this country and the world. Psalm 97

4.  #lovewins is not about gay marriage.  Love won the day Jesus conquered the grave after he died for our sin. ! Corinthians 15

5.  Gospel applies to all.  When we encounter those who do not believe the truth of the Bible we have one response – to love them as Christ loved them and point them to their need for a Savior.  Romans 3

6.  They are sinners.  My boys need the Gospel. Their mommy and daddy need the gospel.  Just because we will teach them that gay marriage is wrong (against God’s final authority) doesn’t make us better.  We need Jesus. Romans 6-7

7.  Love truth.  I will teach them to love truth in every walk of life.  In playing with their friends, in learning about the Bible, in standing up for justice and truth in their school, in not shrinking back when lies prevail.  Psalm 119.9

It was a sad day.  But, I have a responsibility to my children to train them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord and will pray that they will know the Truth and the Truth will set them free.

Reading the Accidental Feminist

posted in: Books, Women | 0

The Accidental Feminist

Reading a book by someone you know is very different than reading a book by an author whom you have no personal connection with.  You read the book with an insight into the author, eyes from seeing the author in action, and know a little bit of her heart and stories that she displays in her book.

Thanks to Crossway for sending me Courtney Reissig’s new book, The Accidental Feminist and I have loved it and been so praying that the Lord would search my heart while reading this book.  I’ve known Courtney since moving to Louisville in 2007 when we both worked at SBTS, then our husbands were on staff at local churches in Little Rock for about 2 years.  I’ve seen her handle marriage and motherhood with more grace than most people I know. Grace is not saying she does it perfectly, but she understands her need for the Gospel and dishes out the Gospel with such poise.  That is also what comes through in this book.

I’ve taken to doing something my husband does when he reads books: he starts with the last chapter.  So, for this book, I read the first, then the last chapter, then went back to chapter 2.  I think doing that in some books gives the reader such a proper perspective.  She starts with what she aims to do – then in the last chapter declares our need for the Gospel to do any of what she just wrote – and the in the middle pointed us to what godly womanhood in today’s world looks like (in light of our culture and our need for a Savior).

What I think Courtney does better than most authors who are seeking to write a womanhood book – is she taps into whatever stage of life you are in.  I think its because she realizes two things: she has struggled with biblical womanhood and God’s ideal plan for it in singleness, marriage, and motherhood (and infertility and miscarriages), and also she knows that she is writing to a wide audience and many women in different stages need the truth of God’s word for their lives right now.

In every chapter she gives practical and theological and cultural implications for what biblical womanhood looks like.  She focuses in on relationships, church life, home life, work life, our relationship with our physical bodies,

I loved how she did end it.  Talking about restoration.  As Eve, the first woman, was called by her husband the mother of all living (before her kids were born), there is something restorative and life giving about being a woman.  This world needs so much restoration.  And ultimately we are not the ones that give restoration – but we, uniquely designed by God as women who bear his image, can bring life and restoration and healing to this world.

Court – thank you for your personal insights and your living out such a beautiful picture of grace to your boys, husband, church family, and readers.

Coffee With Courtney Reissig aka The Accidental Feminist

posted in: Books, Coffee with..., Women | 2

Courtney Reissig Interview

One of the women who have shaped my theological thinking and has been a friend to me the last 8 years is Courtney Reissig.  I first met Courtney in Louisville when we both worked for deans of the SBTS and had some ministry with CBMW.  She then got married and I moved away to Raleigh.

Then I got married, and she moved to Little Rock.  Then we moved to Little Rock.  Even though we were at separate churches, I was glad to meet up with her every now and then to talk life, marriage, parenting, and ministry.

If I still lived in Little Rock, I would probably pick up some coffee and head on over to their house (about a mile from where we used to live), let our boys play, and share this conversation with her in person.  She’s due any day now with another little boy.  Since I’m not in Little Rock, I used modern technology and asked her these questions about her new book, The Accidental Feminist, and about coffee.  You’ll get a chance to hear how writing this book shaped her heart and family and her relationship with her heavenly Father…and about her coffee direction.

Thanks Courtney.

1.  Writing a book is a time-heavy endeavor.  How did you manage 2 toddlers, a husband, and serving in your church – while writing a book?

That’s a question I get often. In all honesty it was by the complete grace of God. The prevailing theme in my life as I wrote the book was unexpected weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 was very dear to my heart throughout the entire process. It says:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” I got pregnant halfway through writing the book, sadly it was followed by a pretty complicated miscarriage that seemed to drag on. In God’s kindness, I got pregnant again right as the editing process was starting and was fairly sick through most of the editing. There were many days where I thought I would not be able to get it done, but God was faithful to give me words when I needed to write them, and provide the necessary energy to write and think. Practically speaking, this book has been in my head for a long time, so in a lot of ways it flowed out of me primarily because I had done so much thinking and writing about it before I ever had a book contract. Also, my husband was a tremendous blessing in providing me space and time to write. When I wasn’t pregnant, I would get up early in the morning to write and he would get our boys started with the day. I also did a couple of overnight writing retreats and that really helped with getting large chunks of writing done. For the most part, though, the book was written during nap time and in the early morning hours. I just process better earlier in the day, rather than later.
2.  You’ve obviously thought about this topic of feminism much.  What is one new thing you learned in your research for this particular book?
I read a book on the history of first wave feminism towards the end of the process and I was struck by how white the early feminist movement was. One of the dividing lines of the early feminist movement was whether or not they would include African-American women’s issues on their platform. Many of them, largely influenced by the spirit of the age, did not see a need to include African-American women in their fight. I had always known that some early feminists, like Margaret Sanger, wanted to eliminate those she saw as unfit for society (like minorities, disabled people, and the poor), but I didn’t know that within the larger movement there was such a lack of minority representation. That was really interesting to me–and of course, really troubling. It showed me that it’s easy to only think in terms of our own culture and context when we apply truths to our lives without looking at people who are different than us and really trying to understand where they are coming from and how our ideas might be interpreted by them or applied differently to their lives.
3.   The local church is important in this shaping us to look more like Christ.  What is one way that women can be purposeful in their relationships with other women in the church to help each other grow in our womanhood?
I think the primary way woman can be purposeful in their relationships with other women is to take initiative themselves. It’s easy to assume that no one has time for you, or that others aren’t interested in your life, when in reality everyone is waiting for someone to approach them first. I know I do that more often than I should. If we want to see women flourish in their understanding of God and his word and we want to see relationships develop among women, then we have to be willing to make the first move. In my own life, I know my reticence to taking initiative is often owing to fear (which is really pride). I’m afraid of rejection or afraid that the person will think I’m too needy. But I am needy. We all are. We need the body of Christ to encourage each other, fight sin together, and remain steadfast in the faith. One of the encouraging things that I see in the local church today is the desire women have to study God’s word. That is one practical way relationships can be forged, through intentional study of the Bible together. There are many more, of course, but that is the best place to start.
4.  How did writing this book shape your relationship with your husband and your children?  
That’s a good question. First, with my husband, it really showed me how much he truly supports me. Writing a book is not an isolated effort. Of course, there is a lot of time spent alone as you crank out chapters (which is a challenge for an extrovert like me!), but it’s also about the community that shapes your thoughts. My husband has probably talked more about feminism than he ever thought he would! He is my greatest support, but also my toughest critic. In the early stages of writing, I struggled with his criticism because I took it so personally when he said something didn’t make sense or didn’t sound true. But as we’ve walked through this process together, I’ve learned that because he is my greatest supporter, I can trust his criticism. His critiques are faithful and in my best interest. He’s not out for my evil, but for my good. And he’s a really good editor. If only it didn’t take me so long to appreciate it! With my children, it’s a little different. They are two (and as of right now, my third son is still in utero), so they can’t read yet. But as I researched for the book and learned more about feminism’s influence on men and how our culture perceives them, I became more convinced of the need for understanding the far reaching impact feminism has had on all of us. I want to raise my sons to be men who love God, love and respect women, and love God’s word. That is counter-cultural in a world that expects very little from our men, and it frankly scares me to raise them in a world where they are expected to be either ignorant boys who never grow up or aggressive sexual predators who use women for their own pleasure.
5.  What kind of coffee do you drink?  Or tea?  Maybe more so when you aren’t pregnant.
I do drink coffee. I didn’t drink it during the first 16-17 weeks because I couldn’t stomach anything, especially coffee. But I love coffee in the morning, so I eventually gave in around 20 weeks and started drinking it again. With the twins I didn’t, but since I actually have other kids now I feel like it’s a necessity to function in the morning 🙂 I love Caribou coffee, but we don’t have that here, so I drink the Kroger Columbia blend (to save money). I like it with some milk in it. Since I have gestational diabetes, for a treat, I’ll get a decaf skinny vanilla latte at Starbucks if I’m out for coffee. Normally I get the normal kind. 🙂

Wednesday Link Love

posted in: Link Love, Women | 0

Wednesday Link Love

You know, I started this whole post because of the first link.

Yes, I did.

And hopefully I will be making for Eric to have as his littles and wife leave him next week to visit some friends out of state.

This glazed pumpkin pound cake.  Yes please.  Maybe he will save me a piece!

Speaking of traveling, my little transportation geek would love this as we make road trips now!

So tempted to make these as one of the three seperate desserts I need to make to celebrate Sebastian’s one year birthday next week.

This is most interesting especially since hearing Christine Caine speak at The Grove last month – has any reformed gospel conservative had any thoughts on this program being started at Liberty?

My Son’s Love for my JCrew Peep Toe Heels – the Art of Gender Bending and Parenting

posted in: parenting | 1

I have a pair of shoes that I love.  Found them at a consignment shop in Belmon, NC – a pair of JCrew Zebra peep toe 3 inch heels.  They are fabulous.  Heels are amazing and so are flats – gorgeous shoes that make any outfit.  What about the lipstick I just found in a perfect shade of purple or that great gray knit clutch I have that goes well with any outfit I have on – any time of the year?

Should be there some boundaries in what I allow my son to wear/try on?

Read this article in Parenting magazine.  I couldn’t believe it.

“Picture this: you are a single mother raising a son. You walk into your 4-year-old’s room and find him wearing his sister’s tutu and his face smeared with lipstick.  What do you do:

A.  Get on the phone with your pediatrician, sure that the lack of a male role model at home has caused irreparable harm

B.  Tell him peach is more his color and grab your tube of Coral Sea

C.  Shrug and reach for the wet wipes.

Parenting Answer: You are a fine parent if you do any of the above.  Children from single parent homes are always experimenting with perceived ideas about gender. 

This article frustrated me so much.  Really…here are my thoughts.

1.  God made you the parent to help shape your son or daughter into who they are going to be.  That is a significant role.  And I don’t think it is right for a boy to dress up in girly fashion, try on lipstick, or really, play with barbie dolls.  I think boys struggle with their identity as it is.  Just like girls do.  But, fathers – step up and be a good positive manly role model for your son – starting before he is even born.  Women – teach your daughter how to be feminine even when she is a baby.  You have this charge!  God created each of us male and female.  We display the glory of God by being who God created us to be.

2.  If you are a single Mom – see if there are dads in your local congregation that you can ask to help show your son what it means to be a strong man of God.  Ask the children’s pastor or youth pastor if there is someone he would recommend.  Single Dads – do the same thing – but with a godly woman (aunt, sister) who might mentor your daughter on what it means to be feminine.

3.  Don’t feel like a failure.  If I catch baby trying on my heels or lipstick.  I may laugh then tell him that those are not things that he is to wear.  Then I’ll go grab his daddy’s cologne and spray it on him, put a tie around his neck, or maybe put his ball cap on his tiny little head.  Much grace is needed in parenting – we don’t need gender bending. 

I’m not talking about teaching your son how to cook or make a bed, or teaching your daughter how to change the oil in her car.  These are life skills that each person needs (and I still don’t know how to change the oil in my car).  I’m talking about gender-specific activities or apparel.  Lipstick, dresses, soldier play, guns, etc. 

The one part I liked about the Parenting article: “Parents are a key influence!”  Will you be an influence for biblical masculinity and femininity – that hopefully will give them rich insights into the Gospel of Jesus Christ – or will you allow you children to determine their “preference” in who they want to be.

Photo: These aren’t the shoes I’m referring to in the post, but aren’t they gorgous.  I saw them in an NYC store front while we were on our honeymoon.  Fab.U.Lous!

Two books to recommend on this topic: Boyhood and Beyond by Bob Schulz and Girl Talk by The Mahaney Family and this link by Randy Stinson


Dan(vers) in Real Life (Part 2)

posted in: Bible, Women | 1

Continuing on our discussion of the Danvers Statement from yesterday, we finish off with Affirmations 6-10.  I hope these have been an encouragement to you and not another list of rules to follow.  Sometimes it is difficult to know how to apply Scripture to our lives when sin has marred the world we live in.  Thank God that He is redeeming all of creation for His glory!

6.  Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse, both in the family and in the church. (Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7; 1 Cor 11:2-16)

The death of Christ on the cross is available for all who believe (and if they believe they will be the elect of God).  God knows those whom He has saved – both male and female.  Males don’t have an easier time being saved.  We are all on equal footing: sinners in need of a Savior.  While we are equal in that rite, there are some standards and roles that God set up before the foundation of the world, that now that sin has entered the picture, these roles are more difficult to adhere to – but nevertheless, we are told to adhere to them.  Husbands and wives have equal partnership but different roles in the home.  Elders and roles in the church that require biblical teaching of men needs to be reserved only for men.  God has a great purpose in this.  We would find great joy in the beauty of submission in these areas.

7.  In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission – domestic, religious, or civil – ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin. (Daniel 3:10-18; Acts 4:19-20; 1 Peter 3:1-2)

This definitely was seen with the DOMA voting that occurred in NC recently.  Many politicians and even many Christians Iwere agreeing with the government in their allowance of homosexual and lesbian marriages.  There were so many issues that were included in this.  My thought process started out as one thing, moved to another, and then voting day came and went.  We do not live in a theocracy.  Even though truth is truth, we can’t expect non-Christians to want to adhere to the same biblical truth that we obey and live under.  So, even if we passed a lot (which NC did) that marriage is between one man and one woman, it is only one state – any couple can just choose to up and move to another state.  As Christians, we have a different standard in life than non-Christians.  Non-Christians will be under the wrath of God at judgment day.  We have been freed from the wrath of God because of the blood of Jesus.  But we can’t impose biblical standards on those that don’t believe Christ is the only way to heaven.   But, we must live according to the Bible.  And that goes for every area of our lives: home, church, gender roles, etc.

8.  In both men and women a heartfelt call to ministry should never be used to set aside biblical criteria for particular ministries. (1 Tim 2:11-15; 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9)

Earlier on in my life I struggled with this one, primarily because I hadn’t been taught any better.  When I was in college, I was assistant to our youth pastor at a church (whom I loved and learned a lot from and loved being in ministry with those girls and families). I was encouraged to go to a certain seminary because the seminary I wanted to attend put too many restraints on women.  When I started being taught what the Bible had to say about roles within the church, I learned more about women could do and what women couldn’t do.  These mandates are not set up for our punishment, but for our good, for us to thrive under God’s authority.  When women will come to me saying they are being led of God to be a pastor, I honestly have to suppress a laugh (which is sinful), but then I’m hurt that they don’t see the laws of God as beautiful.  I want them to open their eyes and see God’s beauty.  What this is saying is not that women have nothing to say to men or they don’t have the ability to teach, it is just saying God’s way is His way and it is the best for our good and His glory in the church, our families, and the world.

9.  With half the world’s population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stress and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world. (1 Cor 12:7-21)

Some people ask this question: can a women lead a man to Christ.  By all means, yes.  That is declaring the truths of salvation.  Whether you are sitting on a bus, waiting at a terminal or hospital, sharing with your husband – this isn’t haven’t Scriptural authority over a man in a church’s teaching role.  There are many ministries: orphanages, nursing, sex trafficking freedom, etc that women can do and have such a great impact in this world.  Why some women understand that the only way they can have an impact for the kingdom is by preaching to men/leading worship to men is beyond me?  There is so much more out there.  Women can have a huge impact for the gospel in many arenas that men can’t.  Think of Muslim cultures.  Men and women don’t talk to each other.  How else will these lost women hear the gospel if women don’t share it with them?

10.  We are convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead to increasingly destructive consequences in our families, our churches, and the culture at large.

This has definitely been the case.  Look at: single-parent homes, divorce rate both in and outside the church, the feminization of the church, lack of men’s involvement in local churches, gay marriages and lifestyles on the rise.

The Danvers Statement was written 25 years ago.  Men and women have been upholding it by the grace of God ever since.  Will you strive to live by the laws and beautiful truths found in God’s Word, or will you demand your own way.  Self-enslavement is worse than God-enslavement (taken from Amy Spiegel’s new book, Letting Go of Perfect).

Go in peace and grace.

Dan(vers) in Real Life (part 1)

posted in: Uncategorized, Women | 1

This past Sunday a new “Sunday School” class started at my church on biblical manhood and womanhood.  One of the elders who is teaching the class introduced everyone to the Danvers Statement.  You may be wondering what the Danvers Statement is and what in the world it has to do with your life.  You can read it here:


Since biblical gender roles is something I have been passionate about since somtime in college, I thought I would take this time to walk through the Danvers Statement.  Not for theological purposes, because Bruce Ware and Wayne Grudem do such a thorough job of defining terms and basing them on biblical passages.  But, for women in the pew, who didn’t go to seminary, or those who did go to seminary or teach even – how do we put these 10 principles into practice.

1.  Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18)

These verses and this statement (made in 1987) were made long before the political battlew over the definition of marriage.  Our base for politics should be the word of God.  Since the Word of God is the very breath of God, therefore perfect and never changing (2 Tim 3:16-17, Psalm 19), it should determine our decisions on every matter of life and politics.

The joke heard for decades now is “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”  I think that is a crude way of saying the truth.  God had a permanent purpose and grand design in how He perfectly created and placed Adam and Eve in the garden.  Adam and Eve, and all peoples procreated from them for all the generations to come, bear the image of God (imago dei) and should be treated as worthy of that.  Each person bears the image of God, even those who disagree with us or treat us badly.  Something inherent in their very being shows us God.  He is the masterful Creator.

I like the word distinct in this first affirmation.  I can’t play the role my husband has, either sexually or emotionally, in our marriage.  I can’t play the role my pastors and elders have in the church I attend.  God set measures in place that we are to abide by and obey for our good and His glory.  But, we also have distinct roles and priviliges that men don’t – simply because we are women.  What a unique pleasure it is to always feel Baby Campbell kicking in me.  My husband can feel him if he is kicking or see him when he makes my belly move, but he can’t feel him all the time.  That is something unique that God has designed just for women.

2.  Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart. (Genesis 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor 11:7-9; 1 Tim 2:12-14)

Two essential parts of this affirmation: when these distinctions came to be and how that should influence me today.

God is eternal and all of His Words are eternal.  They never change.  The principles of biblical gender were set in place when God first created Adam and Eve, he didn’t wait until after sin occurred in the Garden to set these principles in place.  These distinctions, both in function and person, were foundational from the very beginning.  Sin only makes living these distinctions out difficult.

There are many times when I try to urge my husband to make a decision or try to lead in our relationship.  There are many times when I feel more qualified to teach a class at church because there is lack of strong male authority and teaching ability.  But, as often as these thoughts or actions occur in me, the Spirit checks my Spirit with His and with the Word.  There is an eagerness (praise the Lord) in me to confess those thoughts, pray for strength, and repent of any actions I might have done.  If we walk in step with the Spirit we will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  Oh, the flesh is so strong in women, especially Christian women when we are at daily war with the one who wants his way in our life versus the One who paid the price for our souls.  Stand firm – resist the devil and he will flee from you!

3.  Adam’s headship in marriage was established by God as part of the created order, and was not the result of sin.  (Genesis 3:1-13, and Scriptures listed in 2.)

I love this design of marriage.  I always knew I wanted this in a marriage, but never found someone who was willing to take his rightful place and lead with humility and servanthood (like Jesus) in a marraige.  Being both bold and pursuing, and loving and gently.  My God has been very gracious to me in my marriage.  My husband lives out biblical headship and Christ-like servanthood and meekness to me every day.  He prays for me, leads our marriage, is gentle with me when I need correcting, and meek in his leadership.  This design is for all married men.  Men, don’t give this authority up – neither lord it over your wives.  Jesus lead with meekness and authority.  He was gentle.  He wasn’t effeminate or a tyrant.  He was perfect.  Women, if you see your husbands or your Christian brothers not living this way (or for single brothers, not seeing these qualities in them), pray for them.  I repeatedly didn’t do this service for them, but instead I complained and belittled them, saying there were no good single men left.  That was one of my biggest regrets of my single life.  We are called to encourage our brothers and husbands, not belitlttle them.  Those actions of belittling is the result of sin, not how God wanted us to live.

4.  The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women (in the home and in the church) – for further explanation of this affirmation, see the link above) (Genesis 3:1-7, 12, 16)

Oh, how I hate sin.  Sin permeates every aspect of our lives.  Women want to lead in the homes and in the churches.  Men either are patriachal authoritarians or weak spineless shells of real men.  Many of our churches are filled with women who want men to step up and lead and few men who will take their place and lead.  (I see this a lot in the music ministry of churches – where our choirs and orchestras are filled with mostly women, but our praise teams and bands are “cooler” now and include more men – haven’t figured out that one yet).  Women: if you struggle with wanting to lead: pray for the desire to humbly follow your husband’s leadership and pray for him that he will lead humbly and sacrificially.  Men, pray for strength to stand in the position of authority in humility and servanthood that God created you to be in.

5.  Both the Old and New Testaments manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women (Gen 1:26-27, 2:18, Gal 3:28) and affirm the principles of male headship in the family and the covenant community (Genesis 2:18, Eph 5:21-33, 1 Tim 2:11-15).

Some believers only want to take some of God’s Word or take verses out of context.  God saw to it that the the Word was kept for us to read – all of it ordained by Him and kept by Him.  It is perfect.  All of it.  Men and women are equal in that we both stand level at the cross – we are both sinners and in equal need of a Savior.  Men aren’t more worthy of salvation nor do their possess more of God or display God better solely because they are male.

This is the sticky part for some people: God’s entire Word sets up the standards for both the home and church. In God’s Word: it says that men are to be in leadership positions of teaching and authority in our churches not women.  I believe this also goes for worship leading because worship leading is an authority of the Word of God and you are leading and teaching others as you direct the worship of the entire congregation.  Song leading or directing a choir is something different, and then I would lean toward a championing of male leadership by way of example, not by Scriptural authority.  This also has nothing to do with skill level.  I’m sure there are women out there who can teach better than some of the pastors who stand in their pulpits and can sing better/play better than their worship pastors.  Often when sitting in a co-ed SS class I get frustrated because of the depth, or lack thereof, of the teaching.  But my role is not to teach…my role is to submit and learn and pray for growth.

This will be continued tomorrow, affirmations 6-10.  How do you apply these truths to your life, both in the home and church?  What are some ways you see Christians failing to live out these commandments and patterns that God has set up for His children to follow?

Be encouraged.  We need the Gospel daily to live these out.  Rest in Him.  Pursue Him.


Play Your Position – Mark Chanski

posted in: Books, Women | 2

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 SpiritWe 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!


Book 11 of 52: Thriving at College (Alex Chediak)

posted in: Uncategorized | 2

Never judge a book by its by-line.  That’s what I’ve learned.

Dr. Alex Chediak, author and professor at California Baptist University, has written a theological and practical book guiding students to live wisely and biblically during their college years.  This book covers topics like study habits, interpersonal relationship, familial relationships, credit cards, scheduling, grades, and even brown-nosing the favorite professor to improve your grade (or wait, how not to do that).

The introduction and first “common mistake” lays the foundation for everything else.  Chediak introduces students to a term that is the bedrock for everything else they will do at college: worldview.  This is the most important thing a student can take with him when he enters his first dorm
room or first elective class.  Chediak emphasizes how important a biblical worldview is to have: because there will be many opposing views that appear – even at a Christian college.

Alex takes this base and then hits on quite possibly every topic that a college student could ask when entering or maneuvering through their college years.  I like the “real-life” questions that he has brought in from current students so he can put feet to his advice.  Chediak also shares examples from his own time in college, or his wife’s experience during her college years.  He also has discussion questions at the end of each chapter, making this a great book to use a small group (maybe high school seniors’ summer Bible study?).   He lays a foundation for fighting against the culture around students that say its ok not to grow up (mooch off their parents, don’t work during college, move back home when you graduate, pile up
credit card debt, be weak and rely on your parents to fight your battles).

Chediak definitely aims at a particular target audience: the Christian high schooler poised to attend college (probably away from home).  He hits this target.  This book will be valuable to them.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Worldview & Character -> Attitudes & Behaviors -> Habits & Destiny” – pg xxxii

“Intentionality involves taking the time to examine our values so that our relational lives more accurately mirror our deepest priorities.” – pg 63

“Never date someone who doesn’t share your desires to live for God’s glory.” – pg 95 (this is different than just dating a Christian.)

“God’s plan is for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church – in an intentional, sacrificial, initiating fashion.  God’s plan is for wives to nurture and affirm the loving leadership of their husbands, complementing and completing them, so that together they stand far stronger than either of them could separately.” – pg 107 (never too early to teach biblical gender roles!)

Gender Doesn’t Matter

posted in: Women | 1

One of the lines that I have heard recently is Ellen saying “gender doesn’t matter.”  She of course is married to Portia DiRossi and have been touted as the couple for the new millinium.  Not a millinium I want to be a part of.  She may not think that gender matters, but I would like to assure her that it does.

She has no doubt that both her and Portia are female.  They cannot partake in normal sexual relations as God designed sex to be between a husband and a wife.  One wears dresses, one doesn’t.  She sells makeup (as a spokesperson) for a leading makeup company – who sells makeup to clients – mostly who are women.

The latest trend in Hollywood according to CNN is Flexisexuality.   Huh?  (I would advise only watching the video if you are mature enough to handle the topic at hand.)

“You know, its 2011.”.  I know many of the people who I am friends with on facebook are enamored with Grey’s Anatomy.  They support this, many of the stars and songs and movies that are coming out now approach this type of lifestyle with great enthusiasm

Basically, what I hear, is that we don’t want to live within any norms by understanding how God made us, what God made us for, and who God made us to enjoy sexually (our spouses in a lifelong, male/female, God-centered marriage).

I assure you: gender DOES matter.  This video above and what I see happening in our world and what our world portrays as norm grieves me.

1.  God, who is the Creator of the World, designed gender.  He created male.  He created female.  They were both created in the image of God the Creator.  Praise Jesus we are not are men; and praise Jesus we are not all women.

2.  Genders display the beauty of God.  God does everything to display His glory in the world.  Male and female do that.  Marital, faithful, sexual relationships are beautiful (and babies are so darn cute) and just the way He created the complementary physical bodies of males and females are beauty that we need to turn back to praise God, not bring praise to man.

3.  Gender matters in everyday life.  I really think the Bible speaks to this as well.  Throughour Scripture we are told of men working in the fields as providers and women providing a nurturing home environment.  Look at Genesis 2, Prov 31, Ruth, Titus 2.  Lately women ask me or we have a conversation about what it is like being single.  While I love where God has me in life, it is burdensom in ways other than being lonely.  Loneliness is of course something you learn to deal with.  God has created us to be in relationships with others.  I am thankful for the friends that God has placed around me.  But, the other burdensome part of being single is: scraping your own car, paying all the bills yourself, being concerned with your month to month running of the house, worrying about the car, opening the jar of pickles, what happens if something starts leaking.  All these little things.  While taking out the trash is not gender specific by any means – the burden of living life on one’s own…

How will you choose to live in freedom by living according to the restrictions that God gave to us in His Word?

How will you display this in your relationships of the opposite sex?

How will you:

1.  If you are female: adorn the gospel and be distinct from the world?

2.  If you are male: lead lives of humility and servant leadership and masculinity with the strength of Jesus.

For the Gospel –