This is not a hill I want to die on.
This is not the issue I want to define Who I am or What I stand for.
Nevertheless, every once in a while, I find I myself on this hill again. It's never been one I go looking to take; it gets brought to me.
An endless series of mini-lectures which blames women for problems in the church, problems in culture, problems in marriage. A view so convinced of the evil of the female gender specifically that whether a person really believes the Bible is judged by his views of women's issues. (I guess I always thought the litmus test would be whether he believes the gospel...)
Shoot, if I gave the opportunity, (which I do not, as I try to get out of, rather than into these conversations) I'd probably even hear about how Eve was the problem in Eden.
As if Jesus was called the Second Eve rather than the Second Adam.
But I don't want to go there.
Adam is not my target.
Men are not my target.
I don't want to be a female chauvinist any more than I want to men to be misogynists.
No, I do not want to die on this hill.
Problem is, I do die on this hill.
From friendly fire.
For weeks, I'm a wreck, detoxing and praying and forgiving and fighting the imbalance that would pull me into the other ditch.
As if I don't equally despise that ditch.
When a conference on fatherhood came to our region on the heels of yet another round of friendly fire, I admit I was a little jittery. This looked a lot like that hill again. But I know Brett. I know his heart. I know his grounding in the scripture. I know he's not going to get sucked in by troglodytes posing as patriarchs. Bottom line: I trust him.
When he got home three days later, it was clear that he had been challenged and affirmed and was re-committed to leading his family. "You would have liked this," he said. I waited. I didn't want to contradict, but I was doubtful.
And here's what he heard:
He heard one keynote say that men must learn to live with their wives in an understanding way.
(And this washes over me like a cooling rain. So long, Created to Be His Doormat.)
He heard one panelist say of raising daughters, "They need to be smart; they need to be educated. They could be raising our next president."
(You mean...not just a uterus with a broom? Again. A cup of cold water.)
Brett's still talking about what he heard.
So is our thirteen year old, whom he took along.
Stories that deeply impacted them.
Teaching that challenged them.
Maybe someday I won't ever have to die on that hill again.
Maybe someday the fire will stop, and this war on womanhood, this war I did not ask for.
Maybe someday I will never have to run for cover or detox,
Or write about this or talk about this again.
Or maybe that's Heaven.
To you men who embrace manhood without declaring war on womanhood,
To you men who know that we're with you, not against you,
That we're your partners in the chief end of man, not your enemies,
That we want you to be successful in your call to manhood, that we're cheering for you...
To you men who recognize that we are pursuing godly womanhood, too,
That we, by God's grace, have the capacity to be submissive rather than subversive...
To you men, whose manhood is built on scripture, rather than on our subjugation,
On dominion, rather than domination,
Who are trying to fix what broke in Eden...
To you men who have the courage to teach what is right and righteous about gender roles...
To you men who are so solid that my husband was able to affirm what you said--rather than correct it--to my 13 year old...
From one woman who is weary of being a casualty on this hill,
You are restoring my faith.