Second Rate

A sharp, wavering intake of breath as I stumble across a blog post about the role of women in the church.  I barely dare to read on for fear of hearing someone say that, yes – God does think I’m second rate.  That He’s made me the way I am just as a cruel joke: to hurt me, to frustrate me, to play with me, to trample me into submission and teach me – by hook or by crook – a lesson about humility.

All around the issue I see inconsistencies and ignorance (“I’ve never really thought about it, but my dad says this…”), inverted pride and nonchalance (“It doesn’t really affect me…”), tradition and stubbornness.  I live in fear of judgement, exclusion and hurt; I live in fear of being labelled too independent, disobedient to God, a feminist

But mostly I live in fear of finding out they’re right.

I once tried to share with a male friend just exactly how much heartbreak these thoughts inflict only to be told that I “think too deeply about things”.  My attempt was obviously horrificly inadequate. 

Even my book of Big Words cannot help me.

A degree of comfort is found in the fact that there is at least one of my male contemporaries who is willing to give more than a passing thought to these things. 

I hope its not as lonely a journey for him.


Filed under church, fear, heart, questions, women

14 responses to “Second Rate

  1. Thanks for this. It does me good to hear it.

    Can I recommend a book? Not sure if I can put a link here, but it’s called “Discovering Biblical Equality” and it’s published by Apollos. It takes a bit of time and hard thinking, and I know you’ll plead that you don’t do heavy theology. But I actually think it will do your heart good, because those who put women in 2nd place often claim that they have Scripture and Tradition and History and Truth and God on their side…

    For years I didn’t give the topic much attention, because it didn’t affect me as directly as it affects you. But I’ve repented of my arrogant ignorance and this book helped me cross the line…


  2. Good post about a vital topic. Don’t let God’s gifts to you go awry or His call to you unanswered because you may appear to be surrounded by idiots.

    Sorry, I mean misogynists.

    Sorry, wrong word, I meant Biblically illiterate.

    Damn it! Wrong again. What I mean to say is don’t let God’s gifts to you or any call He might place on your life go unheeded because there are some people who confuse culture with Christianity. The Spirit gifts graciously and by definition that means the Spirit gifts without prejudice.

    I can only endorse Jaybercrow’s advice- that book is a masterpiece. I also recommend for a lighter read, Lynn Hybels’ “Nice Girls Don’t Change The World”, which certainly isn’t heavy theology.

    Alternatively, when it gets you down, I always find the Gospels to be the grandest and most grounded polemic for the equality of man and woman ever written.

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  11. Wow, your thoughts are as if taken out of my head! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one trembling in the midst of this journey. I too can recommend DBE – I’m blogging about it at the moment. I found your blog through Stackhouse’s article – how fortuitous to find and hear from others on the journey!


  12. Hi again, I just reread this post a realised you weren’t writing directly in response to Stackhouse, but over three years ago! That’s the wonder of being online – those words are there to encourage others long after you wrote them. I hope the journey has become less lonely for you, and filled with God’s grace and affirmation of your uniqueness in him!

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