Thursday, July 31, 2014

Strength... or maybe Dignity


"Strength and dignity are her clothing."

It's a dichotomy seen in both our perception of male and of female roles: there are two kinds of men, the macho and the gentleman, and never the twain shall meet; there are two kinds of women, the manly superwoman and the gentle and quiet "priestess of the house."

Yet Scripture puts strength and dignity together. Adventure racing, antarctic journeys, and getting lost in the woods on purpose with nothing but a pocketknife and dental floss may not be everyone's cup of tea, nor is it less Spiritual for a man or a woman to be passionate about things other than mud and blood and sweat. But every Christian is called to be ready to do hard things for the Kingdom of God. 

I might step on some toes, here, but I think we in modern America have classified some things in the category of "rugged manliness" that should not at all be male-only qualities.

It seems a normal, standing joke that guys may like going camping out in the woods without running water, but that to ask a lady to do that is laughable.

Sacagawea, the women of the Mayflower, the brides who went west, and missionary wives like Elisabeth Elliot might have something to say about that.

Civilization is a wonderful thing, but sterility is not. If a broken air-conditioner or a cold shower is a heavy trial, how will we be prepared to take on greater refinements dealt by the Hand of God and consider it joy?


Elanee said...

What a great perspective. Thank. You for the encouragement. After this post, maybe I wouldn't be that bad off on a fishing trip to Alaska:)

Anonymous said...

So right you are! :-)

Corrie said...

I agree. We women oughtn't use our gender as an excuse for cowardice, laziness, or timidity. I appreciate your dislike of those "standing jokes." We get so busy making jokes out of one another instead of affirming whom God has made us to be. I want respect, and men do too.

Concerning gender stereotypes, the same goes for men. A man is not less masculine because he would rather cook a goose than hunt it. Maybe he would rather dance than do burpees. Our ideas of gender roles are too often formed by long-standing and unfortunate tradition than what is truly Biblical.

We too often mark certain actives as "Girls only" or "Boys only." The Bible is more inclusive, I believe; Jesus invited Martha to leave the kitchen and study theology with the men. Both genders are free to pursue their interests, regardless of societal stereotypes, stereotypes which can, by the way, leave the door open for all the gender confusion exploding across America. "I'm a girl, and I like to wear pants and climb trees more than paint my toenails; therefore, I am a boy at heart." Course you're not, girlie. You're a girl with her own set of interests. (Saw an article about such a girl.)

Kelsianne said...

This goes perfectly with what the Botkin ladies spoke about in their recently posted talk. It's amazing that the perverted perception of a woman, stuck at home doing nothing more than sewing quilts and cooking pies, is so widely accepted in Christian circles. However, there was a time when my perception was not too different... But it is SO much more than this! A young lady's role is not passive and shy; it is a raging battle to be active in the world. An endurance in learning and an example by doing. The world is watching and by the grace of God, we will be a light of holiness, strength, and purity in the eyes of a confused and hurting generation.

Okay, I'm done now. :-) Great post, Gabriel.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Kelsianne, I can't deny that said talks had significant influence on the thought processes which led to this post. :-D

Corrie, thanks for stopping by! I think we do need to be careful to both reject unBiblical societal stereotypes which bind people and to uphold gender roles which have either sprung explicitly from Scripture or have developed from Scriptural principles. For example, Scripture doesn't command men to open the door for women, but that is a cultural outplay of a very Biblical principle, and I think we should uphold that.