I wrote this note to a friend who believes in “biblical gender roles” and thought it might be encouraging and helpful to others.
Every girl, boy, woman, and man bears the image of our Creator. And each person has a unique set of gifts that God wants to use in powerful ways so that the Kingdom will be “on earth as it is in heaven”! Sadly, too often the church fails to empower ALL of God’s warriors because their strengths and gifts don’t fit into the right “gender box”. Like Jesse and Samuel not expecting David, many of God’s anointed are passed over because they don’t fit prescribed expectations.
I know too many men who have been shamed because their gifts didn’t line up on the right list of “manly traits”.
Our typical list of Biblical male role models is horribly lacking. May we give as much honor to the humility of Judah–who confessed his brokenness and let Tamar’s righteousness rescue him from his own demise and lead his family into the blood-line of the Messiah— as we give to David for his courage and bravery in slaying Goliath. Let’s affirm and praise Barak—who served under Deborah and requested her presence in battle—as boldly as the book of Hebrews does in listing him as a great hero of faith.
May we remind men of Joseph, who, with quiet strength and tender faithfulness, did whatever was needed, so God’s calling on Mary could come to fruition. And let’s not forget Jesus, who, rather than choke back the emotion welling up within, wept publicly among women and outcasts. Despite living in a world that demanded Jesus “Man Up!”, he constantly laid down. Jesus refused to submit to the religious and cultural gender roles of the time.
Like Jesus, may we empower God’s Ezer Warriors (girls and women) with as much freedom, power, and authority, as we evidence in our sisters in Scripture. Too many girls and women I know—myself included—are told by “spiritual leaders” to bury our gifts and talents because they are “male traits” and only meant to be used by “male” disciples.
My heart grieves as I wonder; how many modern-day Deborahs have had their spiritual and authoritative leadership stifled? How many Huldahs have had their prophetic voices silenced? How many Ruths have had their strength and boldness smothered? How many Lydias have been told their best purpose is to “stay at home and serve their husband’s calling”, when their savvy business gifting could be used to aid missionaries and plant house churches? And how many Junias are relegated to the periphery when God created them to be on the front lines and praised as outstanding among the apostles?
Yes, I am personally invested in this subject, but my passion goes beyond my individual inequity. I believe that one of the Prince of Darkness’ most subversive strongholds is this notion of “biblical gender roles”. Satan continues to effectively disarm at least half the church, drastically diminishing power and gifting that is intended, not just for the church, but for the entire world.
Too many people are robbed of the fullness for which they were created.
Too many life-giving gifts are laid dormant because we improperly label them male or female. And too many people have their gifts suppressed in the name of “biblical gender roles“. Yet ironically, what we see over and over again in Scripture is that there are no “biblical gender roles”!
May we demolish this stronghold and every pretense that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, so that every image-bearer can shine brightly and make known the love of their Creator! Be who God created you to be! In doing so, not only will you find yourself living life to the fullest. You will get to see first-hand what it means for light to pierce the darkness! Shine brightly dear sisters and brothers!
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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash.