If you drop in here often at all, you must have picked up that I think my wife Miska is the most stunning, mysterious, rich, earthy, wise, drop-dead gorgeous woman I know. She’s amazing. Really. Recently, a friend of ours emailed both of us about our views of gender roles (the egalitarian/complementarian debate – interesting that conservative evangelicals and catholics are the prime communities where these sorts of debates happen. Strange bedfellows, huh?). Miska’s answer was way better than mine. She is a spiritual director who has a particular love for issues of gender. She’s spent much of her work in the early pages of Genesis, and these questions get her mind and her heart fully engaged. I wanted to share with you some of her response because I found it to be so wise and full of life, so full of Good News:
Itâ€™s a little disheartening to me to look at the mountain of â€œevidenceâ€ each side of the issue has, to know that many, many people have thought through this and not come to any real conclusion that feels satisfactory to me.
But here are my random thoughts when I step away from the dividing lines of the argument: I believe that God created male and female both in His image and that each gender reflects His heart and image uniquely and meaningfully.  Jesusâ€™ response to women in the Gospels was always one that invited women to speak, to act, to be. (A great book on this is The Feminine Soul by Janet Davis.)  Whenever the Church or a church teaches something about women that makes women feel less than or devalued, whatever that church is saying is anti-Gospel.  However, when we as women are asserting ourselves out of a posture of greediness, out of trying to prove ourselves, out of plain and simple rebellionâ€”grasping–this is not the Gospel way either. Among other things, when we live out of this posture, we are getting in the way of who the men in our lives are called to be, and we let them off the hook, so to speak. In other words, we make it easy for them to back down, to avoid (their tendency since the Fall), instead of calling them to move into their worlds with strength and power. I wonder if this is what Paul was talking about when he said the women needed to be silent in the church. . .
Well, I know these are a little jumbled (sorry about that). I guess the bottom line for me is that I donâ€™t think this issue can simply be divided into either complementarian or egalitarian. I wonder if it can be both. . .