Hello, it's Paul again.
Thanks for inviting me back on the stage. Since my last visit I've gotten lots of letters about how we should treat women in the church and in Christian families. The questions all have the flavor of finding the boundary or limit on womens' roles, authority and rights. Questions like, "What kind of leadership positions should we let women have in the church?", and "How do women and men share the authority in family decision-making?"
So, I guess I was a bit too brief last time. I said it already, but I can answer these questions in more detail.
Look, these types of questions, if men ask them, makes us men look like bullies on the playground. "Do we have to let her play?". "AAAaaah, no, do we have to let the girls have a turn?" Radical freedom means that we erase the glass ceiling and get this thing right! As we know by now, men don't have any special powers, extra intelligence, stronger leadership potential, or closer relationship with God than women. They are physiologically different, and emotionally different, in ways that can be explored and described in countless science studies, but these differences are now recognized as valuable for women to have when leading along-side men. We'll have to be deliberate, much like affirmative action, to bring up the numbers of women in leadership. We'll have to overcompensate a bit in welcoming them to the upper ranks and important jobs, to help make up the existing gap.
I've been to lots of churches, and though I know there are some out there, I've never been to one where the women were in charge, equally with the men. Men, it's time to let the women have the important jobs, too. Make every effort to extend the offer of equality and radical freedom. Quit being the bullies on the playground!
And in families!?!? Do the same. Christian women that I've met are unsure of their place in the family. Society asks so much, but rewards so little! The church just adds more expectations on top of this and pushes women to get less respect and recognition for it, so that they can give the honor to their husbands. Christians, I have to tell you this: this makes unhealthy marriages! Today we understand honor to mean liberty and respect. Democracy in decision making. Each bringing to the relationship and the home our best talents to make it the best possible environment for the marriage to succeed and kids to grow up in. Husbands, don't be bullies unless you want your marriage to be fragile shell of what it should be! Don't treat your wife like your dog or like that older kid treated you on the playground!
Okay hope that's clear. If not I'll use a bull-horn next time! Have a good one! Honor those women!