As a Southern Baptist pastor, my views and my theology in large part reflect the tribe I belong to. I am conservative, I hold a high view on reading God’s original intent in Scripture and, and I preach messages expositorily (verse by verse) from the Bible. This includes my belief that men and women are created equally in the sight of God, yet complementary in the way that they live. I believe in traditional roles between men and women.
For those of you who know me, this should not come as a surprise. I was raised in a conservative Christian home. I was taught the word of God, saw it modeled by a mom who chose me over a vocation and a dad who modeled scriptural leadership.
When I became a dad to two beautiful girls, the idea of family roles was challenged. I’ll shoot straight— my wife is far smarter than me. Not by a little but by a lot. I have a daughter that will be smarter than both of us combined and another whose charismatic joy will open doors for her that I will never be able to touch.
I am challenged when I look to my girls and think that the job I have is one our faith says they can’t have. To tell you the truth, with the brains and charisma of my kids, I might be disheartened if one day they came home to tell me that they are going to “waste” their gifts to be “just” stay at home moms. It is a struggle I see my wife walk through when she is asked what she does and says, “I’m just a stay at home mom.”
This week as I studied for my coming sermon, I looked at the story of Leah and Rachel. In the story, both Leah and Rachel believe the lie that they only matter if they can produce children for their husband. The story of their lives is one of emptiness and heartache as they never measure up to find worth in their husband’s eyes. They never find value in their husband’s eyes nor their own. Their only value is in what they can produce.
Isn’t this the lie that a fallen and broken world has placed on women? It tells them that their value is only found in what is measurable. It says that your value is determined by your job. It says your value is determined by how you look or what a scale says. It says your value is found only when you can do what men do. Sadly this way of thinking does not give women value, but instead actually devalues them. It says that you only have value if you work, if you’re pretty, or if you act like a man.
What Leah and Rachel missed is that their value was not ever found in what they produced. Their value was found in who God said they were. Their value was in embracing the distinct characteristic God gave them to magnify His likeness.
God has created men and women both to display who He is distinctly through our masculinity and femininity. This means God calls men, the way He makes them, to some things, just as He calls women to others. Our value is not found in what we do.
I pray that my children would not be trapped in the delusion that they are only valuable if they are pretty. I hope they find more to life than what a job offers. I hope they find their life in God.
God gave me a gift when he sent me my wife. What attracted me to her was not her looks or her intellect. What attracted me to my wife was her godliness. Since being married, she has given me a gift of magnifying God through being a pastor’s wife, a stay at home mom, and a ministry helpmate. In this, she has embraced a calling from God to use her gifts, not to make a name for herself but instead to magnify the name of God to our kids and those she touches.
I will gladly say that God created men and women differently because their value does not rest in what they do, but instead in the fact that God Himself values them distinctly.
By the way, I would be exceedingly glad if my girls grew up to be stay at home moms, pastor’s wives, or even missionary wives.