Gender roles, a highly disputed topic in our modern society as well as in Christianity specifically. Some say that women should be subject to men. Some say that is an antiquated notion and both genders are equal. Some cultures even say that the women are the superior ones. It seems to be all culturally relative and that gender roles are decided by the society. I can’t argue that. I know that gender roles are determined mostly by society. There are some biological explanations; women have a tendency to be more stereotypically feminine and men vice versa.
I used to think as a Christian that men are the leaders; they are the spiritual leaders and the household leaders. Women love and obey their husbands and the husbands love and lead their wives. I’d never heard of a female pastor, except for in the children’s ministry because women obviously are supposed to take care of kids. So, what happens when as a modern western woman I’m told that men and women are equal? Woman can do whatever men can do. Including opening jars and catsup bottles.
I’m conflicted on the subject, to be sure. I want to think, well, I can do anything. I could be a pastor if I wanted to. But doesn’t the Bible say that men should be the leaders of the church? Well why? I don’t understand. Why are men the leaders? Why can’t I be a pastor? So for no logical reason except that it’s what the Bible say, I believe that the main pastoral role should go to a man. I have no qualms about a woman being a youth minister or music leader. I do think that men should be the spiritual leader in the family. They’re the protectors, right? I mean sure, the modern woman can take care of herself and doesn’t need any men to protect her. But honestly? I might be able to protect myself but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want my husband someday to be the one to look out for our family and be the protector. That’s the kind of father a little girl or boy wants, right? Daddy to scare away the monsters?
I may not be sure about why gender roles are the way they are. I don’t know why we’ve only had male presidents; I don’t know why pastors should be male. That’s just the way it is and it would seem wrong to go against that. Not to mention, I think that the genders have a responsibility to teach their kids manners, responsibility, honoring one another and other such things that come with being ladies and gentlemen. I think that a man’s role is to be chivalrous, to show honor and respect to women. I also think that women should be able to gracefully accept the gentleman’s manners, the door held open or the helping hand extended. I suppose that’s also based on societal standards, so maybe at the heart of it all we are equal. But I also think God had a purpose in assigning certain roles to each gender and I just don’t understand why yet.
More sources for the curious mind: