Don't get me wrong, women were still leading children's ministry at the church I mentioned above and let me be clear, a leader in any field especially one that has to deal with parent's of children is a BOSS. My intention is not to diminish the work, but no matter how you spin it, women leading in areas involving the infant to elementary school ages is fulfilling a gender stereotype I no longer support. Just once I would like to see a man in charge of Children's ministry.
While I was going to this church I met a new attendee like me but when I saw her the next week after the service she said she wasn't going to be able to attend it anymore because she hadn't known they allowed women to preach there. I felt surprised but I really shouldn't have been, this belief was one I had heard all my life. For example, I had grown up hearing that a woman shouldn't be president because women were too emotional to lead (direct. freaking. quote.) I grew up where church was no exception: women are not welcome in anything but "support" roles. What. the. crap????? I don't deny that the Bible talks about women being helpmates and being submissive, but it also talks several times about men and women being submissive to one another, yet that isn't explored let alone mentioned at all.
In a nice turn of events, I'm happy to report the pastor at my current church did mention this verse. Progress. Back in Bible days, women were property, which was awesome if you were a man. I don't blame the patriarchy for being threatened by women - our aim to be treated equally means to them that power is being taken away and 'dem boys can't handle it. Loss of power is scary and a lot of men's ego's can't handle it. The Church needs to do better in addressing context of "submission" and "being silent" because plenty of those boys who think they know what those scriptures mean are using those scriptures to further their own selfish agenda. These men need to hear on a frequent basis from men in leadership what those verses really mean and how, if any way, these versus are relevant in a culture where women's roles have changed drastically in our time. I don't think the cultural norm from back then makes sense for our culture today. If, for arguments sake women's roles are truly only to be wives and mothers then women should still be living in their father's homes until they find a husband. It means father's should be paying for their bills and preventing them from getting an education. If you're a man and you think a woman's role is to be a certain position then you need to embrace all of it not just the parts you like because they benefit you.
Don't misunderstand me, I have zero desire for myself or any woman to be subject to her father's control over her life. The fact is, very few men are reflecting the loving examples of Christ like Christ loved the Church and a lot of fathers aren't even around. The ones who are, have no wish to financially support their daughters (to the extreme of the Biblical days), quite simply they want to have their cake and eat it too - but the fact remains you can't say one and leave the other. We live in a different culture whether we like it or not. And you can't have it both ways. You can't say women should be submissive to their husbands, not prepare your daughters for life without husband's and then not do the other things dad's did back then.
This whole mindset disgusts me. I want no part of the lie that women need to belong to men to be fulfilled or that women's opinions don't matter. I'm really wrestling through this because this mindset still exists in our churches. How do I keep going if my worth as a woman is dependent on my marital status or motherhood status? Let's pretend that it's all true, that a woman's only purpose in life is to be a mom and a wife - where does that leave me? Am I of no use to the world? Is there something wrong with me because I have no husband and children? Nope - I'm not going to believe this for one second. The patriarchy needs to be more involved and vocal in supporting women to become the leaders they already are and women in the church need to say, "Enough." But are the ones in power able to hear it when the Bible we read says for women to be silent?