‘He’s Just Not a Spiritual Leader,’ and Other Christian Dating Myths was posted a few months ago on Christianity Today but I just came across it.
I find Christianity Today a mixed bag and am not sure if they are egalitarian (equal-no buts) or if they are complementarian (equal-but). This post was from her*meneutics, and it does not fit my definition of egalitarian.
The post says:
“It wasn’t the first time I’d heard the complaint: “He’s not a spiritual leader.” It seems that initiating prayer, Bible study, and other similar devotional activities is a litmus test for male spiritual leadership in some branches of the American church. And the common complaint by women on our campus is that men are failing in spiritual leadership; they aren’t passing the litmus test. They aren’t initiating.”
That is what I find really strange. The scriptures do not say that men are to lead out in Bible study, prayer, or devotionals. In fact, the very idea men are to be the spiritual leaders of their girlfriends, and ultimately, their wives, is Male Headship.
And you all know what I think of male headship.
So the question is not “is he exhibiting leadership qualities,” but “why should he be the one who has to demonstrate leadership qualities?”
Or, to be realistic, “My Goodness, girlfriend! You show me the scripture which tells you that you need a spiritual leader. Can’t you pick up the Bible yourself and read? Can’t you lead out in prayer? You are in college, for Pete’s sake! You have more learning than any woman in 1 or 2 Timothy ever had. You’ve had more Bible study than any woman in the whole Bible ever had. Use it! God gave you a full set of brains! Use them!”
The post goes on to say,
“Further, those of us who are married ought to examine what litmus tests we are using when deciding whether or not our husbands are leading. Our husbands’ leadership styles/gifts and our own may be different. If we give thanks for and honor the gifts and fruits of the Spirit we observe in our husbands, we just might see they are more like Jesus than we imagined.”
Men, I have good news for you. You do not have to lead your wife. Women, I have good news for you. This is the 21st century. You can lead your family. For those of you who doubt this, look to 1 Peter 3:1 and also 1 Corinthians 7:16.
If you want to tell women that they, too, can lead their husbands and their family to faith, will you speak out with me for women’s equality?