Outgrowing Gender Differences

Miz Shelby had not been home in nearly a year. Not since Christmas last, when that awful phone call about grandmama dying interrupted the gift-giving.

So she came home this weekend. Miz Shelby and her momma got facials, did a little shopping, made Rice Krispy treats and generally hung out, talking girl things.

On Sunday, after a breakfast of bacon and omelets, Miz Shelby and her momma went to church. Miz Shelby had never been to this particular church before.

Miz Shelby goes to one of those churches that meets in a cavernous auditorium.

Her momma goes to a church where the timbers form an A-frame roof over the Cross.

Miz Shelby goes to a church where most everyone in attendance is under 50.

Her momma goes to a church where nearly everyone is over 50.

Mis Shelby goes to a church that employs those expensive high tech audio and lighting systems.

Her momma goes to a church where they pass around the hand-held microphones.

Miz Shelby goes to a church where the pastor is seen best on a big screen tron.

Her momma goes to a church where the pastor sits on the altar for Little Disciple chats.

Miz Shelby goes to a church where people talk a lot about fairness and treating people equitably.

Her momma goes to a church where congregants openly confess the ways in which they fail to treat people equitably.

Miz Shelby goes to a church where they talk a lot about the complexities of prayer.

Her momma goes to a church where they pass around the microphone for prayer requests.

Miz Shelby goes to a church where women are not considered equipped to serve as pastors or elders.

Her momma goes to a church where women are invited to serve in whatever capacity they are willing to serve, be it pastor or elder.

Miz Shelby goes to a church where young men lead worship and young women teach preschoolers.

Her momma goes to a church where ladies with silver curls take up the offering and speak openly before God and man.

Odd, isn’t it, that this church is really the more progressive one? her momma noted.

Miz Shelby nodded.

Us old people get blamed all the time for the gender inequalities, her momma said. But in many ways, you young people practice it more than we do.

Miz Shelby winced knowingly. It’s true, she said.

Maybe when people get to a certain age, they don’t care so much about all that anymore, her momma said. Maybe people outgrow gender inequalities. Maybe they are simply content to minister alongside each other instead of bickering about power and position.

Maybe so, Miz Shelby agreed.

Life is funny, isn’t it? her momma said.

Yep, sure is, Miz Shelby agreed.

 

 

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • pastordt

    Interesting insight, Karen. I have been blown away by the ubiquitous nature of the more complementarian view out here in cyberspace. It’s not something I see where I live and worship, nor has it been for over 35 years. Makes me wonder sometimes, it truly does.

  • ric

    Is the goal merely to be “more progressive”? I thought perhaps it was to be more faithful? And what an unfair characterization to paint every complementarion as holding that view merely for “power and position”. If this is the kind of judgmentalism that comes from “more progressive” churches then u can keep them, I’m not interested.


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