the christian necessity for men to lead women

men leading women cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

I came across this post, “What Kind of Guy Culture Tells Us To Be and Why Ryan Gosling Isn’t That Great”. He suggests that we are receiving our role-models on how to be a man from the Hangover movies (too fun-loving), from the hit song “Blurred Lines” (too sexually confident), and from Ryan Gosling’s character in “The Notebook” (too passionate).

Personally, if my daughter met a guy like Noah in The Notebook who loved her passionately and stayed with her to the end of her days, I’d be happy.

But not according to Grant Skeldon. He claims a man should passionately pursue Christ first. He reveals his hand when he says:

“If we have a skewed image of what it means to be a man, it affects everything: our family, our friends, our future, our legacy. A man’s ability to lead a woman spiritually is completely dependent on his ability to follow Jesus.”

And there you have it. The best man is the one who has the ability to lead a woman spiritually. But I suggest this is the problem with much Christian practical theology today: it separates serving God from serving the person. It sees these two things as distinct and divided. This ultimately leads to the polarizing prioritization of serving God over serving others. Instead, I believe that all love comes from the same place. There is not one kind of love for God and another for my wife. They are one in the same.

This is what keeps false and destructive notions of male dominance and feminine weakness away from human interaction and healthy relationships.


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  • Kelsey

    I’ve never commented before, but I just want to say: wow. You summed up what I’ve been trying to define FOREVER. Thank you!

  • Thanks Kelsey! Nice to meet a lurker 🙂

  • eddy_from_dayton

    Another stellar cartoon David. Man, just the image of leading a child and a woman on a leash is both startaling and horrifying to me. Real men don’t make their women feel like dogs; real men hold their kids and the women in their lives with love, passion, and humor too. So much for flexiblity.

  • Jake Enns

    A man who can lead a woman spiritually is a good man indeed, because usually it’s women who seem “get it” quicker when it comes to really knowing the love and grace of Father. So, it’s a rare guy who can lead a woman toward that because she already lives at that address.

  • klhayes

    Funny thing about leadership-you don’t get only get the credit when things go well, you have to take the blame when things don’t go well. Men want to be leaders but problems in a marriage are often blamed on a women by many religious leaders-we aren’t pretty enough, we don’t give enough blow jobs blah blah blah.

  • it’s an insane world

  • Translation: If you’re a single woman you’re screwed!

  • Well, not if you’re a good Christian woman who has kept her purity promise.

  • *giggles*

    I just mean that what he says undermines the idea that some people are actually called (if you will) to stay single. It’s like Churchianity puts more emphasis on couples and encouraging coupling than reminding people that it’s okay if someone stays single.

    Or to put it more mathematically: “It’s not good for man to be alone” + “It’s better to marry than burn (with sexual tension/desire)” > “A single person has more time to enjoy the things of God” 😉

  • i totally agree.

  • Jeannine Engle Buntrock

    I’m so grateful that I did not marry a man who actually thought this way. I so easily could have at the time (a decade ago). It would have ended up being a deal breaker.

    I’ve read that the whole idea of hierarchy in the Bible was man-made and used by human kings (think Henry VIII) to justify their despotism. Also that when Jesus said to call no man Father it was because he knew we’d mess it up with our human concept of hierarchy – and, in our minds, impose harsh, top-down characteristics on God based on those exhibited by human fathers.

    David, have you read anything by Baxter Kruger?

  • No I haven’t. Recommendations?

  • Jeannine Engle Buntrock

    And completely agree with your comments about love. I’m so sad to see friends who believe that the love they pour out on their families/children is not enough – not high enough – and that they have to be doing a lot of other “good works” to really rate, count, qualify, whatever.

    I personally believe that the love I have for my children is as inseparable from God as it is from me. This is my season to be a mother and my hands are (more than) happily full. It will not always be so. For now, I am doing enough.

  • I wonder what Mrs. God thinks about all the “man is the head and the boss of women” stuff in the bible? Maybe they were going through a rough spot in their marriage and God was a bit testy when he dictated those passages in Ephesians.

  • Aviatrix

    One thing for sure – this woman has zero interest in a man who isn’t thoroughly passionate about ME. Spent too many years enduring a passionless marriage to a Jesus-first type – the notion that God-obsession somehow results in a healthy marriage through the magic of faith and other assorted pixie dust is a crock of shit. Give me a genuine man with fire for living life fully, and let the cold fish be as heavenly minded as they wish, without expecting a living breathing woman to endure the chill holy wind of frigid “devotion”. (No triggers in this post, oh, none at all…)

  • Brigitte Mueller

    The way I see it, most churched women would die to have a man who is on the same page with her on that.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Totally a deal breaker for me, if my husband wasn’t going to be serious about church.

  • Such excellence in a simple sketch and five paragraphs. This is one of my favorite posts of yours, David.

  • Rebecca Trotter

    I can’t even begin to imagine the sort of delusion required to actually believe that women need men to lead them spiritually. Women have been the backbone of the church from the beginning. Along with raising children and keeping house, spirituality has often been one of the few serious pursuits which women have been allowed and affirmed for. Only someone under a strong ideological delusion could look around and think that women need men to lead them spiritually. The other way around, perhaps. . . .

  • Jeannine Engle Buntrock

    You can download The Parable of the Dancing God for free here: Interview with him here: His book The Secret is also available for free download, but I can’t seem to find it. If you find that you are interested in it, let me know and I can e-mail you my copy.

  • thanks jeannine. i’ll check them out.

  • Caryn LeMur

    I think, in some ways, you are right on that first statement, Brigette. It is really nice to ‘be on the same page’ concerning the necessity of the church institution and the necessity of spiritual independence… or, at least to give the other person room to experience God within (or outside) of the church institution.

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Caryn LeMur

    KL: rofl…. gosh, you have a way with words…. oh myyyyyyy…. I can imagine my institutional church friends at a tea, being told those words, and… all of them choking (because the statement is true….!).
    Love it! Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • klhayes

    LOL! Love you to Caryn!