Ha ha, the title of my blog entry today might automatically cause some responses and put people on the defence immediately.
This morning at TGIF we discussed singleness, and I mentioned that I believe men should lead relationships. That came with some response and quizzical looks… so I thought it would make a good blog entry.
I think the first thing people think when they hear someone say “Men should lead relationships” is that I’m saying “Women can’t lead, and shouldn’t lead anything.” But I’m not saying that : I’m saying that, when it comes to relationships, men ought to take up the responsibility of leading that relationship.
I’m not specifically referring to marriages, either. I mean, every relationship involving a man and a woman should be ‘led’ by the man. This doesn’t mean
a) the woman can’t disagree with the man
b) women have to submit to every man in their lives
c) women can’t lead anything.
In fact, what I’m saying is that it is the man’s responsibility to lead a relationship correctly, but if he is not leading that relationship (ie, he is trying to get the woman to sin, go against God’s word, do something ungodly, get into a relationship she doesn’t want to etc.) then of course she ought not to submit to that. It’s the same in a marriage anyway – submission doesn’t mean blindly following someone just because he is a man. He has to earn that kind of respect. LEADERSHIP is not MANAGING, or being the BOSS, or RULING, or DEMANDING or anything like that. The true kind of leadership, as we see in the example of Jesus, is servant leadership — and therefore, I’m saying, men should lead women this way (with servant heartedness) and it is his responsibility to do so.
Now, I am also not saying that women can’t lead or shouldn’t lead. I do, in the context of church eldership, say that a woman should not be on eldership as a single. If she is married, of course she is on eldership. But I think it’s pretty obvious that there are places where women can lead where men absolutely CAN’T, and these are the places where we desperately need women to be. There’s nothing wrong with a woman on an Apostolic team, a Missional team, or the like. They are able to do significantly more on mission / outreach trips that men can’t. I do see men’s responsibility is to govern certain things as well (such as eldership) — which is a servant leader function — but I also see women with a huge ability to run business, organise and run missions / outreaches, and even to preach or teach. So I don’t have an issue with women teaching or preaching – I encourage it. It’s just an issue of governance, which I think is a man’s responsibility.
Anyone, I think, who thinks saying men’s function is to govern and this places women below men has put ‘governance’ on a pedastal where it doesn’t belong. Governance has nothing to do with position, or status. It has everything to do with FUNCTION. We perform different FUNCTIONS, which are equal to each other but wholly different in many ways. Men have a remarkable ability to be practical, sometimes in a way that is frustrating to women because we don’t take feelings into account. This is how, I think, God wired men, so they can lead and take care of the basic practical things. Any woman who takes offense to that, I think, has not properly looked at how amazing SHE is wired and the unbelievable ability she has to see the hidden things, understand the deeper meanings, and help men in their governance to remember that people have feelings too! She has not realised how amazing women actually are, how amazing she is, and how much more she could do by embracing her god-given talents, beauty and womenly nature. Practical does not mean better, it simply means practical. Governance does not mean lording or bossing, it simply means putting practicalities into practise. And when it comes to relationships, specifically, men’s function is to lead. When it comes to many, many, many other things (of which I think both men and women have not bothered to explore the possibilities) women CAN and SHOULD lead. There are trillions of things I can’t do because I’m not a woman – I admit that women are far superior in many different activities and I gladly give them those activities and leadership roles. I’m not into making it a man’s world, i’m simply trying to let women be women (and enjoy it) and men be men, and help us enjoy our functions, talents, passions and help us enjoy and appreciate each other, complement each other, and admire the rich diversity, differences and colour of what God created us to be.
I’m glad I’m not a woman – not because being a man is so much better – but because I get to admire and appreciate women in ways that they probably don’t. I also get to admire one particular, special, most beautiful lady too. That, for me, is something I wouldn’t like to trade. For me, this is one of the bonuses of being a man– this, and also because I don’t have to endure childbirth… hehehe
About Ryan Peter
Ryan Peter is a writer, journalist and ghostwriter from Johannesburg, South Africa. He writes fantasy, sci-fi, inspirational fiction, and on faith. Ryan is also part of the New Covenant Ministries International (NCMI) translocal team.