He said I was too submissive and she said I wasn’t submissive enough.
What is a girl to do with a heart like mine, whose depths are filled with big ideas and fragile sensitivity? Everything natural in me fears and succumbs, because it is what my flesh does—it is only flesh, see? But when the cream rises to the top (and sometimes when the dregs do too) it all tastes of leadership because I have been knit of strength and foresight.
And I ask myself, why have I been knit together like this? Why so strong, so capable on top? But underneath, why so timid, so fearful?
“You knit me together in my innermost parts.”
I ask Him often: what does it mean to be knit?
You know me. You made me. You put each gift inside of me and you are not unaware of my fears or tendencies. Each part of me knit to bring You glory. Each part there to draw me more deeply toward You. So what does it mean that you have knit me into a conundrum?
I have found a place of rest among a people who embrace a complementarian theology, but I also find a place of influence and friendship too, among those who embrace egalitarianism—and, oh how I feel this tension among people I love. I know where I land and I land there joyfully, happily, but I only land there because, hear me, because I have been knit here.
If we talk of experience only, I would tell you that every relationship (familial, church, or romantic) in which I’ve been where there was egalitarian leanings has been abrasive to me. I would tell you that I have never experienced the abrasiveness that others talk about in places where the roles of men and women are defined in complementarian terms—in fact, my specific gifts and leadership have been more widely used in these places. But this is my experience alone and I cannot share it with you more than to simply say it.
Here is what I want to say today, though: I want to say that though theology is the way we see God, my theology on gender roles is never the lens through which I see God, but instead I ask, I plead, I beg the giver of all good gifts to show me theology through His character alone.
This means that when I look into my experiences, my church, my theology, my personality, my flesh, my past, and my future, I cannot see it without first seeing that He is a good, good God, who creates good, good things, and intends them for good, good measures, and I can trust that regardless of the terms we paste upon our ways, His way is always best.
Not culture’s way.
Not a reactive way.
Not an abusive way.
Not an abdicating way.
Not a domineering way.
Not any way that takes my eyes off of Him and onto an issue.
He is better.
So this isn’t an issue for me. I rarely think about the roles of men and women, egalitarianism or complementarianism. I never feel undermined or afraid of speaking up at church, at work, or among friends. I feel heard in every avenue of my life because more than anything I know I am heard by the God of the universe.
That’s enough for me. He knows me best anyway, He knit me that way.