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.

This post has been brewing in me for months, but I felt that this week would be a good week to pull it out because Rachel Held Evans is holding a link up to her series on mutuality in the church. I think Rachel and I would be friends even if we disagree on some key issues, mostly because as I stated above, many of my good friends are more toward her camp theologically. I’m okay with that, really. I think that the beauty of life on earth is that we’re not finished yet—all of us blind beggars asking for more of God until He unveils the fullness of the new and perfect earth. 

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One response to KNIT ALL TOGETHER

  1. Meg Watkins Ishikawa July 23, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Oh Loree, I don’t know you but I adore you! Love your “Hemmed In” post today. Ah the mystery of our God, His character and His work! Today I just “sat over” a Precepts leadership study in Philippians with “young gals” all averaging about your age. We are just so amazed at our Jesus – what He did by becoming man and now what He chooses to do in each of us. I thought that we bunch of “reformed type Southern Baptist women” would break out in tongues or something just worshipping as we were “in awe.” We live in Okinawa, Japan and the make up of my church is ex-pats from all over BUT the average age of the 800 some adults is around 30! At 58 I am a dinosaur and if it wasn’t for the fact that my nest gets emptier and emptier, I would love it :). Just read this article again on being a complimentarian. Today I just explained to a close Korean sister about WHY I am a complimentarian and why I think there is no other option BUT also why I think this is a secondary issue versus primary or tercerary (do not know how to spell that tricky word but have heard David Platt use it in a Secret Church). Thank you for writing about this and so many other great things. Hope you are adjusted to your new life in Colorado.

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