By Cindy Koch –
A strong and wise man is a treasure to find in this world. You gently lead and boldly guide others along the unclear paths upon which we may find ourselves wandering. When a gracious man is in charge, one is happy to follow and trust his judgement. You men are incredible gifts from God who relay our heavenly Father’s love and His protection.
Not even a century ago, you took pride in this honorable position. In my own beloved LC-MS it was rumored that the men were there to take care of the women; providing for their family, not just monetarily, but as the head of the household and representative at church. This goodly ordered relationship was even encouraged by St. Paul in several New Testament letters.
But, our cultural climate changed. A war separated men from their families. Women began to learn how to fend for themselves while their husbands were overseas. Liberated by necessity, the dawn of woman’s suffrage permeated the country. We work, we sweat, we learn, we will even run for president. Gone are the days of men’s clubs in the community. Women found their way out of the kitchen.
Were you tired of fighting? The war on family felt the first blast when you walked back into our off-center home. We missed you while you were away, but women found this new and exciting voice in the world. How could you have had the energy to pick up arms against your women?
But men, you let us go even a step further. As society changed, most churches followed suit. Even if our confession held that women should not be pastors, you nonetheless let us wander deeper into the dark wasteland. It began gently enough as letting us have a vote in our little church meetings, to gender-neutralizing job descriptions in the church; but now you are blindly encouraging girls to become anything but a woman.
Our Creator gave us a simple and beautiful description of the female task – help. When he created our gender, our kind, we were given gifts and abilities even apparent in our created bodies! As the dolphin was created to swim, and the bird was created to fly, women were created to help and bear children.
Like any sinful creature, we rebelled against our Creator. We told Him over and over that His plan was not good enough for us. We really should be free from this oppression called “feminine”. We really should get to decide for ourselves what a woman “should be”. Instead of pregnant teenage Mary or a prayer-filled Christ, we said “MY will be done.”
Yes, we asked for it, and our men let us eat the apple. We shouted for freedom and you let us have it. We showed you it was good and desirable. You bit. And so, God freed us from the protection and care of you, our men.
For a church that once stood on the blessings of vocation, you have certainly spat that out in the face of your women. The girl who grows up sitting in your pews look up to the strong man in front preaching her the gospel. She learns from her father who cares for his family as she grows. But now, thrust out into the tumult of the world she is a little confused – women should what? They are who? Turning to her safe beloved church, it answers: well… you can be a deaconess?
Why have you forsaken your women?