“To lead or not to lead”, is that really the question?
By Bob Edwards
There is a Christian movement today that is calling men to “step up” or “act like men” by being responsibly involved with their families and the church. This would be a good thing except that they equate this involvement with male-only leadership. Their message seems to be that if men are not leading they are not being responsibly involved.
I don’t think that framing male participation in terms of leadership is either necessary or helpful.
Can a man actively share in the responsibility for the well-being of his family without thinking that this means he has authority over his wife? Of course he can.
Can a man courageously serve God in the church without assuming that this means he must exercise authority over women? Of course he can.
“To lead or not to lead”, is that really the important question that Christian men face today? No, I don’t think it is. The gospel calls upon all Christians – male and female – to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. Jesus explained that in following these two commands, we fulfill the entirety of God’s law.
“To love, or not to love”, I believe that is the important question facing all Christians today, men included.
Bob Edwards (MSW) is a counsellor, social worker and the author of “Let My People Go: A Call to End the Oppression of Women in the Church” and “A God I’d Like to Meet: Separating the Love of God from Harmful Traditional Beliefs”. Both books are available on Amazon here. Bob is also a contributor to The Junia Project.
Articles on Masculinity and Leadership
Paul’s Masculine and Feminine Leadership
Protecting the Weaker Sex
Leading Together in the Home
Role or Rank?
Kephalē and “Male Headship” in Paul’s Letters
“Biblical Manhood” that Overlooks and Ignores Women