I can’t remember in which of his books I read this, but C.S. Lewis wrote a couple simple paragraph on marriage that aptly explain the order of creation from a logical perspective. He approaches it with two questions: one, why does one person in marriage have to be greater than the other, and second, why does that person have to be the man? First, if both partners are completely equal in the marriage, then if there is a disagreement, they automatically have to separate. Two, Lewis writes that the man is the head in marriage because he is less prone to emotional impulses. It goes without saying that Lewis probably didn’t intend to mean that men have the right to be tyrants over their wives or that men never get emotional, but his logic would serve us well in our culture.
There was something in the process of writing these posts on woman’s ordination that I did ask myself, am I being too harsh on these people? While I may disagree with their position, I did go into this process arguing strongly out of emotion, and deliberately so. I felt that I had to pick up for the low self-esteem brotherhood, because that’s who I am and that’s who the genderless society hurts. In many matters, they are more disadvantaged than women? But did I take things too far, and in so doing, given my opponents reason to label me a meanie?
But that’s not the reason I did this. I wrote these pieces because I have a perspective, one that is fresh compared to the seventies crap the OWNers regurgitate. I have nothing to loose. One day, I hope that I do met and marry a woman, provide for her, love and care for her, in a way that she knows God loves her as a child of her, and that’s there’s dignity in her being a wife and mother (Okay, the latter’s kind of a maybe). It is through that kind of leadership that I can show the supporters of woman’s ordination that not being the lesser vessel in marriage does have its place, and it is a place of honor. Honor that they sacrifice when they cut their hair short and decide to be pastors.
In closing, I’d like to share an observation from Pastor David Petersen in an Issues, ETC. interview from last year. In discussing the wedding vow and the word “obey” that the bride says, he said that the corresponding word for the man was “comfort”. Comfort. The man comforts the woman. As I have written throughout these posts, there is an essential facet here that I believe the OWNers are missing, and that is the burden men take on in male-female relationships. In marriage, men always bear the innate burden of provision for the women and children, even if neither party acknowledges it. And I can’t explain it, but every time I hear a woman talking about wanting to be a pastor or wanting a certain position in society (Hillary Clinton wanting to be president, for example), I always see entitlement over someone who cares and who wants to make the best decision for others. I’m sure it’s not true in every case, but it is one of those things that makes me stop and wonder.