Christian Women and the Curse and Their Curse-Ravaged Homes …. Oh My

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Women, when you wake up in the morning, are you ready to take on your curse-ravaged homes?

by Kathi

Adam & Eve

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To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.

Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”  

Genesis 3:16

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But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.  

1 Timothy 2:15

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Kim Ransleben wrote an article for Desiring God blog (John Piper’s baby) entitled,  “When Women Face Their Cursed-Ravaged Homes”. The article makes me question which is cursed-ravaged, the home or the woman’s body as an “earthly home?” By using 1 Timothy 2:15 as the key verse for the post, I would have gone with the latter explanation for the article. But then in reading on, the meaning was lost on me and all was blurry. Here is the gist of the article:

1. Relationships (spouse, children and friendships) are painful.

2. Women grow weary and seek escape outside the home.

3. By reading stories of women in the Bible, we can gain strength to keep on going.

4. The Gospel turns us back to our homes.

I’m still confused. Who, or what, is exactly cursed? How exactly does “the Gospel” turn us back to our homes?

The author mentions the curse placed upon Eve in Genesis 3:

Paul knew that in mentioning Adam, Eve, and childbearing in the context of this verse, he would call to mind that very real curse from Genesis 3. Yet here he isn’t condemning us by that curse, but is telling us that the very area of the woman’s curse is now one of the most powerful tools in our sanctification.

Here I assume she is talking about woman, as a person, being cursed; the specific curse placed on woman. However, at the end of the article she says,

As we embrace our calling to face our curse-ravaged homes with hope, we will find ourselves overflowing that same faith and love for a world desperately in need of it.

Now I’m wondering if  she is talking about the home-life being cursed due to dealing with difficult relationships and women wanting more in life.

“Being a life-giver and a most suitable helper is wearying work.” Kim Ransleben

When I read the author’s bio, I noticed that she is a curriculum writer and Bible study teacher. Her article, however, gives us no indication that she did any exegetical study on this verse. Simple questions such as, “Who is the audience this author is writing to?” and “What are the cultural issues Timothy is dealing with?” are essential in Bible study. I read it more as “women’s lives are nothing but cursed, so pull yourself up by your bootstraps and quit your whining for something better.”

The final advice that bothers me is:

Turn your heart back to your family, back to childrearing, back to the place of our sanctification.

Family and childrearing is not a woman’s place of sanctification. If that is the case, then there are many women that I know and love who are not sanctified because they either choose to not have children or they are physically unable to. But, I’m sure Piper and his crew would have something to say about that.

Honestly, something didn’t sit right with me when I first read this article, and as I write this, I’m struggling to figure out exactly what bothers me. How does this article sit with you? What are your thoughts?

photo credit: taken by Kathi at Sistine Chapel

122 comments on “Christian Women and the Curse and Their Curse-Ravaged Homes …. Oh My

  1. Kathi, I’m glad you took on this article. It left me angry and confused. With this kind of teaching, is it any wonder we women are less-thans? So, it’s all because of Genesis 3 that we our gender is doomed. I just don’t get the obsession with one passage from scripture in Genesis 3 which decides the rest of our fate. What was the purpose of Jesus coming?

    And secondly, let’s just go ahead and marginalize all the single women out there. Oy!

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Minor quibble:

    “I read it more as “women’s lives are nothing but cursed, so pull yourself up by your bootstraps and quite your whining for something better.” ”

    Shouldn’t it be “…pull yourself up by your bootstraps and QUIT your whining…”?

    At any rate, I agree that this is a disturbing article. I guess my wife isn’t sanctified, since we have chosen not to have children…

    [MOD note: JA did a bad job proofreading. It’s fixed. Thanks!]

    Like

  3. I have recently been provoked to thought by another poster that compares the interpretation of the curse for men and women.

    Men are cursed by having to work hard…by the sweat of your brow. We don’t see them setting aside technology in order to make sure they sweat sufficiently.

    Yet women are asked to embrace their curse and set aside all thoughts of equalness with guys and submit to them due to “your desire will be for your husband to rule over you”. (Yes. I am aware it is not verbatim with the bible.)

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Hum a new song,

    I used to live in the Philippines and we had a maid (most Americans had maids). One day I was driving with my maid in the passenger seat and we drove by a big tree which had men laying beneath taking a siesta. Without any warning, she reached over and honked the horn many times, trying to wake them up and then went on a tirade about how men think they do all the work, but in the Philippines, it is the women who work from sun up to sun down without taking any siestas. She cracked me up. I miss her.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I also wonder just how much, if any, exegesis, went into this unsurprising article. May I suggest some great homework? Wade Burleson at Istoria Ministries has posted some great essays regarding the status of women in the bible, taking into account the cultural context. Among them are: The Woman of Errror; Artemeis and the End of Us; and It Honors God and is Biblical for Women to Teach Men (in which Wade links to an essay by Jon Zens called “Are the Sisters Free to Function?” which addresses 1 Timothy 2:11-15). This is a feast of information for women’s hungering hearts.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Any curse that once existed was broken by JESUS at THE CROSS nowhere else and through no other act.

    Self aggrandizing bunch of horse’s asses disrespecting what Jesus did on the cross and, oh, yeah, half the world’s population as well.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Thanks for the proofreading Random(Former)!

    I don’t know why I was having such a difficult time with this article (besides the fact that I don’t agree with it). It didn’t sit well with me from the title. I thought the article was depressing and the thought of women believing what the author had to say hook, line and sinker leaves me feeling ill.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Additionally,

    My family isn’t a curse to me, rather it is a blessing! Yes, like any other entity on earth, it is subject to the second law of thermodynamics and needs to be actively maintained but, golly guys, do you need to be as sour as you look in your photographs? If you’re going for the Puritan look, you made it!

    Also, Am I the only one that has a hard time looking at Michelangelo’s work to the left without my mind going to the wrong place? Eve thinking, “apple or oral, apple or oral? hmmmmmmm apple or oral?” I guess oral wasn’t the actual forbidden fruit.

    Like

  9. opinemine – now you are making me think of Driscoll! ACK. Kathi, do we have stickers we can put on that image? Haha I remember lots of homeschooling moms would cover up classical art and make them modest by applying stickers or using Sharpies to add clothes – haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. opinemin – Oh My! LOL!

    On an off-track note….I read an amusing article last week by an author who was wondering why classical art renders the male genitalia correctly, but never the female. I wonder if that’s what Barbie was inspired by.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. Her bio says they “have three grown daughters, the oldest of which is aiming at serving long-term in Ukraine.”

    But wait, I thought that home “is our thorny field where the cursed ground is hard, and it seems only thistles grow despite all our weed-pulling. This is precisely why women are distinctly tempted to turn away from their homes to seek out seemingly more fruitful fields.”

    Seems like a clear case of Rules for Thee but Not for Me

    Liked by 2 people

  13. My son is wrapping up his semester in Rome. His weekend excursions have included a visit to Florence where, I believe but it’s 99%, he saw the statue of David. (and the ubercool people being liberated from marble but I digress) after hearing his own account of his foray into culture, I asked him if he knew what was wrong with David’s penis. He didn’t so I told him that the statue was uncircumcised while the actual David, being a good Jewish male, lost his foreskin on day 8.

    Like

  14. Kim Ransleben wrote an article for Desiring God blog (John Piper’s baby) entitled, “When Women Face Their Cursed-Ravaged Homes”. The article makes me question which is cursed-ravaged, the home or the woman’s body as an “earthly home?”

    How about the brain of Kim Ranselben?

    Liked by 3 people

  15. opinemine- Seeing the statue of David was worth my trip to Italy alone! It’s one thing to see pictures of it, another to see the real thing. It was fabulous. The Sistine Chapel, on the other hand, I probably could have gone without seeing. Viewing images online are so much better because the paintings on the ceiling are so hard to see. Plus, in my case, we were herded in the room like cattle with tons of people. It was not a pleasant experience.

    Like

  16. Just read the original article: Goodness, what a depressing view of parenting and marriage! She extols the “virtues” of voluntary lifelong servitude and misery like a self-flagellating mystic. Aside from that is the abuse of the word “sanctification”. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you thinks it means” (Princess Bride).

    The weirdest part to me was how she misinterpreted so many Bible stories about women (it was God’s will that Abraham sleep in adultery with Sarah’s servant??) in order to encourage her readers, showing how those women in the Bible sometimes went beyond the bounds of their culturally-accepted roles, then telling modern women that they don’t need to do those things. “I don’t need to take on their roles to be effective in Christ’s church.” Wait, what?

    Then she says this, “We can work outside the home, write words that are read by thousands…” Now I’m really confused as she segues from this into a bit about fighting for our faith. “We can join the other women of faith who died, not receiving what was promised, because God is still providing something better…” What can be better for a Christian than Christ?

    She certainly deserves a place on Piper’s blog, though. If this article is an accurate portrayal of her other works, she is contradictory and disorganized.

    Liked by 6 people

  17. “How about the brain of Kim Ranselben?”

    The problem with this suggestion is that John Piper seems fond of his own thoughts cloned and occupying the grey matter of host brains instead of providing space for actual original thought that originated somewhere in the universe outside the space between his own ears.

    Like

  18. Loura said, “She certainly deserves a place on Piper’s blog, though. If this article is an accurate portrayal of her other works, she is contradictory and disorganized.”

    Yes, that was the other thing that bugged me about this piece. I really couldn’t make much sense of it, even after several reads. It is not well written. And, for a Bible curriculum writer, that’s pretty bad.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Weird, just weird. I clicked over and read the entire article and there is ZERO biblical support for any of her assertions. She has done the “purpose driven life trick” , state your ideas and then back up with verses that have zip to do with your ideas.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I appreciate some of Piper’s writings cause he admits that he ‘needs the gospel’ unlike the other non-conservative theologians who disrespect scripture….

    If any women has had to bear a disabled child in her womb….. that could be a symptom of ‘the curse’……. some times those disabled children can cause an earlier death to a woman……

    The curse could also be ‘GMO’s in foods and pollutant’s in the air…… things that cause genetic defects in unborn children….

    The curse can be a women working too hard outside the home so she comes back home to her children getting molested by the ‘babysitter’

    Feminism and ‘the curse’ are confusing terms to comprehend in a world where women need to sacrifice a lot of energy out side the home if a deranged husband left her for …..who knows what walks and has legs….

    “the curse’ is just simply a women who grows the habit of ‘scorn’ or ‘bitterness’ or ‘malice’ …..bible says ‘malice towards none’ 1Peter 2:1

    Poor education, religious imperialism and no exposure or respect to scripture…. well that in and of it self leads women to be ‘cursed’

    Like

  21. So, the death and resurrection of Jesus does not apply to Christian married women who are mothers?
    The substitution of Jesus on the cross doesn’t amount to anything for women, it did not un-do the curses mentioned in Genesis? That is what the quotes in the Original Post are implying.

    Regarding this:

    “Being a life-giver [I assume she means being a mother] and a most suitable helper [I assume she means being a wife] is wearying work.”
    –Kim Ransleben
    [and]
    Turn your heart back to your family, back to childrearing, back to the place of our sanctification.

    I’m sorry if I weary anyone by bringing up this reminder, but… again…
    These gender complementarian / patriarchal teachings mean nothing to women such as myself who never married and who never had children.

    Most of the United States population is now single, and studies show that many more U.S. women arrive at their 40s never having had a baby.

    Most women in our nation are not doing the “marry and have babies” thing, but some Christians are just tuning this cultural shift out, or just bad mouthing it and whining about it; they are doing nothing to help or support women who stay single and/or childless.

    The Bible says that the Holy Spirit causes sanctification in a believer, not marriage or having children.

    If marriage and child bearing were required for that, or for salvation, unmarried women and the infertile would be excluded.

    Do the people who write that nonsense ever take that sort of thing into account? (I guess not).

    Liked by 1 person

  22. @ Kathi~
    “Yes, that was the other thing that bugged me about this piece. I really couldn’t make much sense of it, even after several reads. It is not well written. And, for a Bible curriculum writer, that’s pretty bad.”

    I tried to find out what kind of curriculum she writes thinking maybe she was published but I could find none. It must be of some import, at least in her mind, to advertise that on her twitter and in her various bios, but all I could find was that she writes bible studies for the church she attends-Temple Bible Church.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. “She has done the “purpose driven life trick” , state your ideas and then back up with verses that have zip to do with your ideas.”

    I think she is just making stuff up.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. From the OP,

    3. By reading stories of women in the Bible, we can gain strength to keep on going.

    Like Jael, who drove a tent peg through an enemy’s head?

    By the way, why can’t I, a woman draw inspiration from reading stories about men in the bible? I am a woman, and I used to take some comfort or inspiration from the David beating Goliath story.

    I didn’t know I could only read the Lady portions of the Bible. So, according to these writers, there are Pink Sections of the Bible, for the Ladies, and Blue Sections, which is for the Menz only. I see.

    I thought Gal 3.28 says there is neither male nor female in Christ?

    I also find it sexist and weird that Christians associate having babies with women as much as they do, and they imply a woman’s value derives only from having kids.

    I understand it is the female body that carries the child, but, it still takes a man to produce pregnancy.

    Yet, I rarely see conservative Christians equating manhood to fatherhood.

    Womanhood is almost always equated by Christians to being a mother (and/or a wife), as though women cannot or should not perform any other functions in life. And again, for women who are infertile, or who never marry, they go completely ignored in this type of worldview, one which Christ never condoned.

    Jesus was not “pro family.” He actually spoke very strongly against his followers being too enamored of “the family.” He said anyone who puts their family before him is not worthy to be his follower.

    Anyway. Yes, conservative Christians will complain that supposedly popular culture lampoons fatherhood, but, men are not expected by most conservative Christians to become fathers – but women are expected to become mothers.

    The one exception might be the nutty Quivering type Christians who do place a lot of emphasis on a man being head of a large family, but outside of those types of groups, I do not see men being pressured or expected by Christians to be fathers.

    I don’t see too many Christian editorials (outside the very extreme groups) urging men to “turn towards their homes” and spend more time with their children.

    I for one am very annoyed that just because I am a woman, I am expected by some Christian groups to have a baby, and that if I choose not to, or simply did not, I am somehow “less than” or a failure.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Random (Former) Methodist Reader said,
    “At any rate, I agree that this is a disturbing article. I guess my wife isn’t sanctified, since we have chosen not to have children…”

    I don’t know if Random Reader meant to call that out or not, but yeah.

    Often, women who cannot or who chose not to have children are shamed or demonized by conservative Christians for that…

    But if a MAN cannot or does not want to have children, nary a critical word is spoken of about that by the same conservative Christians.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Hum a new song wrote,

    I have recently been provoked to thought by another poster that compares the interpretation of the curse for men and women.

    Men are cursed by having to work hard…by the sweat of your brow. We don’t see them setting aside technology in order to make sure they sweat sufficiently.

    That is a good point. I saw an essay about it a while back, that Christians today don’t expect all men to work as farmers…

    All Men Should Be Farmers

    Christians are okay with Christian men today going to a grocery store to buy lettuce or carrots; Christian men are not expected to grow lettuce by the sweat of their brows, but they often work 9 to 5 jobs sitting in an air conditioned office all day. But oh no, we have to have another set of standards for women.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Not only is this article depressing, but it sounds to me like she’s depressed. Like she’s overwhelmed with being at home, and being so limited in what she can do. To me, she’s screaming “Let me OUT!!! And let me LIVE!!!” She knows that she can’t say that, however, so she’s written a bunch of politically correct gobbledygook instead.

    Maybe we need to get our cigarettes and sunglasses and go on a Mission from God to rescue her!

    Liked by 5 people

  28. Regarding women who aren’t married or don’t have children, they must be ultra-cursed because they can’t even turn their hearts toward home and family in an effort to escape the curse.

    Which of course shows the folly of the doctrine they espouse. The Genesis 3 curse has been broken for us – women and men both – through the finished work of Jesus.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Daisy, I like Deborah who lead the nation as a judge.

    Reading your post made me think of all the work some of these churches do to promote child birth for women but ignoring the guys responsibility in the whole process until the guy is so checked out and focused on himself (ie abuse or abandonment) that the girl wants to leave.

    Then these churches bend over backwards to make sure that the couple understand that the kids will not be healthy without their dad actively involved in their lives (dads movement). The church will teach and financially support the guy to legally make the girls and kids life miserable by forcing him to now insert himself into a situation that he never wanted and had been previously told was irrelevant.

    Like

  30. Please help me!!! What does she mean when she says “sometimes we feel we are punished with lesser work and NO voice in the church, much less in the world”??? Why would she attend a church that gave her no voice or vote in church issues??? I thought Mark Driscoll and his hyper-masculine Christianity had fallen to the wayside.Somebody, please explain!

    Also she says she has the desire to rule over her husband? I see many Christian women do this by manipulation. I do not understand the need for role-playing in marriage. Each marriage is unique where under ideal circumstances the two people are able to negotiate their marital vision. Marriage can be difficult enough without having to labor under the pressure of sticking to some predetermined role!

    Like

  31. Curse – pain in childbirth. Maybe my wife isn’t saved cuz she experienced pain.

    Curse – futility in work. Maybe I’m not saved because things go wrong at work. Metaphorical weeds and thorns abound.

    I get that Jesus broke the curse of sin. But it’s not fully and finally eradicated from the earth or from me. My aging body, futile work, and watching my sweet wife agonize in childbirth is evidence of that.

    Like

  32. Hum,
    “your desire will be for your husband to rule over you”

    I didn’t have that desire at all. That is why I am single again. : )

    There is so much good stuff in these responses. I have to thank you all for taking my mind elsewhere and making me laugh.

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  33. Brenda, my lack of desire for my husband is causing me to have to work so hard to not only extradite my self from marriage but from that church group as well! I feel like I am working by the sweat of my brow to be free! Unless that isn’t allowed because I am a girl? Bummer for them that I don’t live up to their gender roles. It must be hard when you can’t control everyone in your church.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Many women in Christendom take their cues from Piper, Grudem, MacArthur, and other teachers who promote a particular interpretation of Holy Writ which they have swallowed hook-line-and-sinker. I am becoming increasingly convinced that these guys are suffering from a severe case of vagina envy. No surprise there I guess, patriarchalists throughout human history have always been scared you-know-whatless of the primal power of women.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Hum a song–You said:”It must be hard when you can’t control everyone in your church.”

    It is all about control!

    Like

  36. Shall we list the stories of women to read?

    Deborah – leads MEN to victory (my kind of warrior princess!)
    Jael – stake through the head of a MAN
    Abigail – essentially causes her husband to die by telling him she fed David and his men
    Esther – saves the ENTIRE Jewish people, gets her MALE cousin promoted, and gets her husband’s #1 MALE adviser hanged
    Pricilla – teaches Apollos the gospel

    And that’s just off the top of my head.

    Each marriage should be worked out between those two people and how it works for them. In some marriages that means both work, in others the wife works and the husband stays home, and in others the husband works and the wife stays home.

    The more I read stuff the more I see it is about them controlling people. They want to control how people run their homes. Not their job… Pfffft!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. From the OP,

    3. By reading stories of women in the Bible, we can gain strength to keep on going.

    Like Jael, who drove a tent peg through an enemy’s head?

    Someone did a Precious Moments parody of that incident.

    Like

  38. Regarding this:

    “Turn your heart back to your family, back to childrearing, back to the place of our sanctification.”

    Reminds me of a jingle on Christianese radio long ago:
    o/~
    “Focus on the Family…
    Turn your hearts toward Home…”
    o/~

    Like

  39. Hum, I hope my comment didn’t cause you grief. I don’t think there are many women who want to be ruled over by their husbands, but far too many are. I do know how hard it is to get away from a controlling abusive husband especially when the church practices the permanence view of marriage on steroids. I chose to stand my ground and continue on with the church I attended when I divorced. It hasn’t always been easy and I have thought about finding another on several occasions, but then something will happen that seems that God is saying to stick it out.

    As far as work is concerned, it is just that work. I don’t really see a line between man’s work or woman’s work. I used to tend a garden, harvest it, do the canning or freezing which is all long, hot and backbreaking. A man could have helped and lessened the amount of time and pain it took to get the job done, but he didn’t. My sister has always worked jobs that are considered to be man’s work, works hard and loves it. She is not a Suzie homemaker by any stretch of the imagination. Adam and Eve had to do it all. If they didn’t, there were no other options. I’m sure that other than childbirth there was not a very large line between man’s or woman’s work.

    Like

  40. Aside from the obvious bad content in the article, another thing bothers me. People who are trying to live holy and righteous lives go to sites like Desiring God’s blog to read articles for spiritual enrichment. They are looking for it and how to apply it to their lives. How many will be “challenged” to change their ways to the “new and improved” woe-is-me-lowly-worm-of-a-woman-who-lives-in-cursed-and-ravaged home. Blech! There is no hope here!

    Liked by 3 people

  41. Brenda, I’m not offended. I never felt like I fit in with the stereotypical female version they created anyway. I’m not physically strong, but I was never a Susie homemaker either. I wanted to do men’s jobs in the church: preach, teach adult Sunday school, street evangelism, etc.

    I got married and tried to be Susie homemaker while trying to be vocal about true Christianity. It didn’t work. I’m not Susie homemaker and the husband in ministry felt that I was challenging him too much and wanted a passive wife so he tried to used anything at his disposal to make me into that, thus leading to abuse. He never really succeeded.

    Now, because I went to the assistant pastor at JP’s church (yes, that church! for safety I won’t say his name and I have been a member since the beginning of his ministry), I was assumed prideful and domineering before they even heard my story. They are even a required reporter to CPS and denied that what I (and kid) told them was true. (As soon as my child was old enough there was a restraining order against dad with the allegations which dad admitted to the judge that he had done. So the judge signed the order.) They won’t release my membership so they can “discipline” me through my husband and giving him all sorts of things to do that are not in his nature that are causing more fear and stress for the family and I don’t know if/when he would follow me around, alienate me from anyone I might feel safe with, call the police simply to further his/their agenda, to stay employed, and not bring a bad name to JP’s church.

    I haven’t said this much before. But it is annoying staying quiet due to fear. So there it is. Thank you Brenda. I do appreciate what you have said and it made me feel as if I could open up. 😀

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  42. JA, Desiring God and any other Piperism related article should be banned from the internet for the unsuspecting person who really wants to know God. I don’t understand why women are thought of as lowly or are we going to go back to walking behind the man era. When I think of the Proverbs 31 woman, she could do it all. I’m not her and have never met anyone who could meet those expectations, but if a man wants to think of his bride that highly I am all for it. A woman who is loved that much is going to have good reason to want her man happy and content. Everyone is happy. Wow! Interesting concept.

    Liked by 4 people

  43. Oh gosh, Hum, this is not the first time I have heard this story about JP’s church. If you have not seen his YouTube video when he is questioned about abuse….well it made my skin crawl and my stomach sick. I went to that church once while I was in town for a baseball game on vacation. He was on a writing leave of absence. No loss as far as I am concerned. The service was fine, but I am not a mega church, takes 3 buildings with big screens to accommodate everyone kind of person. The church I attend has 3 or 400 on any given Sunday and I think that is bordering on too large.

    I’m still not completely comfortable with women in the pulpit, but I’m working on working that one through with God and trying to make sense of “what is appropriate translation of the Bible”. You know, when it comes right down to it, you should do what you feel God calling you to do no matter who doesn’t like it.

    I’m not big on this whole “releasing of the membership” thing either. If I decide that things are too over the top at the church I attend, I am moving on as long as I feel the Lord leading. People have no right to tell you where you can worship, how you should worship or what God is calling you to do. There are people in the church that don’t like my working on finding shelters and dv programs that address biblical divorce, but I do it in spite of them and don’t care who knows it.

    You take care of yourself and the safety of both you and your child. I think Jesus is going to be ok with that no matter who in the church sees otherwise. I also think some others are going to have some explaining to do.

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  44. When I suggested the curse was broken, it’s broken, what I absolutely didn’t say or intend to imply was that if you do experience something like pain in childbirth or sweaty work that you’re somehow flawed or cursed, heaven’s no.

    Sometimes the proverbial cigar is just a cigar with no overtones or double meanings. Some of my babies’ births weren’t painful, honestly but, let me assure you that pushing out a 10.5 pound baby involved a few very uncomfortable moments. There was no correlation between the ease (or lack thereof) of birth and temperaments or ease of parenting (or lack thereof.) These things aren’t curses, just part of the natural cussidness of life.

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  45. Too bad we can’t add the names of the brave women here to scripture! OK now I know God will cut my tongue out! 🙂

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  46. I’m so glad I got out of my curse-ravaged home and went to work. Now my home is pretty nice. And my children turned out fine too, just like I did. I too was brought up by a working mom.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. You said to didn’t know why people listen to him. When I started he wasn’t like this. The church was small…maybe 100 people and half of that were college kids. His first sermon series was Ephesians. He talked about the assurance of a non-works gospel, that God had predestined us to be His and nothing could remove us, he talked about the importance of being one body and that we should share our possessions with one another, that we should look out for one another and reach out to others…and the church took it to heart and was that way. I saw how he treated his wife and how she was quiet and didn’t want to be in the limelight. But how he would proclaim his love for her with specific recent examples (not just general attributes or something that was done 5 years ago). How his door was always open and we could go to his house and talk with him about anything.

    But then culture, challenges, blatant sin within the church, church construction led to church growth…large, multi campus churches were new at that time…and life happened. He needed to confront it. And it changed him.

    I didn’t see the change, I didn’t want to see the change. I wanted to believe he was still the young man with high ideals that I remembered. I never agreed with everything the church did but I thought I agreed with the underlying doctrine, knowing that no church is perfect, and accommodated.

    I read about what others saw, I saw his posts, I wanted to blame it on the people around him, the people insulating him from encountering the real world anymore. He was the one who taught me to hang on to God, or to believe God would hang on to me, when my hard aweful time came. I understand that he has now been doing this hard hearted behavior long enough that that he seems to have truly changed and I don’t know this man any more. But it took a hard aweful time in my life to have my eyes open and to know it was time to walk away.

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  48. Brenda, I hope I haven’t offended you either. I actually wanted to be a missionary and preach there as opposed to in a local church. I like the stories of women in the bible and female missionaries. I like large churches because of the opportunities larger groups afford but dislike the lack of connectedness that comes with it. It is interesting how people can be different and yet alike.

    I’ve heard a number of people say, how could people live in this unless they want to? It just seemed when I heard people post about JPs church and the people who follow him, I heard the accusations against me since I was there. I thought my story might help.

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  49. Kathi, I think I know why it is that you have a problem with this article. The whole premise is forced. She is forcing and cramming the doctrine of sanctification into a complementarian mold especially designed for women. It is right in the first few lines. The area of a woman’s curse is now “one of the most powerful tools in our sanctification” and “it is there that the Image of Christ in us is nurtured…Our relationships with our husbands…” and then children’s needs and dying to self.

    Well, this is really constricted because there is nothing that we encounter in life as believers that God refuses to use to conform believers to the image of His Son (I assume this is what she means by “nurtur[ing]” the “image of Christ in us”). Certainly it is true that marriage can provide an atmosphere for sanctification — and it does so through edification and comfort and other good things that are not hard as well as the stressful times (she seems to think everything is supposed to be hard, apparently in spite of Christ saying His yolk is easy and John later echoing that in saying His commands are not burdensome). So can singleness. So can having a roommate. So can getting a flat tire whether male, female, single or married. So can getting a raise. So can illness. So can nursing. So can healing. So can computer work. So can anything in life we encounter. There is no such thing as a gender specific sanctification route. She is forcing this. Later in the article she says this is “the” place where God sanctifies women.

    The other thing is the dreariness of it. As I said, she dwells a LOT on the hardness of things. I guess marriage is supposed to be difficult (can it be anything else, I wonder?) and parenting is only ever tough?

    She is really reaching for some of her applications. I would never have gotten from the Deborah account that a woman doesn’t have to go to a man to teach him, she can let him come to her.

    The article carries the sense of trying really hard to make something work that just isn’t gonna work. Sunk cost effect, perhaps? Or maybe she really does believe it. I don’t know. But it reads like someone who is not really entirely on board with what she’s saying and can’t quite bring herself to admit it. So I wonder who it is she is really trying to convince?

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Ann, I know we can’t add anything to scripture, but I have read plenty of books about women who went on a course independently with out of the box thinking and fulfilled what they felt was there God called mission. I’ve read many of them. I don’t think He’s going to cut out your tongue, but just in case, you still have your fingers and can keep on typing. : )

    The church that I go to has a long history of missions work. In the 40’s several men and their wives went out on the mission field to a tribe that were afraid of white men because they brought guns and would kill them. This tribe began to strike first. Several of these men were martyred. After that happened, it was the women who stayed on to get to know this tribe and translate the bible into their language. They won many souls for Jesus including the ones who killed their husbands. There are books written about these brave women. Many of their children are still on the field today.

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  51. Hum, Thank you for telling your story of this former church leader. It is different when you start from the beginning and see all of the good fade away, but not sure why. It is a form of a marriage in many ways. I didn’t know who JP was until a few years ago. Then his name popped up everywhere I turned. After a while and seeing how his version of scripture wasn’t anywhere I read and the gang he was associating with, I started gathering his books from various places just so an unknowing soul would not get their hands on them. I never believed in book burning, but his and some others I would.

    I now keep my eyes wide open and question everything.

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  52. Hum, No I was not offended at all. I can easily agree to disagree, but I don’t think I disagreed with anything. My daughter gave birth on Sunday prematurely and her son died within a few minutes. Yesterday, I started receiving emails from women in the church that I rarely speak with sending their love and telling me they are praying for me. Even in a church of 400, you can’t get to know people easily. There seems to be new faces all the time. Sometimes I go to the early service and sometimes the latter. I find that I start to know someone and they move on.

    There is a pastor from CA who writes occasionally on ACFJ’s blog, who believes if the church gets large enough that he doesn’t know anyone well enough or can’t spread himself far enough to visit everyone in their homes, it is time for a new church plant. I like his way of thinking.

    I love the fact that women are going to the mission field. The church I attend now has more young women going than men. That I truly feel is sad, but at the same time love seeing God work through these women.

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  53. Brenda R,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your family’s loss. You all must be devastated. There aren’t any words to say when a grandchild passes. May the Lord surround you all, especially your daughter, with his presence.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. BIT,
    I think the writer of this article really believes what she is writing, but is way out there in my view of what she said. I have a real problem with this getting into the wrong hands of a person who could get sucked in. The only curse that was in my home was the one I was married to. I didn’t have a choice but to go to work. Someone had to work to pay the bills, while he used his for himself. I also have a problem with the Desiring God website in general of anything else that comes down the pike from JP and those like him.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Is it possible that this author places her home in a position of an idol? My husband ascribes to J.Piper, et.al. If this author, K.Ransleben, is a woman who lives with and under patriarchy and other burdens which her husband, church and even other women in her social sphere place on her, then I can relate to her placing her home as an idol. I have recently broken free from the oppression of these philosophies. I hope many more women are set free also.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. selah, Most definitely. JP does make marriage and the home an idol for women, at least in my mind. The man is the head OVER the woman. If a woman says ANYTHING about her husband, she is bitter and unsubmissive. I have even heard it in my own church, “sometimes I wish I was the man”. Seriously, you never make a decision or get to do what you want to do. I wonder if they get things thrown at them the way I used to. I figure this woman is under the spell, captivated by these teachings, an idolater to marriage/the home and in the fog. If that makes me judgmental, I can live with that.

    Liked by 2 people

  57. Is it possible that this author places her home in a position of an idol?

    Selah, you ask an interesting question and I think it has merit.

    I find it difficult to understand Piperian theology, but it seems an awful lot to me that he (and others who hold to complementarianism such as CBMW) tend to actually categorize complementarianism in a sort of salvific framework. I mean (it seems to me) that they actually require an adherence to and practice of complementarianism as a sort of requirement for salvation. That is why I often say the have a gospel of hierarchical authoritarianism. By gospel I mean saving message, which they (I perhaps go a tad too far, let’s hope so) also regard as a saving practice. In short, it is a type of works for entry into heaven gospel. I know the new guy who is the president (?) of CBMW (?) had a tweet about a wedding he was going to that he said was “pure gospel” citing the authority/submission aspect. That is also on this site somewhere.

    If they really do attach their salvation status to the adherence to and practice of complementarianism then it would be very easy, probably unavoidable, to elevate it to essentially idol status. I mean, if your salvation depends on it….

    Now, I recall somewhere on this blog a quote from Piper to the effect that it is not necessary to hold to this to be saved. I wish I could find it but I have no idea which thread it’s part of. It was a while ago. But I remember commenting something like “how is it possible to be saved if you get the gospel wrong?” because that was the nature of his quote. So it’s kind of like, which side of Piper’s mouth is really telling it like it is, because I don’t see how he can have it both ways.

    But I find reading him is like that a lot of the time. He says something and then takes it away and then tries to put it back again. I have to read paragraphs many times before I can figure him out and then he changes course in the next paragraph and then again in the one after that. I find him very very confusing and just end up saying “huh??” and give up.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. @Barnabasintraining April 21, 2015 @ 7:27 PM

    Exactly. You explained well my brief comment earlier *she’s just making stuff up.*

    Like

  59. Brenda,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandson. That must be incredibly painful for you. I’m praying for comfort and peace to you, your daughter, and all of your family.

    Liked by 3 people

  60. Curse – pain in childbirth. Maybe my wife isn’t saved cuz she experienced pain.

    Curse – futility in work. Maybe I’m not saved because things go wrong at work. Metaphorical weeds and thorns abound.

    Dear Joe,

    As far as I can tell, no one here is saying those things at all. But people are trying to counter the claims made by Mrs. Ransleben. And one of her claims seems to be that women need a husband and children in order to be “sanctified”. If she really means to say that, then I find it utterly incompatible with the message of the Bible. Not only that, it leaves single and infertile women out in the cold, and with no chance to be made holy.

    So what do you make of Mrs. Ransleben’s article, Joe? She writes that family and childbearing are “the place of our sanctification”. Any thoughts on that?

    Liked by 1 person

  61. We’ve been going through this since Saturday and just when I think I have no tears left here comes the next wave. Each time I make a comment to my daughter about seeing God at work, such as she wished they would have asked for hand and foot prints and then looks in an envelope from the hospital and there they are, she goes silent. I said I hope you don’t think this is mere coincidence. I am afraid this is shattering her faith and her husband is more indifferent when it comes to any form of religion, but doesn’t care if others have their own faith. I know there are stages of grief, right now I feel empty and would like to go home, crawl into bed and never come back out. I also know that I will get through this. I would like to be with the kids, but they would prefer I didn’t come until they are settled into their new house. So I sit here in MI, go to work where I am accomplishing zip and go home and hug my cat.

    I have had so many encouraging comments from this blog. I thank you all.

    tdwunder, The Sunday Morning Gathering is awesome.

    I have totally gotten off topic on this thread. Sorry. I am not focused at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  62. Kathi, yes women believe these things. It is a way to live with the men who believe this. It is the way to sit in churches who teach this and try to have friendships with the other women in these churches. I was in it. Since I was a believer at age of 14 yo ( now in my 50’s ), there was more complementarianism than egalitarianism in the myriad of ministries, churches, and fellowships which I was part of. Emersed in it for years, what else was I to think or believe that Jesus wanted of me. I walked the walk and talked the talk until some fateful events brought me out of the fog. Considering for myself that what I was told and taught was of men and not of the Spirit of my creator, redeemer and King. [ .4 above is critically false but women try it and believe it and wear themselves out mentally, physically idolizing their home and family ]. I am still married to a man and have a son and daughter who are still in it. I would like to see more women come out. I would like my husband, son and daughter to come out. I tread lightly in my new found freedom because it feels unsafe to do otherwise. Careful, Cautious. If there are other women who are working through the painful cognitive dissonance of new revelation that the complementarian system is a false gospel, please support them. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Brenda, I wish I could could give you a real hug. Grieving is never easy and everyone is different in how they process loss. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Selah – Your words of feeling unsafe in your home stand out to me. I hope you have some support close by you to help you during the hardest moments. Please know that we are here to listen whenever you need support.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. @Barnabas:

    I find it difficult to understand Piperian theology, but it seems an awful lot to me that he (and others who hold to complementarianism such as CBMW) tend to actually categorize complementarianism in a sort of salvific framework. I mean (it seems to me) that they actually require an adherence to and practice of complementarianism as a sort of requirement for salvation.

    Salvation by Male Supremacy Alone?

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Salvation by Male Supremacy Alone?

    I don’t think Alone. More like In Addition To.

    Not too long ago I came across an article, actually it might have been on here too (don’t ever ask me for directions on how to get anywhere. 🙂 ), about the new Dever book he wrote with some other guy in his church. I read part of the Amazon sample of it and the thrust of it was about them being against what they call “gospel plus” churches. By that they meant gospel plus programs and other stuff people do anyway saved or not, stuff you don’t need Christ for. But all I could think was pot -> kettle on the gospel plus thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Brenda,

    Hugs from me too. My first was born prematurely as well, 15 years ago, and died shortly afterwards. I know the grief, pain, and agony. I also know the God who heals hearts healed mine. It made my faith stronger. I remember seeing the little “God gifts” in all the things around me. I remember calling for a copy of the birth certificate so I would have some concrete evidence of her, and the lady who answered the phone had gone through the same thing, so she didn’t even charge me for the copy. I just felt like it was a God gift. Just meeting people, or needing something, and that person had been through something similar, or that need being miraculously met.

    Like

  68. Kathi, some of my support has been found in CBE, spiritual sounding board and blogs where I read or learn. By unsafe I meant mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I do not have the circumstances of daily encounters with my husband who follows JPiper, JMacArthur, WGrudem, et al. Due to a change orchestrated miraculously, I am safe now. Even just to type my opinions or thoughts here are accomplished with a feeling of freedom and safety that were not possible just a few months ago.

    Liked by 4 people

  69. People who have gone through this have been everywhere I go. Mikey lived just long enough to have a birth and death certificate. Joy goes to the doc to get checked out on Monday. They plan to ask about ” trying” for a baby this time. If they had one miracle baby, why not 2? This plan seems to be bringing her up a notch. I am greatful for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  70. Her bio says they “have three grown daughters, the oldest of which is aiming at serving long-term in Ukraine.”

    How come these folks are never, ever missionaries in Uzbekistan or Saudi Arabia? Nope, they are too busy trying to “save the Catholics and Orthodox” — because that’s so much safer and easier.

    Newsflash: The Ukraine is not a pagan country. Go save some heathens for a change!

    UGH! Don’t get me started.

    Liked by 2 people

  71. Brenda, I am so so sorry, I am in my 50s now, but when I lost a baby boy far along in my pregnancy when I was 26, I think it was just as hard on my mom as it was on me.

    Like

  72. Brenda R said

    Someone had to work to pay the bills, while he used his for himself.

    Sounds like my sister’s ex-boyfriend, whom she lived with for over two decades. He didn’t do any house work at all, she worked all day.

    He usually did not hold a job but when or if he did, he would take any tips or pay checks and buy himself electronic gadgets to play with, rather than help pay for food or rent.

    My ex fiance’ had a job, but he was always short on funds, and he was always hitting me up for money, to pay his rent and other expenses. It took me a while to realize I was being taken advantage of.

    I see a lot of this in culture, going back to the 1980s. I’ve had so many female friends and family who were the sole or primary earner, and the man does nothing. So I get puzzled when I see men complain online that all women are money grubbers or gold diggers.

    Some maybe are, but in my own life, I’ve seen the genders swapped, where the woman works and pays all the bills, and the guy sits on his unemployed tushy all day watching football or playing Farmville all day. And again, this is going back to the 1980s, before the economy really hit south and folks had a hard time getting jobs.

    In the particular situations I knew of personally, the women were very angry that they were the lone bill payer and the husband or BF sat on his backside all day… they either wanted the man to get a job, or, at the very least, if he was going to stay unemployed, to clean the house during the day while they were at work, but the BFs or husbands would not even do that much. The woman had to hold a paying job all day PLUS come home to cook and clean.

    Still, the church operates under the assumption that all married couples should be a copy of June and Ward Cleaver, where the man works 9 to 5, while the woman stays at home all day cooking.

    My position couples should come to an agreement on what works for them. If they decide that the wife will work while the man stays home, great, or, if they want the more traditional marriage, great too.

    There are a few New Testament passages that talk about a woman staying at home, keeping home, but I think that gender complementarians misuse such passages to assume such passages are ordinances for all women in all cultures for all times.

    Had the NT been written in times and cultures where women could be lawyers and doctors and such was accepted widely in the culture, I doubt we’d see Peter or whomever it was telling women of that era to “stay at home and keep home.”

    Like

  73. To continue on with my line of thought, and after re-reading Brenda’s post…

    The Christian gender complementarian view only works in a very narrow set of circumstances and based on very particular cultural beliefs or ideals, ones that are not going to hold true for every nation and every group of people in every time period or economy.

    The gender complementarian view assumes all married couples can and want to live in a situation where the man holds a stable, well paying 9 to 5 job, and the woman will stay at home all day baking cookies.

    With the economy being what it is now, and that jobs don’t pay what they did before, I don’t think that gender complementarian “June and Ward Cleaver” middle class, domestic, nuclear family scenario is possible for a lot of Americans anymore.

    Some women have no choice but to work outside the home, since their husband refuses to, or the husband is to sick to do so, or a woman is single, divorced, or widowed.

    No matter how much the gender complementarians want it to, the Bible does not teach a 1950s, June and Ward Cleaver model, and Jesus said anyone who places their family before him is not worthy to be his follower.

    Jesus was not “pro-nuclear family” or “pro marriage and pro natalism” in the sense that American, conservative Christians assume he was.

    Jesus set up a model of discipleship, of church, of fellowship, and of lifestyle that is and should be possible for anyone to achieve and adhere to, whether they are married, single, divorced, have ten children, have one child, are childless, widowed – or what have you.

    The Christian gender complementarians, however, come along and unravel, ruin, and destroy what Jesus initiated and intended (the “anyone- can- follow- this- model- regardless- of- family- or- marital- status” baseline), all the while claiming their (the gender complementarian) view is the “biblical” or only appropriate one. Ironic, no?

    The gender complementarians are actually under-mining, un-doing, and destroying what Jesus built and intended, but then saying they are doing God’s work.
    But the gender complementarians keep blaming things like Democrats, liberals, and feminists, when they themselves are partially at fault and are also distorting what God or Jesus taught.

    Like

  74. selah said,

    selah
    APRIL 22, 2015 @ 4:51 AM
    Is it possible that this author places her home in a position of an idol? My husband ascribes to J.Piper, et.al. If this author, K.Ransleben, is a woman who lives with and under patriarchy and other burdens which her husband, church and even other women in her social sphere place on her, then I can relate to her placing her home as an idol. I have recently broken free from the oppression of these philosophies. I hope many more women are set free also.

    Yes, they are in fact making “the home” into an idol.

    Ask single adults if they feel valued and included in most conservative denominations or churches, and the answer will usually be a resounding “no,” because most Christians have turned marriage, home, the nuclear family, and children, into idols.

    There is no room in most churches for people who do not fit the ideal of “married with a child still living at home.” If you are divorced, widowed, child free (people who do not want to have children), or infertile, or never married, you will usually be excluded in and by most conservative evangelical and Baptist churches.

    Like

  75. Brenda R said,

    If a woman says ANYTHING about her husband, she is bitter and unsubmissive.

    This is a little bit of a tangent, but this sort of thing drives me nuts, and I notice it more and more often lately.

    If you disagree or speak up to criticize someone’s ideas, they will shoot back with an insult or label, at least in real life, or on other sites.

    For example, I have a very right wing, conservative Christian friend I’ve known for years who I was on friendly terms with for years, I was very good to her.

    She is incredibly hostile to me now because I’m not as right wing as I once was.

    She now automatically screams at me that I am a “Liberal” and an “atheist” (and, she tosses in I am “an atheist who hates Christians”).

    She won’t really listen to me or what my views are, she has her mind made up that I am an atheist liberal (even though I am neither atheist or liberal, and I do not hate Christians).

    With other people on other sites, if you speak up in favor of Christian bakers, photographers, and florists who refuse to participate in homosexual weddings, you will automatically (on most forums) get slapped with the terms “bigot” or “homophobe,” even though you are neither.

    If you are a Christian who has been hurt, offended, or exploited by a church or another Christian, and you discuss it on blogs, other Christians will scream the word “bitter” at you.

    If you are single like I am and bring to light how shabbily most churches misuse or mistreat adult singles and extol marriage way too much, invariably, another Christian – usually a married one, but sometimes another single – will come along in the comments to tell you that you are “bitter.”

    Nobody wants to really listen to you or understand your views, they just want to assume you are “X” and stop the conversation in its tracks.

    Christians are bad about this, atheists are bad about it, left wingers are bad about it, right wingers.

    Like

  76. RE Barnabasintraining.
    “I mean (it seems to me) that they actually require an adherence to and practice of complementarianism as a sort of requirement for salvation.”

    I would assume that most of these people claim to be sola scriptura? How can they imply or believe that marriage is necessary for women to be saved (do they teach it marriage is neccesary for men to be saved), when there are examples of Jesus in the Bible interacting favorable to single women, including prostitutes, and the lady at the well, who Jesus KNEW was shacking up with a dude not her spouse.

    Jesus extended an invitation of belief to the Well Lady. He told her plainly he was the Messiah, a fact he usually beat around the bush about with men.

    If Jesus associated being married to being saved or sanctified, why on earth do John Piper and Piper’s buddies make of Jesus inviting SINGLE women and PROSTITUTES to join his kingdom?

    Jesus did NOT tell these women we read of in the New Testament, “go and marry first, and have children, then you may enter my kingdom.”

    Like

  77. By Serving in Japan (I totally agree with this!),

    Dear Joe,

    As far as I can tell, no one here is saying those things at all. But people are trying to counter the claims made by Mrs. Ransleben.

    And one of her claims seems to be that women need a husband and children in order to be “sanctified”.
    If she really means to say that, then I find it utterly incompatible with the message of the Bible. Not only that, it leaves single and infertile women out in the cold, and with no chance to be made holy.

    So what do you make of Mrs. Ransleben’s article, Joe? She writes that family and childbearing are “the place of our sanctification”. Any thoughts on that?

    That is what I was trying to get across in my post up the page but I guess it didn’t come out as clearly.

    Like

  78. @ selah re: APRIL 22, 2015 @ 7:55 AM

    There are some good books and websites they could read which demonstrate the problems with complementarian positions and which support gender mutuallity, if you think they would be open to reading them.

    Have you visited
    The Junia Project, for example?

    There are other sites like that, and books like it, out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. How can they imply or believe that marriage is necessary for women to be saved (do they teach it marriage is neccesary for men to be saved), when there are examples of Jesus in the Bible interacting favorable to single women, including prostitutes, and the lady at the well, who Jesus KNEW was shacking up with a dude not her spouse.

    Daisy, I get lost in this too. For one thing, I’m not exactly sure in what sense they are using the word gospel. I tend to limit my use of it to the message of Christ as basically outlined in 1 Cor 15 and limit the application of it to salvation/reconciliation with God, per se. I know there are other ways it’s used and other things that are called gospel so the term has a broader use than salvation/reconciliation with God. So I get pretty discombobulated when I see the word and it is not clear how it is being used. But somehow i don’t ever come away with the idea that these guys recognize any such distinction and are pretty content if not outright intending by clear or at least reasonable implication to have their complementarianism attached to salvation and the salvation message as such.

    But there does seem to be of necessity a man over woman thing in their gospel, however they are applying the term, that takes several forms; such as you must be a member of a church and as such under the leadership of that local group, because that would be the authoritarian/submission thing in that form. Also, as far as women, if she is not married then she would be under her father or a brother or at least a pastor or elder. So she’s still under some man or other at any given point.*

    Where that gets tricky is when they will also say the woman is really only ever under her husband, if she has one. Except then, if he is really doing his part to sanctify her per Ephesians 5, then of course he has her in a church where she and he are members, which means he is now under the authority of the leaders there, which means she is under him who is under them and so she’s got layers of men over her now. So how she is ever only responsible to submit to her husband only I do not see.

    *In fact, there was an article at Aquilla Report about a trial in an OPC church because of a man who would not make his chronically ill wife go to church. (They found him guilty, incidentally.) The thing I want to highlight is how this woman as a visitor to the trial was treated by one of the church leaders. Among other things, he rather insisted she come and stay at his house while she was in town. I believe she was in a hotel or something like that and she had come alone. I believe the reason for that “invitation” was really so he would have her under his roof and therefore under his authority while she was there — so she would not be acting independently of male supervision/oversight. The reason I think this is because the man asked her “who is looking after you?” When he learned she was comfortably ensconced in the hotel with no need of looking after, he said, “I think it might be a good idea if you stayed at my house with my family.” She cites this ultimately as the man “repositioning me within the bounds of acceptable domesticity.”

    And to the amazement of all I actually have a link for this!!

    http://theaquilareport.com/women-on-trial-one-observers-view/

    The whole thing is an interesting read…though you might not want to have just eaten. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  80. Due to a change orchestrated miraculously, I am safe now. Even just to type my opinions or thoughts here are accomplished with a feeling of freedom and safety that were not possible just a few months ago.

    I’m thrilled for you, Selah. That is a significant change.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. I got about 2/3rds of the way through the article thinking she was wanting to argue against women working outside the home. The last paragraph seemed to contradict that, however. I think at best, the whole thing is confusing, and if this is a representative sample of her writing, I’ll take a pass on her curriculum or Bible studies.

    “Jesus did NOT tell these women we read of in the New Testament, “go and marry first, and have children, then you may enter my kingdom.”’

    Any interpretation of I Tim. 2:15 that comes off sounding like a denial of sola fide for the female half (in some cases, majority) of the Church needs to be disregarded or confronted. Years ago, I even once saw some of the regular commenters taking Tim Bayly to task for his sloppy handling of this verse in a post on Baylyblog. He kept saying that at least in SOME sense women were saved through childbearing…though he wasn’t quite sure what.

    Liked by 1 person

  82. “And I didn’t even mention the sins that creep within our own hearts, not the least of which is my cursed desire to rule over my husband at points all along the way. ”

    Normally I don’t question someone’s confession of sin, but in this case I have to wonder if this is really an issue for her, or if she has been told by her church that all women since the Fall are this way.

    Liked by 2 people

  83. “Curse-Ravaged Homes” by this author is telling. Sympathetic to these words because it took a year or more for me to emotionally come to grip with the possibility that the curse has infiltrated the church systems, doctrines or ministries that I trusted for years and thus had infected my marriage / family. I sit opposed to the author who is justifying the curse she feels or recognizes it’s influence in her life / marriage / home. I walk now taking daily steps in freedom from the infiltration of the curse. Maybe because I was on the inside looking out. Now I am on the outside looking back in. I have so many friends with women across the US who are frustrated, neurotic, ashamed, stuck, et.al. The depth of the fact that this author recognizes her home is “ravaged” by what she knows of the “curse” says to me that she is not likely entirely happy in her circumstance. There are women who would like things to be different but can’t see how to make the change or steps to change.

    Liked by 2 people

  84. NJ and Selah, you are picking up on the same sentiments I did when reading it. In this world where the foundational doctrine for women is the curse, there is no place for hope, except hope that women can surrender and accept this curse for themselves (don’t I sound like Doug Wilson?). It’s not for us to challenge that cursing verse, to question it’s in Genesis 3, but we acknowledge that it’s for our own good. (That’s the prevailing message that I’ve been taught.) And of course, we are bribed with the carrot, if we embrace this, then surely we are doing right and God will bless us.

    Someone sent this to me – a husband who believes this stuff:

    Just because something is part of the curse does not mean we get to avoid it. The curse is here to stay until the day Christ removes it. I still have to work in toil & sweat as part of the divine curse – I don’t get to avoid toil and thorns and sweat. Same with the marriage relationship God instituted as part of the fall – wives don’t get to avoid their part either.

    I am actually blessed in submitting to God’s toil and sweat, just like wives will be blessed who walk in the manner God intended.

    For women taught this doctrine, everyone around her likely believes the same thing and has accepted it. Who are women to question men’s interpretation of scripture?

    Liked by 1 person

  85. Another thought about Genesis 3 verse. Those who put Genesis 3 as foundational seem to be forgetting this important verse:

    Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— (ESV)

    So, in essence, they are minimizing or even dismissing Christ’s death on the cross which redeemed us from the curse. “They” are forcing us to be slaves as all were treated in the OT.

    Liked by 2 people

  86. ” I still have to work in toil & sweat as part of the divine curse – I don’t get to avoid toil and thorns and sweat.”

    I’m not downplaying men who work to provide for their family. My husband has been working at the same job for almost 20 years and every day he goes in he hates being there. But, he’s hung on to it because financially, quitting is not an option. But, I’m sure he would be the first to say that he is not working through thorns and sweat because he has an office job.

    But…toil and thorns and sweat….work has changed so much since Genesis was written. Sure, many men (and women) around the world work under conditions of thorns and sweat, but American men? When I went to Peru last fall, I saw first hand how farming is still done by hand. Talk about toiling and sweating. But, many of these American pastors and teachers who teach this doctrine are able to sit on cushy chairs at their desk all day writing for a living. I guess, for them, it comes down to men providing financially for their families as their role in the “divine curse.”

    Yet that doesn’t help explain how so many women have to work to provide for their families. Maybe we do because it’s hard to live on one income. Maybe it’s because she’s a single mother and needs to provide for her family. Maybe it’s because we’re in a job that we love and we know we can be just as useful to the greater community as we can to our family.

    One thing that hasn’t changed is the “divine curse” on women. It looks the same in this doctrine. While work may change, women will still give birth. The other thing that hasn’t changed in this doctrine is specific gender roles. By following these that means that anything outside of the prescribed roles is not godly. Which is a shame, considering that I’m sure these folks believe that we are all created by God with unique gifts. The following of prescribed gender roles squashes any unique gifts given to men and women that do not follow the curse narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. 4. The Gospel turns us back to our homes.

    For many women in the world this “gospel” does not work for them. They have to work hard to earn money for their families. All the while they’re working hard at mothering too.

    Liked by 2 people

  88. When serious options for pain relief and other assistance for women in labor were invented, there were actually some clergymen who argued against such things based on the Biblical record of Eve’s part of the curse. That this occurred in the wake of the Industrial Revolution didn’t exactly help their arguments.

    Liked by 3 people

  89. @Kathi who typed ( above ) “For many women in the world this “gospel” does not work for them. They have to work hard to earn money for their families. All the while they’re working hard at mothering too.” –
    yes, Kathi, correct. I wore myself out for years mothering, working, traveling, starting and managing two businesses, a farm, etc. And I was the breadwinner so the my husband could serve the church and whoever else needed him while he neglected his family. Oh the reality of what we live(d) due the fallacies woven through so many books and ministries. Women are exhausted. I was one of them. Thanks be to God that I was able to take a sabbatical year to recover and set myself on a new course. A song by Phil Keaggy struck a chord in my heart last month. …”like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed….until your love broke through”….

    Liked by 2 people

  90. Julie Anne’s post of APRIL 23, 2015 @ 6:58 AM, quoting some guy:

    just because something is part of the curse does not mean we get to avoid it. The curse is here to stay until the day Christ removes it. I still have to work in toil & sweat as part of the divine curse – I don’t get to avoid toil and thorns and sweat.

    No. Please go back up the page to see my post with a link called “All Men Have to Be Farmers.”

    No, men do not have to work in toil and thorns, unless they work in the flower department at Lowe’s or work on a farm. Most men (if they go to college) can work in a nice, comfy, cushy, air conditioned office, sitting at a desk all day shuffling paperwork.

    BTW, this gets into other areas that Christians misapply. For example, even though we have modern science, with pills and treatments that can stop disease and so on, some Christians don’t believe one should avail one’s self of it.

    You are supposed to just rely on God and pray and hope for a healing, whether it’s from depression or what have you, but many of the Christians who scold others for taking anti-depressants or for getting surgery, they themselves wear eye glasses, take asthma medicine, or take Tylenol for headaches.

    I’ve seen some of the Christians who rail against the use of medicine do so partly on the same rationale the guy above is – it is humanity’s lot in life to suffer, God doesn’t want us to seek relief from it, even if it is possible, etc., and I don’t see where the Bible teaches that concept, that because there is sin and suffering, Christians should just go along with it and give in to it and not try to relieve it.

    (continued in part 2)

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  91. Oh wow – your comment resonates with me, selah.

    I love that song. I found the Phil Keaggy version:

    Like a foolish dreamer, trying to build a highway to the sky
    All my hopes would come tumbling down, and I never knew just why
    Until today, when you pulled away the clouds that hung like curtains on my eyes
    Well I’ve been blind all these wasted years and I thought I was so wise
    But then you took me by surprise

    Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
    Until your love broke through
    I’ve been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
    Until your love broke through

    All my life I’ve been searching for that crazy missing part
    And with one touch, you just rolled away the stone that held my heart
    And now I see that the answer was as easy, as just asking you in
    And I am so sure I could never doubt your gentle touch again
    It’s like the power of the wind

    Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
    Until your love broke through
    I’ve been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
    Until your love, until your love, broke through

    Liked by 1 person

  92. Part 2.
    The guy’s quote:

    Same with the marriage relationship God instituted as part of the fall – wives don’t get to avoid their part either.

    Aside from this being wrong for all the reasons I listed in part 1 above, note again how most of this garbage thinking does not even address unmarried women, those who are divorced, never married, widowed.

    I guess in this guy’s theology, the curse does not apply to me, since I have never married or been pregnant, as I am celibate. Woo hoo!

    Also, while I would like to be married, part of me is glad I never was. My mother raised me with some of these very old fashioned, sexist ideas of gender and marriage.

    I was raised with the hope and expectation to marry a Christian man, and Christians drilled the “don’t be unequally yoked” nonsense into my head (so I thought marrying a Non Christian was off limits), but as I see so many Christian men believe that a husband can and should rule over his wife, that God designed for women to be doormats for a spouse, I have about zero interest in marrying a Christian man, unless said Christian man does not buy into this malarky.

    See, the comps complain about marriage rates being down, but it’s their horrible views about marriage which play a part in some women being reluctant to marry in the first place.

    By the way, the verse from Genesis says something like, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

    That is, that is a consequence of the fall, God did not intend for marriage to be that way, and God was not saying that women desire to rule over men, as complementarians so often assert.

    What God was getting at – and I’ve seen this in my own mother and read countless books about this dynamic- is women will turn to a husband, hoping the husband to be a protector and provider, because women are socially conditioned by culture to be dependent, afraid to live on their own, to make their own choices, etc.

    Women willingly give up their agency, independence, and control to a man, in the hopes the man will love her and provide and protect her.

    What happens often, though, is many men exploit this tendency women have, and abuse women as a result, or take advantage of them. That is what God was warning all women about in that quote to Eve.

    God actually does not want women to turn their power over to a man and submit to a man (submission as taught by Christian gender complementarians, which turns out to be authoritarian).

    Nor does God want women to allow a a man to control them, because it becomes codependency, it encourages a woman to make a man responsible for her choices and behavior (when God holds each person accountable).

    This behavior by women (which is unfortunately being encouraged by gender complementarians as being God’s design) can lead to abuse or exploitation of women.

    Liked by 3 people

  93. HA, selah – Phil Keaggy did it, too. And Russ Taff, and Rebecca St. James. I switched it out while you were typing.

    oh, and an a cappella GLAD version. Obviously, the lyrics touched a lot of people.

    Liked by 1 person

  94. This post, I’m realizing, is hugely emotional for me. To think that I have been held bondage to this doctrine for so many years – – tried to roll with it, thinking I was being Biblical, wondering what was wrong with me, why I was so “sinful” when I couldn’t simply accept it when it just didn’t jive with the rest of what I was reading in the Bible. . . . . but men were teaching this – – supposedly godly men (husbands, leaders, pastors) – – men who were suposed to care for my soul. The waves of emotions, the betrayal, the realization that women have been squelched, lied to, hampered from being all that they can be because of wrong interpretation of scripture, makes me angry.

    Liked by 2 people

  95. For most of the world, the Peruvian motto of, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat” is their reality. So, this supposed “curse” of pining away for something better outside your home is nothing but b.s.

    That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m off to work! (Because I long for a better life of working retail. NOT!)

    Like

  96. Can you imagine how many friends are happy for me as they have listened and watched me through my two years of breakthrough? There are so many women who are waiting for His LOVE to BREAK through. Leaving them and moving on is necessary for me. I hope that my breakout is a catalyst for a few of them. Some of them won’t talk to me or are of course critics of the fact that I am now out of state, getting a home and starting work here.

    Liked by 1 person

  97. I’m still trying to figure out what is divine about a curse. I realize it came from God, but was it a curse or consequences. I have been thinking more and more that sin did come into the world at the fall of Adam, but God was really talking to the participants in that folly. Yes, we live in a sinful world and had Adam have listened and obeyed we might all be living in a great garden right now. Don’t we fight to keep the weeds and thorns down. Shouldn’t we fight to keep the pain down too. I’ve known women who have given birth very quickly and without much pain. I’m just sorry that I wasn’t one of them. I have worked outside the home since my youngest was 4. I have also gone to school, done the gardening and canning for as many as 5 kids. There was was sweat and labor involved in all of that. So the men aren’t the only ones doing their fare share of labor.

    Liked by 2 people

  98. Regarding the comment about the man who now has to “toil”, it is so easy to misapply scripture in your own situation. One of my fundie brothers speaks of ” being a slave” in service to his boss at work. Somehow he mixes it up with serving Christ in all things. He totally doesn’t understand how offensive this comment is to people who have been victimized as slaves (such as sex trafficking, the situation in Darfor, workers whose passports are seized and are at the mercy of heartless employers, etc). This is not history, but happening now. So how can my brother, a white male, with a college degree, living in a first world country, with a white collar job consider his voluntary employment as consistent with being a slave??
    Brenda, Thank you for continuing to let us know how you are. You are such a treasure here and I hope you know how sad we are for your grandson’s death. If you don’t mind: You mentioned your daughter’s silence when you tell her about God’s work in this. I think we all grieve so differently. She may be extremely angry now and is closed off to any thought of God’s love and mercy now. Please forgive me if I am projecting, but when I feel a loss, I get very angry at God. I am so imperfect that any talk of God in my suffering makes me mad. Thankfully, God is patient and waits for me to come back around! 🙂 I pray that your daughter is patient with herself and her fluctuating emotions as she heals. Meanwhile, she is lucky to have such a loving mother as you are!

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  99. Ann,
    Thank you for your candor. I know that it will take some time and she may be blaming God right now and doesn’t want to talk about it. When this first started, my daughter gave instructions to her husband to get ahold of me quickly because she knew I would be on top of passing on the word to please pray for us. When we didn’t get the answer we wanted, I know a part of her world shattered. She has lost 2 boys now and would like for God to quit loaning them for a little while and allow her to keep one for a long while. I can sincerely say, I am with her on that one.

    We also want so much for her husband to accept Christ. This probably didn’t lead him in that direction. I have been very angry with God in the past (and it took a long while to get beyond that) so I know how you and she feel, but not this time. I know there is a purpose in this tragedy, I just don’t have a clue what it could possibly be. I know she will get through this and I am sure there are a lot of “Why God’s” being expressed. I had a couple of short one’s on her behalf. I also ask, why can’t you take me instead. Apparently he isn’t done with me yet and my dear daughter says, “no mom, you are going to live a long miserable life along with me.” Then she goes off on a tangent about the book and movie, “Misery”. I personally didn’t read the book and didn’t like the movie, which she, for whatever reason, does.

    She did send me an email a little while ago. The rest of the paperwork for their house went through and they will close on May 18. She was very excited about that. They will have a lot more space and Lord willing another miracle baby will be conceived.

    Like

  100. Brenda, Thank you for your openness! You are the example we all need of a believer who is willing to stand with someone who is angry and suffering. Many mothers would not allow their children to work through their pain and deny them that experience. I know as a mom that I hate to see my son suffer and want to make it better. She may hate God now. She may deny Him now. But He loves her and is patient. After all, He gave her the emotions that allow her to mourn and be angry.
    What is difficult to see now is the big picture. That will come in time, but for now she is in agony and I believe God honors all her emotions. As for you, I pray you are able to be gentle with yourself during this time. You have had a double loss-a lost grandchild and hurting daughter. For that, I am so sorry. As a believer, I want to encourage you in your walk during this horrible time. Even in your own pain and anger God is somehow there loving you. I know my words are so insufficient, but my heart sends you love. Thank you for showing us how to love by sharing your pain.

    Liked by 2 people

  101. I mentioned the curse thing because of the comments that railed against the article as if the author was a dunderhead who didn’t understand that Jesus’ death actually meant something. It just wasn’t a well reasoned reaction, in my opinion. If you’re going to disagree with something, you need to be able to at least articulate what you’re disagreeing with to be credible.
    My mother chose to stay home and raise her kids, and 35 years later she would tell you she’d do it all over again. My wife chose the same path. Sanctification can actually happen in the home. It’s not the only place, and it’s not to say that singles and widowed and childless or whatever the reasons are that a woman isn’t a full time housewife (career wise) that she can’t be sanctified. That’s just silly and reading a predisposed bias against anything desiring God puts out. Hate it fine, but at least be honest enough to deal with what’s actually said without ascribing words to the author she didn’t say. So she disagrees with you and you with her. She’s not calling you unsanctified but she is trying to demonstrate that the struggles of a wife (and I just got off the phone with mine… The baby is terrorizing the place!) can be and are a tool to make her more Christlike. Should we mock that? I think not.

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  102. Daisy, I like Deborah who lead the nation as a judge.

    Someone from our ex-church tried hard to convince me that this had to do with God’s curse on Israel. I never did quite get the gist of their point. When I asked if they meant that God cursed Israel by having a woman as their judge, they backed off and came at it from what felt like a slightly different (but still, to me, identical) direction. Israel was under God’s curse (maybe it was that “every man did what was right in his own eyes” business), and no men stepped up to be judges, so God allowed them to have a woman judge. I still don’t get if they were saying that Deborah was the curse, or a consequence of the curse.

    In any event, the hyper-patriarchists can go to great lengths to explain away any woman doing anything in the Bible that is not strictly homemaking and throwing away any vision of her own she might have, so that she can transform her vision into supporting her husband’s vision.

    Liked by 1 person

  103. Selah said: I am still married to a man and have a son and daughter who are still in it. I would like to see more women come out. I would like my husband, son and daughter to come out. I tread lightly in my new found freedom because it feels unsafe to do otherwise. Careful, Cautious. If there are other women who are working through the painful cognitive dissonance of new revelation that the complementarian system is a false gospel, please support them. Thank you.

    I am in the same place, though I am not the only one in our family who has come out. Our family is more or less split down the middle. I walk softly. Though my husband knows I don’t believe in complementarianism anymore, he still does. He just thinks it’s the wounds from the old church talking, and that once I heal I’ll come around to “truth” once more. Though he hasn’t said so in so many words, that is the meaning I take from him. We are going to a reformed-light version of church now, and there are still references to Piper and Grudem, and recently there was a book by Doug Wilson on the free book table (Father Hunger). I wish I had the courage to just stop going to church.

    Since we are a one-car family, it’s either go where the majority of church-goers want to go, or not go at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  104. Daisy said: Jesus extended an invitation of belief to the Well Lady. He told her plainly he was the Messiah, a fact he usually beat around the bush about with men.

    If Jesus associated being married to being saved or sanctified, why on earth do John Piper and Piper’s buddies make of Jesus inviting SINGLE women and PROSTITUTES to join his kingdom?

    Well, Daisy, Jesus also told the woman at the well, at the end of the exchange, to “go and sin no more”. At least, I think so. I’m too tired to look it up at the moment.

    So that made everything all right.

    (Is my “bitterness” showing?)

    Like

  105. refugee Re APRIL 25, 2015 @ 9:24 AM

    Someone from our ex-church tried hard to convince me that this had to do with God’s curse on Israel. I never did quite get the gist of their point. When I asked if they meant that God cursed Israel by having a woman as their judge, [etc]

    Oh yes, I’ve seen this before. I’ve seen Christians on TV and a few complementarian ones on the internet who try to diminish the fact that God chose a woman (Deborah) to lead a group of men by arguing that God was using her to shame and disgrace Israel because it was shameful for a woman to lead men.

    I find this interesting for several reasons, one of which is, the complementarians only bring up the cultural aspect when it suits them.

    That is, when you point out that

    1. some comments by Apostle Paul in the New Testament about women teaching and preaching to men were perhaps due to cultural biases of the day, or that

    2. one reason Jesus picked 12 men as his first Apostles was due to the sexism and patriarchal culture of his era, the comps want none of that.

    No, Christian gender complementarians insist Jesus picking 12 men or Paul forbidding a woman teaching in some church 2,000 years ago were meant to be a universal truth for all women for all cultures and times.

    A second thing is that comps will go to great pains to downplay or explain away any Bible verse or story that goes against their beliefs.

    Galatians 3.28, where it says there is neither male nor female, slave nor free in Christ, is explained away with the non-sensical, strange notion that this verse is only talking about all people being “equally saved.”

    Complementarians always have loop-holes and distorted interpretations to escape the clear and plain meaning of the biblical text.

    And yet, in addition to that insult, many of them claim that those who reject comp are the ones who are dishonest with the Bible’s text, or are allowing secular feminism to influence how they read certain biblical passages! Hello, pot meet kettle.

    Christian gender complementarians need to go look in a mirror, because complementarians are guilty of the things they accuse egalitarians or gender mutualists of.

    I saw a paper on the internet a couple of months ago refuting the complementarian spin on Deborah, who was judge over Israel. I can’t remember the exact page, but I’ll see if I can find others about it.

    Who was the judge of Israel, Deborah or Barak? (from Women in Ministry blog)

    Deborah and the “no available men” argument (from Egalitarian Christian Alliance)

    Here is just the first part of that page:

    One of the perennial arguments from people who have a problem with Deborah, a woman, being the leader of Israel is that God probably only allowed her to be the leader because there were no men who were suitable, available or willing.

    God didn’t choose Jonah because he was available and willing. In fact Jonah was very reluctant to obey God and go to the heathen city of Nineveh.

    … Similarly, it seems that Deborah was the best person for the task of leading Israel in her time. There is not the slightest hint anywhere in the Bible that her gender was a problem. And, unlike most of the other Judges, Deborah did a great job.

    … The argument that God chose Deborah to be the leader of Israel because there were no suitable, available or willing men is not supported by Scripture. Being unavailable, unwilling, or even incapable, are not impediments to God’s calling. Just think of Moses, Gideon, Saul, and other Bible characters.

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  106. Kathi said: The following of prescribed gender roles squashes any unique gifts given to men and women that do not follow the curse narrative.

    Amen. It was watching my daughters despair (and wondering why a god would give them such gifts, and expect them to bury those gifts in the ground), that began to waken me from this mindset.

    Liked by 1 person

  107. Ladies, we all know, and can see the the curse of the ramifications of Sin, the fall of man. As for me, I focus on the Blood of Christ that reverses that curse, back to a blessing, think about Abagail, her husband was rude, selfish and ungrateful to David. She was kind, generous, and took the blame for that Donkey of a man, do you know any of his relatives? And, behold, living Grace was found in wonderful Abagail. Could this be the overcoming spirit? Christ in me, Patty Lynn Smith, is my hope of glory, just like my sister, Abagail.

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  108. “She was kind, generous, and took the blame for that Donkey of a man,”

    Actually she was wise and a strategic thinker. She saved a lot of lives but not her husband. But she gained protection in David’s harem.

    Your comment reminds me of “women’s ministry” study literature. :o)

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  109. She was kind, generous, and took the blame for that Donkey of a man, do you know any of his relatives?

    Proverbs 31 Woman,
    It seems that you have a distorted view of Abagail. As Lydia pointed out, she was wise and a strategic thinker. She did what she had to do to save the lives of men who were undeserving of dying over her husband’s evil. He was beyond being a “Donkey of a man”. He was abusive!! How you can minimize what happened in this story is mind boggling.

    Do I know people like this? Yes, I do!! I divorced one of them 2 years ago and hopefully will not end up in someone’s harem only to be discarded for the next beauty that comes along. Do you honestly think that Abagail’s life was better being with David?

    I focus on the Blood of Christ and His complete work on the cross, also. I also focus on the fact that he rescued me from an abusive cruel man. Well, we are no longer legally bound. His abuse did not stop after the divorce decree was signed. It continues on. I wasn’t as fortunate as Abagail.

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