The Gospel Coalition, Women’s Roles, and Creativity
Every once-in-a-while Julie Anne and I will chat back and forth over an article. One of these days we’ll show you one of these conversations because they can become quite humorous. Recently, we chatted over Erik Raymond’s recent post on The Gospel Coalition’s website, “How to Marvel at Your Wife’s Creativity.”
Raymond’s (non)how-to post describes how he marvels at his wife’s creativity to put together parties for people. Specifically, he marvels at the details that his wife goes into when preparing for parties:
She, like many women, gives considerable time and attention to the details. In particular she works to ensure that the colors, design, and even the most minute matters are covered. I’ve seen gum balls color-coded, paper cut outs, cup cakes and napkins match, balloons, sparkly soda, snow sprinkles on a red table cloth [sic], swirly straws, and even a big metal bucket filled with ice to [sic] so people will feel “festive” when they get their drink. This is what women do.
“This is what women do.” Of course, men are not as detail oriented. In fact, men seem to be more cave-like in their approach to such things because they reuse forks and wipe their chins on their sleeves. And, to show that men are not into details:
While struggling to pull this type of thing off my self, I have come to appreciate it. What’s more, I’ve come to baptize it into the spiritual realm so as to love my wife more, appreciate our differentness [sic], and marvel at God’s design.
Translation: “I love my wife more because she’s able to recreate a Pinterest board. That’s hot.”
Now, for those of you here who love Pinterest and can successfully recreate elaborate Pinterest ideas, please do not be offended. I think that’s great! I can appreciate the amount of work that you put into a party. As for me, Pinterest stresses me out. I’ve never signed up because I’m afraid it will be a time sucker, and I know I will stress over making everything perfect. Plus, finding different ways to use chalk paint does not excite me. You know, “Elf on a Shelf?” I think that’s horrible! As if Christmas isn’t stressful enough, now parents have to come up with multiple creative ideas for a little doll each night before they go to bed.
Sorry, I got off track for a moment. Let’s look back at “this is what women do.” Creativity and paying attention to detail makes women different from men? How about the many men who are architects and design, with many details, beautiful buildings? What about men who are fashion designers who create clothing and need to consider fabrics, stitching and notions? And, don’t forget men who are professional chefs who need to think about small details such as seasoning, pairing and plating. I guess we should zoom past the details of men who are creative because that is not part of God’s design.
I suppose we should also zoom past the details of many women who work outside the home and use their skills to make a difference in the lives of people. There are many women who are CEOs or managers of companies, or who are social workers or run domestic violence shelters that are also married and mothers. These women must pay close attention to details on their jobs if they are going to do their best work on behalf of their employees or clients. Some women actually hire men, who in turn provide financially for their families. Do these women exist in the world of The Gospel Coalition?
There may be hope, though. In the end, Raymond says:
Therefore, when I look at the frills, the colors, the designs, the Pinterest Boards, the sketches, and the actual parties, I can marvel at the way in which my wife loves the person she is honoring. This reminds me of how our Father loves to honor our glorious Savior. Far from zooming past the details we can spend a moment to marvel at these reflections of creativity that express love. We will find ourselves appreciating the way our wives honor others while seeing the Father express his love for Jesus.
This is about as close as The Gospel Coalition can come to say that God has some feminine characteristics. Perhaps one day they will acknowledge that creativity is not a gender-specific characteristic.