Usually I refrain from starting a post with one of those… But it’s really the only appropriate beginning right now.
I have a very small amount of time until I am a certifiable “adult”. I have less than half a year before I go out to college and see what they know. And in about 2 weeks EVERYTHING starts getting crazy with summer and excitement. So, of course, this means that I’ve reached a place in my faith, in my intellectual drive, in my personal understanding of how I get along with others, etc. where I feel the absolute need to doubt. To question whether I belong in ministry. Wonder whether I should even think about being in a relationship (with a presently hypothetical young man) if the circumstance (namely a guy actually liking me and wanting to do something about it) should ever arise. To feel that I’m faking it all. That this whole college thing just isn’t gonna work, because I’m just not good enough. You know?
Most importantly, I’m struggling with my faith. I believe, without a single shadow of a doubt, that there is a God and that God is MY God. I completely and totally affirm the Apostle’s Creed in all of my mind. The problem is that it’s not in my heart right now. I want to be able to read scripture and not want to pull my hair out from frustration. I want to understand how the equality of genders manifests itself when men and women aren’t intended to be identical. When, maybe, inside of a marriage (or at least my eventual one, as a Christian woman, wife, mother, and hopeful deacon), there needs to be a head when the couple fails to be one and simply cannot find a way to agree. And maybe that head needs to be the husband.
So maybe my problem is that I don’t like what scripture and God is used for. I don’t like people saying that a man has to have the ability to lead his wife is grounds for all women being subordinate to all men. I need to get a grip and relax and remember that not everything is an attack on my gender. And also that scripture is what it is for a reason. Paul, despite my occasional thoughts to the contrary, was not a crazy lunatic. And the role of women as the helper from Adam’s side is just as important as the role of the men with a plan who were lonely without them.
And maybe I’m gonna be that politically liberal/religiously conservative rebel who says that, within a Christian relationship, I do not want to be a feminist. I do not want to say that I have a role equal to that of my eventual partner. I want to say that my role is just as valued as his in our relationship. But I also want to say that I don’t want to be the head in a relationship. And I don’t want him to be the helper. And I want to be able to say that and say it with just as much certainty as I possess when I affirm my right to ministry (a right I hold to because taking the unique nature of women out of ministry is just as much an abomination to a full community in Christ as taking men out of ministry). And I want beyond belief to have someone who understands why I can be all for women’s right to vote and preach, but advocate for certain gender roles within Christian marriage because I feel that they lead to stability because I, unlike a lot of people, believe that God DID create men and women to have gender specific natures that they and not the other are naturally inclined to.