Freedom from Privilege

mCexR8EFrom time to time, one of the arguments I’ve made on the blog is that releasing male privilege and embracing a model of shared leadership ought to be a joyfully freeing thing for men.

What I mean is that in the same way that Jesus willingly laid down authority in becoming incarnate, when men lay down power, there’s freedom for them in the process. I’ve experienced this in my own life and leadership. In our household, it’s freeing to not have the proverbial buck stop with me. Much better to have it stop with us.

And in ministry, it’s incredibly joy-giving to watch women walk through doors that you’ve helped to open by using your power to advocate. And, it’s a joy to be able to serve the Lord with the full range of Kingdom gifts and perspectives.

In his post this week at The Junia Project, Bob Edwards captures well what I’m talking about, in his post entitled “What Equality in Christ Means for Men.” Find it here. To get you going, here are the first several paragraphs:

As a man and a Christian, I’ve been given some heavy burdens. In a society characterized by a long history of male privilege, that may sound like a strange statement. Nevertheless, it’s true.

In the first church I attended, I learned that to be a man is to be a leader, a provider, and a protector. I learned that it was my responsibility in church to discern truth from error. It was my responsibility to accurately and effectively convey this truth. I was responsible to shepherd God’s people, and even to apply biblical discipline when needed. Evidently, something about being male made me a suitable candidate for these responsibilities.

Someday, God willing, I would be married. Maybe we would have children. My wife’s spiritual health would be my responsibility. Providing spiritual leadership would be my sole responsibility as the “head” of a Christian home. I would also be the bread-winner for our family, earning enough money to provide for all of our needs. I would have the deciding vote regarding all major life decisions, regardless of my level of knowledge or experience with a given issue.

Failure to shoulder this burden was referred to as shirking God’s call on my life to be a servant-leader to my family. The Bible and the commentaries I was reading seemed to confirm that these responsibilities were God-ordained. Though I accepted what I was taught as “the infallible word of God,” and believed that it was communicated to me by godly men that I could trust, I began to have questions.

One response to “Freedom from Privilege”

  1. gailwallace55 says :

    Thanks for sharing Bob’s post! We appreciate you. I think too often we underestimate the burden that is placed on men with unreasonable and unnecessary responsibilities.

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