today is international women’s day. instead of writing the same thing with a different twist, i decided to just re-post what i wrote last year as a reminder to me, and maybe to some of you. when we are trying to shift tides & change deeply grooved systems of inequality & injustice, we won’t be able to just say it once or twice. we will have to keep using our voice & hands & feet & hearts and play our part in change over the long haul. i’m so thankful for the women & men who’ve gone before us, who were considered heretical & annoying but just wouldn’t stop because they knew there was a better way. and i’m also grateful for so many of you, for your passion & willingness & courage to keep forging forward now. it not only makes a difference today but it paves the way for those who are coming behind us, too.
here’s why i’m pro-woman, pro-equality, pro-liberation-of-half-the-population:
1. i think Jesus was. every interaction Jesus had with women was to set them free and lift their burdens of bondage. and he said we were supposed to be like him. i don’t know why the church built on his name has done the exact opposite; it still baffles me.
2. women’s wisdom will make the world better. it’s said that the same way of thinking that got us into our problems can’t get us out. it’s time for some new minds & hearts to get in the mix so that more creative, peaceful, collaborative solutions can be considered in our families, cities, churches, ministries, and organizations.
3. it’s good for men, too. i don’t want things to shift to women on top & men beneath them, either. i’m pro-equality. our freedom is tied up together. when we learn how to be equals, alongside one another as partners, brothers & sisters, teammates, and friends, it reflects God’s image in all kinds of beautiful ways.
4. the church should be the leader of restoring dignity and equality, instead of dragging along behind. so i may not be able to change the whole big church but i can play my part in cultivating equality & freedom in our little one.
5. others need us to fight for their freedom. many can’t fight. we have liberties others don’t. our freedom is all tangled up together. if we stay stuck, others stay stuck. if we get free, we can participate in setting others free, too.
6. i have to look in my daughter’s eyes. i have a responsibility to do whatever i can to make sure she has every opportunity she deserves inside & outside of the church. i can’t tolerate someone telling her she is less because of her gender.
7. i have to look in my 4 son’s eyes. they deserve equal partners who will show up, and participate in relationship instead of remain silenced and diminished. they also deserve to be set free of the bondage of male stereotypes that limit and damage.
7. yeah, the next generation needs us. we can’t leave them hanging. we have to keep paving the way, like the brave men & women before us, to make their path less & less bumpy.
8. when we are silent, we stand on the side of the oppressor. it’s easier to play nice. it’s easier to follow the status quo. it’s easier to stick with the crowd and keep supporting churches & the media & systems that strip dignity and freedom. but when we do, we condone inequality and align with oppression.
9. we must be the change we want to see. i can’t sit around waiting for the church to change. the kingdom isn’t going to drop out of the sky. God uses people to change the world.
10. freedom isn’t just a bigger cage. liberation means full freedom in Christ, not just lesser-oppression.
my hope & prayer is that we keep learning what it means to not live under or over others; that keeps us stuck & separated & oppressed. real equality is learning to live alongside each other as human beings made in the image of God, with equal worth & freedom & voice & responsibility & possibility.
happy international women’s day! here’s to women around the world stepping into who they were meant to be. here’s to men around the world working to create equality. oh, the beauty that can come if we learn what it means to be together as equals, as friends, as lovers, as co-laborers, as co-creators.