According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Friday, June 8, 2012

Biblical Leadership Roles and Supporting Your Partner

Dan on Roles, Leadership, and Supporting Your Partner

by Rachel Held Evans
June 5, 2012

This afternoon I’m thrilled to introduce you to my amazing husband Dan. Dan is a loyal friend, a wise and supportive partner, an entrepreneur, a videographer, and a professional out-of-the-box thinker. He’s also one of the most creative, funny, and intelligent people I’ve ever met (though I suppose I’m a bit biased). You can thank Dan for the fact that this Web site exists and runs so smoothly, as he’s the one who works behind-the-scenes to keep all my technology afloat. Some things I respect most about Dan include his uncompromising integrity, his seemingly natural inclination to "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep," and his ability to identify obscure actors in movies without checking IMDB.

Earlier today, we examined the concept of submission in the context of Peter and Paul’s Christian remix of the Greco-Roman household codes. This afternoon, Dan shares a little about what a pattern of mutual submission looks like in our marriage. Last year, during the infamous “year of biblical womanhood,” Dan kept a journal. The following post is adapted from an excerpt he wrote during the last month of the project. (You’ll be able to read more from his journal when the book comes out!)


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danRecently, my mom made note of how proud she was that I’m able to support Rachel in her successful career, something she said that “many men couldn’t do.”

When viewed in the context of the yearlong "Biblical Womanhood" project, it highlighted a strange absurdity. During the experiment, I acted as the hierarchical leader of our relationship, but at the same time, I continued to play a supporting role in Rachel’s career. At first, I didn’t know how to respond to my Mom's compliment other than, "Thanks Mom." But after processing it a bit, trying to resolve my cognitive dissonance, it hit me:

Our roles aren't static. Our roles change depending on context.

At its core, (yearlong projects aside), my relationship with Rachel isn’t a hierarchy; it’s a partnership. What kind of person doesn’t want success for their partner? A weak, insecure, person. What kind of man doesn’t want success for his wife? A weak, insecure man.

I’m not supporting Rachel like a passive piling supports a dock. I’m supporting her like the Saturn V supported Apollo 11. I want her to succeed in her pursuits, and will do everything in my power to make it happen. And she wants the same for me.

When I’m working on a film project, who’s taking the supporting role and feeding everyone? Rachel. When I took a year to buy, renovate and sell an investment property, who supported me throughout? Rachel. When Rachel’s working to finish a writing project by deadline, who’s supporting her by keeping the house clean and the laundry done? Me. Our life decisions are made in tandem. We’re the ones leading our lives. We aren't battling over who's leading who.

To be “a leader” is meaningless without context. A leader of what?

Too many of us have succumbed to the idea that “leaders” are a specific type of people or that “leadership” is a character quality to be obtained like political capital - the more the better. But I view leadership differently. Leadership isn’t a goal. Leadership is a role that comes and goes. Wisdom and strength are what we should pursue. Not leadership.

In the context of roles, wisdom is discerning when to lead, and strength comes from consistently practicing wisdom. Leadership is a role that changes hands depending on context. In that light, it's important to learn how to lead, not because you want to be “a leader”, but because when wisdom and strength have placed you in a position of leadership, you don’t want to screw it up.

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What do you think? What does "leadership" look like in your marriage and relationships?

What about "support"? Are they static positions you hold or versatile roles that you play?


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