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Women With Strong Personalities

Dave Warnock has recently written two storming posts on the problems of ‘complementarianism’, the view that takes the New Testament scriptures about ‘male headship’ in a highly literal (and I would argue, wooden and out-of-context) way. Read ‘The forgotten victims of male headship‘ and ‘My wife …‘. Both these posts talk about the demeaning of people (of wives who are only valued for their beauty, and of all sections of society). His writing made me think about a recent conversation with a friend. I found it quite startling.

“Dave,” said my friend, “thank you for modelling the fact that it’s OK for a Christian man to marry a woman with a strong personality.”

Huh? I mean, I just fell in love with her? And no-one who meets my wife can miss the fact that she calls a spade a shovel.

“I wish  more Christian men would model this,” said my friend. “I wonder if it’s why I’m still single.” For my friend is a gently outspoken single woman.

How much more damage must we let complementarianism do?

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About Dave Faulkner

I'm a British Methodist minister, married with two children. I blog from a moderate evangelical-missional-charismatic perspective, with an interest in the 'missional' approach. My interests include Web 2.0, digital photography, contemporary music and watching football (Tottenham Hotspur) and cricket.

Posted on February 10, 2010, in theology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Dave, my friend, I’m shaking my head at your friend’s comments also….huh??

    I guess I missed the memo when it became not okay to marry an outspoken woman….or to even make that a consideration!! My question in response would be something like, ” what exactly does outspoken, or a lot of other minor traits, have to do with it??”

    In fact, that is one of the traits I strongly admire in my own wife – you always know where you stand, you always know what’s going on, and there are no “mind games”. I always get the reality of the situation from her, and I find that very refreshing.

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    • It can make for interesting conflict resolution 🙂

      I find it sad that my friend has gone through what she has. I see no reason why she has to be docile in order to find a husband. Her particular personality is one of her strengths.

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  2. I’m in the same boat as her.
    Most men find me intimidating & in dating, they think I’m playing games to the extent they have tried to read drama into my actions/words when I am definitely the type to tell someone when I have a problem with them. It is very sad I can’t be myself if I wish to find a partner.
    I’ve decided to stay single simply by being myself. I simply am incapable of being docile.

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    • Sam,

      That is tragic to read. I’m so sorry. The Christian community owes you an apology for a culture like this.

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      • Thank you for the kind words. I’ve just come to accept it over the years… I can’t change the world so I just work to try to make it a better place one action at a time.

        Have a safe, joyous holiday season and Merry Christmas.

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  3. I like your article. I am an American Christian woman with a strong personality. Ever since I was a little girl, I declared my opinions to anybody who would listen to me. I have not been incredibly popular among the single men folk in the Christian culture, but why should I try to become something I am not in order to increase the odds of having husband?

    I actually like being single. However, enjoying being single doesn’t stop me from being attracted to people. I am kind of growing weary of unreciprocated interests and watching my quieter counterparts being asked out and proposed to by the kind of people I would want to attract. Nevertheless, it is a trial, and while it may never end, this isn’t the world to come.

    I despise complementarianism because I have seen it break down the social structure of most mainline, conservative churches.

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    • Hi,

      Welcome here and thanks for the comment. I think that when I was single, I was probably the male equivalent in church circles to what you are describing in terms of your singleness. In fact I didn’t marry until I was 41 – a friend of mine mischievously quoted out of context the verse from Acts that says, ‘The man to whom this miracle happened was over forty years of age’! Whatever you do and whatever may or may not happen in your life, don’t ever change from being the person God made you to be.

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