Boundaries Without Bonds: How to Keep Headship from Being Hardship -- By: James W. Andrews

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 07:1 (Spring 2002)
Article: Boundaries Without Bonds: How to Keep Headship from Being Hardship
Author: James W. Andrews


Boundaries Without Bonds:
How to Keep Headship
from Being Hardship

James W. Andrews

Senior Pastor, Lake Bible Church

Lake Oswego, Oregon

It was a scene from Hell… a seeming outbreak of spiritual mad cow disease.

During Sunday School a ranting woman chose the adult class ‘prayer time’ to launch a “holy war” against unspecified persons who ostensibly had wronged her husband. The situation begged for rebuke. Instead, everybody sat in silence, some stunned, some baffled, some wondering what to do, and others incurably bored, welcoming a little carnal relief. Finally a courageous woman intervened. Diane, a devout and highly intelligent executive in her early 40’s, stood up and in calm, moral indignation said firmly:

“What is being said here is most inappropriate. I would like to ask that it please stop.”

That timely rebuke momentarily made evil blush and, at least for that time, bridled it. Thank God for women who know when to stand up and be counted. Let their tribe increase.

A Practical Question

As strongly as I believe the Scriptures support the notion of male hegemony (i.e. that God entrusted leadership in the home and church to men rather than women), I also affirm that in Christ men and women are equal in dignity and worth before God.1 As the husband of a very capable, prudent woman whose judgment and good sense repeatedly have saved my bacon and father of two sharp daughters, I have emotional as well as theological incentives for giving women a wide berth to exercise their generous endowments.

So how do we accomplish that within the parameters of biblical principles?

The Urgency of the Question

This question is compelling for two reasons:

1) As God’s stewards we are accountable for the use or misuse of our God-given resources.

2) As God’s shepherds we face in our churches the risk of implosion if we unnecessarily aggravate gender rift.

A Matter of Stewardship

Christian women represent an enormous resource base for the Church. Any pastor with a room temperature IQ knows women just make things happen. They are as vital to the impact of a church as to the health of any home.

Like men, women come in all sorts of power packages. Some are formidably intelligent, insightful, and prudent. The average woman is probably more articulate than the average man. Many ooze with astounding creativity; some are powerfully analytical. Others are first class organizers. Over here is a brilliant scholar, over there a turbo-charged woman o...

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