on the myth that men must be the “spiritual leader”

I really enjoyed reading this article, which discusses the myth in the Christian world that “men must be the spiritual leader.”  I realized that as I wrote this and even titled the post, many would read and be shocked, because you do not in fact agree that it’s a myth!  It really is okay if you disagree.  I’m just beginning to process my thoughts on this issue.  I’d like to give you grace to believe and be where you’re at and would hope you’d give me the grace to question and be where I’m at, as well.  

With that said, for now I’ll just share the link to the article and will post my own comments on it later.  I think men and women alike may find this interesting and I would especially love to hear what you think!  Keep in mind that the post doesn’t give much scriptural back-up for this position, as that doesn’t seem to be the purpose of the article.  

Here’s are a couple of excerpts,

But the idea remains pervasive that God has decreed that men are meant to be spiritual leaders, and women to be spiritual followers of their men, from the moment they get married.  Some say that God designed men and women this way; others say that He simply decreed this for unknown reasons, and who are we to question?  But if we believe that God is holy, just and good, then we must believe that God’s decree and/or design is somehow good for both men and women.

“Spiritual leadership” is part of the unrealistic expectations of many Christian women.

click here to continue reading:  http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com/2012/11/men-must-be-spiritual-leaders-real-life.html

I’ve never really thought of this as a “hot topic.”  I have to laugh at the things I’ve been questioning lately.  Things I’ve been taught as if there is no other way…and then I find that not only have others questioned, but have found convincing reasons to believe contrary.  

Whether you read the article or not, I’m curious…  Do you think that God created men to be the spiritual leaders?  If so, why?  How should this practically look/how do you determine if a man is a spiritual leader?  If you don’t think this, why not?  And have you found it difficult to hold this view without receiving judgement in your church/Christian circles?

Cheers, Katy



11 thoughts on “on the myth that men must be the “spiritual leader””

  1. It’s so sad Katy. The whole idea of a ‘spiritual leader’ is moot to begin with so every argument to define and understand what that means and who that is is a waste of time and energy to begin with. Not that it doesn’t make it an issue.

    The heart of the matter of the idea of a ‘spiritual leader’ is another invention of mankind to empower a few to rule over and oppress the many. God never gave us the authority to rule over other people, period. In the body of Messiah we are all equal. Those that come before us are our fathers and mothers yet that does not mean they rule over or ‘lead’ us. That is a very Hellenistic Greek concept. One concept of being a parent is to nurture so one can grow and become mature so that such a person can in turn nurture others in the Body.

    And again, it comes down to responsibility. For a husband and wife, it is their responsibility to nurture each other. We have all been given various spiritual gifts and abilities. How we have forgotten that a husband and his wife are one flesh, not two. We don’t understand this because we divide God up into three persons despite the fact that he says time and again, “I am one/ single”.

    As adults we complicate things so much to our hurt. This is no different. It’s not that hard; we just make it difficult with intellectual idiocracy.

  2. The fact is that women tend to be more sensitive and expressive when it comes to Spiritual things because the Spirit identifies more with our emotions. It is a motherly expression of God if you want to oversimplify it. The article you sent addresses two different things. I’ve only addressed one of those. If I have time I’ll address the other later.

    1. krwordgazer, Thanks for the link! You know, I probably should have asked your permission to post excerpts from your blog (I don’t know the protocall). I really look forward to reading more of your stuff. Thanks again! :)

  3. I agree with the Biblical interpretation, but I am seeing more and more women are taking this belief system, and because they are naturally more vocal about their spirituality, stifling men and their leadership.

    I didn’t read the entire article, but I do agree women can be spiritual leaders. However, it is essential that kids see both parents actively living out their faith in order to best develop spiritually.

    Men and women need to be spiritual leaders together. It’s a both, not an or question.

    Just my thoughts :)

    1. That’s good stuff you mention, Becca. I suppose my passion comes from my own “stifling” of myself, which connects personally to years of insecurity coupled with the only biblical interpretation I was taught (or at least that made an impression), which was men should lead, women submit, etc. (you know what I mean) I think that’s the side of this that I’ve seen more often among the women in my life.

      I’m glad you mentioned the importance of men leading, as well, and of women not using this interpretation to “stifle” them. I hadn’t really thought about that.

      Though I do think that the whole concept of being a “spiritual leader” has been made into something external that doesn’t really make sense. I fear many see it as someone who fits some sort of list such as: makes sure we pray before meals, initiates devotionals, etc. (this is mentioned in the article).
      But there’s a tangent so I’ll stop. :) I love hearing from you…sincerely.

      1. Love your thoughts. As a woman in seminary and full time ministry, I am often confronted with the inequality in the church. It is important we talk about it. We just never want to see a fight for equality swing too far the other way to where it is inequal once again.

        Keep questioning and searching! We have an awesome God who loves to meet us when we are teachable!

  4. I’ve shared some comments about sex roles in a reflection a wrote based on the Genesis story of the creation of Eve. If you’d like to read it, it’s here: http://reflectionsofacatholicchristian.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/what-god-has-joined-together/

    This discussion has gotten me thinking about the difference between the things that the faithless notice and the things that are seen through the eyes of faith. Yesterday, of course, was Easter and we had my extended family over for dinner. Many of my neices and nephews wanted to talk to me about their own spiritual lives or about their reactions to posts on my blog, or about religious questions in general. So, in fact, did my siblings. Now, there were other uncles, other aunts, other siblings, other cousins besides me so why were their concerns directed in my direction?

    Not because of my ‘manly’ sexuality — that’s for sure!!!!

    The people in my family, including myself, are all eager to know the truth about God and about life. Besides, we love and respect each other. We all can see that I have a role of ‘spiritual leadership’ within the family but this recognition doesn’t come about because I’ve asserted a RIGHT to leadership based on my sex, or my age, or my place in the family. Those are things that the faithless can see, but they’re not the important things.

    What is important is to do God’s will. We know that God wants us to participate in the great work of building the kingdom; but we’re not taking our cues as to what we’re each supposed to do by extracting scripture verses out of context and try to match the ‘outside’ of our practice with the image we infer from reading the Bible. We’re looking ‘inside’ with the eyes of faith. We’re all devoted to prayer, and what were we taught to pray? Why, “Thy will be done.” Self-will leads us to assert our ‘power’ and to focus on ‘outside’ things — things the faithless can see as well as anyone. Submission to God’s will makes us less interested in who’s work gives honor to us — and more interested in how our work together gives glory to God.

    If you don’t have faith, you’ll have to rely on outside things in order to determine who will ‘lead’ — sex, age, education, charisma, wealth, power and so forth. Of course, if you don’t have faith, spiritual leadership will simply be a matter of the ‘blind leading the blind’ — so what difference does it make if you’re a spiritual leader or a spiritual follower. Either way, you’ll end up in a ditch!!



  5. I truly love your website.. Excellent colors & theme.

    Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own site and would love to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Many thanks!

    1. Hi! Thank you for such a nice compliment! Actually, I’m not paying anything for this site, which means I’m using one of WordPress’ many free templates. This template theme is called “Bueno” and then I have uploaded my own picture for the header, where you see the carnival ride. I hope this helps and best wishes are you create your own site!

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