Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. posted an article yesterday commenting on the present state of gender policy in our military. As a Christian who believes in Biblical gender roles, I found Dr. Mohler's perspective to be both intriguing and concerning. A few excerpts:
A nation's moral character is revealed in the way it fights its wars. This report, filled with documentation, reveals that our nation's moral character is now being redefined before our eyes. If it is true that a majority of the American people affirm their readiness to see women "join combat units, where they would be directly involved in the ground fighting," the American people are demonstrating their disregard for the moral wisdom of the ages. The nation is forfeiting the responsibility of men to act as protectors of women, and acquiescing to the failure of men to fulfill their duty.
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When women are injected into combat, the dignity of women is undermined. In the extreme conditions of combat, women are exposed to the very worst that human beings can do and a physical violence that exceeds the imagination. There is no shortage of arguments against this practice. Biological arguments document differences of physical strength and stamina. Psychological arguments consider not only the psychological profile of women in combat but the difference the presence of women makes on men fighting alongside them.
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Are we a nation ready to admit that our men must be accompanied by women on the battlefield? Are we ready to break down the necessary lines of respect between men and women? Is this really who we are? Will Americans look the other way and refuse to see this quiet circumvention of morality? Far more than the future of the military is at stake.
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Dr. Mohler presents practical as well as moral arguments against women serving in active combat alongside men. The whole article is worth the few minutes of time it will take to read its entirety.
As a fairly assertive, perhaps strong-willed (I've been told) woman, part of me feels as though I should support the feminist goal of equality with men in the military, as in all areas of life. But it seems to me that equality in worth does not necessitate fulfilling all of the same roles (I know, I know, no new territory here, fellow Reformed Christians). I am perfectly content to be a high achiever in academia and psychology, to be a student of theology and music, and to increase my skill at tasks required to make my house a home. I can excel at many things while accepting my God-given role as a woman, as one who is to be protected and honored, generally a receiver rather than an initiator, and primarily a homemaker rather than a provider.
There are always occasions for these gender roles to be bent out of necessity, but as a general rule, this is where the Lord has created me to be - by a man's side, yet behind him in order to be led and protected. The dominant side of my personality finds that this is a wonderfully challenging role, as God conforms my spirit in submission to both Him and to my husband. For many women, it is difficult to submit to the authority and leadership of men. For many men, it is easier to allow the strong women around them to take charge than to do the hard work themselves of leading, providing, and protecting.
This indeed is at the heart of the curse on all creation: The Lord said to Eve, "Your desire will be for your husband, but he will rule over you" [Genesis 3:16]. I read once that the word for "desire" here is the same that is used when the Scripture speaks of Satan "desiring" to have us. The ESV Study Bible notes that "for your husband" could be translated "against your husband". It is a desire for power and authority, for control. Ladies, we are destined to struggle for power if we do not acknowledge that this is part of our curse, and repent of our desire to be in charge. When we feel as though we are naturally inclined to assume authority, we must seek ways to do this in a Godly, feminine way - by leading other women and children, by managing our homes with excellence, and by channeling this drive into our God-given roles in the church and in the world.
Men, I pray, step up into the difficult place of leadership. Return to the wisdom of the ages - respect us women, honor us, protect us and fight for us. Lead so that we don't have to. Women, in turn, let us allow men to do these things for us. It doesn't mean that we are the slightest bit incapable of doing these things for ourselves; rather, it is God's ordained way for us to bear His image rightly. In marriage, we portray the bride of Christ who has been chosen, pursued, and bought with a price. In the created order more broadly, we are the lovely crown of creation, created especially to give nurture and help, to offer our strengths in complement to those of Adam. Bear your feminine image proudly, women! By adorning ourselves with Godly femininity, we will encourage the men around us to grow in Godly masculinity.
And what could be better than that?
2016 Books: 3Q
10 months ago