Thursday, April 23, 2009

Speak Tenderly To My Bride ...

"You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes" - Song of Solomon 4:9

I've just come back from a lovely evening with a small part of my family - Mum, Dad and my three younger sisters. The object of my trip was to collect my laptop that I left there during Easter - hence a small break in transcribing! We enjoyed a KFC and some fascinating conversation. I've noticed that whenever I spend time with the women in my life whom I love and adore, I always come back feeling extremely protective towards them. I think that's why God hasn't let me get married actually. If I did get married, chances are that I would become over-protective towards my wife and maybe over-idolise them. At the present I am so blessed to have six sisters and countless "adopted" sisters in Christ!

As I was driving back I was listening to Isi de Gersigny's first session at "Glory and Grace 2007" and forgot totally that during the ministry time Fini led a time of blessing to the women at the conference. I understand he did the same thing at "Glory and Grace" this year too.

And I got thinking. Why does it drive me so absolutely crazy with anger when I hear about a church pastor manipulating and abusing one of my sisters? Why does it drive me crazy when I hear men teaching and preaching and instructing women what they should be doing externally to allegedly please God - such as what to wear? Why are women being forcibly subdued in church and being prevented from moving into powerful ministry because they're expected to "submit" - while their male counterparts aren't loving them "as Christ loved the church"?

I think a balance needs to be struck here. I've always reacted against the chauvinistic call to "manhood" trumpeted by men like C J Mahaney and Mark Driscoll. Comments like "real" men shouldn't have any fashion sense and Driscoll's more unspeakable ideas on what "real" men should be doing to their wives sicken me to my stomach quite frankly. But I heard Rob Rufus speak recently on the need for "real" men and it made me re-think my hasty angry conclusions! I know - many may say how come Rob can make you re-think when the other two can't? Well because Rob has demonstrated in his life that he's a man's man (enjoying running very fast!) - but can also unashamedly weep, express his love for Glenda and other things that "men's men" don't seem too good at. Men need to get this balance. It's desperate! And the answer doesn't lie in endless courses and "marriage specialists". It lies in a true grasp of the Gospel.

Nothing makes me rejoice more than seeing women released in ministry and setting the church ablaze. Some of my heroes are Kate Simmonds, Darlene Zschech, Isi de Gersigny, Glenda Rufus, Wendy Virgo, Julie, Lydia, Ursula, Nick and Sheila! And on behalf of my gender I want to apologise to women for the hurt and pain that men may have inflicted on women. Especially Christian women. I'm so so sorry beyond words for the emotional, physical and sexual abuse that may have been inflicted in the name of "submission". I know that God's heart couldn't be further from that.

And I listened and learnt a new song at home on a CD - from the amazing Hillsongs. It's called "At the Cross" and I found the video on You-Tube and was mesmerised by the women worshipping as they sing it. I think in worship women almost look like angels lost in the glory realm - so I post this and dedicate to every Christian sister reading this. May today you know the love and intimacy of the true and best spiritual Husband ever! Who will NEVER abuse you! Who will NEVER point out your faults or flaws! Who will NEVER do anything but adore you and delight in you and wonder in you and excite over you!

Tomorrow .... a first. I agree with John Macarthur! :-o (that's an emoticon btw!)


Nick Cameron said...

Dan - thank you for this blogpost. You know some of the legalistic views of women that have been batted around the Church - reducing women to a position of being a home-maker, home educater and a second class citizen - your post just blew that out of the water with grace! Bless your heart bro, your sensitive heart to these things - I cannot phrase my gratefulness to you for the apology on behalf of men even though you personally have nothing to apologize for.....
Nick x

Sheila said...

Wow...I've been so busy with my daughter's upcoming wedding, I have not read this until now. Thank you, Dan. For whatever reason, I have felt emotionally fragile lately, and so your words bless me greatly. Women often do get ill-treated in the church...disrespected...with every emotion we express obtusely relegated to "hormones". ::grrrrr::

It is comforting and wonderful to know that there are brothers like you, willing to advocate for us and care for us.

You are incredibly special!