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I grew up in a home that celebrated the diversity between men and women. My parents scoffed in the face of gender stereotypes but also championed the true differences that exist between male and female.

I have two brothers, and as the only girl I experienced a life able to embrace true femininity. I saw how my brothers differed from me in ways that existed at our core, not as a result of expectations. I wore stereotypical “male” clothing, I played army, and most of my toys were G.I Joes, legos, slingshots and paintball guns. My mom tried to teach all of us how to sew and cook, but one of my brothers excelled much more in those typically “female” activities, while I preferred to spend my time exploring outside. Our home didn’t have gender stereotypes. I was allowed to explore according to my interests, not what was socially expected.

Still Different

Yet as we played and explored together, my brothers and I learned how different we were from one another. As much as I wanted to be like my brothers, I am still female. I showed physical toughness by enduring concussions, black eyes and broken noses without tears, but I was inherently nurturing, something my male brothers just simply couldn’t relate to. I saw the emotions they felt better than they could, I felt turmoil in ways they didn’t, and I was always seeking to repair hurt feelings. Despite many assumptions that I had the qualities of a “leader,” I was happier following my brothers’ lead, whereas they constantly battled for who would call the shots. My brothers were born protectors. They looked out for me, protected me, and tried to shield me from poor choices and mistakes. Despite the freedom we had to explore the world however we saw fit, we couldn’t help but approach it differently. My brothers are male and interacted as such; I am female and likewise interacted with the world in my own, very different way.

Modeling Complementarianism

My parents modeled (and still do to this day) the beauty of a complementarian marriage. My dad loves my mom, with a self-sacrificing love; he listens to her opinions and she gives input in every decision they make. My dad sought to provide for, lead, and protect his family. Likewise, my mom respects and submits to my dad as the ultimate authority of their home. My mom is such a strong woman of faith and strength that even when she disagrees with my dad, she still submits to his final decision because she trusts God with her future. Her biggest focus was our home, nurturing and raising her children and supporting my dad by providing peace and respect.

My dad was the authority of our home, not in a heavy-handed way, but through love that allowed my mom to trust him. By seeing their unity, we as children respected them both. My parents complement one another as they both fulfill the roles they were given, and our home, though imperfect, reflected Christ and the church in such a way that I learned from an early age what the Gospel looks like in life.

Now as a woman, married and raising two boys of my own, I see again the differences of the genders. There are aspects of my sons (most clearly in my toddler) that I cannot relate to. It doesn’t matter that my son’s favorite color is purple and he loves tea parties, his maleness is still his core and a gift from our Creator, and only my husband can really understand those aspects of him. I treasure the fact that our home has so much diversity. I find peace in resting in the design God provides, trusting his will over our family as I submit to my husband and he faithfully leads us in Christ.

Reactionary Feminism

Feminism just doesn’t allow for that, because feminism is merely a reaction to male chauvinism. Unfortunately, I think both are deeply flawed. Chauvinism is flawed at its core because it asserts that males are superior to females, and thus it excuses things like abuse and inequality because it claims women are worth less than men. This is very clearly deplorable, and it is responsible for some heinous crimes. It is not at all what God designed. The destruction resulting from chauvinistic behaviors and ideas is horrible.

But feminism, in seeking to correct the mistake of chauvinism, has committed its own destructive errors. By its reactionary nature it seeks to annihilate the differences that exist between male and female.  It claims they do not exist. It has mistaken equality with sameness. However, God created men and women equally and differently . God’s kingdom is diverse, and to try and do away with that diversity is not only flawed but it also leads to danger. When we try and deny reality, we often leave a wake of destruction, and the feminist movement has left quite a wake.

Biology’s Reality

Because feminism is so focused on eliminating the differences between men and women in the name of “equality,” it excuses and even champions things like abortion because our biology doesn’t support a sameness between sexes. Our biology shouts our differences. Women are the ones who bear and nourish our children. Biologically, women cannot be removed from this reality, so in an effort to eradicate diversity feminism puts itself behind abortion so that our “responsibilities” toward our offspring are leveled. Because women cannot physically flee from motherhood, abortion has become the answer.  Instead of calling men to accept their responsibility as fathers even though they are not physically burdened with a child, feminism seeks to bring women down to the irresponsibility of abandoning children in the name of “equality”.

Chauvinism makes it very apparent that our world is full of brokenness and that humanity steeped in sin, but feminism isn’t the answer to that. Only Christ is. As feminism steps in to correct the mistakes of chauvinism, it does so with its own flawed ethos. The only way to correct the mistakes of both chauvinistic and feministic tendencies is to return to God’s design and what he has described for us.

Diversity and Equality

Diversity is a good thing. We need the qualities that both men and women carry; they are equal in value and equally necessary for understanding the whole of who God is. He has made men and women in his image, he has made us unique, and he has given us equally important and differing roles within his kingdom.

I am unwilling to sacrifice real diversity in the name of so-called “equality”. I’ve seen what true equality and diversity look like: they exist together and complement one another perfectly. And I know that’s what God’s kingdom looks like. I know God made me uniquely female, and I celebrate my womanhood as God designed it: my ability to bear, nurture and raise my children, and my choice to submit to my husband because my faith is in my God, not myself or my husband. I am thankful that my female mind operates differently than a man’s mind, because our different perspectives complete the picture together.

Feminism isn’t good enough because its vision is too small, homogenous, and a poor representation of reality. God’s kingdom is diverse, and it is by our diversity that we understand him better.

Can we really understand God if we seek to annihilate the differences of the sexes that he created?

Disclaimer: RAAN is an organization committed to providing a variety of Reformed voices a platform to share their content. While our contributors subscribe to the basic tenets of Reformed thought, they offer a diverse number of opinions on various topics. As such, our staff members may not share our contributors’ opinions and publishing this content shouldn’t be viewed in such a way.

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