I somehow made it through both middle school and high school without a random guy slapping my butt in an inappropriate attempt at humor and attraction. I was in my twenties before I realized this was a rarity among women and in my thirties before I seriously started to think about the intersection of my faith and of my gender. Just as importantly, I started to think about how society viewed those two, sometimes disparate parts, of my whole self. Now in my forties, I am closely observing how the church handles the ripples from sexism, feminism, questionable leadership, the #metoo movement, toxic masculinity, and other controversial topics- stones thrown onto the seemingly smooth surfaces of often patriarchal modern American church culture. One of the most frustrating aspects of this experience is that it seems impossible to engage in any kind of healthy dialogue without the discourse becoming entangled in a web of political extremes and biases that result in angry hackles being raised, ending the conversation before it can even begin.
Thankfully Jesus had no such qualms, even though challenging gender norms held far more serious consequences in His time than they do now. He waded into danger, confident in who He was as the Savior of all and confident in the never changing character of God – Holy, Just, Loving, and Truthful.