Please include women (and gut the politics)

Today was a day for coming to terms with my ambition. Instead of filing anything I care about away under “selfishness”, I’d rather engage with the thought that God may want me to indulge in those dreams. It isn’t selfish to have hope. As selfish as I can be, I refuse to believe that the gifts God gave me will inevitably devote me to destruction just because they can’t be diminished. If you’ve ever had one of those moments where you have to believe that God gave you a gift for a reason and maybe other people don’t know as well as they think they do, you’ve had a day like this.

Ironically, this is how I felt every time I decided not to commit suicide or to hold on a bit longer, in the midst of my depression. I turned out to be right then by the grace of God, and this feels like another one of those times. I don’t want to be so afraid of who I might become that I forget that God is the one who would teach me to steward leadership, to have the endurance to pursue my dreams, and to give him credit in the end. Just because I want something doesn’t make me selfish. Welcome to being a woman.

When guys look at me, they should see someone who is not easily bought, if not almost unavailable. I’m proud of that. My heart is guarded, and a man would have to work hard for the right reasons. My faith is full by Christ and I want to be someone who is strong as she is. I’m not looking for a boyfriend, which ironically makes me feel more noticed. When I’m in my classes and I focus more on learning the material than the men who are sitting next to me, it feels like a victory. I don’t hate men, but I need to grow up a little more before I can invest in a relationship. It means a lot to me to do things right, and I like that I’m not seeking someone else to subdue and micromanage my life for me. I don’t need constant correction, I need love. I just want to live my life. Faith is the center of any good marriage, not controlling your wife. I just want to be happy.

Women’s hearts are not little treasure chests and sandboxes to be opened, fiddled with, described by crap poetry and then deserted. I’m not “guarded” by mistake or by some misquotation of Freud. For most intents and purposes, remaining guarded can be holy. Men have a lot fewer consequences of stringing women along than the women who in cant help but let them. For the most part, it’s hard enough to be a woman in this world than to tolerate the immature dabbling of good guys who still need some time yet. If you mean business, say it and act like a man. It’s hard to pick yourself up over and over again because some poor fool can’t decide what he wants. This is cyclical.

I don’t want to be the mystical nymph who taught some poor schmuck how to feel in approximately 150 pages. Ironically, the most attractive guys in my opinion aren’t very academic, but they know how to fix things, they are strong, and here and there, they know how to listen. That seems so much more helpful than young men who describe themselves as academics. I know that isn’t particularly kind, but it is important to know how to work and how to commit to something. Sometimes I feel like the college I go to is in separate universe.

It’s hard to be a young woman and feel like all your importance in the body of Christ comes from being a potential spouse. My church doesn’t often make me feel like that, but this is the larger US culture of what churches are known for. We have sermons on all sorts of things, but we have to create special organizations and divisions of ministry to make sure women are remembered. As a young woman, I feel preyed upon sometimes inside church (the entire body of Christ) because of my age and it doesn’t always feel any different than talking to creepy professors. This is the environment we have in place. I heard a story of a friend’s middle school classmate who got raped on a mission trip (at another church). I hate to say that I’m not surprised.

These are the results of excluding women from most forms of leadership. How would you know about gaps of ministry that you aren’t meeting if you don’t ask, and if you don’t include? Oh, I have a hard time with this. We as the body of Christ are not as strong as we could be. This is not the best we can do. If we don’t include women as equal members of the body of Christ, they will find places they can lead and leave. It’s happened so many times in history, with different alternative faiths popping up and previously Christian women abandoning these institutions to find some sort of validity in their faith. If all women are called to be is mothers, as this century stretches on, you will see more and more women leave because they assume the church never had the meaning they needed for their lives. They will abandon all of this for a place that gives them opportunity. This isn’t a threat, it’s a promise. If we make church a pissing contest and a boys club, you will distract everyone from the actual spirit and life of Jesus. Inserting politics into this love story is cause for rebuke, and it seems like so many leaders are competing with one another. We continue to poorly steward the earth. We exclude.

Loving God and loving others is easier without as much striving. Gutting the politics, it is easier to love your neighbor. Loving like Jesus becomes more about Christ than replacing him. We can finally get some peace. From what I can tell, the world is tired. If purity in religion is to love widows and orphans and keep oneself unstained by the world, we need to remember Christ when we claim him. Loving God first and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves is intuitively a lot more simple.




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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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