Modeling Mutuality & Equality


What would be the benefit in limiting one parent in fully using their gifts?

In times of social change, people often try to hold on to the past with one hand while they reach toward the future with the other. We cling to certain forms and structures because they feel familiar and safe. Eventually inappropriate forms become so uncomfortable that they are modified by most people. 

At times, Christians are no different.  We may be so preoccupied with forms while blind to the reasons we hold them, that we are unable to apply timeless Christian principles to new circumstances.

It is not enough for children to respect and obey their father. Instruction in the Bible is for children to respect their parents. This is an essential principle. If the father does not reciprocate in a completely mutual way and model for the children equal respect for the mother, the result is dysfunction, since then one parent cannot function fully as a parent.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:7

When discussing parenting, we find a general disregard for the gifts God gives to each individual. Much conversation centers on the culturally customary ways men and women raise their children.  But God gives us each unique gifts because He knows us best and loves us perfectly; and both women and men are commanded to use their gifts for the common good.  Parenting, being part of the common good, should allow both mothers and fathers to fully use their gifts.

A parent who sincerely cares about their child wants to see them thrive and grow, much like a shepherd who tends the flock.   What would be the benefit in limiting one parent in fully using their gifts?

1 comment:

  1. This is a good point. Real life is right there in our families. If we limit one half of the overseers of the children we may actually be diminishing the effect input that parent can give into the lives of their children. When we tell all women they can only reach for and achieve a certain FEW interests and goals in their lives then we are diminishing their lives, taking away their sense of fulfillment (even if they don't realize it), limiting their capacity to improve and become all they can be. This is not missed by the children. It can teach them a lack of compassion toward women. It really diminishes the whole family to some degree.


Many people don't grow up because true maturity isn't about marveling over one's powers. It is about becoming like Christ who came not to be served, but to serve.