Unspoken Words and Lessons Taught

Gender roles has been an apparent explosive hot button over the past three years in the blogosphere and on Twitter. And Facebook. And the gender role war has probably even gone back in time to affect MySpace and Xanga, too. Here’s the thing I don’t get though, for all of the talk about women not being pastors and not having authority over men, we seem to forget that women do teach. And they often teach men, without even realizing it. Maybe not always verbally or from a position of authority (which I think was the main point of the NT), but they do teach. They serve the Church best when they are invested in their brothers’ lives and walks with Christ, even if they aren’t articulating Theology. At least, that’s been my experience, and I want to share some of that with you here. In part to bring something more productive to the conversation than what has already been said, but also to honor these women for their courage to invest and be open with their thoughts.

The ironic thing about this is that these women don’t even go to my church, save one who goes to a different campus. So, I’ve only met one of them briefly, and yet their ability to be open and honest both in blogs and in email has impacted me. In no particular order…

Lore Ferguson writes several different places including Deeper Church and The Gospel Coalition, but most frequently at her blog, Sayable. Lore has shown me how to articulate Reformed Theology winsomely. So many blogs with a Calvinist bent come across as dry and stale, or arrogant and preachy. Lore’s heart comes across, and with it her compassion, both for her fellow Reformed brothers and sisters as well as those who aren’t Reformed. She has shown humility in how she writes as well as how she receives compliments. I can’t express how grateful I am for this example.

Joy Bennett writes at Deeper Story as well as her own blog, Joy In This Journey. Joy writes honestly. She writes openly, and she taught me to write unmasked. She showed me that it’s ok to wrestle through doubt and struggles openly. She taught me that it’s not just ok to have a Theology that mentally affirms compassion for the broken, but that we need to do what our Theology affirms.

Tamára Lunardo also writes at Deeper Story in addition to her blog, Tamára Out Loud. If you’ve read her work before, then you know the “out loud” isn’t just for comedic value. She’s one of the few people that taught me that it’s ok to be raw. Sometimes she’s a little too raw for me, but that’s because life is too raw. She isn’t one to portray life as a bed of roses without being real about the thorns that cut deep at times. She and Joy both helped me to see that God is big enough to handle the mess, because that’s why Christ stepped out of Heaven and adorned flesh – to handle our mess.

Each of these women have helped me develop a more robust Theology, challenged me to live what I believe, and pressed me to be authentic in this place and in life. The ironic thing is that they didn’t actually teach me this. I mean, there wasn’t a conversation or blog or an email chain where they verbally expressed how to do this. They just taught by being themselves. They wrote about life and gospel and Church and Jesus, probably not even knowing the kind of impact they had, and the Spirit made their words and actions resonate in my heart.

Sometimes the best way to teach someone isn’t by being vocal,
but just by being.

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