We recently had Deaconess Melissa Degroot from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN, at our congregation to speak about women and ministry and also the role of women in the husband/wife relationship. She did an incredible job describing what Scripture says. I would highly suggest having her come to speak.
And since her time with us I have been doing some major reflection on the man/woman-husband/wife-pastor/deaconess relationship. Often two things are miscontrued in these conversations. If people speak plainly about what Scripture says they are automatically assumed to be a male dominator and if a woman says it, therefore they are brainwashed. Or if people speak about the glories of women and their amazing roles in ministry they are promoting women's ordination. I do believe there is a way to speak of both without being misconstrued of either. Because in all reailty, it is tough to be either one in today's world. One friend told me, "Brady, if people think you are a male dominator, they don't realize that your wife, Amy, would kick your butt if you tried." He was absolutely right. So where does the distinction lie?
The distinction in all of it is service. If a husband uses his God-given role as a club to dominate his wife, he is instantly going against his role as servant. If a wife looks to have control of her husband and not "submit" then she is no longer a servant, but a power monger. If a pastor tries to use his power to make his own changes and discount the role of women in ministry, they are denying Scripture and the many gifts that women possess (especially in mercy). Despite common misperceptions, the relationship of pastor-deaconess, husband/wife, and man/woman can easily be biblical and not downgrading if the main goal is being service. And boy, I need to repent over some of that and we all do. Do we ALWAYS uplift each other in word and deed, man alive, no? Do we have it as our main goal to serve or do we let selfish desires enter in? But at the end of the day the question is not who has a position, but who has been a servant of Christ and repent if we have not!
The question we all have to ask is twofold: 1) Is it Biblical? and 2) Are we being servants? If we can answer yes to both, done. If not, time to repent. At the end of the day it is not a question of who has the position, but who has been a servantof christ. It will never be perfect, but as redeemed baptized children of God it is worth fighting for.
Time to go and do some repenting for all of us. Lord have mercy