I found a few sites encouraging this lifestyle called "Biblical patriarchy." Now, these aren't just your garden variety complimentarians, whose ranks I left for good during grad school. The "patriarchal" folks are really hard core about it. I guess I encountered some of this stuff when I was growing up, but reading it now, and seeing how many people actually subscribe to it, is shocking. Just to give you a good idea of what we're dealing with, here are some of the best quotes from Biblical patriarchy I could find on the web.
- When I worked for another boss outside the home, it was no longer my husband who called the shots for me. In contrast, the scriptures indicate that my husband is my lord, with a lower-case l.
- Patriarchy is not the most important thing in life, but when it is lost one of the foundations of culture is destroyed...it is the path to family and social blessing.
- Male leadership in the home carries over into the church: only men are permitted to hold the ruling office in the church. A God-honoring society will likewise prefer male leadership in civil and other spheres as an application of and support for God’s order in the formative institutions of family and church.
- While unmarried women may have more flexibility in applying the principle that women were created for a domestic calling, it is not the ordinary and fitting role of women to work alongside men as their functional equals in public spheres of dominion (industry, commerce, civil government, the military, etc.)
- We do not believe that girls should avoid a higher education; only that it is not necessary (or wise) to send them away to school to obtain that education. Their focus should be to train and prepare for their likely calling as a wife, mother, and keeper at home.
This is damaging theology, primarily since all of humanity was created to fulfill these roles on Earth. It's damaging because it suggests there is something funny, something not quite human about woman. It puts them in a place somewhere above children but not quite men. It says "hey, ladies, you don't qualify for plan A, but plan B is still pretty good."
Because of Jesus, men and women (and even children) can be prophets/prophetesses), priests/priestesses and kings/queens. If it does apply to parenting, surely it applies to both fathers and mothers.
I know these folks are only trying to do the right thing. I get that. They just don't seem to follow their ideas to their logical conclusions: that they are against the character of God and what we know about God from the Bible.
Yes, there are examples of patriarchy in the Bible. Lots of them. I believe God allowed this imperfect state to exist for the greater good of the Kingdom. This is where lots of study and prayer have taken me.
It's fine if you disagree. Really. Just make sure you're holding this with an open hand, along with all other divisive issues. There is a lot of Scripture we can be sure about. A lot of other things are not so easy, because we're fallen and we're so far from the original language and context of the Bible.
It is a lot easier when you don't feel like you need to have all the answers. Faith more than makes up the difference.