Brothers, I know you’re weary from the last few months of SBC headlines that are pointed at your gender.
I know you feel afraid that the world will consider you an ally of every man who has abused women. I know you feel anxiety that your efforts to care for women aren’t enough. You feel like you’re walking a tightrope, unsure how much longer you can stay balanced. I know you’re carrying around wounds.
I know because you’ve told me. I know because I’ve felt what you’re feeling. I’ve also been misidentified as an ally of women with whom I disagree, and I’ve walked with fear that my ministry pursuits might be misconstrued. I’ve had anxiety about the future of women in the church. I know what you feel, and I know you’re discouraged.
I don’t want to use this article to just empathize with what you’re feeling or recapitulate the events of the past. Instead, I want to be a voice of love and comfort. I want to tell you what God sees when he looks at you, why I love you, and how I hope to encourage you in the midst of our cynical culture.
What God Sees When He Looks At You
Brothers, God does not view you in light of other men. You are not guilty of degrading women because a few are guilty of it. The sins of a few men are not attributed to your record of wrongs.
God does not label your gender as inferior to mine. Absolutely not. You are no better or worse than me. Any lazy choice, degrading comment, prideful thought, angry action, bad stewardship, and yes, even adulterous relationship, was forgiven when Jesus suffered, died, and rose for you.
The cross of Jesus is the great equalizer of the church. All have sinned, and all whom Jesus claims as his own are saved. God sees your sin no more. The blood of Jesus has cleansed you and made you whiter than snow.
God really does see you without blemish. He sees you as His adopted son; you’ve inherited the kingdom of God (Romans 8:15-17). You are children of God.
Why I Love You
First, I love you because I have also been adopted into the family of God. We share a Father. Our Father calls us to love one another (John 13:34-35). That’s why I call you brothers and not just friends. We’re blood relatives.
Second, I love you because you have shown how much you love me. You listen to me, shepherd me, serve me, pray for me, and encourage me. You are dear friends who do not ignore me because of my gender. You are leaders who see my gifts and push me to use them. You are brothers who stand up when I am wronged and rejoice when I succeed.
Finally, I love you because I need you. The work of the Great Commission is given to all disciples of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20). We cannot reach the whole world with half the church, which is why we need the whole family to link arms and be light to the world (Matthew 5:16).
We’re different, yes, but our union with Christ unifies us to use our gifts for the good of one another and for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 12). You don’t matter more than me, and I don’t matter more than you. We are equally called to glorify God with our lives (Colossians 3:17, 1 Corinthians 10:31).
How I Hope To Encourage You
By God’s grace, I hope to be a continuous encouragement to you. I have not always done this well. I have spoken out of hurt and frustration at the ways I feel ignored, but done so at your expense.
I hope to encourage you by slaying any trace of misandry in my life, or in the lives of any women I know. Too often our response to the inequality we face is to swing the pendulum, to verbally and actively degrade men. We’ll speak with ungodly sarcasm or dehumanizing generalizations. We must kill this sin. Brothers, I hope our words point you to Jesus and affirm you in the many ways that God has gifted each of you.
I also hope to encourage you by taking responsibility for my holiness. We tell men to practice the “Billy Graham Rule” and personal piety, believing that they are more responsible to maintain it than women. Instead of throwing my hands up and saying, “It’s up to you, guys!” I will set up boundaries, vocalize if I’m uncomfortable, and take responsibility for my own holiness. You are not the only gender that is called to be above reproach (Philippians 2:15).
Finally, I hope to encourage you by praying for you. I will pray for my brothers as a group, but also as individuals. I will ask God to remind you of the gospel every day, and that He would keep your feet firm on His foundation.