I’ve been reflecting on some of the books that I read in high school on women’s roles. I feel like a volcano… there are so many thoughts swirling in my head that I think I must explode onto paper…

Fascinating Womanhood. It was recommended by a dear friend and we fell in love with it and the principles presented therein together. The basic premise: men live in constant insecurity and need for affirmation. Women exist to bolster male self-esteem and encourage male petulance despite ourselves. Through our endless exhortation and overlooking of faults, women might help their men to develop into the persons of character that they were intended by God to be.

The profound and glaring problem with this equation is the disgusting dishonesty of it. Relationships are intended for our sanctification. Women and men to do not exist or function to soothe one another and make each other feel superior than we truly are. We are the iron sharpening each other.

We have the world, the flesh and the devil to lie to us. We don’t need our spouses to do that.

But the rub is that if we embrace being honest with our coheirs, we must likewise embrace their ability to be honest and confrontational with us. Why is that part of the bargain? Why can’t I just spew my perspective on you without hearing your sanctifying reproach for me?

Are women really supposed to be “free of the burden” of providing loving accountability and chastisement in the lives of their husbands? We discuss secondary issues like “exercising authority” more than we exhort each other to SERVICE and edification.

Why? There are a plethora of reasons why we avoid big, tough, ugly issues and stick to secondary ones instead. It occurred to me that one of these reasons is good old-fashioned slothfulness.

Sloth is a dark sin. It is idly living for yourself and precludes passivity, lethargy, and profound laziness.

The truth is that not many of desire to be teachers, knowing that we will incur a greater condemnation. Responsibility is tough and it is so much easier to siphon it off onto someone else. In the example of Fascinating Womanhood, gender is just an excuse that allows women off the hook of marital accountability. Women, do not settle for the role of mothering your man. Do not settle for becoming his plaything either. Do not serve him so unwell as to leave him at his present place of growth and challenge him no further. Do not resign yourself to sloth.

I write this to myself, as I continue to press toward a theology of marital relationship. You cannot keep growing in love for each other when you are lost in triviality. You will reach a point where you plateau. We are nobler people than that. Together, in union with each other and Christ, we must live up to our nobility.

Nor can you sustain a relationship at an existential level of such heights that you lose touch with reality. You reach a point where you peak and cannot get down again. We are more human people than that. Together, in union with each other and Christ, we must live into our humanity.

Dr. Rosalie de Rosset mentioned incidentally in class that the greatest eros springs from intellectual admiration. Eros is desire… the sacred devotion that seek out the noble and gives itself for the benefit of the other. True women will pursue men of intellect, strength, devotion, and complex sexuality. True men will pursue women of the same guild. And from the “marriage of true minds” a love will spring that “bears it out even to the edge of doom” (William Shakespeare, Sonnet CXVI).

          Thank you, Meghan Bolger and Krista Ziebarth, for allowing me to spew these disjointed thoughts to you for three successive hours today. You spared me from tragic, spontaneous, internal combustion.

Yours devotedly,

~Annie Bolger Quick, editor

“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way,

and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless

until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23

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