Deep down, we still want men to lead. Though it has become politically incorrect to define gender roles or even say that gender exists, we not only long for gender distinctions (manly men and womanly women) but our society craves the traits they bring, the cultivated fires of hearth and home and the unyielding edge of warriors born for battle. The fact that we try to mix genders doesn’t mean we don’t still long for the distinctions they bring! We’re just a little confused as to how to get there. When there is war or famine, 5G coming or babies dying, we long for men in government to stand up. In the church, we want direction and discipleship and even the parameters of someone to be willing to take disciplinary action. In the home, we long for the provision and the security that comes not only from knowing a man has the whole family’s back, but that he has a will to shepherd them through all life’s difficulties and disciple them in Christ along the way.
It is likened to a great curse when a people lacks men to lead, comparable in scripture to lacking all bread and all water.
That makes for a pretty starved people!
“For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water. The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator…”
How wonderful to have mighty men, men of war, prophets, captains and honourable men!
Yet without them leading, what we see that fills the gap only magnifies the curse:
“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” Isaiah 3
Why is it a curse to have women ruling? Isn’t it natural to step in where others fail? History shows many examples where it was needed. Women stepped in when their men fell in battle and manned the factories at home because the men were not there. Women have taken over provision through industrious means when their husband passes, over and over. These women are truly heroes. Today, the goals motivating many women to step into leadership roles are also heroic. Some of the best women I know are legislators and organizers. They are willing to put their all on the line, and they are ingenious and creative in their methods. They organize tirelessly and have the fire of nurture behind everything they do. Yet in this long term battle of seeking to revolutionize a sliding culture and save our children from destruction, it does not happen outside of gender construct. We cannot think we can belittle men into leading and we also can’t think that we, as women, can fill that gap. We need to become more enabling to men rather than taking over for men. As men simmer in a pot of being cow-towed and told to take a backseat continually to women, the female’s desire to never yield has made them sit down. And now they are waiting to see our success, with our rifles and our CEO positions and our leadership positions. If they are nice enough, they are highly supportive while they wait! Husbands give all the support a wife needs, while she leads. This woman in the advertisement for WW1 recruitment may have been able to shame her man into action at the time, but there is no shame today in saying, “I will absolutely support you going to war. You are quite capable and I am behind you!” The tremendous “AFTER YOU” of men today has been to usher women straight into their own role.
The curse of women ruling happens for several reasons:
1. It cultivates failure. In trying to excel at something they were not designed for, there will be failure. With her long tresses flying, and taking her rifle over to liberate and secure Belgium, we really wish to believe this beautiful woman taking charge will be effective. But do we honestly believe that if hundreds of women went with her with their guns, it could be done? Yet many, many little girls have been cultivated into this mindset. We are wonder women. We will not only take our rifles and conquer the enemy but we will leave only love and light in our wake! And the men will follow our good lead.
In government, we see the problem of women’s desire for mercy continually. Yet government was designed by God to wield the sword against evildoers (Romans 13) and it is not a ministry of mercy but of justice. The legislature legislates the sword, the judiciary adjudicates the sword and the executive branch executes the sword. The mercy that is in government is in securing society FROM evildoers. Immunity to punishment for criminals only cultivates disorder and breeds crime. And it is the feminine inclination for softness to never punish for crimes against the preborn that has left 67 million dead babies in its wake. The cry of “Grace and mercy!” is a good one but it has no place in a government designed to protect the weak.
One only has to picture David exacting justice as the governmental agent of God, with all the bloodshed and firmness that was required in that role, to wonder if a woman would be up for the tasks ultimately set for leadership in government? We have simply softened the function with feminine thinking and our entire nation bears the result.
2. When women step into leadership, they turn men into women. Men will joke that they are secretary of their wife or wife to their wives because they know that SOMEBODY has to fill the support role! Innately, we know support is a wifely function but men fall into it easily nowadays. There are plenty of things that can fill their time other than leadership, and the playing field for men and women has been leveled. Men nowadays simply want their women to be happy and they want their women to succeed. They hope for glass ceilings to break everywhere, doors to be opened and their women to be strengthened to the task. They are good men and they are honestly trying to support good women seeking to do a good thing. But if we take the STRENGTH of men and turn it into SUPPORT of women, we have moved their efforts ultimately from being in a male category to being in a female one. There is no way around it. Even the jokes reflect it.
3. Into children. Women stepping into the leadership role with provision often leads to men becoming less responsible. And why not? They can spend more of time playing and leave the breadwinning to the person who wants to do it. They are highly supportive and appreciative!
4. And into cowards. We see in scripture with the story of Deborah and Barak how easy it was for Barak to become cowardly and not want to go into battle without the woman he had come to depend on. Even in the face of Deborah’s criticism and judgment of him, her being in front of him as leader helped him to depend upon her and shrink back from boldness and duty.
The bottom line is that by taking over what others fail to do, we shoot ourselves in the foot, much like the parent who fixes the messy room problem by cleaning it themselves! We dust and clean and pick up the messy piles, feeling irritated about their lack of duty, only to face the same room again the next day. We train dependence and lethargy in our children this way. And in other ways, we have helped to cumulatively disincentivize the men to lead. IF we would regain this incentive toward leadership, we must cultivate it. Our behavior impacts their behavior. We must view the battle as a whole and fill our part well.
Because not only do we help ruin leadership by taking slots designed by God for men and disincentivize them, but we also leave our post. And how can we expect to win the battle while not being at our post? There must be generals leading in the right direction but there must also be arms manufacture. There must be all of the support necessary to keep warriors equipped and there must be bullets. There must be arrows, and arrows trained rightly! There must be a home left to fight for, with homely qualities, to defend. Support of our men is what we were designed for, and nurture and training… without which we have no battle, no government, no nation.
This is the side of the battle that will not be fought without us.
Do not leave your post, ladies! Seek God, rather, on how to fill it better. Be strong and of good courage. Be a support to your man and do not belittle him and shame him. Defer to him and watch him grow as a leader. It is better to have an imperfect man leading than a perfect woman. We honestly need transformation on this subject, because with the oddity we would view an entire army of women going to war and the men staying home, we should view women stepping into leadership roles. Once we are in positions designed for them, a man cannot be in it. The Lord can give us grace and leadership in this, and wisdom!
Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.
In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,
The rings, and nose jewels,
The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.
And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.
And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being
desolate shall sit upon the ground.”