In the old movie, The Commancheros, the beautiful character called Pilar observed: “In every successful relationship, one party is dominate and the other is subservient.” By virtue of his right as Creator, God has decreed that men function as leaders—both in the home and in the church (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-23; 1 Timothy 2:12ff).
There is no doubt that in the past many men have abused this relationship. Some (even among professed Christians) have mistreated women and degraded them shamefully. This hurtful disposition is not the fault of the Bible; it is a violation of biblical principles. The scriptural dogma regarding women rises head-and-shoulders above any culture of the antique world.
Today, we are seeing a militant backlash against men. Perhaps that is somewhat to be expected (though not justified). It is, though, a dangerous trend, for when the pendulum swings in one direction, it is likely to return to the opposite extreme.
A recent article in U. S. News & World Report by contributing editor John Leo issues a warning that women would be well advised to “back off” from the vicious anti-male mentality that has seized some of them. Leo illustrates this caution with several examples:
- A famous TV newswoman recently told this joke at a fund-raising dinner. A woman needed a brain transplant. Only two brains were available—a man’s for $5,000 and a woman’s for $500. Why the price difference? “The woman’s was used.”
- A popular greeting card says: “Men are always whining about how we suffocate them. If you can still hear them whining, you’re not pressing the pillow hard enough.”
- Katie Couric was interviewing an abandoned bride on the Today Show. She asked the woman, “Have you thought about castration?”
- The 3-M Company put out some Post-it notes with this imprinted message: “Men have only two faults: Everything they say, and everything they do.”
- A new calendar is on the market featuring “men we love to hate.”
This attitude is being taught, to some extent, in the public schools. One feminist teacher was seen wearing a button saying: “So many men, so little intelligence.” Young ladies are wearing T-shirts with the slogan: “Girls Rule.” A rhyme, making the rounds in school, goes like this: “Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider; girls go to college to get more knowledge.”
These attitudes are quite contrary to the teaching of the Bible.
We will not have happy work places, contented homes, and fruitful congregations until men and women learn to respect one another. Certainly we don’t want to get so hyper-sensitive that we cannot tease one another in good taste. At the same time, we must convey genuine love and respect across the gender lines.