Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Never Above, Never Below, Always Beside

You are the star of each night,
You are the brightness of every morning,
You are the story of each guest,
You are the report of every land.

No evil shall befall you, on hill nor bank,
In field or valley, on mountain or in glen.
Neither above, nor below, neither in sea,
Nor on shore, in skies above,
Nor in the depths.

You are the kernel of my heart,
You are the face of my sun,
You are the harp of my music,
You are the crown of my company.

~ Traditional Irish Blessing ~

Annie and Aaron Burrows

Last week, I was having a discussion with a few family members about extreme stupidity and gender absurdity in advertising. I really appreciated these thoughtful observations from one of my nephews:

But, for the most part this advertising is offensive. I don't think it's wrong to acknowledge different roles for men and women without sacrificing equality. There's the other extreme. In entertainment it's the other way around. Every TV sitcom features a husband who's a bumbling moron while the wife / mother is the only person capable of keeping everything afloat.

[Or, what I seem to notice a lot: sitcoms with NO wife / mother at all in the picture. E.g., Full House, that stupid Olsen twins show. Hey, who needs a mother when the House is already so Full, right? My Three Sons, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Buffy & Jody -- where was their mother? Oops -- killed in a car accident, just like the Full House mom. In real life, this would be devastating, but in TV Land, it's just one more light-hearted, convenient little plot device! Mom's dead? Not to worry! Apparently, sitcoms can be just as fun and funny, or even more so, without Mom around. But that's another story. And that's me talking . . .
Now, back to Aaron . . . ]

Many people blame these objectionable gender roles on Christian society and western values. But this is far from true. Western society has produced some of history's greatest, most accomplished, powerful women. This is very different from the ancient societies that viewed women as objects. The New Testament (and actually the Old Testament, when properly understood) teaches something very different, and very liberating, for women. Jesus and the apostles rebuked people who objectified women. In fact, men were called to love their wives "as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her." This is in stark contrast to what was popular at the time. The biblical mandate for men and women is mutual submission to one another, not "love honor and OBEY" as many people seem to think.

The 1950's are often idealized as a time when all was right with the world. Yet, as the Cracked article points out, women were expected to be quiet, bring their husbands coffee, and shut up. They were supposed to be happy about a husband who was gone on business trips all the time, and never question anything. We must be careful not to exchange this oppressive past for something equally oppressive under the guise of "liberation."

If we follow a biblical model for marriage, we will see people in mutual service to each other, working hard for their home, family, church, and culture. What a world it would be, huh? There is nothing wrong with a "traditional" home wherein the mother stays home with her children and the father works outside to bring home the money. There is also nothing wrong with doing it the other way around. Or some combination of the two. What IS wrong, is when people, men or women, elevate themselves above the other.

by guest blogger Aaron Thomas Burrows,
shown here with son Reuben


The two family photographs above were taken by
Aaron & Annie's talented daughter & guest photographer . . .

Lyla Jane Burrows


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