Has the Phrase, “Not a Good Fit” Ever Applied?
“Why didn’t I get the promotion?” he asked, nails dirty, hands wringing his baseball cap.
“I’m sorry, it just wasn’t a good fit,” came the response.
“Why didn’t I get the job?” she inquired, voice wavering.
“I’m sorry, it just wasn’t a good fit,” again, the human-resource-ese.
Yesterday I blogged about what Monica Lewinsky and the 300 stolen girls in Nigeria have in common. Honestly, there’s more different about them than similar, probably, but one thing is they both experience their own personal and unique forms of shame, dished from others.
I bring this up because in my perusal of what others were saying about this, I stumbled upon something I should have known for a while… and somehow didn’t…
I wasn’t a good fit for something major in Christian-dom.
As internet searching for easily distracted individuals usually goes, I found myself on the sites of well-known Christian bloggers.
And as “coincidence” would have it, I saw more clearly than ever before a division between two camps.
Egalitarian | Complementarian
Both have Christianity in common.
Both sides say they follow Christ.
Both sides argue Scripture verses, context, Greek, Hebrew, you-name-it, up the wazoo.
Both think the other side is utterly wrong and use Biblical text to demonstrate their points.
Both sides think their position is the correct one, obviously.
And if you want to learn more about what the differences are, do a google search. Bear in mind I spent time trying to find a simple definition for you that wasn’t offered up by either “side” but literally couldn’t find anything online. I am interested if you find something that simply defines each term without the rhetoric of supporting or disrespecting either position. Wikipedia seemed to be biased toward complementarianism, and Merriam-Webster didn’t even have the word listed. Many of the sites had inflammatory language and a “you are stupid if you believe otherwise” tone to them. There were moments I felt embarrassed for some of the writers – not that I’m claiming to be any better, but we need to stop fighting among ourselves – especially in front of others.
At any rate, the differences lie in the way each side interprets the Bible in terms of how it applies to marriage.
What I stumbled upon, however, isn’t so much about them, as it is about me.
I realized that I don’t fit.
What makes me half crazy when reading positions from either “camp” (their words, not mine) is that there is such disagreement – they emphasize some scripture and completely ignore others, and separate marriage from all other relationships, or equate them with all relationships, often to extremes. When reading both “sides” it seems like I have to reject or accept only half of what the Bible says – or view it with extremism. I can’t accept the extreme points (which some argue are not extreme, btw) within complementarianism that women should not lead in a para-church organization or business – that would call my entire relationship with God into question, because I do feel led to do what I’m doing – and when I’ve asked, I’ve had it confirmed by the Word and circumstances multiple times. I also cannot accept the extreme point within egalitarianism that the husband is not the head of the wife – this is specifically in the Bible, and once we start picking and choosing what we think is legit and what is not, well, might as well throw the whole book out because there’s nothing to base one’s faith upon at that point. And yes, I have been guilty of using titles to get readers attention, things like, “Hate Patriarchy?”
And yes, I believe RESPECT applies in all relationships – and is more effective than bra-burning any day. Find out why here, if you are interested.
And yeah, sometimes I wonder about head coverings, and no, I don’t wear one.
And so, like our job candidates above, yesterday, I started feeling like I was on the receiving end of the “you’re not a good fit” discussion in the blogosphere.
What’s really funny is I used to be a human resources manager, so I have been on the other side of the desk and phone, sad to pass along the “company rhetoric,” and comply with what the lawyers allowed us to say.
The difference today is that I really don’t know anyone else out there that like me, has decided to not choose “sides” – not because both sides are wrong, however, but rather because both sides represent Biblical Truth – and depending on the writer, I’m saying that is “to some degree.” Do you know of anyone who hasn’t chosen a side, but rather chooses the entirety of Scripture? I’d love to know and hope you’ll share if you do.
But what IS true? What do you say?
I think the WHOLE Bible is true.
ALL the Scriptures.
ALL the stories.
Adam and Eve AND Ananais and Sapphira.
Abraham and Sarah AND King Xerxes and Esther.
Abigail and Nabal AND Aquila and Priscilla.
Submit AND honor.
Respect AND love.
Friend AND Help and Complement.
Equal AND Heir.
Accountable head AND mutual submission.
It’s ALL true.
And… I realize I’ve probably just alienated myself from both camps.
Yes, I actually believe that my husband is held accountable by God for our family, but that he is also to honor and love and respect me as I do so with him, and that obedience is NOT the same as submission, and no, wives are not commanded to obey their husbands, but rather to not be contentious and competitive with him, receiving him as a person, but sharing a differing opinion, knowing that we both need to be on mission with GOD, and that if we will both submit to God’s authority in our lives and obey Him, there will be times when we both receive coaching from (submit to) one another. I also know that there will always be men who lord their physical stature and strength over women in their attitudes, just as women can also be relationally manipulative and conniving. I also know there are those that refuse to believe there are differences between men and women, regardless of what the science says or how impossible it is for the average man to have a baby or breastfeed.
So I’m probably really different here.
But I don’t sense God alienating me. Mainly because the camps themselves are NOT in the Word.
Those were designed by men, trying to explain these things, because we like to categorize and label things, especially those we don’t understand.
Why can’t we just accept it ALL as true?
Could it be? It IS a mystery…
What do you think?
Would love to hear your thoughts on this today! More about this here.
Love to you,
I remember the JOY of reading The Respect Dare and finding words written to my “thoughts” and “feelings” about women – in marriage, in church. I so often kept my mouth shut in conversation because I believe in a Biblical hierarchy, I believe in submission but not being a doormat, respect but not childlike obedience. I have witnessed the words of an anointed woman touch the lives of men and *gasp* someone (male) may have accepted Christ – and be with us in heaven. I believe sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks to me and sounds a LOT like my husband….(where is the really small print? because) I believe the Holy Spirit speaks to my husband and sounds a lot like me. I believe scripture is God-breathed, inerrant AND I don’t know the “how” of most of the things …… and I’m totally okay without the explanation on this side of heaven. If you don’t fit …. I’m so thankful we get to be in the middle together. I never really liked labels anyway! 🙂
What a lovely comment. Beautifully written. 🙂 And true.
LOVE IT that you are here, beautiful!
I accept your dare as I share that I have thought and prayed much about Biblical inerrancy, gender roles and responsibilities under God, and the “camps”. Right up front I will share that I am a (woman) priest in the Anglican Church of North America, and that we as a Christian church have both male and female priests and both beliefs are held with respect for the other while we try to live out how we each believe God has called us. This is hard. Sometimes, I just wish God would come and say to all camps, “Hey, listen up, haven’t I set forth the commandment that you love one another as I have loved you? Right now, you see in a mirror but dimly, but one day we will see each other face to face. In the meantime, bear with each other lovingly and live as you truly believe I have revealed Myself to you. Let me be the Judge.,” I realize that I am not addressing the complexity of the situation but I agree with you in that we need to dare to be Respectful and loving while trusting God’s word, in the meantime,
that “Everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, may have eternal life and I shall raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40
Mary Lou –
Honestly, I admire you for your struggle – it IS hard. And I’m glad I’m not called to preach, because I don’t know how I would deal with this in today’s culture – such a difficult thing to even dialogue about (and honestly, I haven’t researched or studied it much, but I have had a few men (and a few women) tell me I’m wrong for teaching classes to both genders, wrong for leading in ministry, wrong for writing where men can read it, etc.) and can’t imagine what it would be like to be in your shoes. I know for me, those extreme complementarian views I just mentioned call my entire relationship with God into question, and maybe that’s some of what you deal with. And I’m sorry for those who have been unloving in the way they’ve dealt with you.
I’m glad you are here, Mary Lou. And I’m glad for the comment and the dialogue.
Love to you,
That is why I follow you. You’re the only one who doesn’t make me crazy. I’ve never kicked The Respect Dare across the room (yes, I have others). I bought your book because when I cried out to God for help, he reminded me of when I ignored your book 2 years earlier. (whoa–2 years) Don’t change–keep on going. Thnx
HA! 🙂 Glad I’m not making you crazy today, gorgeous! 🙂 There’s elements of the whole truth (and both “camps”)in the book, don’t you think? Trouble is, the camps can’t see each other’s sides, and depending on how “legalistic” or “rigid” or “extreme” one’s thinking is, and how positive or negative your perception, it really affects what’s perceived in the book. God is good, and His timing is always perfect. 🙂 Glad we’re connected here!
Love to you,
I love this post! A year ago I would have put myself in complementarian camp for sure. After much growing I think I’m in the camp of “Not Everything is Strictly Black or White”. I understand that my husband is my head and I will defer to him if we can’t agree (very rare these days), but I recognize how he submits to me as well by being a servant leader. (He’s a gem, really)
If we look to Christ for our example the labels really are unnecessary. 🙂
YES YES YES YES YES!! 🙂 And I’m right there with you, gorgeous! 🙂
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