Engendered Differences


Engendered Differences

By Andrea Schwartz – bio

Category: Articles
Topic: Culture

I once asked Dr. Rushdoony if he could sum up Christian Reconstruction.  His response surprised me.  He said, "Christian Reconstruction is the reading of Scripture with the understanding that every word in it is a command word of God telling us how we should live."  I was expecting something much more complicated than that.  When viewed that way, it becomes harder and harder to explain away portions of God's law-word that we don't like or feel are out of touch with the times. It means that, rather than fight with God on our terms, we must obey Him on His. 

God's design for women is in a complementary and supportive role. Were men sufficient to carry out God's dominion mandate alone, there would have been no need for a helpmeet.  The balance and insight that women provide allow men to fully step into their dominion roles. Yet, the Tempter's plan continues to seduce women away from their God-appointed functions to arenas of life that distract them from their created design.  To remove women from their high calling in God's basic institution of the family spells disaster.  It is noteworthy that, despite all attempts at eliminating gender designations in our culture, the method by which new people enter the world remains through a woman's womb.

From the beginning of time, God has decreed that people be defined in terms of their gender rather than apart from it. For example, rather than describe myself as  an offspring, sibling, adult, spouse, and parent, it is Biblically correct  to identify myself as  a daughter, sister, woman, wife, and mother. Each of these clearly identifies the fact that I am female.

There are commands in Scripture that apply equally to both men and women and the blessings and cursings are certainly not gender specific. However, when we embrace modern culture's "gender neutral" designations, we downplay the specific callings outlined in Scripture, and society in general and the Kingdom of God suffer.  Thus, God's original intent that women help men in their dominion calling is replaced with men and women competing against one another, resulting in a conflict of interests rather than a harmony of interests.

The Bible clearly states that women are not to serve as elders in the church. This mandate in no way indicates that men are superior to women in character or ability. This is an organizational difference by God's design, outlining His hierarchy of authority and responsibility, not to mention jurisdiction. A woman's role in the immediate and extended family is of such paramount importance, that to assume roles outside these areas is wasting her as the valuable resource she is. There's simply too much to do in this arena for her to abdicate her position to areas of lesser importance. 

R. L. Dabney in Vol. 4 of his Discussions has this to say to women of their high calling:

There, in your homes, is your domain. There you rule with the scepter of affection, and not our conquerors. We beseech you, wield that gentle empire in behalf of the principles, the patriotism, the religion, which we inherited from our mothers. Teach our ruder sex that only by a deathless love to these can woman's dear love be deserved or won. Him who is true to these crown with your favor. Let the wretch who betrays them be exiled forever from the paradise of your arms. Then shall we be saved, saved from a degradation fouler than the grave. Be it yours to nurse with more than a vestal's watchfulness, the sacred flame of our virtue now so smothered. Your task is unobstrusive; it is performed in the privacy of home, and by the gentle touches of daily love. But it is the noblest work which mortal can perform, for it furnishes the polished stones, with which the temple of our liberties must be repaired. We have seen men building a lofty pile of sculptured marble, where columns with polished shafts pointed to the skies, and domes reared their arches on high, like mimic heavens. They swung the massive blocks into their places on the walls with cranes and cables, with shout and outcries, and huge creaking of the ponderous machinery. But these were not the true artisans: they were but rude laborers. The true artists, whose priceless cunning was to give immortal beauty to the pile, and teach the dead stones to breathe majesty and grace were not there. None saw or heard their labors. In distant and quite workrooms, where no eye watched them, and no shout gave signal of their motions, they plied their patient chisels slowly with gentle touches, evoking the forms of beauty which lay hid in the blocks before them. Such is your work; the home and fireside are the scenes of your industry. But the materials which you shape are the souls of men, which are to compose the fabric of our church and state. The politician, the professional man, is but the cheap, rude day laborer, who moves and lifts the finished block to its place. You are the true artists, who endue it with fitness and beauty; and therefore yours is the nobler task.

An aspect of the curse is to view God's laws as burdens rather than blessings. Today we reap the consequences of fighting God in His gender particulars as we attempt to construct a society where the distinct gender roles God has assigned are disregarded and/or deliberately challenged.

Ladies, we need to stop the mantra that we are just as good as men.  We need to stop cataloging all the areas in which we perceive discrimination.  Instead we need to embrace the reality that when it came time to assigning important roles for the continuance, nurturing, and guidance of the human race, God chose not to send a man to do a job that only a woman could do!


Man now tries to bypass this with his attempts at cloning.

This is not to imply women have a greater role in dominion than men.  The point is God's design is for men to do what He ordains and women to do what He ordains. It's when one gender cedes or usurps God-given responsibilities that we lose the fabric of life as God ordained it.

R. L. Dabney, Discussions, Vol. IV, Secular (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books and Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1979 ), 121-22.


Andrea Schwartz has been active as a home educator since 1983. She successfully educated her three children through high school. She has written five books Lessons Learned from Years of Homeschooling, The Homeschool Life, The Biblical Trustee Family, Woman of the House, &  A House for God. She also has written two children's books for families to read together: Teach Me While My Heart is Tender: Real-Aloud Stories of Repentance and Forgiveness and Family Matters: Read-Aloud Stories of Responsibility and Self-Discipline. Her website www.KingdomDrivenFamily.com is a useful site for homeschooling families, and she is a regular contributor to the Chalcedon publication, Faith for All of Life. Andrea runs the Chalcedon Teacher Training Institute, a mentoring/study program designed to help homeschooling mothers become the best teachers for their children. She is a sought after public speaking and writing instructor, as well as a guest speaker for Christian schools, homeschooling support groups, and introductory seminars on homeschooling. She resides in San Jose, CA with her husband of 40 years. She can be contacted @ Andrea@chalcedon.edu.

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