Bam! Poetry! Jesus!

A while ago, a friend of mine posted the following video on his blog.

Watch it.


It’s awesome.

I love it!

I love Jesus AND performance/spoken-word poetry.

And isn’t this video the best of both?

You wanna know something cool?

I accidentally was in the right place at the right time and totally got to see Janette ikz live!

It makes me SO happy.

Her hair is so cool, right?

And this poem does such a great job of showing the divine in a topic we usually trivialize.

Awhile back, I started writing a post about singleness, but it felt like I’m always writing about gender roles and criticizing the way leaders approach the topic, so, in an effort to avoid being that contentious woman of Proverbs, I never posted it. Here are some things from that post.

I’m not convinced I’ve ever heard a sermon about Ephesians 5 that didn’t sandpaper my heart…

Paul urges wives to submit to their husbands like how they submit to God, which, to me, suggests that a woman must have experienced submission to the Lord…

…in sermons about gender roles or marriage, there’s always that weekly-date-night push and synchronizing the schedules and other practical application, which is good and fine. What’s not fine is the implication that if we just plan it out, submit when we’re supposed to, and live within our prescribed gender roles, we’ll have shiny marriages that everyone wants to emulate.

… date night doesn’t save marriages.

Apart from the stirring of the Holy Spirit, a weekly date night is fruitless. And relying on the popular Christian life strategies might make us feel good, but it isn’t true faith.

So, as I think about sermons about gender roles, I guess I’m just disappointed that for women, it seems like the church believes that our submission will fix everything.

But the truth is that it isn’t a behavior change or even a shift in the way we understand our gender that will fix things. The problem is that we place our hope in everything except Jesus Christ; so often, pastors preach practical application rather than Jesus Christ.

Writing that post was pretty cathartic for me, but I wasn’t sure that it was very good overall. The things I’ve included here are thoughts that haunt me and shape my occasional aversion to ever being married.

Sometimes, I look at the submission pastors preach, and I’m afraid it requires a shallower relationship with God than I have now.

I know that’s not the intent, and that submission is hard, but pastors don’t show that. It’s like they get stuck on convincing women that we need to submit and they forget the divine nature of a woman’s calling. It’s the same calling as Jesus’s as He prayed for the Father’s will over His own in the Garden of Gethsemane. We get to be like Jesus by submitting to God. We get to be like the Holy Spirit in being a helper.

So the point of all that is to hopefully articulate the contrast between approaches to singleness, femininity and marriage that frustrate and trivialize… and the ones that show a deep, sensitive, divine dealing with them.

Yeah Janette ikz!!!!

 I love that the poem doesn’t make me feel like a “good little helper”. It makes me feel like a child of the Father, a servant of the Lord, and a real person. And shouldn’t those always be our goals?


6 thoughts on “Bam! Poetry! Jesus!

  1. “But the truth is that it isn’t a behavior change or even a shift in the way we understand our gender that will fix things. The problem is that we place our hope in everything except Jesus Christ; so often, pastors preach practical application rather than Jesus Christ.”

    This is why I firmly disapprove of the Christian approach and view on gender roles. Because the best thing I can do to love Matt is not tell him he needs to be a better husband or try to be a better wife (whatever those things look like). The best thing I can do to love Matt is to love Jesus and encourage Matt to do the same.

    When I got married, I determined to never assess Matt based on his role as my husband, but to view him as another human being and my best friend. There have been times where, under pressure from a highly convincing sermon, I have doubted if this was a good decision and if I was somehow selling myself short by not demanding that Matt bring me flowers after we have had a fight (why don’t men ever receive flowers?) But overall, I feel that this viewpoint is much more wholesome than trying to fit into the stereotypical role of Christian husband and wife.

    Before Paul ever wrote “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church” Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself…On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

    Thanks for the great post. It was encouraging.

  2. Thanks for a great comment and for being so ridiculously awesome by reading my blog when I know full-well that you have grading to do 🙂

    It never occurred to me that sermons on gender roles prompt us (possibly unintentionally) to assess each other. I know that I’ve over-assessed myself into frequently believing that I’m a bad woman, but I’ve never thought of how damaging that can be when we assess others, and especially a spouse. One of the first things I think about when I meet a single guy is whether or not he could lead me… which is really unfair and horrible.

    You and Matt are definitely role-models of mine; thanks for letting me see little bits and pieces of what it is to be married. You’re awesome.

  3. ashly i really enjoyed your comment. i think i read far into not necessarily relationship-roles but the “shasta role” like because people perceive me a certain way thats how i have to be. and like katie i overly assess single men in an unfair way. just like i wouldn’t expect a single guy to look at me and think, “will she submit” i shouldn’t look at a guy and think “will he lead me.” the focus in on love: loving others married singles and the like and loving jesus.

  4. Hi Kathryn! Just subscribed to your blog and was floored at the fact that you have Janette’s video posted cause I just watched it again this morning! I am such a fan of the Passion For Christ Movement and love the poetry sessions. I am certainly in a season of inspiring women to embrace their single season, severe soul ties (check out that video on YouTube if you haven’t already seen it) and to wait on God for their mate. Amazing video that I have shared to my Facebook friends dozens of times.

    Can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog!

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