Wednesday, May 5, 2010

God as Parent 101

God is our father. He told all of us to submit to one another; wives to submit to their own husbands and husbands to love their wives so much they will sacrifice for their wives. Complementarians don't seem to understand that their focus on wife submission and husband authority is in itself a sin that would be punishable if their own daughters did it.

Consider: if you the parent gave directions to 2 of your children. You told your daughter to set the table, and your son to vacuum the dining room floor. While your daughter sets the table, your son doesn't even bother getting the vacuum out. Instead, he critically watches his sister's every move.
He says to her, “Mom (or Dad) told you to HURRY UP and set the table.”
Your daughter replies, “She didn't tell me to hurry. She just said to set the table. And she told you to vacuum the floor.”
“No, she didn't,” your son says, “she told me to make sure you do a good job, and do it fast. Now get a move on!”

Which of the children pleased you, the parent? The one who was obeying you, or the one who made himself into a god, added to your words to your daughter, and ignored and disobeyed your instructions to him? Would you allow your son to get by with disobeying you?

Sadly, quite a number of complementarian parents WOULD allow their sons to get by with such behavior, and they'd make their daughters accountable for their brother's behavior, and tell their daughters to vacuum the floor after dinner, too.

However, if the behaviors were reversed, and the daughter was the one who had not obeyed, who had added to the directions for her brother, and focused on his work instead of her own, she would be punished.

Sadly, those same parents encourage their sons to focus on wife subjection, change the command of God for husbands to “authority,” instead of love and sacrifice, and mistreat their wives, sisters and mothers.

The disobedience to God begins at childhood, when parents hold girls responsible for obeying, but dismiss the disobedience of boys, saying “boys will be boys.” Some parents purposely raise boys to take charge of and assume superiority over others—especially girls—instead of taking charge of themselves and considering others better than themselves. Meanwhile, they raise girls to assume the mantle of slavery, obedience, and inferiority to males.

It is as children that boys learn to disrespect women and girls, and believe themselves to be so superior that domestic abuse is the natural manifestation of their strongly taught and deeply engrained belief.

But God is not mocked. Children who disobey Him, will reap what they have sown.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge," a novel about a wife who discovers traditional marriage advice doesn't always work. See


  1. "Sadly, those same parents encourage their sons to focus on wife subjection... -Waneta

    I wonder about using a plural "parents" there? In a DV situation, they are not a team. One parent's authority is constantly undermined and disrepected. The children have not learned by daddy's role model that mother is to be respected. To the contrary, they have learned that she is to be disrespected (mocked, laughed at, ignored, verbally abused, and pushed around on occasion). So the daughters struggle with their self worth (they are "just girls" like mommy) and the sons are uncorrectible and fail to take responsibility for their own behavior and wind up in frequent trouble in school (for some pretty distressing bullying incidents).

    At least that is my experience with our 5 daughters and 3 sons.

  2. Charis,
    You are absolutely right. In domestic abuse situations, where one parent recognizes that domination and bullying are wrong, and especially where the other parent is abusive, the non-abusive parent's authority would be continually undermined. (I lived with that myself.)

    I had just been reading Jocelyn Andersen's "Women this is War! Gender, Slavery, and the Evanelical Caste System" (scheduled to be released July 20) where so many female writers were quoted as agreeing with their husbands and evangelical leaders that complementarianism is correct. Jocelyn points out that the comp view DEPENDS on the submission of the wife and the subjugation of all women for it to work. There are so many in the churches, both male and female who cling to that view and it affects how they raise their children.

    However, you are right that the situation is different when one of the parents stops believing and practicing complementarianism, while the other still insists on it.

    In that situation, it is likely if the abuser is around, the son who doesn't bother getting the vacuum out would be excused, the mother told she is wrong for giving the son "women's work," and the daughter told to hurry up and do it right and etc. The wife would be left powerless and ineffectual, while the husband would end up with all the power, and with encouraging the son to grow in power as well. What a mess!

  3. Hi Hannah,

    I have been working on a Mother's Day Series, on the Devaluing of Mothers and Why It Hurts All Women, addressing the Misogyny and Betrayals to Mothers in Religious Patriarchy and the Misogyny and Betrayals to Mothers/Women in the Secularist Patriarchy.

    They are media series, with videos, some are long, but the series is in three parts, first on demonizing mothers and homeless teens in America, second on demonizing/or patriarchal control of women--using Motherhood as means to enslave women and It's root cause of death to both women and children, and the secular anti-mother policies and their root cause of death to both women and children,

    and tomorrow I'll be doing a part three series on the demonization of motherhood and it's parallel with destruction of Mother Earth.

    I hope, that this series, will open up dialogue on the many facets of misogyny and devaluing mothers /womb hate in Both patriarchal-capitalist religion AND in secularist atheist pro-pedophile ideologies taking hegemony today.



  4. Thanks for the heads-up, Jane!

    I just previewed Jocelyn Andersen's book (release date is July 20) "Women this is War! Gender, Slavery, & the Evangelical Caste System"
    where she points to the fear of and prejudice against women, that is the foundation for complementarian thought and teaching. You can preorder the book from Jocelyn's "Women Submit" blog @

    It's late, so I'll have to wait to read your series. I look forward to it.


  5. "The disobedience to God begins at childhood, when parents hold girls responsible for obeying, but dismiss the disobedience of boys, saying “boys will be boys.”

    I see this all the time in very subtle ways at my daughter's private Christian school. Mainly from the parents who attend these serious comp churches with all their comp seminars and teaching.....which find it amusing when the "boys are boys". They think it somehow validates their "masculinity" which has become something that is worshipped in many Christian circles.

    As I told one parent, if this is not taken seriously, they grow up to be narcissists.

    (I would certainly like for them to point out to me why His "masculinity" was so important to His message and deeds when Jesus walked this earth)