Sunday, July 21, 2024
Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsTHE HEDGE: I'll Take That Compliment

THE HEDGE: I’ll Take That Compliment

I received a funny compliment this past month. I have been teaching a series on Biblical manhood, womanhood and sexuality this semester. After teaching for a couple of weeks on the idea that men and women were created equal before God as persons yet distinct in manhood and womanhood, one of the young men from The Hedge and I were having a day-after conversation about the lesson from Tuesday night.

He said one of his apprehensions about modern Christianity is the rise of egalitarianism — the idea that men and women do not have distinct roles and responsibilities in life in general and in the church in particular. Then, he gave me the compliment — “And you are, by no means, egalitarian.”

He went on to explain that he didn’t mean I was an egalitarian without cause. Based on what he had heard of my lessons on the subject so far, he did not think I was reading my personal understanding into the text. Instead, he thought I was allowing the text to shape my understanding of the view of manhood and woman — leading me to an opposing view of egalitarianism called “complementarianism.”

And that’s the funny part — I was complimented for being complementarian! All joking aside, there are two things I’ve been thinking over as I reflect on this interaction:

• I take joy in knowing that students are paying attention to these things. This young man had already been thinking about this topic long before I was bringing lessons on the subject. Additionally, he was looking for leadership to exegete (or “draw out”) meaning from the texts that pertain to this topic instead of eisegete (or “draw in”) meaning to the texts. Sometimes I wonder if they are even listening, then God helps me realize they are doing so much more.

• Those of us in positions to teach the upcoming generations must not shy away from relevant, although potentially divisive, passages. When I started teaching about these subjects, I thought maybe in a few weeks I would have said some things that would drive students away from the messages. Praise God, they’ve done the opposite — they keep coming back! They have a hunger for the meat of God’s Word for the thorny issues of our day! If you teach any generation below you (or even the ones above you), must not shy away from the relevant passages of Scripture.

Perhaps the biggest blessing of the interaction with this young man is that he went on to ask if Hanna and I would walk with him and his fiancé through pre-marital counseling. For us, this is a victory with eternal consequences. Praise God for His grace!

That’s what I see when I look back on the last month at The Hedge.

P.S. — If you want to hear more of the lessons we are currently going through and some after conversations led by students, check out our new podcast — “Hearing from The Hedge” — by visiting