Some time ago my friend Bonnie sent me the following link, asking my thoughts about it. The link is John Piper speaking on the The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood.
To be honest, it feels a little like what happens when you start with a foregone conclusion, so that there’s an assumption everything you say supports that conclusion, no matter how illogical. For example, Piper repeatedly claims that God’s ultimate purpose for everything, for “the universe, and all of history, and your life, is to display the glory of Christ in its highest expression in His dying to make a rebellious people His bride.” He states that marriage is the representation of this relationship.
So if everything points to Christ dying for his bride, and marriage represents this, then it seems to me that the next logical statement would be something about the role of the husband in following Christ’s example. If Christ’s glory is in laying down his life for his bride, then the husband displays the glory of Christ in its highest expression by laying down his life for his bride… right? It’s right there in scripture (Ephesians 5:25), “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” Piper however, chooses to focus on a rather contorted analogy of the wife taking her cues from the church. (But you know, men love to preach about the submission of women. Instructing men to lay down their own life for their wives… not so much.)
I do actually agree with his statements: “True womanhood is a distinctive calling of God to display the glory of His Son in ways that would not be displayed if there were no womanhood.” And, “Your distinctive female personhood is indispensable in God’s purpose to display the fullness of His glory.” But I understand that to mean using our intellect and spiritual gifts equally with men, characterized by our femininity: gentler, more team-oriented, etc. The irony of course, is that in Piper’s view, this “indispensable” and “distinctive” female personhood is not allowed to express in ministry the fullness of God-given gifts.