Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's not whether she's whether she should

It seems that America has found a new reality TV show that it loves...Election 2008! What an amazing and exhausting time it's been. We had the unbelievable race between Obama and Clinton...followed by his victory and history making acceptance speech. I thought we'd ride that to the ground, but just one week later Obama's name drops from sight as a hockey mom from Alaska steps into the limelight.

I've been asked over and over what I think of all the drama of Sarah Palin. Should she be Vice President? Is it okay to even think of a woman in the White House? What about her daughter and grandbaby-to-be? Not to mention her newborn. Well, my silence and reticence to speak doesn't come from a lack of an opinion, but you knew that already. I just really wanted to think about it before I spoke...a novelty for me that I'm learning more about as I age!

So, here's my two-cents...First, in the public realm, yes. I believe that a woman can biblically hold the highest office in the land. The Bible speaks clearly about the roles of men and women in the home and in the church. I am a complimentarian when it comes to my views of male headship...which in summary simply means that I believe men have been ordained by God to represent Him here as leaders in these two areas. Women have great value, equal value in the sight of God as men. But God has given some areas of governing and teaching in the church strictly to men. He has also given them highest authority in the home. (I'd love for you to think more about this by clicking over to CBMW.)

What this means to me is that Sarah Palin can lead our country but not our church. The same may be said to be true of any man running for president. The qualifications for both offices may have many similarities in terms of what I'm looking for in a leader. But the office of elder is a tougher one to fill compared to president...just see 1 Timothy 3 and compare it to our past presidents. Even the much applauded Reagan wouldn't have made the cut. And as to that, neither would McCain. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't vote him president. The same would be said to be true for Palin, but I'm grateful to say that it would be for different reasons than those two men.

Secondly, though, and most personal to me, is whether or not she should be vice-president. This isn't about women in general as much as it is my opinion about her specifically. I am one of the millions who tuned into her speech and left humored and impressed. She did an excellent job not only delivering that speech, but in making the case that she is qualified for this office. It's not the speech that gave me was the shots of her daughter smoothing down her infant son's hair while sitting next to her other daughter, pregnant with her first grandbaby.

Because I'm at home with my girls, I admit I long for other moms to be there, too. I want them to be the primary caregivers to their children. I don't want them gone for hours at a time when they are infants. I don't want her 17 year old daughter to be facing these days right now with mom traveling the country. I want Sarah Palin home with her kids...because that's where I am. That's what I am called to. And that's what I love.

But it isn't necessarily a sin for her to be out doing what she's doing. Nor is it necessarily a sin for any of the other millions who are in the workforce. Many women I know who are working feel that they not only want to work, but feel called to work. They make sure that their children are well taken care of. They make sure that they fulfill all that God has blessed them with in their homes. Their husbands love them and feel cared for by these great women. Many of them have blessed us over and over in their work...what would we have done without our Dr. Black! They have sought the direction of the Lord. They feel called to it. They are supposed to be there. So they are. I'm sure that there are those who are working in rebellion against what God is calling them to. Just as I'm sure that there are millions of us at home who rebel every day against what we know He is calling us to. Rebellion against God isn't about where we work. It's about our hearts. And I'm not close enough to very many to taste the fruit of rebellion in their hearts...much less Sarah Palin's.

Sarah Palin has stated her belief in Christ. She has spoken about a relationship with God. This puts her in the realm of all the other women around me who are living their lives weighing before the Lord what is best for them and their families. Homeschool? Public school? Dating? Courting? Spaghetti strapped shirts? How short is too short? Make-up? Working outside the home? We're all in this together...making our way one step at a time...weighing it out before the Lord...asking, begging for Him to give us an answer...what would He have us do? Which way would be best for us, for our kids, for our husbands? Should I? Should she? Should any of us?

For me, I'm leaving her and her family to the Lord and asking Him to bless her time with them. I'm asking Him to bless her work and her words, that she might hold with integrity this office that she feels called to. I'm also asking for an extra measure of grace in the form of renewed energy every night she comes home to them whether as governor of Alaska or Vice President of the United States. And I'm asking God that her husband might be encouraged in what he might be called to do in Washington.

And I'm thanking God for reminding me to pray for those that are much closer to me in my life. That God might give them these same graces. I don't want them to live my life. I want them to live the life that God has called them to...and I want us all to do it well...for the glory of the One who made it all, purchased it all on the cross and sustains His church till He comes again.