Monday, January 20, 2014

Gender, church, in the car with Mari

Before we were married, back when we were just friends, the Help would drive me home and to facilitate conversation, we'd have in-the-car-with-Mari questions. Sometimes these were deep, sometimes they were light and silly. Between have you found Jesus and in a fight who would win, Batman or Superman? Yes, and possibly Superman, if you wanted the answers. I recently got a kindle, and to reduce our ongoing fight about his driving. Seriously the only thing keeping him at the wheel is my inability to confidently drive a stick shift. The kindle has produced something to replace the in-the-car-with-Mari questions, it's me quoting from whatever book I'm reading and asking his thoughts on the matter.
I'm reading two books right now. Both on gender. One written by a woman, the other by a man. I got the one written by the guy because I would read something from the sample I had (I go through a lot of kindle samples) to the Help as he drove and he would ask questions that I knew well were far deeper in the book. So I wound up getting all of Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow. Mainly because it was only $2.99 for the kindle. Any more than $4 and I was going to wait till I was done with the other book.
We've also been listening, in part, very small on my end, to a radio program on a Christian station that has been talking about gender. We hear it when the Help is horribly spoiling me by driving me to work. I know, I should bike. Before and right after we married we also read Christian books on similar topics of gender and wives relationships to their husbands and vis versa. I'd hear part of it in the morning and he'd tell me more of what they said in the evening when we returned home.
To sum everything up. Men are different from women.  I know breaking news. Beside the physical aspects, men are different than women inside, in how we think and desire to interact with the world.
But going back to Murrow's book we have been talking about what the book says about American churches and our own church experience. The Help's church is healthy and growing. There is a good male presence in the pews. There are fathers with their families, lots of single men, and some married men sans their wives. The Help, on most Sundays is also sans spouse. This is the mirror opposite of a lot of churches according the Murrow book.
I like a church with a good healthy male presence. When there is singing I like hearing the depth of the male voice. There is hardly any singing at the mass I attend (totally fine with it) and I'm content with our mass though a more crowded mass is a healthier mass. We're kinda spread out in the big space so it is hard to judge the gender gap. But gender gap or not, it's a 15 minute walk from the house, the Saturday mass is short and I like the priest. But when I was an Anglican and church shopping, I preferred a nice healthy male presence.
Men, they're good to have around.

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