Friday, February 15, 2008

Christian discourse 2

There are those, such as Tim Bayly and his friends, who decry what they term the "feminization of discourse". They seem to believe that God has a different standard for speech and writing when it comes to men and women. I have, of course, never heard them back up this claim with Scripture. However, when a male is taken to task for rudeness, they will usually insist that he is only speaking as a Christian male should. Supposedly it is feminism that has made us unwilling to admire male speech that is unkind, rough, denigrating, and rude.

I will freely admit that the verses in James about bridling the tongue have not been easy ones for me to live out in obedience. Some struggle in this area more than others. I am one that struggles, although my friends and family, those who know me best, have told me that God has achieved great victory in my life in this area.

Because of recent events, and because I take rebukes of my speech and writings so to heart, I have been reading what the Bible says on the topic:

"The wise in heart will be called understanding, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness." Proverbs 16:21

"He who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend." Proverbs 22:11

"But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth." Colossians 3:8

"Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." Colossians 4:6

While the above verses, I would argue, are neither pink nor blue, the following one is definitely blue, being specifically addressed to the men:

"Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us." Titus 2:6-8

Wouldn't it be wonderful if some of the blogs most concerned with gender roles would take the above passage very much to heart? Or are they too busy with the women-specific Titus Two verses, that they have failed to notice the verses addressed to them specifically?

If we are to become more and more Christ-like, shouldn't this be said about us:

"All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. 'Isn't this Joseph's son?' they asked. Luke 4:22

Why is it that "gracious" is a term that we tend to apply only to women, as in, "She is such a gracious woman", and yet we rarely --- at least not today --- would say, "What a gracious gentleman!"

"Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips." Ecclesiastes 10:12

Then, of course, I could not neglect to add this Scripture to the list, one that I was encouraged to memorize as a child and one that I had Eldest Son memorize: "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Proverbs 10:19

Help me out, readers: where are the Biblical guidelines for masculine speech versus feminine speech? Where does the Bible tell men that the above verses are all really pink verses?

And, since everyone knows that the average woman talks far more than the average man, can I assume that Proverbs 10:19 could not possibly be a pink verse? After all, God's design for women includes us being more verbal!

1 comment:

  1. Does "masculine discourse" mean the right to call names ("seminar caller"), come to snap judgments ("dishonest feminist"), tell people online that you make every effort to talk to people off-line when making a "judgment" about them but then doing no such thing (as evidenced by what happened to Corrie, and now, you)?

    Does "masculine discourse" mean deleting comments such as what you posted here, and refusing to answer private emails?

    If so, then "masculine discourse" looks hypocritical, dishonest, and dismissive.