About Those Umbrellas…

:I wrote this for my personal FB page six months ago and it picked up a surprising amount of interest, so decided it was about time to post here, as well. 🙂

***Hops on Soap Box***

Today one of my FB friends posted this umbrella picture on the left. It’s not the first time I’ve seen this graphic, in fact, I usually see it every month or so.

On one hand, it looks innocent enough. It’s dripping in Christianese and it seems to support a complementarianism view of marriage where everyone has a role to play. I’m all for *healthy* complementarianism (almost never seen anymore), but that is not what this graphic supports. Instead, this graphic is quite dangerous, and even heretical. Here’s why:

1. It obliterates the doctrine of the priesthood of believers. ALL believers have equal standing before the Father and have equal access to His throne. A woman’s mediator between herself and God the Father is the *Holy Spirit*, not her husband.

2. Can a husband not also nurture, teach, or comfort? Can a wife not also provide for the family and lead her children? Marriage is about being team mates, not managers.

3. In the most basic sense, this graphic isn’t even logical. The only reason a second umbrella would be needed is if the above one is leaky. Jesus doesn’t have holes in his umbrella, so there’s no need for additional umbrellas. 🙂

4. The umbrella diagram ultimately makes a promise that is simply false: if you stay in your place, and don’t step a toe out of this supposed authority structure, then you will not suffer attack. This is so dangerous!! Ladies, your husband does not protect you from Satan or pain. He is an imperfect person! Only one thing offers protection and that’s JESUS. Even then, as C.S. Lewis eloquently penned, “He is not safe. But He is good.” We have got to stop thinking of Jesus as this magic genie that grants our wishes and makes life all happy and pain free if we’re good enough and if there is suffering going on in our life that must mean we are out of authority and that God is punishing us. Jesus NEVER promised protection from earthly pain. He simply promised that He would walk beside us through the pain, and ultimately, there were be good in the midst of it.

5. Jesus never talked about hiding under hypothetical umbrellas. You know what He talked about? Armor. The Sword of the Spirit. The Shield of Faith. The Helmet of Salvation. This is our protection! Not another flawed human being. Not some stereotypical view of gender roles. Jesus is our armor — our tool to fight the good fight.

So maybe instead of umbrellas we should focus on armor and understanding that battles are messy and difficult, and you can still get injured. But that ultimately, we will win the battle against Satan because Jesus already defeated him 2,000 years ago.



One thought on “About Those Umbrellas…

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. My church growing up initially supported the teachings of Gothard, then stepped away from it in the late seventies. There wasn’t much said, but stop speaking of attending the seminars, but the damage had already been implanted. I grew up attending church with JimBob Duggars….so the rest is history.

    Thank the Lord, he redeems us where we are at, and keeps no record of wrong. Jesus guides us back to him, and loves us where we are at. May your work and words continue to be blessed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *