Culture and Conquest

So I spent some of the Holidays in Tucson at my daughter Leahbeths house, and of course she was onto me about finishing my book on supernatural divorce, so I holed up in the office a day and wrote an entire chapter I had no intention of writing.

I have an outline…I know what I want to communicate, but sometimes when I start writing something happens and I end up somewhere completely different than I anticipated.

I had decided to write a chapter on how genders approach divorce because believe it or not we are very different in the way we process it…

In order to communicate the “feeling” I had decided to write two little fictional stories describing different events as told from a mans viewpoint and from a woman’s viewpoint…one story (for the man) was about a space cruiser with a hole blown in the hull, the story for the woman was about a special tea garden that had been demolished by a pack of wild dogs…

I had fun writing it and frankly felt like in some ways it communicated in an interesting way how we approach divorce from a gender bias…but something unusual began to emerge from the pages as I continued, it was something I had never really articulated but sensed was there all along…

Its the difference in our wiring and how that affects our assignments…and I simplified it to this understated code:

Men are wired to conquer, women are wired to create culture.

When you compare that to the Garden Mandate to have dominion and subdue, to replenish and be fruitful it makes sense in a new way…men are designed to go out and subdue and conquer, while women are designed to replenish, redecorate, to re-pristinate the garden…women carry culture in their core.

So I applied this code to my girls and the guys I knew…

Leahbeth has a drive to be a Judge, so her core culture is about fairness, in almost all of the conflicts I have witnessed or been a part of with her, fairness was the driving culture behind it…she creates this culture by balancing her rooms, by disallowing language of extremes and all of her relationships need an occasional tipping of the balance back to her when she has given out. If you don’t care about what is fair and just you don’t get to be a part of her culture.

Rena seems to favor freedom…she isn’t worried about the pictures all matching or the colors blending, she creates her culture differently by her routines and by breaking the routines, she will let her kids dress in the most unmatched outfits they want while her sisters would never let that happen, but for her, the culture needs to be about personal freedom more than about the towels matching.

Courtney’s culture is peace…when she encounters chaos, she simply shuts down and lets other make the decisions until she finds her peace, once she latches onto it, she doesn’t care what the demand is, her culture has a higher mandate than your crisis.

What I began to observe is that each one of my girls creates a culture or an environment based on something in her core, she might not have identified it, but how she decorates, how she dresses, the food she eats and the conversations and relationships she keeps all flow out of this core value inside her.

If you are a woman, I bet with a little effort you can clearly see what your core culture is and how you create it…

Men…not so much.

A man will live in a cave, and often does. Culture is not what drives him, but take away conquest, take away the challenge of the next level of Splinter Cell, or let his fantasy football quarterback have a bad week and you’ve got one depressed puppy.

Most all of a mans drive for significance is connected to conquering something, be it a new sell, a new project, a new toy for his car, or an actual contest of some sort…its the “dominion” mandate in black and white…

So whats my point?

Well, I began to think about our current church culture and how the majority of it is the residue of a 100 year old model of conquest…and how even now with new horizons ahead of us, what with the seven mountain mandate and all, we are still creating a culture in our church’s that is primarily conquest and will not change our world because we have not allowed the women to be women, we have made them female versions of male pastors instead of female apostles.

I think this is a major problem and will require a huge paradigm shift in order to make lasting changes, because lets face it, the world is not interested in our current church culture, it does not feel like a home to them, and I think I know why…

So what do we do?

Well honestly I don’t know yet, but I do know this much:

You can’t fix a problem you won’t admit you have.



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