10 ways the church can better Prevent and Respond to Family Violence

Family Violence doesn’t exist in Christian communities, does it? Surely those stories of Christian men dragging their wives around by the hair can’t be true. While a comprehensive study of Christian families in Australia is yet to be done, some smaller studies suggest that the rates of violence within Christian families might be the same as, or only slightly lower, than the general population 1 . Another study suggests that pastors underestimate the rates of violence within their congregations 2 . Increasingly, victims are speaking out, and their stories correlate with these statistics. The recent Royal Commission into Family Violence made three recommendations that relate specifically to fa

A Non-Headship Marriage Part II: Four Theologies of Christian Marriage

My previous piece was a beginning of open conversation about my “non-headship” or “egalitarian” marriage. Australian Pentecostal Christians don’t often discuss theologies of marriage, they just live them. But there are now serious reasons to speak out. Notice I said THEOLOGIES plural. There are currently at least four Christian (Patriarchal, Complementarianism, Egalitarian, Deconstructionist) views on heterosexual marriage. I outline them here. This post is long, so feel free to scroll. Truth is, I don’t find it easy to write. It opens me to critique from others who believe differently. Some men are infuriated when I present current research. Heaven forbid I would use my PhD education. Admit

Fixing Your Eyes on Jesus - Learning Theology from Jesus (Part 4)

[Read part 3 of the series here] Fixing our eyes on Jesus calls us to follow Mary’s example and put ourselves under the tutelage of Jesus. Jesus is the best theology professor any of us will ever find, and he still warmly admits women into his school. He doesn’t describe God in the abstract to us. He shows God to us through his own life. Jesus told his disciples plainly, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). The prospect of taking up a thick theological volume or tackling some of those multisyllabic terms (something hopefully all of us eventually will do) may cause some women’s knees to tremble, but theology in the person of Jesus sounds inviting right from the start.

5 minutes with Robynne ...

Tell us a little about you I love to see new places, to have fun and being outdoors. Music, being with good people and seeing people thrive in life, really makes me come alive. Growing up in a big family in Adelaide granted me many opportunities to learn about community, sharing life with passion and using your gifts for the contribution to the world. Keeping things simple; not making things more complicated than they need to be, is a valuable foundation that still impacts me today. I love my family dearly, and being with family always grounds me. Living away from immediate family for the past 11 years has taught me how much we can take each other for granted at times. I have worke

How does she do it? (Part 2)

In Part 1, I explained how inadequately churches care for working women as a demographic group, and provided some simple ideas to better care for their needs. In Part 2, I will look at how we can balance the enormous stresses faced by working mothers in balancing often competing demands of home, church and work. I have just finished my day at work, and as I walk to the station I call home and negotiate with my son to order and pick up takeaway because I am going to get home too late to cook and I am going out tonight to Bible study. My son will pick up the food and eat quickly before he commences his night job at Woolworths. My husband is also leaving his CBD office late. He left for work th

Fixing Your Eyes on Jesus - The eyes have it (Part 3)

[Read part 2 of this series here] On the day of the Christmas pageant at Oxford’s St. Ebbe’s School, I was pressing toward a deadline on a software project. This would be a wild day for me, but a glorious one for my daughter, who was five and had been chosen from her class for a speaking part in the Christmas play. The headmistress announced there would be two performances, but as I explained to Allison, I would be able to make only the first program in the morning. At curtain time I was in my seat next to Frank, armed with video camera and beaming with a mother’s pride. Less than an hour later, I was back at my computer pounding out the remaining lines of code, glancing periodically at the

5 minutes with Emma ...

What's your favourite bible passage & why? Luke 1:37 FOR NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD. This scripture gave me Hope when I first met Jesus at 22 years old. I was broken and angry, and somewhat dysfunctional! This was one of the first scriptures I read and it jumped out the page at me. It gave me Hope that God could redeem and restore and it has stuck with me every since. I’ve also found it to be true time and time again. How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus? A question I often find myself asking God is “Ok, Where are you right now?”. When I am feeling overwhelmed or hurt I have to make a conscious decision to shift my focus, turn my affection toward Him and ask “Where are you, and

A Non-Headship Marriage Part I: A Threefold Cord

I rarely talk about marriage. As far as I’m concerned, mine is sacred, and I don’t keep it out in the public space. I’d fight anyone for it. Of course, Tim would be highly amused if you’d like to test me on that. In Ecclesiastes 4, there is a passage often related to marriage. Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Hint: it’s

Fixing our eyes on Jesus - Everyday theology for women (Part 2)

[Read part one of this series here] Most of us are better theologians in hindsight. We look at the struggles we have weathered and survived and testify warmly of God’s goodness and faithfulness to us. But when a new crisis hits or we weary of the steady dripping of little problems and stresses, our theology collapses like a house of cards and we’re faced with the task of reassembling it all over again. Yes, God was good, he was faithful, he was in control, he did show his love to me back then. But here and now? Somehow yesterday’s theology doesn’t look quite so glorious or reliable in the bleak light of today’s circumstances. Fixing our eyes on Jesus is just the sort of down-to-earth advice

How does she do it? (Part 1)

When I fell pregnant with my daughter I had an incredible job. I was flying the world doing negotiations for a multinational corporation, staying in lovely hotels and learning heaps. The pregnancy had been planned, but had somehow seemed unlikely with all the travel away from home. Not that I wasn’t delighted to be pregnant, just that when it actually happened, I started counting the cost. There was a cost to my career because I was advised not to fly after reaching seven months pregnant. There was a cost to my quality of life, because at the time there was no paid parental leave. There was a cost to my identity and esteem, because much of that was based around my corporate job. I know pregn

5 minutes with Hannah

Tell us a little about you I’m Melbourne born and bred. I spent about 13 years at university studying philosophy, politics and theology, in between working and having kids. I now work as an Anglican minister in a church in North Carlton - on the fringe of Melbourne city. We are working hard at connecting with our neighbourhood and getting our minds thinking and our bodies working at what church looks like OUTSIDE of our buildings. I’m married to Tom. We’ve been married for ten years and have two children: Liam (6yo), and Amber (3yo). One of the great mysteries of life is how two quiet people like ourselves got two such talkative children! I am a passionate feminist and resister of patr

Dear Me: A letter to my 16 year old self

Hi Sweet 16, Yes I remember, you had been kissed and broken up with your first boyfriend just before you turned 16. You had given your heart to God as your first love at the age of 15 and at 16 you decided you wanted to wait to give yourself completely to one man only on your wedding night. You celebrated your 16th birthday, like every other, in the heat of summer holidays with family and then a party with friends after the school year started. Year 11 was significant; there was a restlessness to launch into the big wide world and to pursue the nursing career that you had wanted since a little girl. Your sister would be leaving for the “big smoke” to go to University and you were suddenly to

Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus (Part 1)

For a moment I forgot that I was an American. I was sitting with my family on the gaudy sofa in our cramped student flat, watching the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics on the television we had borrowed. Heading into our fourth and final year in Oxford, we were indulging in a break from the grind of dissertation writing and software development projects. It was hard to tell which was more worn out, the sofa or its two adult occupants. If anything, the frustration of watching the Olympics from English soil only heightened our American sensitivities, at least initially. British networks held us hostage and so, instead of seeing in- depth coverage of our American team, we were compelled to follow

5 minutes with Karin ...

- Tell us a little about you I am married to Baden and we have been blessed with 3 beautiful children – Caleb (11), Huntley (9) and Abby (7). For the past 10 years, Baden and I have been serving God in full time Christian ministry in Anglican churches in Sydney. At the moment, though, I am teaching full time while Baden completes a PhD full time. Life is full! - What's your favourite bible passage & why? Can I choose 2?! I love these verses from the book of Jeremiah17:7-8. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are alway

5 minutes with Elizabeth ...

Tell us a little about you My name is Libby and I am an avid lover of all things floral and simple. I am studying nursing, and see this as a way that I can be instrumental in sharing the love that God has so graciously showered on me. My main love is photography and although I am often discouraged that I haven't established my own style yet, I believe I'm becoming quite partial to candid photography, but on the opposite end of the spectrum I also love styled photos! I dabble in watercolours but am still very much a novice in this department. What is your favourite bible passage and why? My favourite bible verse would have to be Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for th

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All images, words and materials are copyright protected and are the property of the author and / or Fixing Her Eyes. Please contact us at fixinghereyes (@) gmail.com for permissions. January 2020