by Kelly Pelton (written 28 Nov 2020)

If you tolerate second-class treatment
in the name of submission, my sisters,
you are agreeing that God is partial;
you're complicit instead of resist-ers

who hold out a non-gender-based ideal
of healthy love, of mutual respect.
You do no one in the church a favor
by being hesitant or circumspect.

The timid hold back for fear they are wrong
and thus deserving of the punitive;
I've been there, intimidated by men
who think abuse is their prerogative.

Once you reject the punitive powers
and embrace God's opinion of your worth,
you'll gain a Spirit-inspired dignity:
"female" is not a misfortune of birth.

The daughters of God can articulate
what's fair and loving in relationship;
male and female is not a hierarchy
but a divinely ordained partnership.

Let's keep pushing prayerfully for equal
treatment, daughters of the one holy King,
fearless of inevitable pushback,
sheltered by the Fortress to which we cling.