Recently an interesting experience encountered on two varying views came to my attention. I noticed mainly two groups of shoppers which makes it the reason to share what took place. The two categories are adult men and women shopping. I realized a pattern where either men or women led and the other followed. The first group were families shopping with men carrying shopping bags or pushing trolleys. The women and children followed empty handed. The men looked after the women by helping to shop so carry the goods or ahead of women carrying shopping bags. The two approaches to shopping styles was fascinating to watch. Each person or family choose their shopping style. Others were far and in between with different families where each carried good according to their size and ability. While observing shoppers might seem a trivial pursuit a serious lesson is learned from such behaviour patterns.
In another group it was mostly the women who carried or pulled the shopping trolley while the men followed empty handed. At times some of the women looked like they could do with some help. Observed experience for hours taking sudden unexpected interest in this new passion. In life people freely choose what is best for them and get on with it. It fascinating and interesting to see the two main categories of shopping styles and peaceful, graceful dignity with which it was conducted. This experience was not limited to only the supermarket zone it was observed in shopping malls, public places where buying and selling took place like antique markets, markets, car boot sales everywhere I looked people were carrying shopping. It is good to see life goes on and people managing amid credit crunch. At least the families were not having trolley rage and crushing into others over space and turf so there is harmony. Perhaps after quietly debating over the brans to buy, the ingredients within budget, and menu tonight. People triumphantly exited with their shopping cargo to store at home until the next trip.
So discussed with friends, family and colleagues, about their thoughts on the trend. Some said it was better to have 50/50 role of equal share of all tasks at all times, if possible. If so certain situations may need to change to do what is best for those involved in each group. The observation showed two main paradigm shifts:-
- The first group seemed to be matriarchs, wearing the trousers, in charge who treat men with kid gloves.
- The other group portrayed women as the weaker gender so treated them by looking after them to help.
This issue seem to spill over into some churches where women cannot speak, lead, be ordained as priests. Yet play key role behind the scenes, without them churches will not function. Others ordain and allow women to lead 50/50 like men. This ongoing debate appears to raise issues of finding the middle way to discuss which approach produces best results. The women treated as ‘weaker’ gender had men taking charge, in control of the shopping trolley.
Where men are heads of family and the church women play help meet roles so carried the load. There seems to unspoken clearly defined roles and each knows their place. A bit like traveler family tradition where men go to work and women stay home doing chores. So raising family and doing equally important FULL TIME JOB is highly valued and appreciated to help meet needs. Then where matriarchs rule the roost, they seem to lead and pamper the men. Yet did most of the house work, including shopping. To reconcile two opposing views, some said a 50/50 middle way must be put in place. So ensued issue concerning fluidity, flexibility, highlighting strength when choosing who performs a particular job. Some want a pre – nuptial written agreement of roles made in advance permanently for gender strength to follow or get help when the going gets tough.
Some say it is better to agree a fixed 50/50 role in advance, so it is clear who does exactly what, when, where how, and why. However to set roles in concrete in advance for specific roles might be a tall order. Since life is dynamic, with unexpected sudden changes happening at times. It might be necessary to be flexible to go with the flow. A bit like who wants to be millionaire to get by a little help from friends, family or ask audience (family congregation). On the other hand, one needs to watch against laissez fare attitude not to set in. This creates assumption, the other person automatically will perform undefined tasks. So can a 50/50 middle way best world of both be developed?
Can shopping or household duty tasks belong exclusively to one person? Can it lead to jobs left undone so compel others to consistently do ‘left over’ undone tasks causing resentment? Is it right for the house owner, breadwinner to be chef, sole house keeper, butler, nanny, cleaner, laundry person and do the shopping too? Are there certain jobs for women only or men only in the household, including child care and shopping? It seems women juggle work and combine it with full time house work. Yet penalized with low pension for being full time house wife. If human life is treasured as the most valued priceless asset why treat women and children as not precious? Is it really possible to make decisions in advance to decide which two broad umbrella groups to follow?
Can one say the middle way leadership style is suitable for active service in the home, church or during shopping?
- Does society, culture, status, gender roles influence or impact the two main categories?
- Is change taking place through the years due to education, equal rights on expected roles?
- Can the 50/50 middle way really be fixed as roles set in concrete for each gender to know what to do?
- Can 50/50 middle way, really help to understand this neutral central flexible way.
- How about occasions when situations call for sole 100% active service or require 20/80 ratio service?
- Can middle way trend be accepted in the community with set rules for men and women?
- Can there be a change for people actively serving in relationship duties or in churches?
The middle way cannot be ignored as this issue causes debates of who does what when and why. This topic analyzes 50/50 middle way path of life to moderate between extreme indulgence. To honour and respect those actively involved in serving in relationships, family and church. Can the middle way practice work in household life to stop repeating the cycle from generation to generation?
Can indulged, pampered, taking things for granted change to become responsible citizens without impediments in their way? Will those who profit from positive engagement release those trapped in the receiver role, spoilt set up, release control not to maintain dominant culture? Is it possible to remove burden of responsibility from the giving person? Does the receiver equally render credit point value service, so to not indulge, be waited on hand and foot? Can giver not be narcissistic to let go so codependent can grow? Is receiver matured and capable of independence? Considering the system insists receiver cannot be trained from childhood to engage in such tasks? Training is seen as forced labour for children learning to cook, clean, iron. God Almighty says train child so when they grow they will not depart from it. Can such children grow capable of looking after themselves responsibly and keeping jobs? Yet expected to grow overnight from 16 years onwards, to mature, work, study, keep a job and blamed for incompetence if shopping is done by the giver in such situations. Givers are dedicated, devoted, in active service enduring pain, suffering silently with stiff upper lip. While receiver is self -indulged, often demanding what is in it for me? So can there be redress for giver’s feelings of unfair treatment and injustice?
Can middle way compromise agreement to disagree as the central point of unity in union of two opposing parallel perspectives? Can 50/50 vision give accurate service, insight, knowledge, understanding, for action to effect change? Is there chance for consideration for subservient’s rights and feelings? Is Jesus the middle way answer to blending conflicting views? Some wanted Jesus to provide everything on their shopping list to fulfill their material needs. Yet do people really care about the Price Christ paid for Central Middle Way Gospel Message for miracle of salvation?
1 Timothy 2:5 says there is one God and one mediator Jesus for Christian Believers through the Holy Spirit. The Middle Way is Christ fulfilling old covenant, creating a new covenant. Christ accepted old one but enhanced it so the believer lives in God’s Presence daily through Christ. The narrow middle way choice is informed decision made to be on the narrow way. The other broad way leads to destruction is wide many on it. But the way that leads to life is narrow and hard, and few find it as written in Matthew 7:13, 14.
Dr. Mann proposes Christ the middle narrow way will eventually come to separate His sheep to God. So said, one cannot be 100% unbeliever, at the same time belong to Christ. God loves all His creation but those who know and love Jehovah Nissi, God calls HIS CHILDREN. It is impossible for David Cameron to become labour candidate as he clearly stands for conservative party. Both work together on some policies but disagree on others, so is God’s Kingdom Truth. Many excellent religious truths agree in comparative religion. Some identical to Christ The Middle Way, however, all agree Only Christ Died and Rose Again. It is the Christian believer’s duty to stand up for Christ the absolute radical middle way. If you do not stand up boldly, clearly for something, you will fall for everything like a Jack of all trades and master of none. The middle way life in God’s Kingdom for a Christian believer is Christ.
Moses faced dilemma of pleasing people’s opinions and what God instructed him to do among His people. Moses talked to God and said, Lord Now, if I have indeed found favor in Your sight, please teach me Your ways, so I will know You and find favour in Your sight. Consider this nation is Your people” in Exodus. 33:12-13. Guide me and teach me clearly your way. Help me to know you and show me your way. (KJV) God spoke with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend (Ex. 33:11). This verse speaks reality and depth of communion between Moses and God. Moses was God’s friend, not because he was perfect, gifted, or powerful. Theywere friends because friends trust each other, talk to each other, and share common interests. No one can drive a wedge between them. Moses trusted God to accompany Him by His Spirit, Fire and cloud of His Presence daily. God did not provide advance signpost to direct him but knew God was with always. Moses was in God’s world with God’s people so Moses had best of both worlds. He endured challenges due to rebellious nature of the people yet responses to God.
Recent attempts to teach the world about the flood and Noah presented the story in a different light from the believing Christian’s point of view. It is important to know God personally and intimately like Moses to know the Bible to compare the word of God to discern the truth of God. In Matthew 7 reveals the Christian way is moderation. So The narrow way truth like liberal and conservative, are similar in some ways but different in others. Joshua and Elijah told the people to decide the place to stand. It is called the narrow road because few like the scorn, rejection,and position alone in the middle way. Yet this where Jesus calls us to live as His disciples.
In a similar classic case in Luke 10:38-42 in the home of Martha and Mary,was debate about balancing domestic household duties with ministry. Mary choose to sit at the feet of Christ, so Martha cook ed that day so argued with Mary in front of Christ their guest. Typical of who does what so Mary greatly exceeded all others by greatly tending to Christ, engaging his attention fully on God’s Kingdom. Mary trusted Jesus with full confidence and assurance all her needs will be met in God. So choose Christ and God’s Kingdom First above all other things to be added unto her. Christ settled the matter once and for all so praised Mary for choosing eternal life. So believers must choose Kingdom of God First. After all Christ fed multitudes by multiplying in Luke 9:16 five loaves and two fish to feed 5, 000, people excluding women and children not counted. Again, Christ fed 4,000 in miracle of the seven loaves and fishes in Gospel of Matthew 15:32-39 and Mark 8:1-13. Christ can fix a meal so Martha need not fret.
On Middle Way with Christ through Holy Spirit in God’s Presence, miracles happen for God provides and supplies needs through His RIches in Glory by Christ Jesus so sends Divine Helpers to sponsor His Kingdom For His Glory In Jesus Name. So faith and works, both are required to enter the Kingdom of God. Christians are called to live between faith and works. We cannot enter the Kingdom by merely believing, nor can we enter by merely doing. We live in tension. We believe and we must act on what we believe. Belief and action are equally important. What we are is determined by what we believe, just as what we believe is shown by our actions. It is up to each to decide what works.