(quote) Bradley-266389 said: Dear friends,
Disclaimer: the content of this post assumes traditional gender roles suggested by the Church, namely, the male as spiritual leader. That being established, do you think it would harm the relationship if the female was formally-schooled in theology, while the man was formally-schooled to an equal extent but in a different field. Specifically, it seems that the study of theology can give one a very clear vision of right and wrong, and thus such a person would develop a very clear vision of what they expect in their spouse. Subsequently, a woman can have a clear vision of what they want a man to do. In turn, the man may unwittingly do things that perturb this clear vision, and can spoil his image in the mind of the woman. However, the man may be merely following the moral precepts of the Church, and thus not technically sinning, but also not "being perfect". He nonetheless may incur disdain.
I am only imagining this factor at work in the dynamics of male/female meetings here on CM....but that is why I am asking for your commentary.
I had some trouble following what your hypothetical situation was. . .and I read it a couple of times.
I think these were your points:
1. the husband is the spiritual leader of his family.
-- No argument there, but while I think this is the ideal, it is not always the case, nor does it spell doom for the marriage or the family. My husband had no faith at all when we met, when we were married ten years he converted to Catholicism. And, despite his continuing study of the faith, he often deferred to me for explanations etc.
2. Does it hurt to have the woman theologically trained and the man not?
-- I don't think so.
3.A study of theology provides a very clear vision of what to expect?
-- it presents an ideal. one thing you realize when you marry -- there are all sorts of unspoken expectations about what your spouse should be or do -- things that sort of come out of nowhere and surprise you completely. I suspect it is one reason people who cohabitat and then marry have an 80% divorce rate -- because marriage does matter, it is more than a piece of paper and once you say I do, those expectations pop up.
4. just because the man is supposed to be the spiritual leader of the family does not mean that the spouse is supposed to be ignorant of the faith, nor does it mean that he doesn't discuss things with her. If he hands out commands arbitrarily and without explanation or discussion -- he is not a leader.
5. being dictatorial will ruin his image far more swiftly than sharing and guiding and discussing matters of faith and spirituality with both his wife and their children.
6. The most important way he will lead is by example -- he must live his faith openly. not be afraid to show his spirituality, not be ashamed to speak about his faith and share it with his friends, children etc. He must set the example of getting up to go to Mass even though he only had a couple of hours of sleep, of taking them to mass even when out of town, of being faithful to daily prayer and of turning to God in times of pain or stress or need, of giving thanks to God for the gifts in his life.
It is not in the knowledge of theology or the catechism which prepares a man to be the spiritual head of the family -- it is his practice of the faith --- living it openly and integrally as part of his being.