But, there were beginnings to this. When you look at the Old Testament Law, it is clearly patriarchal and even seems to be a bit on the misogynist side, if not very much on the misogynist side. However, in a way, it is still a small piece in making things better. Understanding this topic means understanding how the Law functioned. It was a mediator. The Law was not God's ideal, but it did move us closer to that ideal. When you look at the Law compared to other ancient law codes and cultures of that time, Israel was pretty grand. It made sincere improvement on things while still allowing for some cultural expectations. This can be seen in how women, slaves, and foreigners were treated, how violence was viewed and used, and a slew of other things. As odd as it may sound, when compared with the surrounding culture, it is almost a piece of feministic literature. It was making improvements while building up to something else, and that something was Jesus.
I'm not going to go into women's roles in church or anything like that. If you'd like my opinion or resources, I'd be happy to give either, but such is not the purpose of this post. The Bible does have some unique things to say about relationships, men, and women. But, unpacking every nuance or why I choose to interpret in the way I do would take a long time.
One thing I would like to say outright though is that I do not see many inherent differences between men and women. Obviously there are some physical differences (talk to your moms and dads if you don't know what I'm talking about), but some of the other stuff is made up by us. Our culture usually informs how we think about gender and the roles of such. Now, what's interesting is that these differences that are created by culture are in fact biological on some level. Culture and especially family can create and shape the way our brains function and our neurons fire, and so for some of the common "differences" between men and women, there is a level of biology to it. However, this is not inherent and can indeed be changed with an intentional change of the mind and how we view things. (I could go on for DAYZ on this subject, feel free to ask me about any of this since I have to leave it so short for now).
I'm not the average dude, and for some that is honestly a deterrent (but one that I'm proud of). I don't have a shotgun waiting for intruders and thieves. I fully plan on living in a really cheap yet functional house/apt/some sort of structure so that our money can be diverted to helping those less fortunate and furthering the kingdom of God. In general, I'm an odd duck and I'm proud of it.
I want to empower you as a person and never treat you as though you are my lesser or in need of me because I am a man (we all need people, that's part of life). I don't really plan on fulfilling one of those odd Christian expectations of the man "pursuing the woman relentlessly" until I eventually wear you down and you concede or realize I'm cool. I fully desire for this empowerment thing to mean that you want a relationship just as bad as I do and are willing to go into it equally with me. Do I know exactly what all this will look like? Nope. But it will be fun living life together and figuring it out.
Lastly, I am not a gentleman as defined by western society or southern manners, but I have dedicated my life to being a servant and I plan on loving you and everyone else in our lives as Christ loved the church. I will serve you, not because you're a woman, but because you're a child of God and because I love you. I will hold doors open for you, for children, for other men, and I may be stuck at doors for a decent while at times, all because this is how I want to treat other people, not because I think lesser of anyone.
In all things, I want to treat you very well, but because I am a Christ imitating servant, not because I am a gentleman who expects something in return.