I believe John Gray has been divorced 3 times. Surely not an expert on women and men's relationships that you would like the reader to believe.
Remember that before it says women submit to your husbands--it says husbands and wives submit to EACH other.
You said "It's important for men to experience personal significance by making a mark on the world. But God calls women to trust Him in a different area: in our relationships. A woman's value is usually not in providing history-changing leadership and making great, bold moves, but in loving and supporting those around us, changing the world by touching hearts. Once in a while, a woman does make her mark on a national or global scale: consider the biblical judge Deborah, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, and Indira Ghandi. But women like these are the exception, not the rule."
Please be aware that besides women, there are few people of color--men AND women who have gone on to be exceptional in a publicly recognized way. It is not because they are in the "roles" God ordained them to be, but because of the man made white patriarchal society that has oppressed and dominated them.
In the spirit of the Lord who spent so much time with the downtrodden, and rebuffed the Pharisees for only giving lip service to the word, I am careful to not just "accept" what has been instilled as doctrine, but question and question again as God encourages us to do. God is not about oppression.
I could take on everything you have written, but the great thing about this country is our freedom of speech.
I'm a feminist--and a christian.
Just a couple of thoughts in response to your letter. . .
First, citing something John Gray said doesn't mean we endorse everything about the man. Even a broken clock is right twice a day!
Secondly, concerning mutual submission: if you check Ephesians, it does not say that husbands and wives are to submit to each other. The context is that Paul is writing to the entire Ephesian church, and he is telling the Ephesian believers to have an attitude of submission toward each other. The phrase "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" can mean "Everyone submit to everyone" or "some submit to others." It is not addressing husbands and wives. Some relationships are a one-way sort of submission, and this would include wives submitting to husbands, children submitting to parents, employees submitting to employers, and church members submitting to church elders. If you try to turn Eph. 5:21 into a doctrine of mutual submission within marriage, then you have to extend it to the other relationships as well, and common sense tells you that won't (and doesn't!) work. I don't know if you have children yet, but I assure you, Paul isn't telling me as a mom to submit to my kids! :::smile::: And I don't know if you are married yet, but I can assure you that submission to a man who loves, cherishes, respects and supports me, and who leads me as he is led by Christ, is not in the least burdensome but a true joy.
Third, I certainly won't argue that women have been disrespected and oppressed women throughout time. I see this as a horrible consequence of the Fall. But as a Christian, I believe that God defines power and influence and what it means to be exceptional very differently from the way the world does, and I believe that women have been very powerful in ways that the feminist mindset refuses to acknowledge. I respect your identification as both a Christian and a feminist, but please be aware that it is easy to let the world (read: feminist thought) squeeze you into its mold so that you see things from a worldly perspective instead of a biblical perspective. To use a phrase like "man made white patriarchal society that has oppressed and dominated them" tells me that you have bought into the feminist perspective. May I suggest that the evil is not patriarchy, but the sinful abuse of power within patriarchy?
You are right, "God is not about oppression." He is about freeing the captives through Jesus Christ, not through man-made political systems and philosophy. Jesus was absolutely radical in His respect for, treatment of and elevation of women, and when people follow the Bible's actual mandates they move from oppressing others to true freedom and celebration of others' dignity, abilities, gifts and calling.