Sunny Side of The Stream: As a Mechanic Sacrifices His Life to Save a Female Commuter From a Shooter, a Reflection on the Role of Men to Protect Women

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on February 4, 2023

Happy weekend!

I want to share a story that touched my heart this week. It’s a sad story, but it’s a good story nonetheless. It’s the story of a man who died to save the life of a girl or woman. CNN calls her a “female commuter.” (I wonder if it weren’t for the gender madness, they would have simply called her a woman. It seems likely that whatever official decided to announce her sex, female, also would’ve known or could have easily found out whether she was an adult, and thus a woman. Too many people today won’t admit that a woman is not a person who identifies as whatever a woman is but is rather an adult female. But I but I digress.) Here’s the story, from CNN:

The shootings began shortly after 9 a.m. ET Wednesday on a Metrobus in southeastern Washington, when the gunman got in an altercation with a man on the bus. The two men got off the bus and the gunman shot that commuter, police said.

Then, the gunman entered the Potomac Avenue Metro Station and shot and injured a second commuter, police said. When the gunman aimed his weapon next at a female commuter, [Robert] Cunningham tried to intervene and the gunman shot and killed him, police said.

The gunman then boarded a Metro rail car, investigators said, and passengers tackled him and “were able to disarm” him. Officers detained him soon afterward, police said. [Emphasis added.]

Even though it’s tragic that this man lost his life, it’s heroic and admirable that he gave his life to protect someone else. The fact that it was for a woman (or girl) struck me as important and adds to my admiration of him. Perhaps he was spurred on, at least in part, by a sense that men are particularly responsible to protect women. That’s a beautiful reality and a truth I’ve reflected on and come to appreciate more fully recently.

It came up because I started wondering about biblical teaching on women in church leadership, whether women should be teachers, and what that means since the biblical idea of elder and teacher seems to be connected, and how this would apply to myself in the context of my house church as far as wanting to facilitate meetings to discuss biblical concepts. Specific applications aside, I began to appreciate more fully God’s roles for men and women.

Adam Came Before Eve, and Why That Matters

I listened to a teaching by David Pawson, who explained this concept of Adam being created before Eve, and therefore him being responsible for her, and therefore men being responsible for women. Just like the eldest child in Jewish society was responsible for the younger siblings, to divide the inheritance among them when their father died. The one who came on the scene first is responsible for the ones who come later.

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If this seems a strange concept, I found that it fit perfectly with what I had already discovered about male and female roles in marriage based on the differences between our bodies. Women can get pregnant and breastfeed. This is, in a sense, a burden, notwithstanding the joys and blessings. It takes energy to focus on meeting the needs of that baby, even in the womb, and it can be so physically involved that it leaves a woman weaker, perhaps ill, and essentially vulnerable and in need of assistance.

Men’s bodies, as we all know, are not so involved after conception. (Although, there’s also something to be said for their natural role of pursuit beforehand.) But, after conception, their bodies should still be involved and committed to giving to the family unit. Because men are, as a whole, larger and physically stronger than women, and because their bodies aren’t given to the child for gestation and breastfeeding, they’re free, and needed, to protect and provide for the woman and child. They’re supposed to use their strength to care for the women they impregnate. That’s one major reason why God made marriage. What pregnant or nursing woman wouldn’t want the security of a good man to love her and their child and to give them provision and protection?

I’ve Seen Them Pour Themselves Out for Us

And I’ve found that this way that men carry the burden of providing, protecting and caring for the women who entrust themselves to them to be true in church as well. They literally carry the weight of helping us to stay on the path that leads to eternal life. They are tasked with teaching God’s Word, defending us from false doctrines that could lead us away from God, showing us what it means to live for God, and making decisions that affect the wellbeing of our little community. I’ve watched the elders of our house church pour themselves out, care for our needs, make hard decisions, knowing they’ll stand before the Lord on the day of judgment and give an account for how they cared for us. They have such big shoulders, carrying so much weight. I wouldn’t want their jobs, and I wouldn’t want to make their jobs harder by not honoring and submitting to them. Just as, they as men, protect and provide for their families, they rightly are qualified for that role over our little assembly. I know all the difficulty of shepherding our little house church will be worth it for them, as the Lord will reward them fully when He returns.

So, I’m grateful to the good men who know their God-given roles and responsibilities, who truly fulfill their roles as men. Just like that man who stepped into the line of fire for the sake of a female passenger.


Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on Twitter @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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