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Friday, October 21, 2016

Feminism: Through the Eyes of a Christian Woman (2)

I bet some males read my last post on feminism and they're like: "You better tell them oh" lol. Dear men, you have a role to play here, maybe even more than you realize. I promised to be back with more on the modern day feminist and the role of christian men.
Like I said in my last post, the biblically acceptable definition of feminism is the value facet: that all humans, men and women, hold the same value before God, irrespective of the role they play. Correct me if I am wrong, the feminist revolution has a lot to do with men's inability to see the value women hold in all of God's creation. To many, we are just baby making machines incapable of adding any significant contribution.
Now, I address christian men, in particular, in this article because you have been called to set the standard for the rest of the world. Why? because Jesus did.
"Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive..." (1 Timothy 3)
I know the passage above speaks to a man aspiring to be an elder in the church but I believe it is a standard worthy of emulation by every man. Any man who makes God His standard wouldn't have any problem with respecting a woman or even seeing her as being equally valuable.

So let's see examples of how women were honored in the Bible, the roles of men and how it should really be done.
"Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her"- Proverbs 31: 28
The proverbs 31 woman is a well respected one and although this is within the realms of marriage, there is still some nuggets there. She was a homemaker, she worked, she took care of her kids and her her husband didn't see her role as a threat to his authority but rather, he praised her! It was a complementary relationship, not that of a master and the subordinate.
"I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae,that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well." - Romans 16:1-2
Obviously, Paul respected Phoebe. She played an important role both in the church and even in Paul's ministry. No reference was made to whether she was married with kids or not. She was honored because of who she was in the Lord and there lies her value. She wasn't asked to"shut up" or "sit at home" because she was a woman but she was encouraged as she ran the race.

Here's a tricky one. Men, do you know you should still respect a woman even if their way of life doesn't seem acceptable to you?
"Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” - John 8:11-12
This was the story of the adulterous woman. Obviously, this woman hasn't done something worthy of respect but let us all just stop to admire how Jesus handled it. She has done something wrong, no doubt, but Christ saw in her what no one else could see. Underneath the shameful act, was the daughter of the most high struggling with sin.

So, as a man, why would you think a woman deserves rape just because she is dressed a certain way? Why would you think a woman should be objectified for this reason? When we see people walking out of the will of God for their lives, are we to push them farther away from that will by condemning them to the fate of sexual harassment? If it is within your power, as a man, talk to the woman about what a respectable way of life looks like, do so with grace or ask another lady to do so and if not, pray for her in your heart and move on!

On the flip side, I have watched the oppression of many women by men who use Ephesians 5 as an excuse. Ladies, I know we often want to ask God why we were the ones told to submit to our husbands but that is a story for another day. Many women have been emotionally and maybe physically abused because a lot of men (christian men, in fact) have misinterpreted:
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord."- Ephesians 5:22
So in the context of MARRIAGE ( emphasis on marriage), the man is to take authority over the woman while the woman submits to that authority. I honestly do not know how to explain this passage without writing a whole book about it but I'll try a summary. Ephesians 5 mirrors the relationship Christ has with the church, while women are called to submit to their husband's authority, the men are called to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Now, what is love?
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant,or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. "- 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Is there a way you can genuinely be all of these things or at least try and still intend to verbally, physically and emotionally abuse your wife? Your authority is not for you to abuse but to lead, guide and protect in love. In fact, you have a much higher responsibility upon you because of that authority. What did Christ do with his authority? He served, He taught, He protected and ultimately lost His life. Authority comes with humility, patience, kindness, mercy, respect etc.
So you see when I say, the problem is deeper than gender? It is a problem of hearts away from God.
"Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness."- Titus 2
Once again, dear christian men, you have been called to set the bar. We don't need anymore feminist revolution, what we need is a revival. Do not act oblivious to our plight as women, there is a problem here and everyone has a role to play in making sure the father's will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
Teach your male kids how to value women and be a role model to your female kids by showing them their value. Speak up when you see a woman being cheated because of her gender, pray for the redemption of your fellow men to live their lives in accordance to the scripture.
There's work to be done, not just on this issue but in the world at large.

Apparently, I am still going to write a third part to this article to cover some other things I mentioned earlier.
God help us all to be men and women of honor for His name's sake. Amen

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