The debate surrounding a woman’s place continually rages. It is fueled by Christianity, Islam and the rise of feminism in general. Where does a woman belong? From the extremes of being veiled in public places to being CEOs on top of the corporate ladder, the pendulum of interpretation swings far and wide. The arguments range from the one-sided fundamentals of “human rights” all the way to the absurdity of “just because”. It is undoubtedly a debate that will never end.
I feel inclined to throw a log to the fire. The weak arguments that continually float about so disparage the truth, it is hard to refrain from writing about. Undoubtedly to the dismay of many, I’ll offer up a Biblical interpretation. None the less, it’s my hope that the practicality of the interpretation will stand out and dampen the oft inflamed attitudes of some. We’ll see.
Before I dive into personal interpretations, allow if you will a little bit of reflection upon the woman’s place (historically). If we can’t agree upon how it is, we can at least agree upon how it has been in the past. Frankly speaking, it hasn’t been so favorable for women. Women on the whole have been, with some exceptions, subservient to the men round about them. Looking past the most recent sixty years, this is not a hard thing to notice. If you go back even further in time, it becomes more blatantly obvious as women were bought, sold, and traded like commodities. Infertility was grounds for divorce and a woman’s marriage was often not of her own choosing. To state the adage in past tense, it was definitely a man’s world.
Women today hold less positions of power and make less money on average when compared to men. Women who do manage to excel above the average oft work many times harder than their male counterparts and thus, while many do not like to admit it, the old adage, in varying degrees, still applies to the present tense. Though the legal structure of a woman’s rights has greatly changed in developed countries, a huge disparity still exists. Why is this? If a woman can do & accomplish everything a man can, why hasn’t the disparity lessened? The answer I find is as old as time.
To the credit of women, the answer of disparity has nothing to do with skill, physical strength or intelligence. Women are, in all secular aspects, on par with men. Perhaps there are some debatable points regarding a woman’s emotional nature but I think such a thing is part of her strength and it is certainly a strength that men need! All in all, the woman’s role in society has had little to do with her strength and weaknesses and everything to do with a hierarchy that was put in place by God himself:
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
With the advent of the fall, the woman’s position in nature was changed and history gave her to the ruling of her father first and then her husband. Her position became one of subservience to the men around her. Secular society has attempted to force an equality through the legal system but it can not unravel the curse that God has put in place. Simply put, it never will. Despite the fact that much of mankind intellectually disregards such an old biblical truth, the disparity of position and power still resonates in the world today as a reminder of the fall : gender inequality will never disappear.
I have to reiterate that the of disparity between men and women has nothing to do with skill, physical strength or intelligence. Women, whether at work, at home or as a part of society in general, have a lot to offer and the culture that devalues its women devalues itself.
Eve was taken from Adam’s rib to be by his side but sadly, that side by side position was lost. Today, women are weaker but only by a God ordained hierarchy.
Women can spend all the time blaming men, blaming the laws and/or blaming old fashioned discrimination if they’d like. In reality, you can just blame God. It was his curse (albeit not without reason). The good news is that those curses will one day be removed, amen and so be it!
Until those curses are removed, men would do well to remember the following:
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.