Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Women: thoughts so far

So, as with any good Bible student, we make a lot of observations before we make conclusions, right?

But we have to set some rules for this. If your beginning hermeneutic is something other than "God is loving"; your results are going to be different in the end. God delights to prove his love to us. He longs to use the failures and weaknesses of men (and women) to prove that He is who he said he was---a loving, holy, and perfectly just God.

If your image of God has been tainted by abusive men or angry women, you have to acknowledge that up front. Although I can not get in your head or your heart and wipe away the pain that others have caused, I can assure you that they were not representing God (even if they said they were). While certain men (so-called Christians) have come off treating women like crap in thought, word, or deed, has tainted people's view of God that the rest of us have to bend over backwards to make up for their nonsense.

Be assured, God is no man's debtor. These people will answer to God for their harsh treatment of women at the judgement seat.

So, the real question is not whether men abuse women or people abuse other people. That should be obvious. Just look around. People abuse people more and more every day. The entire pornography industry would not be alive and well if it were not for man's sinful delight in not only abuse of people but other people's delight in watching it. (yes, it is gross, gross, gross..)

But the real question is this: Does God, at his heart, think of women as any less than men? Are his specific instructions regarding their roles whether in the home or the church reflect a lesser stature to women? Do the graphic and horrid pictures of women being treated as (prostitutes, etc.) reflect God's approval on such situations? or atleast some form of tolerance?

Yes, these are hard questions.

They are worth grappling over. And they are areas that satan has definitely got a foothold on. Somehow that clever weasel has not only managed to treat women abusively over the ages but twist a few pieces of Scripture and blame God for the abuse. I don't have that kind of brain power to un-ravel that ball of yarn, but I can tell you that it is riddled with lies-- a lot of them.

What lie shall we un-ravel first? Any takers? Help me out here, ladies. There's so many that I'm not even sure where to start.


Herding Grasshoppers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Herding Grasshoppers said...

Sorry, Jena, I removed the comment because it was turning into more of a post of its own... maybe I can get it up on my blog later today.

Briefly, I think there are three main reasons women have issues with God loving them:

1. Fish don't know they're wet, and we don't realize how deeply (and wrongly) we're influenced by our culture.

2. Problems in our personal history (especially with fathers) screw up our thinking. You've mentioned this already.

3. In some churches/groups the pendulum has swung so far away from "culture" that women are being burdened with a role that has little or nothing to do with Biblical womanhood. And it's like an itchy suit that doesn't fit, and they want out of is. Which I understand all too well.


Jan Hatchett said...

I watched the Temple Grandin movie a while back and a line from it struck me. Ms. Grandin is clearly brilliant, but autistic. This was in an age when all autistic people were institutionalized.

Her mother taught her that she was, "Different, but NOT less."

I think that applies here. Women can have a different role from men without being somehow "diminished" by that difference. Sometimes, more than one worldview is necessary or more than one set of responsibilities can be seen as "important."

We get pulled into cravass of human nature and we all want what the other guy (pun not intended) has and we don't consider what we have already attained or received as good enough.

People who think that our Heavenly Father loves men more than women seem to think that they are missing out on some elusive "something" that men get and that we don't.

How easily we forget how important caring for our families is and the truth behind the statement that, "the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world."

Why should I compete with my husband over responsibilities? When we both come together and run the family, everyone wins. We each do what we are meant to do and we are happy. Isn't that more important than squabbling over semantics? God gave us this in order to help us to be obedient and happy, raising up children to glorify Him.

Braley Mama said...

He loves us equally, but i think He may love women a smidgen more because He took the weight off of our shoulders. Men have to answer for alot more then we do:O) Seriously it is so sad to think that some women stay away from God because they think they will have to be doormats without thoughts or happiness. Another lie by satan, you got that right!

Mrs. Parunak said...

Looking at my own life, and the lives of other women I've talked to, my experience with the "God doesn't love women" sentiment has always fallen into one of two categories.

1. Different roles

2. The long history of egregious treatment of women

As for the roles, I think it's really important to understand that God DOES give women important things to do. He has good works foreordained for all His children. That was my blog post, so I won't say it all again here.

As for the horrible abuses of women, one thing I was thinking about today is that you could compare the question, "Does God love women?" with the question "Does God love His people?" Yes, it's true that the Bible records rapes, and abuses, and other awful treatment of women, and history records countless more episodes. But this is very similar to the Bible's record of horrible abuses and torture of God's people by the wicked. Look at how the prophets were treated, or the Apostle Paul, beaten, stoned, imprisoned. Did God love Paul? Did God love his people who were fed to lions, burned at the stake, sent to Communist labor camps? The fact that awful stuff happens and even the fact that the Bible records some of the awful stuff, does not say anything about the level of God's love, only the level of man's depravity.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Interestingly - but a bit of a rabbit trail - if you spend much time abroad you may notice something. In the countries with Christian tradition, the lot of women is MUCH more favorable than in the countries without a Christian tradition.

Example - my dad traveled in (Muslim) Turkey a few years ago. Approaching a village (any village) he saw women working the fields, carrying heavy loads, tending animals, etc. On entering the village he would find the men sitting around, smoking and drinking. And he would ask them, "Aren't those your wives, working in the fields?"


"Why are they working so hard, and you're sitting here?"

"They're women...", and a careless shrug.

It might occur to one, to wonder why women are generally treated so much better in Christian places. Hmmm?

The dB family said...

Interesting thoughts. I'm hoping you'll be posting more on this topic.