So I was innocently getting a snack from the fridge the other day while my dad was reading the paper in the kitchen when he suddenly found it to be the appropriate time to ask me if I’m praying for a husband (like he assumes most Christian ladies my age probably are) and if I am, what are the requirements that said husband would have to meet in order to win my affections.
The reasons why that was an awkward moment for me are on the rough draft I wrote before I posted this final draft and because they would turn this into a 20 page thesis on why fathers shouldn’t ask their 20 year old daughters questions they don’t really want the answers to, I had to leave that bit out and focus on the matter at hand.
So I gave him a really generic one-size-fits-all answer about how my ideal husband should be someone I think would provide and protect and be the head of the household and all that jazz but my dad seemed oddly disappointed with my answer. I know this because he then asked me if I’m intelligent, independent, educated and successful, why do I need to be some man’s subordinate? Because he’s definitely not sending me to university to have me end up a housewife, cooking and cleaning and raising countless children with some man towering over me and barking out orders like I’m some village wife.
Hearing those words come out of a burly African man’s mouth suddenly made me realize that its almost 2012, I’m a “hip young thing” with so many opinions that I have to edit most of them out so people don’t grow old trying to reach my conclusion, but here I am walking around with a two thousand year old “Thou shalt submit unto thy husband as unto the Lord” type attitude that made that whole scene look so wrong.
Many 21st century societies educate their daughters and encourage them to not only consider the opinions of marriage and motherhood, but also to consider the prospects of becoming doctors, lawyers and even presidents. In such a world, the bible has slowly developed a reputation for being on the side of men who want to treat women as sexual property and glorified personal assistants rather than equals.
I do hear those who are crying out for equal treatment after centuries of women being banished to kitchens, given secondary class citizen status, deprived of opportunities to excel outside of the home, being subjected to all sorts of abuse, I hear them, but “equal” doesn’t always have to mean “same”. Reason being, men and women are different beyond just the physiological aspects and we need to make peace with that so that we can combine our different strengths and capabilities to compliment each other instead of trying to out-do each other. How well this system works is equivalent to the degree of love, respect and selflessness that exists between both parties. Which is why it is never indicated in the bible that a woman should submit without the man being told to love his wife as Christ loves the church, and that’s a TALL order for any man.
He came into the relationship already prepared to lay down His life so that the church may have life and have it in abundance [John 10:10]. He became poor so that she could become rich [2 Corinthians 8:9]. He endured pain and persecution to carry her burdens so that His bride wouldn’t have to [1 Peter 2:24].
“Jesus always showed the greatest esteem and the greatest respect for woman, for every woman, and in particular He was sensitive to female suffering. Going beyond the social and religious barriers of the time, Jesus reestablished woman in her full dignity as a human person before God and before men … Christ’s way of acting, the Gospel of his words and deeds, is a consistent protest against whatever offends the dignity of women.”
— John Paul II, “Thoughts on Women─Address to Italian Maids,” April 197
So that’s my Absolutely Godgeous take on the matter and its pretty much settled on my side. I would take all my qualifications, super intelligence, fame and fortune and submit to a man who understands that to whom much is given, much is expected.
What’s your take?