International Women’s Day, my friends.
Now the Church in general doesn’t have a great reputation with women. All that Eve stuff conveniently allowed men to blame us and hold us down in the name of God for an awful long time – still does.
But we should never believe that God does not value women as equal partners to men, endowing us with equal brains, capacity for love, determination for action and beauty.
Think of all the women through the years to whom God has been particularly close in the past – Deborah, Mary, Mary and Martha, St Theresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Hildegaard of Bingen, Elizabeth Fry – there are too many to list.
These women were all powerful, obedient in their own right. When informed by the angel that she was going to bear God’s son Mary didn’t say,’That sounds lovely but I better go and check with my father/Joseph/Brother because I’m a woman’ she accepted the situation in her own right. Elizabeth Fry didn’t go home and tell her husband that he needed to help the homeless and the poor in the prisons, she went out and did it herself.
I leave you with a few quotes from Proverbs 31 which is often a touchstone for what a ‘good woman’ should be. We need to get rid of this idea that a ‘Good Christian Woman’ is passive and quiet and completely beholden to her husband. It’s pernicious nonsense and it’s not even biblical.
Notice how active and responsible the woman of Proverbs is, how she takes independent financial decisions, provides monetarily for her family, (works in other works) and how her husband praises her…
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
’24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.’
‘28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.’
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.’
#beboldforchange ladies. God wants us to be.