20.12.08

Update on my 'True Woman Makeover'?

Well, it's interesting. We're concentrating on Prov 31. We are encouraged not to feel inadequate in the face of our struggles over 'But what if I have runs in my stocking? (I’m sure they were all right when I left home.) What if I consistently lose one of my husband’s socks in the washing machine, and I regularly misplace my car in the supermarket parking lot? (“It’s blue, sir, I know it’s blue.”)

Is there any hope for me if I dream of writing a book about my small children called From Here to Insanity, and if I’m shaped like a pillow instead of a post? Is there any hope for a woman, if she’s not everything she ought to be, facing this description of an excellent woman?'

What's wrong with me - I worry about none of these things - stockings and my husband's socks, being shaped like a pillow etc - okay I'm not the best driver in the world but I know more about my car than just its colour. Never mind - i can always skip that bit.

What do I do with the next bit though:'Whenever women are mentioned, there is instruction regarding women. You think of some of the key passages, though there are many others: Proverbs 31, 1 Peter chapter 3, Titus 2, 1 Timothy 2, and many illustrations of the women of Scriptures.' Oh no, I know what will be made of these 'instructions'!

I read about how 'Why did God create the man first, and then the woman? What does it mean for man to provide a spiritual covering and protection for a wife, and for a woman to be a responder to male initiative? Why is this a biblical way of thinking—in a culture that thinks you’ve got two heads if you talk that way, in a culture where it’s very politically incorrect to see any but the obvious physiological differences between men and women?'

The thing is 'being a responder to male initiative' is only just counter-cultural. For most of this planet's history of mankind, women have submitted to patriarchy. Isn't it more counter-cultural, internationally (universally) to rejoice in your equality in Christ, instead of being subordinate to your husband? In many countries of the world patriarchy is still the norm.

There is some good stuff but there's also a lot that's very predictable.

7 comments:

DaveW said...

I often wonder why so many people have Bibles that do not contain Genesis 1.

"Why did God create the man first, and then the woman?"

Well given that God did not do so a better question is:

Why do you need to believe that God created men before women in contradiction to Genesis 1?

DaveW said...

Oh and another thing.

Why do people have to read Prov 31, see this woman running a significantly sized household, essentially a business woman who is making significant decisions (buy field or not) and then turn it into a worry about whether their stockings are ok?

This is a woman of power and influence who is managing multiple people to provide for multiple people. Continually we see this pattern of cutting down women in scripture as well as in life today.

When we consider that this passage made it into scripture despite that being in a patriarchal society with men totally in control of every process it is amazing that God snuck it in!

This woman is an example of everything that TrueWoman stands against - but of course they don't read the text that way.

Iconoclast said...

I always understood that God created the man first so that all the bugs could be identified and ironed out.

Iconoclast

Lynne said...

So, if I'm not a "True woman", what the heck am I? (I seriously wonder this, their terminology leads to some really weird places when you unpack it. Is a feminist, for example, less truly a woman?)

I don't even wear stockings, and if one of my husband's socks goes missing, I assume it never made it to the washing basket in the first place, And I am still looking for a single verse of scripture that says my husband is my "spiritual covering", whatever that is. Sapphira and Abigail spring to mind as 2 women whose husbands were most emphatically NOT their spiritual covering. And in what sense did Deborah's husband fulfil that mysterious role? And Mary? Self-evidently she did NOT consult with Joseph before accepting the angel's message! Strange, isn't it?

Rachel said...

Thanks everyone for your comments - the more I mature the more that I realise that humankind is made up of members who are all so different and our giftings are so varied. We really were made so amazingly individual, right down to the very marks of our fingertips that really any attempt to homogenise us into groups defined by things like race, age, gender etc just doesn't do justice to the awesome God who made each one of us so individual with characteristics so unique.

DaveW said...

Rachel,

Yes I hate that loss of god given individuality that says I must like football because I am a man - soooo boring in all it's pathetic loss of God's creative power.

Rachel said...

Yes, it's always come as a shock - that type of - but you're a girl - sort of thinking. It always felt strange, even as a youngster, growing up in the seventies and eighties. I remember thinking even as a young girl - but I'm as capable as any boy etc. We have a 'sooty and sweep' DVD that is from this period in which Matthew Corbett interviews some children and asks them questions about what they want to be when they grow up and then sings a song about the boys shooting goals into a net with 'hit the ball, hit the ball, hit the ball, hit' and for the girls he sings about them being secretaries with the words 'end of the line, end of the line, end of the line, ping' as he pretends to type on an imaginary typewriter and I'm so glad my own girls aren't being brought up on a diet of this kind of thinking.

Thankfully I had a dad who invested me with this kind of case by case, individuality thinking and never limited me because of my gender. He was very counter-cultural so I was very lucky. It's helped to impact my theology I'm sure.

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