Monday, July 20, 2009

The Strength of a Woman

The flux of 007 movies on the USA network that started over the Independence Day weekend led me to think about, not my favorite James Bond actors (Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig), but my favorite Bond women (portrayed by Carole Bouquet, Judi Dench, Halle Berry, and Michelle Yeoh) and why. It's because they are determined and have their own missions in the war of good versus evil.

This led me to think about the roles of men and women in society, how some cultures recognize women's voices in councils while others relegate women solely to domestic duties to the aboriginal tribe that reversed the traditional stereotypical roles to the point that the men breast-fed the babies.

Here in the United States of America, great progress has been made toward recognizing women's abilities in fields as diverse as politics, business, and the military; capable in all fields as proven by history and supported by the Bible.

In fact, it is a shame for those who call themselves "Christians" to relegate women strictly to the traditional role of homemaker when the Bible tells us by example that women can do anything.

In Deborah, a prophetess and judge over all Israel, we see a spiritual and national leader (Judges 4:4). In Jael, we see an assassin (Judges 4:21). Huldah was a prophetess who men, even a priest, consulted for God's advice (2 Kings 22:14) and the Proverbs 31 woman is a land owner who also has a cottage industry.

Jumping into the New Testament, we find Lydia the merchant (Acts 16:14), Phebe the deaconess (Romans 16:1), Junia the apostle (Romans 16:7), and may read Paul's instructions about women preaching (1 Corinthians 11:5-6, 15).

There are more, but having enough examples to level that particular playing field, we're free to take another look at the question: What is the role of a woman?

Shedding light on this question was the discovery by a former team leader of mine who, expecting her first child and reading child development books, was dismayed upon learning that a child's personality is basically set by age five.

"I have only five years to mold this child!" she exclaimed. "I thought I'd get at least 10 years. I was hoping for more time, not less!"

Therein is the strength of a woman. As far as biological, survival-of-the-species purposes go, while a man's upper body strength makes it easier for him to provide for and protect his family by sheer physical strength, it is for the present and short-term future. For women, the division of labor is much more significant than the immediate care demanded by diapers, snotty noses, and drudgery that is too often held in low esteem by men and even by many women themselves.

If we look beyond that, we'd see that God also entrusted women with the long-term future by enabling them to teach a child from birth and breast, to instill foundational values while the child still clings to the mother's knee, values that may be passed on to future generations and effect changes for the better just as we've experienced through the history of the U.S.

My hope is that women around the world draw upon their strength and advantage to make the war of good versus evil their personal mission for the adage is true: "The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world."

1 comment:

Rox said...

That was really good! One of my favorite posts! Thanks!