Sunday, July 18, 2010
The one bible chapter "written" by a woman
Proverbs 31: 1-31 The words of King Lemuel that his mother taught him. This chapter is an uplifting view of a capable woman. The chapter teaches that women are valuable, capable and resourceful and make a positive influence on their families and society. The bible is said to have been written by 39 male authors, even this chapter is inserted into the book of Proverbs at the behest of King Lemuel. King Lemuel obviously felt that when women are allowed a chance to be contributing members of society their families benefit as does the society as a whole. He obviously wanted to honor, include and give deference to his mother's teachings. King Lemuel's mother taught him that women were valuable and should be recognized for their contributions to their families and society. This chapter has no doubt been a source of encouragement to women trying to assert their rightful place in their male dominated societies over the past 4,000 years. The chapter encourages women to be industrious and hard working and assumes women are more than capable of buying and selling and creating a market for their talents. The woman in the chapter has servants which free her up to do many resourceful things. Modern day females can occasionally afford to hire help in child care and domestic chores and still come out ahead, but for the most part "mothering" has kept women completely preoccupied and unable to get all the education they need to compete in a male dominated world. I think we need to expand on Proverbs 31 and tell young girls it is OK for you to delay child bearing until they are educated and have traveled and have taken the time to develop. Society and the church needs to start saying it is OK to choose not to have children at all. With the world approaching 9 billion choosing to be childless can be an act of conscious and self protection and mercy. I am very concerned about the trend of modern girls and young women rushing into "marriage" and "child bearing". It is almost as if we need a new feminist movement. Young girls are looking for value and affirmation in having children before they can afford to raise a child and they are succumbing to marriages before they know themselves and before their partner has lived a single life too! These early choices are destroying women's lives and committing them to a lifelong struggle to support children often by themselves in poverty. Travel, education and living the life of a single person can teach a woman a great deal about herself and allow her to develop her own thoughts and preferences separate from a man. This is a good thing and should be encouraged. King Lemuel's mother was a wise woman who encouraged him to consider the value of a women. What would she tell young women today?