Some today are celebrating "International Women's Day." I am guessing the idea is that we need a special day set aside to show respect and appreciation for women.
In theory, this sounds like a noble and worthwhile cause. Sadly, however, our society is so far removed from God's view of women and His plan for their lives that this day does nothing to accomplish its lofty goal of improving women's lives aside from the Word of God.
It seems that there is a notion out there amongst unbelievers that God has a poor view of women, or that if we were to follow His law, women would end up with the "short end of the stick", at the caprice of evil men who would take advantage of them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This blog post is not long enough to disprove that false idea. But I did want to share a small interesting point I came across as I was reading the Proverb of the day with the kids earlier this week.
4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
If wisdom and understanding could be embodied, how would we treat them? Would we not use respect, honor, courtesy? Would we not seek after them, and work hard to earn their favor? Would we not look up to such a person, and hold them in high regard?
When God draws this parallel in verse 4 above, we are told to treat wisdom like a sister, and understanding like a female relative (kinswoman). This means the same is true the other way around: treat your sister and other females in your family the same way you would treat wisdom and understanding if they were embodied in a human. With courtesy, great respect, humility, honor, kindness, and so forth.
1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
Does this view of godly women void the part of God's law that says wives are supposed to obey and reverence their husbands? Of course not! Rather, it balances the relationship: the husband lays down his life for his wife, realizing that she is the greatest treasure God has bestowed upon him, and given him responsibility over safekeeping. The wife, in turn, defers to the husband as the loving, self-sacrificing authority over her and her life, second only to God.
I Peter 3
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Are we as Christians supposed to obey and respect God? Certainly! Does that mean that God will be ruling over us to our own detriment, using us for His selfish purposes, and treat us unkindly and hurtfully? Of course not! Marriage is a picture of that relationship.
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. - Proverbs 4:7
A crown is the ultimate symbol of a king's power. If you want to be married to a king, you have the power to do so. You need only strive to become a beautiful crown, adorned with a meek and quiet spirit yourself.
Ladies, if you want to live a truly liberated life, one where you feel loved and appreciated for being a woman, follow God and his Word. The more you follow it yourself, the more your husband and other men in your life will treat you with utmost respect and honor.