Monday, January 3, 2011

My own thoughts on the dignity of women

I've been musing this post for several days now, and with a homework assignment and a half looming over my head, I figured this is the time to go ahead and work on the post.

As I write this, I would wish all a Happy 10th Day of Christmas! Yes, the 12 days of Christmas begin with Christmas, not culminate in Christmas!!!

Each Christmas brings me wondering on what it must have been like that night in Bethlehem, when our God entered the fullness of time, incarnated nine months earlier in the womb of a virgin. In that moment, at the Annunciation, this one woman became the greatest tabernacle of all: the Christ-bearer, the Mother of God.

All that we know of Mary places her high above that which we can ever hope to attain in this life. We know her to have been born without sin; Original Sin thwarted at her conception, that she might bring God into the world. She always kept herself open to the will of God- an example we would all do well to follow. And she is loved by her Son; we see it in Scripture, it has been revealed to us throughout the ages.

So, for centuries, nineteen of them at least, we held women high above us; some would say in this spirit of reverence and remembrance of Mary; even our Protestant brethren held her in the most high regard. However, I was reminded on Christmas Day no less, of how far we have fallen. I was watching a movie called "A Man Called Peter," which is about Peter Marshall, a Presbyterian minister from Scotland, who ultimately became the chaplain of the US Senate before his death in the 1950s. In the movie, a young lady who would later become his wife, recounted virtually verbatim, before a crowd of unruly youth, a sermon that Mr Marshall had given nearly two years before.

She told them, (and I severely paraphrase here) "Women want equality with men. Well, look what has happened now that you have it. For nineteen hundred years, women were held as superior to men, better than men, more fragile, more precious. Now women can cuss with the men, drink with the men, work with the men, and all other manner of things. In order to be equal with men, women had to step down."

That hit me like a ton of bricks. They were 100% right. I remember how my grandmothers were revered and loved. And I think that was great. I can't exactly say my grandmothers were always the nicest of people, but they were loved and adored. That's what I remember about them the most, and hold most dear. But then I see the break. I see how my father treated my mother, and I am saddened. I recall my own treatment of women in the past, and I shudder to think of the examples I have given to my own daughters, and how hard I have tried to reverse that trend, and provide them examples of how a woman should be treated, loved, and respected.

Ladies, women, you have a right to expect to be treated better than you have been. Mothers, what you tolerate now will be examples, good or bad, for your sons and daugthers. There will be effects, long and short term. Expect more of your sons, your husbands, your fathers, your brothers. Expect more of the boys your sons associate with, and those that your daughters fancy.

Men, we are sons of God- we can make the choice now, today, in this moment, to dig deeper, and look beyond ourselves. It does not matter if you have fallen in the past, God wants you to ask forgiveness, and go forward.

Adam failed in his one mission- to protect the Garden and all that was in it. Christ came to redeem those wrongs. We cannot win this battle alone, but if we walk in the light of Christ, we can reap the rewards of His sacrifice.

Men, read Ephesians 5. Live it in all that you do. Love your wife as Christ loves the Church. Love your heart, as it is as much a part of you as you are part of it. Remember that Christ came and served, not because He had to, but so that we would see that example and know that is what God always wanted for us.

Become an Ephesians 5 man. Proverbs 31 women will flourish before you.

Now, I will get in to my homework!


  1. I'm reflecting on what you wrote as I recall our last evening in Vegas (Saturday night) James, Alicia and I were at a lovely casual sushi bar, and at one table was a group of 20-somethings... loud and crazy and every other word from that group was F--- or GD or S---, and this was both the "ladies" and "gentlemen."

    I'm not adverse to occasional swearing, but this felt like an assault on the ears, and all I could tihnk was, wow, their parents must be so proud of their little darlings!

    This reminds me of a time I was out with my brothers and uncle, and my brothers were a bit free with the swaer words... my uncle stopped them and said, save that for the locker room, there's a lady present! He meant me, which was both shocking and gratifying, and my brothers took it to heart, because they definitely cut down on their swearing after that.

    Boys watch men to learn how to act, and girls watch their dads to learn the kind of treatment to expect.

    I think the world will become a better place once more people take their responsibilities to younger people more seriously. It isn't about the stuff you give a kid, its about the example you give him.

  2. I'm with the minister on this one, Charles. Read Chesterton's What's Wrong With the World for his thoughts on the subject. Basically, he agrees: women are superior. My favorite GKC quote on women: "Limiting oneself to one woman is a small price to pay for the privilege of seeing one at all." (Or something to that effect.)