The Five Minute Friday prompt word just came through in my email this morning, and oh, what a doozy it is this time! Especially for me. Read on and you’ll see why in my free-write response:
taken out of man
formed from his side (“rib” perhaps being much like a “side” of beef)
created relational, as a completion of the humanity already formed
built from the flesh of that humanity which had been molded from the clay of earth, the soil of the ground.
And the man was connected to the earth, to the ground, which he tilled,
and the woman was connected to the fleshly humanity to which she was counterpart.
And the Curse, when it came down, hard and heavy, walloped the man’s connection with the ground, the earth,
and walloped the woman’s connection with humanity, with her human counterpart, her husband, and with her children to come.
Decades ago I wrote a book, a book called God and Woman: the Issues, the Love,
a book that had resulted from many months of (thousands of) hours of Bible research,
a book that explored all the Bible had to say directly about and to women,
and also where it left women conspicuous by their absence.
And then, at the suggestion of a rough-draft critique,
I researched more, to gain some threads to weave into the picture,
threads from elsewhere than the Bible.
And I wove them together, and formed a tome.
And I saw that my creation “was good.”
But not “very good.”
And later, much later, I have come to see what was especially “not good.”
Just as it was “not good for the man to be alone,” it was also not good to consider woman alone: her creation, purpose, role, and essence… alone, without due consideration of all else the Bible (and life) had by then shown me.
Woman, in her very essence, her created nature, is so closely, maybe even intimately, connected to humanity as a whole, to the male side of it as counterpart, that to consider woman in isolation from all that—and from all that the Bible says about all that—is to get only half of the jigsaw put together.
I have been glad, actually, that I never did manage to get that book published,
having come to see the “not good” side of it.
And now I sit and seriously consider the rewrite that perhaps cries out to be done,
considering the whole picture that ought to be revealed and focused on, especially in our time, when issues like the abuse of women have become searingly hot.
What do you think?
Do we need such a book?
To read other responses to the FMF prompt word, go here
12 thoughts on “Woman”
The Great Three in One. I’ve always believed Holy Spirit is the female part of our Triune God. The Teacher. The Comforter. The Peacemaker. Sounds female, amen? Jesus came and set women free.
I am thinking also about how Jesus compared Himself to a mother hen. These attributes of God that we associate with the female side of things are important But what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how important are the messages we get about what God is like as Father and what Christ is like as Bridegroom and Lover of our souls from earthly fathers and bridegrooms and lovers. What we see in men gets easily meshed with how we see God and His love and concern for and care of us—or what we perceive as the lack thereof. Women who have experienced abuse from controlling and unloving men can have a very hard time seeing the heavenly Father as caring or Christ the Bridegroom as someone who would set one free. This is the side of things that I feel the need to address.
It sounds like it would be a really interesting book, and I think it is an important topic. I actually bought a book recently which looks at what the Bible has to say about the role of women. I haven’t read much yet but I’m looking forward to getting into it some more, but I agree, we need to see those passages in the context of the big picture of all that the Bible has to say. Nice to see you back at FMF!
Hi Lesley. Thank you, it’s nice to be back! I kind of dropped off out of the blogosphere for a while. Hope to be reconnecting more often again. Thanks for the encouragement.
I think it would be an interesting book. And as my tshirt today says, “Writers gonna write.” Visiting from the 31st spot this week.
Yeah, Tara, that’s right: “Writers gonna write.” So I probably will write this from that call, or compunction, or compulsion or whatever we might call that thing in our wiring. I will probably do that rewrite for my own benefit if nothing else. But publish? That’s a different question. That’s the question that gives me the shakes.
I don’t now a lot about women. I worked as a private military contractor…well,mercenary…and you don’t see a lot of ladies.
Even though I’m married, I’m clueless. Ask Barb.
But I know dogs, and I know this. Two males fight, there’s a lot of noise, and ten minutes later they’re eating from the same bowl.
Two females fight, and someone’s going to the vet.
#1 at FMF this week.
How very interesting, Andrew. This brings to mind my experiences as an elementary school teacher. I usually found little boys’ fighting much easier to deal with than little girls’. I don’t know how much we can translate the inner workings of dogs to our own, or take our cues from their behaviors, but yeah, the boys tended just to have it out with their fists or a tussle on the playground and have done with it, but the subtle vindictiveness that some little girls could get entrenched in was a force not easily reckoned with. Nothing meaner than a “mean girl.”
And then there are momma bears. We have bears running loose around these rural parts where I live, and one of my greatest discomforts about them is the possibility of somehow finding myself between a momma and one of her babies. Look out! But on the other hand, the poppa bears will sometimes kill the babies. So the comparison breaks down there. But the reasons for their respective fighting, of momma or poppa, are quite different and might be considered a reliable reflection of fallen human attitudes, too, and worth puzzling over.
Thanks for the thought provoking comment.
Fascinating. I found myself nodding, realizing the truth in this piece, and the comments, articulating things I have experienced as a woman.
As far as elementary boys fighting and getting over it quickly, sigh, my friend’s grandson, was in a fight, provoked by others, but the principal got police involved and those boys had to sign papers and legally cannot be within so many feet of each other. Years ago, boys would often end up friends after such an altercation. Yes the principal is a female but much of our society has become like those mean girls, you spoke of.
Yes, you’re right, Laurie. Much of our society has become like those mean girls, using their kind of terribly toxic tactics that can utterly destroy others without ever lifting a finger physically, and still managing to look like saints to the public at large–and that includes men as well as women. I do believe we have experienced a great deterioration in honesty and genuine kindness over my lifetime, and a great increase in covert aggression and narcissistic manipulation and destruction through all areas of life, unfortunately including to large extent the family and the church. But I’d better not get going on that here and now! Thanks for your comment, which, as usual, adds valuable observations and insights to the conversation.
Unfortunately, women haven’t always been treated with proper respect in this fallen world in which we live. Certainly, the ideal wasn’t meant to include abuse and neglect. I think we must speak out for those with no voice. Maybe your book would bring attention to this issue?
I think it possibly could, Debbie. And I find that a little scary. Thanks for commenting.
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