Men Have all The Trousers but Only Half the Genes

The Christian faith has long been held responsible for the unfair and often harsh treatment women receive at the hands of men in our world. While its true that men down through history, have not been nice to their women, the fault lies with humans, not with the Bible.

In fact the Bible has a very high view of women something that is evident even in Genesis. When Moses was putting his final touches to the creation story he lived in a world where the common view of women was that they were chattels to be owned and traded. They were credited with a nature which was not fully human and therefore lacking in a spiritual dimension. Some even regarded them as no higher than animals.

In their world a god might presence himself into an idol made by man or even into a man or an animal, but rarely into a woman. Even her role as a mother was denigrated. Men were the creators of life whereas the woman’s role was simply to provide the garden in which a man’s seed was planted. This view remains in many cultures today and is espoused in the Quran.

The two Creation stories of the Bible were quite revolutionary for their day. We discover in Genesis 1 that both men and women were equally created in the image of God and were both blessed and given the world to populate and control.

In the second story, the humanness of Eve is stressed even further. God looks upon Adam and is not pleased by the fact that he is alone, so he decides to parade the animals before him. Adam gives each one a name but discovers none that would be a suitable helper or partner. The point here is that Eve is not one of the animals.

God then puts Adam into a deep sleep so that he cannot later claim to have played any active part in the creation of his wife. He then takes human flesh from his side with which to create a partner indicated that she is made of the same substance as Adam so is therefore fully human. Adam delightfully concurs when he looks upon God’s handiwork ; “flesh of my flesh, bones of my bones” he proclaims joyfully.

Later we discover that Eve is equally spiritual when the snake beguiles her into taking the fruit and eating it. Only humans created in the image of a moral God can make and be accountable for moral choices.

Eve features both in the curses of God and in the ultimate redemption of mankind. She is held to be equally responsible with Adam for the fall but remarkably, she is also to play a key role in man’s redemption a seed from her, not Adam as you would expect, will crush the head of the snake.

God teaches us a lot about women also in the way he treats Abraham’s wife -Sarah. The attempt to produce the heir using a surrogate mother in keeping with the idea that the woman is no more than the garden for man’s seed is rejected by God. He will only accept a legitimate son and that legitimacy demands that Sarah be the mother. Abraham may wear the trousers but her genes are just as good as his.

Jesus was also quite revolutionary in the way he dealt with women. Against the normal cultural norms of the day, we find him often engaged in quite deep spiritual conversations with women and some of his closest friends and financial supporters were women.

It was the spread of the Gospel that outlawed polygamy, the slaughter of unwanted children, and gave us the equality of women before the law. It is also the only reason that women in our culture have the right to complain publically about their treatment and live to tell the tale.

In fact it was only the spread of the Gospel through the western world that gave any of us, men or women, a sense that our lives had real intrinsic value. That value is not something we have the power or authority to grant to ourselves, it comes from the God who created us in his image and was prepared to walk amongst us baring that image 2,000 years ago in the person of Jesus.

Girls, when it comes to proclaiming your right to be taken seriously by your man, your best friend is is God and his word the Bible.

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