I've been really thinking about this whole Girl Effect blog set. I've been reading a lot on a couple Christian forums and between the political talk (US Elections Nov 6!), arguments over woman-only-submission and very Dalrock-y abuse type situations, or general trolling... I've not been much company. I'm rather upset and depressed that the bulk of marriage forums for Christians have such a low opinion of women and suggest things such as forcing yourself on your wife even if she says no, so she "gets in the mood" - or always telling her what her "Biblical mandated rules for godly womanhood" are... I'm just exasperated. And I'm reminded again of a passage in Ezekiel and I meant fully to post it earlier this week, but I could not put into words what I had on my mind.
I am terribly distressed by this push by some men against girls and women in general, their own daughters, wives, sisters, mothers, cousins, aunts, grandmothers, neighbors... that there is no future outside of making babies and keeping home.
Granted, I am a stay at home mother of two, but there is just so much more there than caregiver, wife, housekeeper, nurse and finder of the missing socks. There is SO much potential. I've got my own Etsy shop (not that it's seeing much action at the moment), and when I get better I plan on putting my hands and feet to work in service somehow - but, the thrust of these religious men is that there is no place for this.
I AM tired of hearing this. It is just not Biblical whatsoever. And to them I have only this to say:
Most of us know the story of the Good Shepherd, found in John chapter 10. What many do not know, is that the story is a midrash on a passage in Ezekiel 34. First, I'll post the passage in John, and then the passage in Ezekiel. There's something important here I want you to see, and definitely do go read it for yourself in your translation of choice.
2 ...the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
6 Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me[a] were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.[b] They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
11 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. 12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day...17 “And as for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to his people: I will judge between one animal of the flock and another, separating the sheep from the goats. 18 Isn’t it enough for you to keep the best of the pastures for yourselves? Must you also trample down the rest? Isn’t it enough for you to drink clear water for yourselves? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Why must my flock eat what you have trampled down and drink water you have fouled?
20 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will surely judge between the fat sheep and the scrawny sheep. 21 For you fat sheep pushed and butted and crowded my sick and hungry flock until you scattered them to distant lands. 22 So I will rescue my flock, and they will no longer be abused. I will judge between one animal of the flock and another. 23 And I will set over them one shepherd, my servant David. He will feed them and be a shepherd to them. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be a prince among my people. I, the Lord, have spoken!
I'm one of those sick, hungry flock that has been pushed, butted, crowded and shunned. I'm tired of it... and I'm afraid I've gotten quite cranky and well, witchy about it. I'm unsure how to make it better. So, I'll keep sharing and hopefully the rest of us sick, hungry, pushed away, butted, crowded and shunned sheep can gather ourselves together and wait for the Master to return.