I haven’t had the privilege of being a woman, but I do have the privilege of being the son of a deaf mother. I am a husband, father of a daughter and brother of a sister, all of them exceptional women.
Jesus had ties with his mother that Joseph could never understand. The Bible, far from affirming and sustaining the hierarchical difference between the genders, is constantly struggling to break down the barriers of inequality. We confuse biological and functional differences with hierarchical differences that should not exist.
If every husband loved his wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25), we would see men willing to give up their lives to protect his wife’s. We would see men rendering honors (1 Peter 3:7) to their wives, mother and daughters, as a subject does to his queen.
We could make a long list of illustrious women in the Bible that would reach up to Asia Bibi, example of what it means to be a woman in most countries today. If to that “curse” of being born a woman, one adds having faith in Jesus, premature death is a dark promise that overshadows her face every day.
Asia Bibi was sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy in 2010. This month of January, unlike thousands of women who have left their lives in these years in such countries, Asia has managed to save hers. We congratulate ourselves on the symbolic victory of Asia Bibi, and it is good to do so, but I still have unanswered questions.
Can there be women who suffer a possible death penalty in my environment? Untreated depression can lead to suicide. A woman who is abused can become the victim of someone who should honor her and take care of her. Do we really make efforts to empathize and understand women?
Christ did it, he treated women as equals, starting with his mother, Mary Magdalene, the Syro-Phoenician woman, the one who was looking for water in Jacob’s well, the widow who gave offerings, Peter’s mother-in-law, and many more. Christ wanted to return the woman to her rightful status. We complain about non-Christian countries, but what is our attitude, Christians, even within the church?
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