Years ago when I was an under-grad student at university studying Psychology, I read a lot about gender and psychology. Social psychology was of particular interest to me as I enjoyed learning about the way we interact and how we see ourselves. The gender realities however, always stuck out for me. I find that we shake our heads at the mentality of years gone by and yet how much gender prejudice do we still have today? While researching verbal abuse for my master’s thesis, I interviewed 60 abused women. Some of their responses to their abuse and their situations shocked me. Comments like, “well this is what God wants for my life (to be abused)” others said “I feel that God wanted me to give up what I wanted for myself although sometimes I still dream of being a writer etc, but god ordained for me to be a wife, stay at home and have kids.” These comments always saddened me because this is not biblical truth or Godly living, its oppression. Sadly, modern day theology has an ancient root and the roots run straight back to the church fathers – who were as the name suggests, all males. Most never married and many hated women. Their theology was warped and prejudice against women, their theology however moulded society’s reality. BUT I am breathing a sigh of relief, because Yahweh is restoring things dramatically and I believe that this is part of the restoration of all things spoken about in the book of Acts. We are being restored to the original design Papa had for us – and that is to be bold as lions! Women are key in the end time move of reviving the nations to the Truth of His word and His Messiah. We are key in bringing the message of freedom, hope and healing. We are absolutely key in any victory the army of God will and can have right now. Years ago Father asked me a question in my prayer time; He asked me “Why has my army failed all these years?” I told Him “Abba, You know!” So He leaned forward and whispered loudly, “Because one half of my army is missing, my daughters are not there!” I hold on this very real truth. Women have for the most part, seen themselves through the opinions of others but we need to realise that we are not to see ourselves through another’s eyes, we are only to view our value, our calling, our worth and our status through the eyes of the One who made us – the eyes of The Great I Am, Yahweh.
I started out this post by saying that, I encountered gender realities in Social Psychology. Well I want to post here below – the 1945 stereotype of a “good” woman. On this particular day (the 13th of May) in 1945 (almost 70 years ago) the Housekeeping Monthly Magazine posted the following statement about what it means to be a Good Wife. I hope your skin is going to crawl at the judgment, the prejudice, the oppression and the ridiculousness of the following statements. But also, may we rejoice in how far we have come from these stereotypes of women.
The Good Wife’s Guide (Source: Housekeeping Monthly, May 13 1945)
· Have dinner ready. Plan ahead even the night before to have a delicious meal ready in time for his return. This is a way of letting him know you have been thinking of him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
· Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll look refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make up, out a ribbon in your hear and be fresh looking.
· Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip around the house just before your husband arrives.
· Gather up schoolbooks, toys, papers etc and then run a dustcloth over the tables.
· Be happy to see him.
· Listen to him, you may have a dozen important thing to tell him but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
· Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
· Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truth. You have no right to question him.
· A good wife always knows her place.
Wow, am I exhausted just by typing this out! Let it be said right here that I am against the prejudice of women (and men for that matter) and I believe in the equality of both men and women as Father laid it out in His word. Both Adam and Eve were called to co-rule, co-govern and share co-dominion over their habitation and over the earth. No one is more important but both exist equally to serve and love God first and then each other. It is interesting to note that women have been the objects of severe oppression and prejudice from the very beginning of time. I am thankful for all the pioneering, brave women who went before our generation, the ones who spoke up against injustice and who paved the way for greater freedom. It our turn now and it is our time to make a difference and to stop accepting all that we have been told. The most important voice is God’s voice and His opinion and He says that He called us to unleash us, not to tame us, to make us fierce and fiery, to make us warrior women fit for a Warrior Groom, are you up to the task or are you still embracing the 1945 guide to prejudice goodness? It is time!