Sigh. My skills of diplomacy and charm may be sadly lacking, as in it is quite possible I am now qualified to just write a book called, “How NOT to Win Friends and Influence People.”
On the other hand it is quite possible there are other Christian women who lack a certain amount of charitability themselves, and who insist on immediately shutting down any potential conversation, and simply tossing me onto the rubbish heap of heretics and rebellious women. I really, really just want to have a cup of coffee with you and chat, laments my soul, but yowsers do they cast me out with a vehemence that reminds me of mean girls in middle school.
So Proverbs 31, something I’ve addressed multiple times like in this post, When Proverbs 31 Hisses at you, has really been used to abuse women. I just want us as faith bloggers, as marriage bloggers, as Christians, to show some love and kindness for our sisters. That’s it! Stop using scripture as a battling ram to whack women upside the head with. That helps no one, in fact, it does great harm.
So Lori Alexander wrote, “Are You a Crown to Your Husband,” and if I imagine myself as a young woman, about three sentences in I am ready to either impale myself on a rusty garden fence, throw myself out of a tower, or develop a powerful addiction to Valium. Our virtuous young bride is so pure, chaste, righteous, obedient, moral, that she trills with the forest creatures every morning without any coffee. In fact, she is so amazing, she doesn’t even need Salvation or redemption. Jesus Christ didn’t even have to die for her, she somehow managed to attain perfection entirely under her own steam, by virtue of her own goodness.
That is an incredible amount of pressure to put on any woman. Not to be impolite here, but if any woman were actually able to attain that level of perfection, why would she even be interested in having a relationship with a mere mortal man? There is not much left for that woman to do but to levitate and ascend into the heavenly realms.
So Lori explains farther by saying, “We are told in 1 Corinthians 13 that “charity suffereth long.” Therefore, she is willing to suffer a long time living with him since she is a vow keeper and continues to be a crown to her husband, even though he doesn’t deserve it.”
Oh boy. Women were not placed on this planet as super virtuous vessels designed to “suffer a man,” who doesn’t even deserve her. Also that is kind of a sad and pathetic representation of Christian marriage. While there may well be hard times, struggles and strife, marriage is a gift, there is love, intimacy, a relationship that reflects Christ’s own relationship with the church. Trust me, that churchian “bride” isn’t perfect either, but more importantly, our Bridgroom Himself is not our cross to bear, just as husbands are not our cross to bear.
We need to raise our standards just a bit here, increase our expectations. I mean, husbands can be a real blessing, marriage is a gift, love, romance, and fairytales, although in real life a bit messy, twisted, and flawed, are still ours for the asking.
So, I’ve been married for 30 years, I’ve been immersed in The Word for decades, I can translate and discern the ideas being put forth, but others cannot, all they can read is the outright hostility being expressed towards all of womanhood, the idea that we carry the burden of all virtue for mankind, that we were designed only to suffer, and oddly that men themselves are now our cross to bear.
Jesus Christ went to the cross for us all, it is He who gave His life for us.
So, when women are struggling within marriage, the last thing they need is for someone else to pig pile on them, to use Proverbs 31 as an example of how flawed they are, or to promote this idea that suggests God designed us exclusively to suffer.