I have been trying to study the Bible recently instead of just reading it. I usually highlight or underline verses but I have realised that for me to get the most out of the Word, I will need to write things down. This helps me to keep collect my thoughts so that I can go back and look at them later on because I don’t have the greatest memory. I went to a youth convention last Friday and the woman who prayed for me reminded me just how important it is to study the Bible. She said to me (here I am paraphrasing because as I said I don’t have the greatest memory) “the only way that you can live a life that is right and pleasing to God, is by studying His word, then you will be able to know the things that are of Him and the things that are not.”
Anyway…it has been by writing things down in my journal that I have been able to understand and realise certain things that are written in the Bible.
One thing about the English language that makes it different than many other languages is that words do not have a gender. So as I was going through the Bible from Jeremiah to Lamentations over the past few days it stood out to me that God repeatedly referred to Jerusalem as a female by using words such as ‘she’ or ‘her.’ When you fast forward to the New Testament, you realise that God’s treatment of the people of Judah and Israel (when He constantly forgave them) foreshadows the relationship between Christ and the Church. The Bridegroom and His bride.
Christianity gets a lot of stick from non-believers and they label it as a patriarchal and misogynistic religion. 1 Timothy is often referenced, particularly chapter 2 in an attempt to make Christianity look ‘backwards.’ Is Christianity patriarchal? Yes! Is Christianity misogynistic? Definitely not! To disagree, simply means that you do not know the Word. I am really trying not to quote scriptures but to simply reference them in a hope that you will go on and find the scriptures for yourself to read. So I would advise any believer who disagrees to take a look at Hebrews 5.
One thing that is revealed to us continuously in the Bible is that as women, we are extremely powerful. Both 1 Corinthians and 1 Peter talk about the ability of a woman to make her home holy. Women are told that if they are married to unbelievers that they have the ability to win over their husbands if they have a gentle and quiet spirit and if they have pure and reverent lives. A woman’s godliness is her greatest weapon. The infamous Proverbs 31 woman is blessed and praised by her children and husband. She enriches her husbands life. A godly woman add’s to whatever she touches. She doesn’t strip things or people down but she builds them up.
Now let’s look at Jerusalem as a godly woman. God loves her so much. Time and time again He forgave her. Time and time again He restored her. Just look at the amount of times that the temple was rebuilt. After she allowed foreigners to come in and violate her sacred Temple, the very same temple that God told her to keep holy (Lamentations 1:10), He still came and rescued her. He never abandoned her. She was never too ruined for Him to restore. He still saw her as beautiful and sent His son as the Bridegroom to save her. How many of you would allow your son to marry the local jezebel? How many of you would volunteer your son to sit in the electric chair for a crime that she committed?
When you look at the creation story and begin to understand the reason for the creation of women and then go on to look at how out of all of the people in the Bible, Jesus was the only one who was sinless. You will then begin to understand the reasons for patriarchy in Christianity. It isn’t a thing that has to do with context. It has to do with Christ and His relation to the world. He came to earth as the Bridegroom and this explains much of what is written in 1 Corinthians. When you look at Jerusalem before Christ and how there was no way for her to break the cycle of sin, you will then see the power of the woman. She didn’t care about her future and because of that her children had no future and Babylon and other nations were able to conquer them (Lamentations 1). Just like Jerusalem, we have no power without Christ, but with Christ, we are powerful!