It’s International Women’s Day on the 8th of March. As the world gears up to #PressforProgress, I am left wondering how I should, as a Christian woman, support women both here and around the world for a more just and equitable society.
Do I march? Do I try to argue the case for women to men in leadership every chance I get? How can I, in my small neck of the woods and tiny sphere of influence, do my part to encourage men to value our work, time and skills in a way that is God honouring?
In a world where the biblical doctrine of male headship has been twisted by some to enforce sinful behaviour, female submission is not only offensive but can be life threatening. The call in God’s word for men to love their wives like Christ loves the church, and for women to submit to a care that is self-sacrificial, is drowned out. In its place seems to be a never ending power struggle between the sexes.
It is a broken world and we are far from heaven. Women should be valued, even if we may believe the biblical roles of men and women to be different. But our work is not always valued nor are we treated equally.
Some parts of the world have come a long way to acknowledge inequality. Women can vote, work, and get an education. We are valued in our homes and workplaces. There are hard won freedoms conferred to us that are not seen in other countries. We worry about equal pay with men, as rightly we should, but there are other parts of the world where baby girls are quietly aborted.
There must be a better way to call on us all to love and respect each other. I wonder if our actions will speak louder than any hash-tagged social media campaign. Both in our obedience to what is good and in our refusal to accept what is wrong.
For me, the most notable women throughout history are the ones who gently but firmly said “No.” From Ruth of the Bible, who refused to go back to her homeland but instead supported her widowed mother-in-law, to Rosa Parks, who refused to go to the back of the bus. These women refused to do what was expected of them because what was expected of them was wrong.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it might be a good time to reflect on how we can care for each other – as men and women, made in God’s image and dearly valued by Him.
Image from Unsplash