Female leads, Aye and Amen

Female leads, Aye and Amen

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Below are my expanded comments to a Geeks Under Grace essay about female leads here:

http://www.geeksundergrace.com/christian-living/divisive-problem-female-leads/

 

Wonderfully Made

As the author suggests, manipulative and insincere marketing strategies are hardly an answer to the very real disparities and problematics which consume gender politics. In fact, they tend to be offensive and degrading as she illustrates in her ponderance of Final Fantasy X2. It’s not helpful to us in understanding a holy vision of the profound human context in which we participate. God blesses us, male and female, and God calls us, male and female, to be wonderful, powerful and holy.

In Genesis 1, it is written…

27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

 

Righteousness

Aside, I find the pejorative term, Social Justice Warrior, to be problematic. As if there was something wrong with “social justice” per se. Social Justice has long and rightly been a concern of the Christian church and the individual Christian.

Of course, the ungodly vision of social justice is problematic – wrongs are advanced as rights and confusions are settled with a count of the feels as opposed to the judgment of reason. But, surely, the righteousness which causes God joy includes a social justice in which we care for one another – especially those in most need. The example of the Good Samaritan was not spoken as a bed time story. It was not spoke for our entertainment.

In the Bible, the care of orphans and widows is a critical component of true religion and accounted as righteousness. In James 1:27, it is written:

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

In Proverbs 31, an excellent woman is also described (in part) as a social justice warrior.

20 She extends her hand to the poor,
     And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

Job was among the few men in the Bible who were described as righteous in the eyes of the Lord (Job 1.1). Job was a social justice warrior. We read his own account of his righteousness in Job 29:11-17:

11 “For when the ear heard, it called me blessed,
      And when the eye saw, it gave witness of me,

12 Because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
     And the orphan who had no helper.

13 “The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me,
      And I made the widow’s heart sing for joy.

14 “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
      My justice was like a robe and a turban.

15 “I was eyes to the blind
      And feet to the lame.

16 “I was a father to the needy,
      And I investigated the case which I did not know.

17 “I broke the jaws of the wicked
      And snatched the prey from his teeth.

Woman

Perhaps, we need to ponder, reflect and dream of what might be a true, encouraging uplifting vision of a dignified, excellent and holy woman – a vision which illuminates what empowerment, inclusivity and celebration of woman should look like.

For the Christian, Mary, mother of Jesus, is the crowning glory of woman. And man. The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) is a confession and example of human faith that illuminates the life of the Christian to the Christian, him- or herself.

46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
     For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
     and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
     from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
     he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
     and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
     and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
     in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
     to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Among the most profound questions the Christian must ask his- or herself:

Does your soul magnify the Lord and rejoice in God the Savior?

Also worthy of our good study of woman is the description of the excellent wife in Proverbs 31:10-31. She is not foolish, clumsy, useless, careless, weak, incompetent, stupid, capricious, violent, etc. She is valuable, powerful and wonderful.

10 An excellent wife, who can find?
     For her worth is far above jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
     And he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
     All the days of her life.
13 She looks for wool and flax
     And works with her hands in delight.
14 She is like merchant ships;
     She brings her food from afar.
15 She rises also while it is still night
     And gives food to her household
     And portions to her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
     From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds [l]herself with strength
     And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her gain is good;
     Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
     And her hands grasp the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
     And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
     For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
     Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
     When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
     And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
     And she smiles at the future.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
     And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
     And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
     Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
     But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
     But a woman who [s]fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the [t]product of her hands,
     And let her works praise her in the gates.

 

And then there is Mother Theresa – her memory and service is honored by many peoples and peoples of many faiths. But even Mother Theresa is not the last word on the wonder that is woman. Check out Nisha Varghese who says to women and girls: “you are more than the sum of your body parts.”

The historical and modern example of excellent and talented women, in fact, is in no short supply as I have written elsewhere: The Wonder That Is Woman. But, sadly, our attention to them is deficient. Let us, each of us, repent of our negligence. And let this be my repentance for my own negligence.

 

Stan Faryna
20 September 2016
Fairfax, Virginia

Speak from your heart!

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