Girls Lives Matter
I write about women of the Bible. Women who were once young girls and grew into strong, usually faith-filled women. Women who did some amazing things because of their faith in God, and others who made some bad choices for lack of faith or in disobedience to what they knew was true. As often as the Bible is maligned for being patriarchal, and people think it anti-woman, I would suggest they read the text in greater depth. Because the Bible elevates women. It offers protection for the widow, the orphan, the foreigner. It does not celebrate the mistreatment of any person, male or female. Even in the submission texts of the New Testament, the Bible does not advocate male dominance over women. Submission and respect are gifts a woman gives to her own husband, just as love and sacrifice are gifts a man gives freely to his wife.
Some cultures or people groups today take the verses out of context, misuse them, and women are often mistreated in the process. But God loves all people and created them male and female, and He offers salvation to all.
In today's world, you would think these ancient truths would be obvious. But the human heart has not changed since the fall of Adam and the entrance of sin into society. Even with the rise of feminism, we see little change in many cultures, even religions around the world. The lives of girls, of women, hold no value. But they should. Because they matter to God.
Our church showed a documentary last night about the plight of girls in India and China, two cultures whose ingrained thinking devalues the lives of women. To hear the words, "It's a girl" are the three worst words a husband or wife could hear. Sons are wanted and praised. Daughters are just a burden. One woman had killed eight babies after they were born for the simple fact that they were female. She wanted a son. Then she would have value.
The reality left me troubled.
Then today on Facebook, I read an article about how little girls in Iraq - nine years old - are being taken by terrorists and sold into "marriage", not just once, but over and over again. Mothers watch as their men are executed and their girls are kidnapped. They are ill-equipped to flee, and if they do, their futures are bleak. They are uneducated because girls are not allowed an education.
In China, according to the documentary, there is a shortage of women to marry because of the one-child policy and the forced abortions of baby girls. Well, duh. If you kill the girls, there won't be women to become wives to the sons and have more babies. I fail to see any logic in this system.
In India in particular, there is a dowry system (which is supposedly outlawed, but no one enforces it), that causes families financial hardship if they bear girls. Thus the desire for sons. In both China and India they have "folk sayings" that devalue the lives of their women from birth on.
This should not be.
Girls lives matter.
The cultures in India and China and the religions that oppress women in untold number of countries around the world need to recognize that they would snuff out the very people that give them great good. In Bible times men paid the father of the bride a bride price (dowry) because for the father to lose a daughter was a great loss and the family needed compensation. Why do you think Jacob worked fourteen years for Rachel? To pay the bride price for her and for Leah. It was no hardship to have a daughter. It was a hardship to lose her and all the blessing and help she provided for the family.
Where did things get so twisted from that time until now? When did it become okay to kidnap a whole school full of girls and force them into marriage when they are still children? When did it become okay to exploit women of any age?
I write about biblical woman for many reasons, but one is to show how their lives might have been. Did they suffer like some women do today? Yes. Some did. But that was never ever God's intent.
God cares about women.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me for of such is the kingdom of heaven." He didn't say just little boys and not the girls. He included all.
If God cares so much for these little ones, then shouldn't we do the same?
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