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Saturday, February 01, 2014
EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN - Eleanor Shepherd
"Please pray for my marriage. My family is
putting pressure on me to get married. In our culture, my younger sisters
cannot marry, until I am married."The
anxiety in her voice revealed the burden this was for my friend Sara (name is
changed to protect her identity) as she shared this with our Women’s Bible
study group.We were gathering together
our prayer requests and hers was one I had never heard before.
was not in any particular hurry to get married.She had enjoyed her university studies and was happy and successful in
her work.She had enlarged our horizons
earlier when she explained that as a little girl, she asked her grandmother why
baby girls were often not allowed to live.Her grandmother’s answer was that it was the lot of women to
suffer.When a baby girl died, she was
saved from a life of suffering.Sara was
the first person in her family who had chosen to become a Christian.One of the changes that happened when she
became a Christian is that she realized that she had value to God and He did
not want to punish her because she was a woman.
women in the group talked of their own cultures and how sometimes in their
families that had adopted Christian ways, when it came to family relationships they
resorted to the weight of their cultural background that they found oppressive
of women.My heart ached as I listened
to their pain and the struggle that they faced, just trying to accept the fact
that they are loved and valued by God and can hold their heads high.
I recalled something of my own journey.As a young woman I was convinced that my role was to live to please my
husband and make life good for him.If
he was unhappy, it must be my fault.I
was raised in a good, Christian home and how I developed the ideas that my life
was only valuable as I erased myself to make someone else look good, I now see
as I have grown in my faith, I have realized that God created me as a person
with my own unique gifts and abilities and that my greatest joy comes in
sharing these with others.One of the
gifts that He has given me is compassion.So my heart is deeply moved as I hear and see the struggles of other
As I study history and see the huge strides
that women have made in finding their place in the world.I understand how women of God were the
initiators of the feminist movement, as they felt compelled to address a social
injustice.I sense sometimes that our
daughters do not realize the price that some of us paid so that they could enjoy
the independence that is theirs.I also observe
the price they sometimes pay for that independence.
I look at my
little granddaughter and I realize that the place that she will have in the
world, I cannot yet even imagine.My
prayer is that she will have opportunities to discover and share with others
the wonderful unique gifts that God has entrusted to her. I hope too that she will be able to walk with
the daughters and sons of my friend Sara, and encourage them to find their way
and realize their value as children created in the image of a God of
unconditional love. http://emshepherd.blogspot.com