Posted by: Veroni Kruger | March 4, 2013

Violence Against Women 1

Violence against women is a big problem in South Africa. It may be one of the two most urgent issues South Africans need to address. The other one is the latent aggression that surfaces at the least provocation. Such aggression manifests itself against those who are less able to defend themselves. Women are therefore usually the prime recipients of aggressive behaviour.

The treatment of women is the result of how men perceive them. Sad to say, the wrongful perception men have of women has been perpetuated by the church. That is even sadder, since the church is the one institution that should have played a major role in presenting the correct perception. Much of the wrongful thinking has been strengthened, if not caused, by the incorrect teaching about the submission of women.

The mistaken teaching about the supposed inferior, submissive role women are expected to play, is definitely a post-Christ phenomenon, and probably has its roots in the patriarchal system that was the norm in ancient Rome. Jesus is the greatest equaliser of people the world has ever seen.

Nowhere in his teachings is there a trace of discrimination against women. On the contrary, his actions show a deep respect for them, even some who were regarded as less than respectable. Mary, known as a “sinner”, gate crashed a party in his honour and behaved in a manner that was not really acceptable in public, expressing her gratitude and love for Jesus. Rather than condemning her, He elevated her to the position of a prototype for some theological instruction for the Pharisee (Luke 7.36-50).

On the cross, in his dying moments, he made provision for his mother. With the words “Woman, here is your son” and to the disciple “Here is your mother” (John 19.26, 27), Jesus ensured that Mary would be taken care of after his death.

Women are accorded great prominence in the narrative about Jesus. Mary was the first one to hear the announcement that He would be born. Throughout his life, she is prominent in the record of events. To the honour of women, Luke mentions specifically that women were among the few who did not desert him at the crucifixion (Luke 43). Women were the first to witness the resurrection.

Here is a definitive statement on the position of women from early Christian teaching: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3.28, NIV). Paul is saying that in the sight of God, there is no distinction based on race, social status or gender. This is a true reflection of what Jesus taught.

Why then, are there so many men who regard women as inferior to themselves? I can think of a few reasons, among them a fear of being overshadowed. Maybe we know instinctively that women are stronger than us in many ways – I don’t know how many men would be able to endure the pains of giving birth, to name only one.

But why does the Bible say women should submit to their husbands? I shall look at that Scripture next time.

For now, I wholeheartedly agree with Alexander Venter, who confessed that he is ashamed to be a man in South Africa right now. Read his blog at the following link: (http://kingdomtreasures.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/south-african-crisis-of-violent-rape-and-murder)

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Responses

  1. Laat ‘n mens dink- dankie.


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the green journey of a 20-something capetonian

Alexander F. Venter

Live a life of love just as Jesus loved us...

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