The children are all gathered around in the schools library, impatiently waiting on class to start. As all children will get antsy during the slow moments, they are still children so they act in accordance to the child ways. Some are throwing paper footballs, some are humming while drawing little figures on their papers, while others are secretly playing on their phones.
The teacher walks into the class and sets down her bag, and asks the children to open their bible. "Today children we are going to talk about how to have an affective household ..." These young children, with impressionable minds are all between the ages of ten and twelve and about to learn how to have an affective household, though this age seems a tad young, my daughter does attend a private Christian school so I figured this conversation was coming. However I was not prepared for the fall out conversation that I would need to have when my daughter arrived home later in the evening.
The teacher begins by stating that the Bible teaches that a woman's place is in the home. God did not intend for women to wear a uniform, carry a gun and police men in society. God did not intend for women to wear business suits, carry briefcases and fight in court as attorneys. God did not into for women to become shrinks, God did not intend for women to pursue workplace careers. A woman's place in the home, to marry, bear children, guide the house and not give occasion to speak reproachfully. She continues on to quote 1st Timothy 5:14-15 "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. She goes on to state 1st Peter 3:1 "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands,: that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives."
My beautiful young impressionable daughter comes home with a mind full of questions and an honest heart, she sees that I do not have a husband and she does not have a father. She sees that I own a business in a mostly male dominated industry, on top of working a forty hour a week job. She sees how hard I work to give her a comfortable life style. The questions in her eyes all abate that evening and the only question that came out of her mouth was "mom are we living in sin?"
Standing in the kitchen trying to figure out what magical dish of food I can make for dinner, this question hits me across the face like a boxer knocking out his opponent for the last time. "Okay" I whisper and settle on the air fryer so I can sit down and talk her through some of her feelings. Pulling up a stool and a bible next to her we open the bible and start to read.
Proverbs 31:16-17 "She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong."
I look at my daughter and ask her if she understands what that verse is saying. She nods in response and compares it to me purchasing horses for our farm we live on to better fill in the program I have developed.
Proverbs 31:25 "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."
Hearing a soft chuckle coming from my right I look over at her and question her, she says well mom sometimes you scream at the days ahead. We are both laughing at this realization and I gently close the bible and smile. She asks if that is all there is? Smiling at her and shaking my head, I say know and get the laptop out. For more examples on how women were viewed and respected we will need to go a little further back and look amongst other tribes in northern Africa, central and southwestern Asia, and southeast European areas.
The goddess of wisdom has appeared in nearly every society in a variety of different manifestations, including Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom and military victory; Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and war; Tara, the Buddhist goddess of compassion who teaches the wisdom of non-attachment; and Inanna, an early Sumerian Goddess. Sophia, whose name in Greek means “wisdom,” is connected to the different incarnations of sacred female knowledge and to those goddesses listed above.
Sophia is one of the central figures of Gnosticism, a Christian philosophical movement with uncertain origins that most likely originated in ancient Rome and Persia. Gnosticism emphasizes individual knowledge and wisdom as the path to salvation and oneness with God. Its followers worship Sophia as both divine female creator and counterpart to Jesus Christ. According to Gnostic beliefs, Christ was conceived of as having two aspects: a male half, identified as the son of God, and a female half, called Sophia, who was venerated as the mother of the universe.
My daughter stands up abruptly and stares at me in astonishment "Who the heck is Sophia!!" Baby I answer softly there are many beliefs that in all creation there was the male creator, God, and Jesus Christ "the healer of the sick." However along side the maleness, there was the female half that the ancients referred to as Sophia, she was the female half of creation. Kylie's palm flies to her forehead in astonishment as she realizes that all creation must have male and female parts to create a new beginning. This realization is coming from a child of a horse farm owner so she has seen the whole process of how babies are made from a livestock perspective.
As the days and weeks pass from that encounter, I find that she wants to talk more and more about strong women in ancient history as well as in present time. I will never stanch her curiosity about finding strong female role models as the universe has not gifted us a strong male role model in our household.