As a child, I had a beef with some traditional, so-called “women’s work”. There was baking, sewing, and crocheting with my grandma. But cooking, no way! And doing dishes, oh brother. I believe my disdain stemmed from family holiday gatherings. I watched with arms crossed, as the men plopped themselves on the couch, football game humming on the TV, while the women cleaned up. This, after the females had laboriously cooked our meal. My little-girl brain felt it unfair.
Yet, this mini, sorta-feminist adored all these men: my grandpas, my dad, and dear family friends. These were not a lazy lot when it came to their professions. They were simply conforming to the norms of our family and of the larger, ages-old cultural system.
Society has systems and patterns of values passed through the generations. The Bible documents an extraordinary timeline and kingdom narrative. In the Old Testament, a moral code established a culture based on law. Religious and wealthy men were held in the highest regard; women, slaves, and the poor placed at the bottom of the rung.
“There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female.
For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28 NKJV
However, in the New Testament, we meet a subversive Savior who shakes up an age-old social structure on his three-year journey to the cross. There was upheaval when He entered the scene; He turned His culture upside-down. Jesus healed and fed. Jesus touched the rich and poor, the young and old, the marginalized.
And the women.