Women as Wives, Mothers, Sisters, and Widows

Women as Wives, Mothers, Sisters, and Widows The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

“If a woman decides to become a teacher, she is told she has the most important job in the world. She is told she is training up the next generation. That she is raising up scientists, doctors and artists. That her work is noble, sacrificial and priceless.”

“But if another woman decides to be a stay at home mom, and gives her next 20 years to the teaching and training of her own children, she is told she is limiting her potential.”

So says an Instagram mama named Jada Dannielle in a post my own wife Lauren sent me this week. And this pairs nicely with a Canon+ documentary she and I recently watched together.

Highly recommendable is that documentary titled ‘Eve In Exile.’ It follows not only the present life of Rebecca Merkle – wife, mother, daughter, sister – but also unpacks the history of feminism. You can’t but come away agreeing that ideology has lied to multiple generations of American women about where all our earthly purpose and potential will find its uttermost fulfillment.

But most of us really have no idea where our opinions and attitudes about womanhood come from. To illustrate this point, let me share with you about how just the other night I saw a screenshot from a friend on Facebook. It was a tweet of a Reddit post in which a modern female who shall remain anonymous shared the following anecdote in light of the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court:

“Me and some of my girlfriends did a retreat this weekend to help us cope with the monumental setback in fundamental rights. By the end of it, we had moved from sad and afraid to ANGRY. We all agreed to a pact: no having sex with any man, until he had proven himself a capable provider, and until that man has signed a contract, written on paper, agreeing to stay with us and support us if we get pregnant. We started drafting an actual contract, and we’re planning on sending it to a lawyer to make sure its legit. At this point, I am completely done with men who want to hook up and leave; its time for American men to STEP UP.”

Leave some room for this to have been an epic trolling. I half hope that’s what it is. Then again, a bigger part of me hopes this is not a joke because then maybe it represents an inadvertent rediscovery of the value of marriage in our day.

But this brings us to 1 Timothy 5:1-16, a passage of Scripture that’s been on my mind the past several days. Speaking of men needing to step up and do their job, the Apostle Paul writes here to his younger disciple who is overseeing the doctrine and practice of the church. More specifically, Paul gives instructions for which widows should be helped materially by the church, as well as which widows should not be so helped, as well as reasons for both determinations made along the lines of certain criteria which might shock modern readers.

One of the things Paul tells Timothy here is the following gem:

“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (v. 8)

But Paul also says more here. For instance, he says no widow under 60-years of age should be enrolled. And even with those over 60, their character is an additional qualification. If they’re self-indulgent, Paul says they are dead inside. Also too, the children and grandchildren of a widow need to be the first to help her, especially before the church does.

And then Paul goes on to talk about the younger widows, and how the church shouldn’t be burdened with taking care of them. Yes, he uses that exact verbiage – “burdened” – along with the implicit claim that we ought to not let the church so be in relation to them.

Instead, Paul says the younger widows should “marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.” And if that don’t beat all in highlighting the contrasts between our attitudes and what God’s Word prescribes, I don’t know what will.

But this too is the answer to the question Matt Walsh recently traveled the world asking. “What is a woman?” And what say we ask God, ladies and gentlemen? He knows.

More to the point, besides just defining men and women ontologically and objectively as to their physical and emotional characteristics in the abstract, what is a man or woman supposed to do and be about? Answer that, and you will get a lot closer to understanding what a man or woman actually is and how to relate to either and both.

I dare say we would all enjoy true liberation thereby, and of a kind that is far more fulfilling and happy and healthy in the long run. 

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