Sometimes I wonder how people can think the Bible is an old dated book that is irrelevant to the issues of the modern world. The truth is the Bible is amazingly modern and has answers for many of our dilemmas. The problem is we don’t like the answers.
A case in point is this verse in Psalm 128. The first part of verse 3 says, “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house.” Sit down because you might not like this. The psalmist made one of the most politically incorrect statements he could make. He indirectly affirms that women are weaker constitutionally and require special support. The fruitful vine is a tender plant that cannot stand on its own but requires a superstructure to support it. It grows up the side of the house and only then is it able to bear its plentiful fruit. In this case, the structure is a strong family unit that is anchored by a husband who takes care of his wife and in turn she bears him children that are pleasing and honorable.
Although seeing this in the verse may be difficult, the concept is plainly taught in many places of scripture. None is a clear as Peter says in 1 Peter 3:7 when he calls the woman the “weaker vessel.” He said that men should dwell with their wives in knowledge, understanding his and her God-given roles. It is his job to protect her not only from those who would do her harm physically, but also those who would do her harm spiritually. The serpent beguiled Eve, not Adam, which led to the fall (1 Timothy 2:13-14).
The sense that women need protection is not a strange tenet of Bible thumpers. It turns out to be one of those pieces of inherent knowledge that God put into the human heart just like knowledge of His existence, of heaven, and of hell. Though there are some societies in which women are dominant as matriarchs, I know of none in which women are charged with protection of men. We know instinctively to shelter women and to risk dying for them should it be a choice between the man’s life or theirs.
This brings me to one of today’s hot topics. Should women be allowed to serve in the military in combat roles? No one mistakes there are times when women have been forced to defend and they have afforded themselves well. This is not about whether women should be excluded because they are never courageous. The problem is putting women in the position to protect men and to take the fall for them when this is against what God put instinctively in the heart.
Political correctness says that anyone who does not see women in all ways equal to men is a misogynist. However, there is no use lying to ourselves on this front. Women are not the same as men physically and are not suited for the same rigors of wars that men fight. They are not the same and neither is there a need to be. There is no inferiority in being different. Men and women are equal in worth to God, but He made us different to perform distinct functions.
Put yourself into a foxhole with your daughter. Who gets shielded from bullets? What man lets her be killed to protect him? What man lets any woman take a bullet for him? We aren’t wired this way and if there is anything a woman should cherish it is to be so revered by a man that he would give his life for her without ever thinking their roles should be reversed.
The Bible simply has a better way of doing things. The God who made us knows how to use us. If the world has a problem with this, we understand. The world has forever tried to suppress innate knowledge. What we do not understand is why any Christian would argue with it. We do not need a political debate on this. The Bible has already settled the debate.
Pastor V. Mark Smith