The thing that made me absolutely determined to cast my vote in our recent general election, was the thought of all that the suffragettes endured to win it for me. My rights came at a huge cost. I have no right to take them for granted.
So when I read the passage of Exodus 21:7-11, I couldn’t understand why God would allow a woman to be kept in slavery when a man would be released after six years of service. In fact it was because, if they had been sold to be married, whether to the master or his son, they had full legal status within the family, and this decreed their right not to be simply evicted. There had to be a continuing provision made for them, either in another Hebrew family, or returned to their original home. If they were not married, they had only the same rights as the men (see Deuteronomy 15:17).
The bible puts it this way. I was a slave to sin. God bought me by the precious blood of Jesus, and together with the whole Church, both male and female, we have become the bride of Christ. We have been given full legal status with the household of God. This amazing privilege includes –
- My place with him is secure. No-one can evict me
- He will supply all my needs
- I am under his protection, covered by him
- I have access to his presence
- I have authority in his name over anything that is not of his Kingdom
- He loves me and gave his life for me
God loves women every bit as much as men. If the Church is or has been misogynistic, it has misunderstood and misrepresented the word and purpose of God; women must forgive, move on, and find their true identity and status in the house of God. Male or female, we have a high calling; we are slaves no longer, and we need to act up to our God-given role and status, enjoying his benefits, but taking seriously the responsibility he invests in us to go and be his bride, his ambassadors in our world.