Our Jewish Roots: Feminism

When JPII wrote Mulieris Dignitatem, he opened with the Second Vatican Council’s closing message.  In his own way, JPII used that powerful verbage to set the stage for a much needed understanding of where women stood, both in the Church and as women of God and followers of Christ. 

The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of women is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at his moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling.

At the time of JPII’s writing, in 1988, feminism had become quite “radical.”  Women were floundering to understand who they were and in their “identity” quest, mistakenly believed that they ought to “masculinize” themselves.    What began, years before, as an attempt to right some of the wrongs inflicted upon women, the feminist movement began inflicting their own wrongs upon the female population.  The pendulum had swung from one extreme to another with the result still being one in which women were victims.  Only now the culprit was other women.

Nothing more blatantly shows the error of the ways of feminism, as identified by secular standards, than the recent nomination of Sarah Palin whose “glass ceiling” bashing is now getting bashed.  Those who have, at different times, listened and/or adhered to what feminists espoused are stumped about the Palin bashing.  Could it be because she is pro-life? If Sarah Palin was anti-life (see, I’ve learned the spin) would feminists love her?  I found great wisdom in Genevieve Kineke’s September 18th Catholic Exchange article, The End of Feminism, when she suggested that feminism was never really about the recognition of the great value and ability of women, but, rather, is simply an anti-male, anti-father, anti-life campaign.  An agenda that was much easier to sell under the guise of “equal pay for equal work” slogans but whose whole premise could not hold water, especially when it became clear that a woman, who by all appearances was a “feminist,” was denied female support because she was also pro-life and pro-man. 

As the speaker at a recent woman’s retreat, I shared my personal belief that it is no coincidence that during this election year we celebrate anniversaries of two great Catholic Church documents; Humanae Vitae and Mulieris Dignitatem.  God’s timing is intentional and if we didn’t get the message of these documents in 1968 and 1988 respectively, it is now our chance to accept them and embrace them in this critical election year of 2008.

So, in his great wisdom (and I would even imagine in a sort of sadness), and with God’s providential hand guiding his writing, John Paul II knew it was both necessary and important to share with his flock, males and females, what God had intended when He created man and woman.  Throughout the Mulieris Dignitatem discourse, JPII brilliantly sheds light upon the phrase “equal but different.”  The reader of Mulieris Dignitatem, whether man or woman, cannot help but see the error in not living each and every individual life according to God’s plan for it.  And make no mistake about it, God has a plan for every child, even aborted children, which makes this election such a significant one.  Indeed, JPII spends a great deal of time expounding on the gift of self, which is the ultimately way in which a woman creates with God.

Another important point that John Paul II spends time on in this profound writing is God’s punishment in the words, “Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall be your master.” These words were not meant only as a punishment for women, but also a punishment for men.  Men were not created to rule and lord power over women but were intended to share in their divine appointment in marriage and in life.  Man and woman were created with each bringing a unique and necessary piece to the home, the family, the community, and the world.  When man misinterprets these words from God, man is losing out just as much as woman is and thus the punishment is complete for both.

Woman, for her part, “urges” after her husband as punishment that isn’t in a physical sense but in the longing for the husband’s role or position.  Thus, feminists have effectively portrayed to the world the great pain of a woman who disregards the need and necessity of a man being a man and a woman being a woman.  This isn’t to say that each has “gender specific roles” but, rather, each has a vocation from God that ought to be filled (think Queen Esther or Judge Deborah or Sarah or Rebekah).  A woman may indeed be called to be vice-president or president and a man may indeed be called to support that woman.

What is far more important than pigeon-holing male/female roles is that each is responding to the marriage union in a mutually respectful and loving way.  When God calls a man or a woman, God calls the spouse as well.  This truth is seen again and again in Scripture.  Consider Noah’s wife.  Could Noah’s mission be accomplished without the Mrs.?  No.  Each was equal, but different, in the roles necessary for the saving of mankind during the flood.

But what does this really mean: equal but different?  And what is the harm in aspiring to being politically correct and thus seeing everyone as the same?  Our answers are found in the Matriarchs of the Jewish faith: Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah, the original feminists.

SarahFour specific adjectives are applicable to Sarah, the first Matriarch, and to whom God’s promise of an heir to Abraham clearly resides.  Sarah is referred to as beautiful, prophetic, regal, and barren.  In the politically correct world of feminism at least two and probably three of these adjectives would be considered objectionable.  Certainly we have been led to believe that it isn’t appropriate to call a woman “beautiful” and yet isn’t it true that some women are more attractive than others?  Do we deny that God has made us different in our appearances? 

Whether we agree or disagree with such a label, Sarah was a physically beautiful woman. This particular attribute paved the way for Abraham to gain passage through Egypt and made her attractive enough to Pharaoh so that he would “want” her and yet in the “wanting” of her be punished by God and thus we find Pharaoh heaping material goods and possessions upon Abraham.  Yes, Sarah’s physical beauty served God’s purpose.

She never used it to her own benefit, or coyly, but simply as a beautiful woman who served God.  However, we also know that when Scripture identifies a woman as beautiful it is often an indicator of her interior beauty as well.  Other words that could be used to describe Sarah would have been virtuous, honest, righteous, and trustworthy. 

Along with being beautiful, Sarah was considered prophetic.  Just as Catholics have a mystical aspect of their faith, so, too, do Jews.  In this way, Sarah was said to be prophetic in that she spent a great deal of her life converting her pagan neighbors to the monotheistic faith of Judaism.  She “understood” the things of God, just as JPII speaks of in Mulieris Dignitatem.  JPII specifically says, “Christ speaks to women of the things of God and they understand; there is a true resonance…” 

Thus, a true feminist embraces and values her prophetic nature, that ability to “understand” the things of God. It is only in the “understanding” that she is able to work with God, that she is able to be who God has called her to be.  Sarah was in a powerful position and used that position as God intended it to be used but was only able to do so because of her spiritual nature, because she worked in union with Abraham.  When feminism abhors a woman’s innate ability to “know the things of God,” feminism is asking a woman to masculinize herself and “turn off” that part of herself that God created for His own indwelling.  A true feminist may attain great heights of notoriety and fame or may never be known but lives the vocation to which God has called her live.

Sarah was also said to be “regal.”  This would have been applicable to the way she physically carried herself as well as the way in which she carried herself through difficult times.  In that way, her regality was tied to her barrenness.  But it was within the midst of her great personal despair of remaining childless that she witnessed to her own personal commitment to the one true God.  As much as others may have attempted to provoke Sarah and question the real power of the God she served, Sarah remained regal in her ways.  After all, to outsiders, Sarah was professing the power of a God who wasn’t giving her children, but Sarah wouldn’t be dissuaded.  This isn’t to say she was without fault and it can easily be said that in her own jealousy or impatience she took matters into her own hands in asking Abraham to take Hagar as a surrogate; but, in this way God is able to assure us, today, that He will remain faithful to His promises even if we make mistakes and have lapses in judgment. 

Sarah is followed by Rebekah who, herself, is a mighty and formidable Matriarch, a real feminist who “understood the things of God.”  It is said that the divine presence that left Sarah’s tent upon her death, returned when Isaac married Rebekah.  The Holy Spirit was with Rebekah, just as the Holy Spirit is with each woman today.  Our Advocate and Ally, the Holy Spirit allows us to discern and live the vocation to which God has called each of us.  Not only are we equal but different to men, the Matriarchs remind us that we are equal but different from one another. 

As feminists try to erode all labels they ask that each of us not only be equal and the same as the very men they despise, but also that we be equal and the same to one another.  But Catholic women who feel faithful to Church teachings also ought to be cautious in their views.  One good friend recently told me of her own prejudices when she rallied against any woman coming to “power.”  My friend said she now could see the errors in her own attitudes because they were simply at the opposite ends of the feminist spectrum.  A view can’t be applied in a one-size-fits-all way but must be applied in a way in which each person is supported in his or her own vocation to which God has called him or her.

JPII writes about spousal love and commitment in such a way as to make us understand that in the married state, when God calls one, He is also calling the other.  Thus, the joining of a Christian man and a Christian woman in the Sacrament of Marriage is not merely a symbol of unity but is a real and actual union on which God ought to be able to rely.  It is in His presence that a couple proclaims their love and support on one another, and the ways in which each may be called to serve God.

Rachel and Leah are the Matriarchs referred to in the blessing given to Boaz for his marriage to Ruth.  It is the union of Boaz and Ruth that gives us the lineage from which Christ will be born.  Rachel and Leah, and their two maidservants Zilpah and Bilhah, bring 12 boys into the world from which the 12 tribes of Israel will derive.  So when, generations later, in the town of Bethlehem, Boaz marries Ruth, Boaz’s elders say, “May the Lord make this wife come into your house like Rachel and Leah, who between them build up the house of Israel.  May you do well and win fame in Bethlehem.”  Credit for the building up of the house of Israel is clearly given to two women, feminists in that they fulfilled their vocations as given by God and not by man.  These were women who pursued the idea of motherhood and did not consider it a burden to bear children.  The very idea of purposely removing a child from the womb would have been abhorrent to these women of God.

Feminism, then, must be defined as a woman filling her vocation, a vocation to physical motherhood, spiritual motherhood, and/or serving the community through positions of authority, but never a vocation of selfish desires.  In this way feminism has roots that reach back thousands of years and is packed with myriad examples of women called to a wide variety of vocations with no two being alike but all serving God and following His edicts.  Defining feminism by secular standards only causes continued pain, confusion, and frustration being heaped upon women today because feminists aren’t quite sure they recognize feminism when they see it.  “Feminists” refuse to admit that a man and woman existing in a mutually loving and respectful union is the ultimate feminist statement because in such a relationship each will uplift the other.

A feminist may be a woman like Noah’s Wife who has remained forever anonymous but whose work on the ark would have been critical to its success.  A feminist may be a woman like Queen Esther who was given a role of prominence and fame and who filled it with the humility of one who understands that all things come from God.  Feminists are our own daughters who will fill vocations as homemakers or teachers or spiritual mothers or presidents as each is created with an equal dignity that comes from God but whose vocations may be as different as night and day.

Cheryl Dickow

By

Cheryl Dickow is a Catholic wife, mother, author and speaker. Cheryl’s newest book is Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Womenwhich is co-authored with Teresa Tomeo and is published by Servant (a division of Franciscan Media); there is also a companion journal that accompanies the book and an audio version intended for women’s studies or for individual reflection. Cheryl’s titles also include the woman’s inspirational fiction book Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage. Elizabeth is available in paperback or Kindle format. Her company is Bezalel Books where her goal is to publish great Catholic books for families and classrooms that entertain while uplifting the Catholic faith and is located at www.BezalelBooks.com. To invite Cheryl to speak at your event, write her at Cheryl@BezalelBooks.com.

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  • Richard Bell

    My thoughts on the nature of Man and Woman is that we are equal, but not interchangeable. To use a possibly fruedian analogy, there are nuts and there are bolts. They are of equal value when building something, but it does not mean that you can finish the job if you only have nuts or bolts, you tend to need them in equal quantities.

  • Daughter of the King

    Cheryl,
    Even though I do like your article in general, I couldn’t help but think that you gave far more credit to Sarah and company than they actually deserved. We’re still suffering from some of their decisions. Especially Sarah’s jumping ahead of God and using her servant to have a child. God in His mercy and goodness brought good out of it as is His way, but I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like if she hadn’t made that mistake.
    You did say that the Matriarchs were not perfect, that’s true. But I have to question whether they lived their vocation the way God called them to in such splendor as you suggest or whether God had to pick up the pieces the same way He did when the men He called didn’t live their vocation to the fullest.
    The only woman I know of who lived her feminism to the fullest and with complete knowledge of doing God’s will and wanting to do God’s will in the most unselfish way was Mary and you didn’t even mention her in your article. All the other Matriarchs pale compared to Mary’s role in God’s plan. And she made no mistakes!

  • CherylDickow

    Daughter of the King,

    There are a great many books that delve deeply into the lives of the Matriarachs who are the essence of this article. Mary, our Blessed Mother, has a title to Catholics far different than the Matriarchs of the Faith. The Matriarchs are recognized as Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah and Miriam. Occassionally there will be another woman or two mentioned but this title is specifically for these women.

    When studying these women (and there are tremendous resources available for this) you will find that they were amazing, intuitive women who were not perfect and thus provide a great example of how we can all live for God even when we feel we aren’t up to the task.

    Sarah is credited for having converted many pagan neighbors to the monotheistic faith of Judaism and had a very special relationship with God. To suggest that God had to pick up the pieces seems to be missing the point of what we can learn from imperfect people doing their best for God.

    Everyone pales in comparison to Mary’s role, not just the Matriarchs, but to say that their role in God’s plan is thus diminished because of this would suggest that all of our roles are dimished because of our imperfection and that is simply false.

  • Daughter of the King

    I guess I don’t understand how we can ‘study these women’ when there is so little written about them – Biblically. There may be tremendous resourses available, and I’ll admit I know of none, but there is so little written Biblically. Where do all these tremendous resourses come from and where do they get their information?
    How can one write like these women lived a hundred years ago when they lived thousands?

  • noelfitz

    Richard,

    You wrote:
    “To use a possibly fruedian analogy, there are nuts and there are bolts.”

    Are men nuts?

  • CherylDickow

    Daughter of the King,

    My assumption, when I mention resources to you, is that you are Catholic and not Christian. The difference is that Catholics use vast resouces that include the Catechism, Papal Documents, Statements from Bishops (think the recent Dallas letters) and the like. This rich tradition of expounding upon Scripture comes from our Jewish Roots (See http://catholicexchange.com/2007/12/21/83855/). Anyone interested in finding out about the Matriarchs only needs to spend time researching just as one wanting to find out about Church teaching on, let’s say, feminine genius only needs to do some research. Catholics and Jews rely on their scholars, whether they are rabbis or priests or a pope, to lead the respective flocks in the faith.

    And remember that ‘hundreds’ is tucked into ‘thousands’ and with the recognition that time passes in the blink of an eye, it is a gentle reminder that while these women lived long ago it was as if they lived yesterday…

  • Daughter of the King

    So Catholics aren’t Christians?
    And Catholics look all this stuff up! Are you kidding. Far more Christians of protestant denominations spend time looking up stuff pertaining to their faith than 95% of Catholics. Heavens, most Catholics I know wouldn’t know what was in the Catechism to save their souls!!!!!!!!! And that’s no exaggeration.
    And is this your answer to Biblical references? Or are you relying totally on Tradition?
    From the Bible what I learnt about the Matriarchs was:
    1. Sarah used her servant to have a child. Then when she had her own she was so cruel to the servant that the servant ran away. And when the servant returned Sarah demanded that she and her child be sent away. That’s femanism at its finest.
    2. Rebekah helped Jacob steal his brother’s blessing. She played favorites and lied to her husband. Yup, great femanism there.
    3. Leah was so cruel to Rachel and flaunted that she was having children and Rachel wasn’t.
    That’s what I remember reading about them in the Bible. That’s what I knew of the Matriarchs. I confess, I never thought in a million years to look up their great influence. Never occured to me to look up at them as heros.
    But now that you have my interest peaked, I’ll see what I can find.

  • CherylDickow

    Daughter of the King,

    It’s sadly ironic that when I wrote that first sentence I thought that you would “take it out of context” but gave you the benefit of the doubt. You do seem a bit combative and I will bow out now and allow you to feel free to contact me privately at Bezalel Books @ gmail.com if you would like to, but it is obvious that I cannot satisfy whatever it is you feel you want to take issue with and will, consequently, leave you alone with this.

  • Mary Kochan

    True Cheyl should have said, “My assumption…is that you are Catholic and not merely a non-denominational “Christian.” We do rely upon tradition and not merely scripture. For this reason we understand that exegesis is not personal interpretation but that of the Church over time and for the OT that includes listening to the traditions of the Jews. You, on the other hand are attempting a “sola scriptura” private interpretation. And even of that you have done a poorly-informed job.

    Sarah urged Abraham to take Hagar as a concubine, yes. But why? Because she knew that God had promised a seed through Abraham that would bless all nations. Being barren herself and the both of them being up in years, she sought to do what she thought was necessary at great personal cost to see to it that the promise was fullfilled. Her interest was in God’s promise. Did she in a sense, “run ahead of God”? Perhaps we can say that, but only in hind-sight. From all the revelation available to her at that time, she thought this promised seed might well be the very one promised to Eve. Ever since Eve, God-fearing women in the family line of promise considered child-bearing the greatest privilege possible because one of their sons might be the Messiah. And here she, putting the promise of God to her husband ahead of all personal consideration, urged him to take a second wife to fullfill what she thought she was too old to do.

    It is important to note that Hagar acted with contempt toward Sarah once she conceived. God himself rebuked her for this.

    Then later after Sarah understood that Isaac and not Ishmael was the real heir of the promise — God himself called Isaac Abraham’s “only son” — she acted to protect him. Genesis 21: 8 says that Sarah reacted after she saw Ishmael mocking Isaac on the day of Isaac’s weaning feast. Isaac was born when Ishmeal was at least 13 and weaning was often not done until after age 3 so Ishmeal was by now a teenager, not a small child. This mocking would have been done by someone old enough to know and understand the entire family story — to know that Isaac was the child of promise. This was no innocent teasing between brothers, but a threat to “the Messiah.” Sarah’s reaction was not mere normal motherly concern, but again was prompted by her comprehension of the unique role that Isaac was to play in the fullfillment of God’s promise. And God told Abraham to listen to her about sending them away.

    Sarah and Rahab are the only women mentioned by name in the first list of canonoized saints in the NT — see Hebrews 11. Sarah is held up to Christian women as an example of holiness by the first pope. See 1 Peter 3: 6. And in Galatians the 4th chapter, St. Paul used Sarah as type of the Church truimphant (“the Jerusalem above”)– the only woman other than Mary, who is mentioned by name as a type of the Church in scripture.

  • Daughter of the King

    Thank you, Mary, that’s the type of answer I was looking for. I wasn’t trying to be combative, I just wanted to understand. All I was trying to say was I just don’t understand how we can talk/write about people who lived thousands of years ago as if we’ve read their diaries and know their motives, etc. and give them qualities based on a few actions.

    And it is true that your average Catholic knows nothing about this topic. I’ve studied my faith for many years and never once came across anything that held up the Matriarchs the way the article did, that’s all. I even asked my husband who is far more knowledgeable than I and he drew a complete blank. What??? So it’s not like it’s common knowledge. It’s not part of the deposit of the faith! And as for resourses being available, first one needs to know these resourses are there and second where to find them. That is no easy task to us average Catholics.

    Our bishop once challenged the parents to know the difference between Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge and I looked high and low for a simple definition in every Catholic book I had, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. It’s not even in the Catechism. So how was I suppose to know that there was anything about the Matriarchs!

    And no, I was not attempting a “sola scriptura” private interpretation thing. I was just asking for Scriptural backing up, that’s all. Catholics are allowed to ask for that aren’t we? We get accused right left and center of not knowing our Scriptures and when asked for some backing I get accused of being combative and protestant! I was just saying what I knew from Scripture. I even admitted I’ve never heard of any of the resourses available regarding the Matriarchs.

    I do admit I was repeating some animosity towards some of these women that I’d heard from a very holy man I look up to very much. He had no use for some of them and because I look up to him so much I trusted what he said. And he is a very knowledgeable and devout Catholic.

  • Mary Kochan

    I’m sorry that any Catholic would be dismissive of the great women of scripture as though God didn’t know what he was doing by having them in there. About Rebekah:

    God had told her that her younger son would supplant the older (Gen 25: 22-23). Esau, the twin born first, was a hunter. (Echoes of Cain and Abel.) But the favor of the father, Isaac, rested with Esau even though God had clearly indicated to their mother that His election rested with Jacob. Additionally, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentil soup (Gen 25: 29-34). Understand that he knew this birthright included the promise of God about “the seed” yet scripture tells us he despised it. Meanwhile Jacob was showing he valued it and would take action to secure the promicse God had made to his mother. Jacob remained unmarried, after Isaac (remember they are twins) had already taken two pagan wives causing his mother — again because of her concern for the spirituality of the family — great distress. Don’t you think she remembered how concerned Abraham had been that her own husband, Isaac, not marry pagan women. See Gen 24: 2-4; 26:37; and 27:48-28:2.

    Now do you think that when Isaac got old and went to confer the blessings upon his sons, that Esau was going to come forward and tell his father that he had already sold his blessing to Jacob for a bowl of soup? No! So, yes, Rebekah helped Issaac use subterfuge to secure the blessing. But it was already his by virtue of the fact that 1. God had chosen him for it 2. Esau had sold it to him. This is what you are calling “stealing?” No way. It is once again a man blinded by filial affection for his son (just as Abraham had been with Ishmael) and a woman taking action to protect the heir of the promise.

  • CherylDickow

    Daughter of the King,

    The Book of Ruth is critical to Christians because it where we as “outsiders” to the covenant are brought in. Ruth, an outsider, marries Boaz. They have a son named Obed. Obed grew to have a son named Jesse. Jesse, of course, grew to have a son named David. David is the king to whose lineage the King of Kings will be born.

    Prior to Boaz’s marriage to Ruth a blessing is given which speaks to the greatness of the Matriarchs Rachel and Leah. It is a blessing upon which the connection between Old and New Covenants connect and it is truly beyond me how any devout, learned Catholic man (that you say has colored your view of these women) could say that he had no use for them. Well God surely did!

    This is the blessing given to Boaz prior to his marriage to Ruth. Ruth 4:11 “May the Lord make this wife come into your house like Rachel and Leah, who betwen them built up the house of Israel. May you do well in Ephrathah and win fame in Bethlehem.”

    Imagine that! A blessing in which Rachel and Leah are referred to as having built up the house of Israel. Women who clearly worked with God. Women who used their own personal griefs, sadness, and fallen nature to nonetheless beget the 12 tribes of Israel from which is born the king to whom you are now a daughter.

  • Daughter of the King

    I’m come to realize that my questions here are just an example (symptom maybe) of far deeper issue and that I’ve chosen the wrong route to seek the answers I so desperately need. I will continue to ask them but elsewhere and at a different time when someone can actually understand and help me. In the meantime, hopefully I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and try to not feel totally beat up about struggling to understand.

  • Mary Kochan

    Daughter of the King,

    You brought up three women from the Bible and Cheryl and I have used scripture to show that they are indeed women of God and examples of faith. These thoughts are much more developed within Jewish tradition, and Cheryl knows more about that aspect of it than do I as she has made this a special area of study. I know she can help you locate some resources if you are looking for them. However, what we did on this forum was answer you from scripture. If we thought it was somehow wrong of you to ask questions, why would we both have taken part of our Sunday to answer you? I am not really seeing within what you wrote a question to which you desperately need an answer and I am really sorry if there was something that we should have addressed but overlooked.

    I also want to thank you for questioning the way you did, because I am sure that others had similar questions or had been exposed to the same kind of dismissive attitudes that you were exposed to. You have really added a great deal to the discussion today and I certainly hope you aren’t going away.

  • Daughter of the King

    No, Mary, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean I’m going away. Just that the answers I seek to the questions I’m unable to articulate to you I will drop.

  • Daughter of the King

    Ok. That made no sense. And my husband says I can function fine with lack of sleep. Little does he know. I mean I’ll drop the questions for now and seek the answers elsewhere when I understand my questions better and am able to articulate them better. If that makes any sense. Esh.
    And yes, thank you for taking time out of your Sundays to talk with me even though I did use an antagonistic approach.

  • Warren Jewell

    In answering Noelfitz –

    You’re a man – I’m a man – do we really sound like nuts?

    Uhh – answer that to yourself.

    The full Judeao-Christian lineage is the best religious line in which to find women not only holy and heroic but so very feminine in their approach. Unlike the feminist brother-wannbes, they were their own persons – matriarchal! – not simply the lady to follow five paces behind even a patriarchal spouse.

    They may have been back there, but more to keep an eye on him than from untoward submission. And, these ladies were the first to hear, as Mary did for Jesus, [and Joseph, John the evangelist as his adult apostleship blossomed, Luke the apostle as he was guided by her and Saint Paul in his conversion] what these great men – none less than Abraham, Isaac, Jacob – had in their hearts and on their minds. I remember from my own marital experience than when my late wife, Sharon, counseled me, she was right only about 98 or 99% of the time.

    A good wife is the crown of her husband (Proverbs 12:4; notice she has royal place and role, and to have apparentness, in his very head) He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.(Proverbs 18:22; the good wife is helpmate forever) House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD. (Proverbs 19:14; she is blessing as he is blessed) And Proverbs 31 (verses 10-31) gives the good wife her ‘letter of recommendation’ unto eternity.

    We might have read in Proverbs – maybe phrased differently elsewhere in scripture? – that ‘He who is wisest has brought the virtue into his home in the person of his wife.’

  • Mary Kochan

    Daughter of the King,

    Thank you for responding — I thought that we had upset you and I was feeling bad about that. Very glad you will stick around. Now you go get some sleep!

    Noel and Warren,

    This whole nuts and bolts stuff that you aren’t getting is making me blush. You know even in hardware they talk about “male” and “female” parts. You guys may be nutty, but you aren’t nuts.

  • Warren Jewell

    Oh, Mistress Mary, I do get the idea of ‘fit to the task’ image of nuts and bolts, a la Mr. Bell’s comment. At least, he refrained from analogizing via electric plugs and receptacles. But, I do like to have some fun when the door opens to it.

    You see, an old racy relative of mine might have put it, ‘there are nuts and there are nuts.’ He may or may not have been referring to threaded receiving connectors for bolts. His nephews, such as myself, could only attest that he was sober at most such times. That, and that he was nearly always racy.

    And, just HOW do YOU mean ‘being NUTTY’?

  • Mary Kochan

    LOL. I think I have gotten myself into enough trouble…

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