We are blessed to live in a country that has taken a stand and declared itself a Christian nation because lets face it the peace and tranquility we enjoy in this country is just God given.
A Christian simply defined is one who follows the example of Christ and strives to be more like him. You don’t need me to say that despite Zambia being a Christian nation the majority do not live their lives abiding by Christian values, the evidence is every you look. Many may be religious but how many of us aim to live a life that is pleasing to God. It is evident with our political scene,our culture, our families, our government, our neighbours, our church leaders and ourselves that christian principles are not being properly applied. One area it is extremely prevalent in,is the gender inequality.
Jesus from inference in the scriptures believed in ending gender inequality. One area our society is unequal on a gender basis is when it comes to our women and their involvement in adultery. Right from the beginning of the fall of man women were cursed to be right under the dominion of man ‘; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee’(Genesis 3:16 KJV) which is a contrast to by his side as an equal. Which we can infer from the fact that God used Adams rib to create Eve symbolising they should be side by side.
One of the most significant things Jesus came to do was to save man from the separation from God which came as a direct consequence of the fall of man. Any man or woman who is anew in Christ is not subject to the curses man has been subject since Adam and Eve. Why then do men still oppress women? Born again Christian men.
One of my favourite bible passages is the story of how Jesus saved the Adulteress woman from being stoned by the crowd pursuing her. This portion of scripture is potent with lessons. Firstly there is no mention of the man she was committing adultery with, clear inequality. Both parties were guilty but only one was being punished. Jesus set precedent with this act. Not only in terms of gender inequality but with evoking people to consider their sins before they play judge over the sins of others.
Disclaimer: Before we go further, I am not an advocate for adultery by men or women. This is in no way a justification of adultery. We sadly live in a society where you must support the shaming of the acts your fellow women do wrong or you will be perceived as part of the bad crop. I feel women are treated more unfairly when they commit adultery than males are and that is not right. I am against the shaming of women in ways men do not get shamed or looked down on when they cheat. We have come to accept that women must never cheat rather than no one must ever cheat. The reality is men and women will be unfaithful for different reasons because they are different beings. We must NOT accept the viewpoint that the consequences of one sex cheating is lighter than the other. That is inequality. I re-iterate the point that I am not defending or justifying cheating women. I am disagreeing with the inequality that surrounds a woman cheating. Those are 2 different things.
Let us analyse the story from the book of John 8:1-11. The first thing that you notice is that there nowhere in story is the man she committed adultery with mentioned. He was just as guilty of the act as she was. He however did not get stones cast at him, because he was allowed a pass where as the woman was not. A common Zambian saying goes ‘Ubuchende wa umwaume tabu toba n’ganda’ Directly translated means a ‘infidelity committed by a man will not wreck a home. Maybe there is more to this quote than the prima facie meaning. More that my still maturing mind is yet to fully fathom and grasp. However what bothers me is this, if infidelity is such a bad thing, why are men given a pass to do it and not women. Additionally if there are joys in infidelity why are women excluded or not accorded the pleasure of partaking in these joys. What is bad for the man should be bad for the woman because although not created the same we are created equal.
Another angle to view it from is from the verse Luke 10:27
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.(King James Bible)
The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”(New Living Translation)
The bible commands us to love our neighbour as our self. If men do not want to be cheated on, they must not cheat. If women do not want to be cheated on the must not cheat. If one does not frown upon a man cheating, they must not frown upon a woman cheating. Men as much as women are guilty of encouraging this inequality.
Though this portion of scripture has to do with infidelity, the principle set by it is applicable to all areas where there is inequality when it comes to both men and women. Just like Christ stood up for the woman who was being judged by people whose hands were just as dirty as hers the only difference is the type of dirt they had on them. Men in our society, the Christian men from our Christian nation arise and follow the example of Christ in defending women from having stones cast at them. Men need to move away from the crowd and stand in the place where Jesus stood to protect the woman from the harshness of society.
Notice Jesus was not in support of her, neither did he condemn or seek to know the details. His only interest was in her going on to pursue a different path of life that involved her not committing adultery or any other sins. His only interest was for her to ‘Go and sin no more’. I heard a quote from a movie ‘Strong men don’t hurt you, only the weak ones do’ and there is so much truth to it. Only weak men throw stones in the form of insults, mean words or jokes, use women because of the reputation that hangs over them etc.
Men must be the front liners in addressing gender inequality in all its forms, not just to with fidelity or the lack there of. We live in a patriarchal society where most of the power and decision making ability is vested in the men. They should thus be in the forefront ensuring inequalities against women are being addressed. They exist because they are not being addressed by the holders of the power to do something about the oppression.
If girls are taught to remain pure, and boys are encouraged to sexually explore who are they expected to explore with each other. It creates toxicity if you expecting the girls you are encouraging to be pure are shamed once they fall as prey to the boys who you encourage to explore. There must be equality, either both sexes are taught purity or both are allowed to be sexually exploring. It doesn’t even make sense, who are these boys expected to experiment with? Themselves or each other? Kindly give them that memo when passing down these toxic lessons to them.
As a country that has boldly professed itself as a christian nation it is important that we intentionally begin to walk the talk in a manner that goes beyond a ceremonial religious acts like having a day for prayer if on every other day we are not carrying out the liberation Christ came to bring. What do the religious things mean if we as a country are not a shining example to other non christian countries?
Dear male species, our brother,fathers, uncles, cousins etc please be Jesus with skin on to all the women in society. Yours, a concerned female.