My love for Israel goes beyond my love of Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, studying there and walking where Jesus walked was out of this world, but my love for Israel also encompasses some shallow reasons as well.
They have great food and wine.
The people are passionate.
Everyone is up on current events in the world (theirs, ours, and others).
The women have curly hair and they carry guns.
Israel is one of the few countries with a mandatory military service for men and women. At age 18 young men and women must serve in the military for a year. During my study there it was commonplace to see a group young adults walking in the square chatting and giggling like high schoolers while M 16s slung from their shoulders.
Israel is a small country with enemies on their borders. They are very aware that those enemies wish Israel didn’t exist. Because the threat is so eminent they live in a constant state of readiness. Everyone.
In Genesis 1 & 2 we read where God created two load bearing walls to govern the world:
Loadbearing wall #1: God and man
Loadbearing wall #2: Man and woman
In Genesis 3 Satan takes one big blow and wipes out both load bearing walls at once. And he has warred to keep those walls from being rebuilt ever since.
I think it’s why we see such depravity against our Holy Creator and such enmity between man and woman. We are at war. But I don’t think we know that. Or at least we don’t live like we know it because if we did both men and women would be carrying M 16s on their shoulders (metaphorically speaking.)
1 Peter 5:8 warns, Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Instead of being alert, we live like sluggards that do not plow in Autumn (Proverbs 20:4
I’ve been reading up on the history of women’s roles in America. What I concluded is when we, as a nation, realize we are at war, we loosen the roles because we need all hands on deck. We can’t afford to have one gender sidelined. For example, in early colonialism life was extremely hard (disease, Indians, crop failure, harsh winters, and then the Revolutionary War!) During this battle, roles were loosened (until we won against the Brits – then they tightened again.) During the “battle” it wasn’t abnormal to have a woman act as “deputy husbands.” They would shoulder the male duties such as planting corn and managing the external affairs of the family. Women ran taverns and saw mills. They served as blacksmiths, butchers, barbers, hunters, attorneys and undertakers. It was common for a woman to take over her husband’s appointed office or business when he died.
When we won the war and life settled down rigid roles reappeared. The “Doctrine of Separate Spheres” was adopted and by the Victorian Age women were so bored at home that the suicide rate shot up. (After all, a woman can only sit idle for so long before feeling like she has no purpose or contribution.)
Then we have WWII – another battle. Again roles were thrown to the wind. Remember the Rosie the Riveter campaign to recruit women into the workforce while the men were away at war? By 1945 one in four married women worked outside the home.
But then the war ended. Men came home and needed jobs. Women needed to go back to being domestic and submissive. Another campaign. This time the ideal woman wasn’t Rosie the Riveter but Jane as in “Dick and Jane” books or the mom on “Leave it to Beaver.”
What if we Christians really believed there were enemies on all fronts? That we really are in a battle? That Satan would do anything to keep those two load bearing walls rebuilt?
What I’m arguing is we instinctively know that it takes both man and woman (in all kinds of positions and stations) to win a battle. This is why we allow women to do work on the mission field what we won’t allow her to do on American soil. The mission field is wild, untamed – it’s a battleground. But as soon as peace comes to that mission field, many times as a result of her labor, then male leadership must take over and she is sidelined.
Battles bring loosening. Peace births rigid roles. (Roles sanctioned as if they were God’s roles for men and women “thus says the Lord.”)
When will we wake up and realize we are at war and we need ALL hands on deck?
When half of our most talented players are “benched,” we aren’t likely to have a winning record.