In the Disney cartoon Aladdin, Princess Jasmine yells, “I am not a prize to be won!” And no, I didn’t have to fact check that line because I memorized the movie when I was kid. What I don’t get about this line is how is being a “prize” a bad thing? You have men trying to prove they’re good enough for you. That means you’re dominant. Whoever is trying to win the heart of the other is the lesser, which is a common theme in the Old Testament stories from Isaac to Moses; men who have to prove they are worthy of the woman. In this final section of why women are dominant, I’m going to use specific characters from the Bible to demonstrate this idea (not in order of appearance).
Fun Fact: When a guy goes to therapy, I ask: Are you here to keep a woman happy or to learn how to grow in order to get a woman? Women go to therapy because they want to grow. Men go because of a woman.
- Samson: A man so mighty he killed a thousand men with a donkey’s jawbone was taken down by his wife, Delilah who simply asked: “What is the source of your strength?”
- Isaac: A man who was tricked by his wife because she wanted the second born, Jacob, to be the one to receive the family blessing and not Esau, the first born.
- Jacob: He worked for Laban for fourteen years in order to marry Laban’s daughter, Rachel.
- Lot: (Abraham’s nephew) After escaping the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s daughters were worried about not having children, so they got their dad drunk and had sex with him (this was before the laws of incest, which were given to Moses). That’s one stupid man. Fun fact, the descendants of these two daughters became enemies of the Israelites, their uncle, Abraham’s line.
- Abraham Pt1: The Father of Judasim, was afraid Pharoah would kill him in order to have his beautiful wife, Sarah. This same deception is later duplicated by his son, Isaac. That’s the power of a woman over a man; men will kill for them.
- Abraham Pt2: God promises Abraham that he will have a son, but his wife, Sarah, out of her doubt of this promise, has Abraham have a child with her servant, Haggar. Sarah’s jealousy soon causes her to have Abraham kick out the servant and her son, Ishmael (this is the line of Islam). The consequences of Haggar having a son are still felt today as the Jews and Muslims struggle to coexist in the Middle East. All of this happened because Abraham, a man considered righteous, screwed up by following his wife over God.
- Moses Pt1: After Pharaoh made a rule to throw Jewish baby boys in the Nile, Moses’ mom saved him (no mention of the dad). With the help of his sister, Miriam, Moses’ mom was able to spare his life by connecting him to Pharaoh’s daughter who directly disobeyed her father and kept the baby she found. How did the daughter get away with this? Daughters have a power over their dads. Fun Fact, this baby killing idea is later duplicated by Herod in the story of Jesus’ birth. The Bible is full of fun patterns like this.
- Moses Pt2: In a very strange story, God is angry at Moses, but Moses’ wife, Zipporah circumcises their son, rubs the foreskin on Moses’ feet, and saves her husband’s life. I said it was strange.
- Moses Pt3: Moses’ sister, Miriam, was a valuable leader along with his brother, Aaron. When it was possible, God included women in leadership.
- Jesus Pt1: Mary gave birth to Jesus, which is huge. It’s like the reverse of the Adam and Eve story because a human gives birth to God, and then is responsible to raise Him. Because Jesus is the eldest son, he makes sure she’s taken care of when He is killed. Where does His father, Joseph go? No one cares.
- Jesus Pt2: The ministry of Jesus was sponsored by rich women (Luke 8). This same passage also notes that besides the twelve disciples, Jesus brought women around with him.
- Jesus Pt3: While Jesus regularly complained about the lack of faith shown by his disciples, he regularly praised women for theirs. This includes the bleeding woman (Luke 8:43–48), the Caananite woman who debated with Jesus over crumbs (Mat.15:21-28), and the woman who cleaned Jesus’ feet with her tears and hair. Plus, it was women who were brave enough to first go to Jesus’ grave while the male followers hid.
- Adam & Eve Pt1: I love the story of Adam and Eve because there’s so much in it. For instance, in the Bible a character’s first words are very important; Adam’s first words are excitement over a woman while her first words are correcting the snake about the rule of the fruit (fun fact, she got the rule wrong). What’s interesting is God even says, “It is not good for the man to be alone,” while He never says this about women. This explains why women tend to be more independent and better at being single than men whereas men typically lose a partner only to grab the first one they can find or they don’t end one relationship until they have someone else. Women, on the other hand, will break up because it’s the right thing to do.
- Adam & Eve Pt2: In the story of the first sin, it’s clear that Eve is the leader: “Eat this.” Adam just blindly follows even though he was the one originally given the rule about not eating it; Eve wasn’t created yet. This is why later in the New Testament, Adam is blamed for the sin of humanity as Jesus came as the second Adam (Romans 5:12–21 & 1 Cor 15:22).
- Adam & Eve Pt3: The punishments God gives Adam and Eve are very telling. Adam’s punishment is basically he’s going to have to work hard to provide for his family while Eve’s punishment (besides painful childbirth) is: “And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” This gives me chills because I see this inner conflict in women all the time in the therapy office. I should point out that this verse is more about creating balance and not about saying men are dominant. It’s about trying to level the playing field where the independent, strong willed woman needs to be held back because she will likely bulldoze her husband who is too woman obsessed and easy going.
At the end of the day, how we interpret the Bible is largely based on what we want to see. Perhaps I want to find proof that men tend to be weak and need a push to step up in order to match the natural strength of women while others read the Bible through the assumption that men are superior. Either way, what makes God happy is that we question and research further into what we think in order to draw closer to Him.
This week may this topic encourage you to do a little research into what the Bible is all about and what God really wants for us.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people