It’s strange we often neglect the importance of women and downplay the performance of their roles. This becomes more apparent as we look at history. (Maybe this is a broad claim and I don’t have any support but what I see/study–at least not off the top of my head.)
But I am continually impressed at the strong roles women play in scriptures. We could look (and for a long while) at the impressive Old Testament examples of both Ruth and Esther. Each was a great example to those around her. A light to her world (and ours), in the same tradition Christ taught of in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5: 14-16).
As Jesus taught, He focused on the discrepancies which had crept into Jewish culture between what they had been taught and the traditions which had been adopted at nearly the same level as the Law (Talmud). Christ came to bring all to a higher understanding, to raise them closer to God.
In this He broke from tradition of pedantic following of Sabbath customs and taught, by example, that the Sabbath was given to do good.
The first chapter of Mark (and truly the rest of the text) shows this drastic separation from Jewish culture quite obviously. But what I think is important to focus on (aside from the casting out of evil spirits) is the healing of Peter’s mother.
She had been sick with fever and Jesus comes to her and heals her (apparently in broad Sabbath daylight). Now this would be semi-acceptable, but then she (with understanding of the true meaning of the Sabbath) ministers unto Jesus and His disciples.
In first century literature/writings/etc a woman was NEVER depicted doing the right thing. She was generally shown as a temptress or not mentioned at all. How startling it is to have an example of a woman doing the right thing, in blatant contrast to customs of the time, both in what she should be doing and the fact she is even mentioned.
Which brings up my point: how often do we rely on the ‘literature of the time’ to tell us what women should and shouldn’t do, what effect they should and shouldn’t have on us. I’m afraid my grand- and great-grandchildren will look back on our time and say, ‘They had no respect for women. All the women were ever depicted as was sex objects or individuals who abandoned their God-given calling as nurturers to try to imitate men’–something they were never intended to do–just as we are not intended to imitate women in their roles.
I’m afraid we have the wrong view of women. And I’m afraid we don’t give the ones who fulfill their God-given role enough respect or appreciation.
Where would we be without our mothers or the other women who had such an important impact on our lives? We ought to praise women for taking such a strong position to be mothers(or desire to be mothers if they are not able).
Praise them for their strengths, and don’t tear them down just because they may not conform to society’s (ever-changing) view of what they should do.
Take the strong stance and praise the women who fulfill their strong role.