Controversy. I could have skipped this altogether. But I promised YOU and MYSELF that I would be honest with my thoughts and feelings on this journey. So, I won’t skip it. At the risk of offending you (and being wrong) I’ll tell you just what I’ve mulled over in my head ALL DAY.
God designed me to look for differences in the Word, to look for obscure things that just don’t seem to add up. He wants me to find them, I’m sure. Perhaps your mind works the same way. So, when I read the portion of scripture here in Leviticus 12 that dealt with the laws of motherhood, I stopped and pondered them. Then, when I could not understand them, I went to the commentaries. I was dissatisfied.
I suppose now is a good time to tell you that I’m not a feminist. Really, I’m not. Today, I sewed my sweatshirt while I was waiting for my homemade bread to rise. I’m a stay at home mom who loves to bake cookies. I need you to understand that before we go further. I need you to understand it because if you didn’t, you may discount my reasoning on this topic.
Leviticus 12:2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying:
‘When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean.3 On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.4 Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for thirty-three days; she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed.5 But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean for two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall remain in the blood of her purification for sixty-six days.
Almost all the commentaries I read were unsure about what God was doing here. At best, they were a stab in the dark, but the stabs they were making were inconsistent and hurtful. One of them even suggested that women needed to purify their bodies longer because they were bringing another woman into the world and that was sinful. Really? It’s sinful to have a girl?
I kept reading and the more I read, the more I realized that scholars were not attempting to understand this piece of scripture, but were looking to use their beliefs on the role of men and women to twist this scripture, to make women sound evil and unclean. I’m positive that was not the Lord’s intention.
God likes girls.
There, I said it.
There were a few (a very few) who offered up a different interpretation. They were like rays of sunshine on this dismal sea of he-man-woman haters. They suggested that instead of looking at the word “unclean” as a sinful word, to look at it as it actually is, a time of purification. I want to be purified, don’t you?
They also went on to talk about the role of women at the time. Women were not looked on as much, but The mothers of these girls would be allowed more time to spend just focusing on them. That is a beautiful thought.
I also think about the way men and women are made. Women are so much more relational than men. They thrive on intimacy. God was giving them a relational intimacy during those first few months of life. Instead of looking at this as a punishment, I’m looking at it like a privilege. After all, the moms then were able to spend months and rest. What new mom wouldn’t love that?!
The take away? What did I learn from this question and answer session with the Lord? I learned that He is love. If we look at the Word and ask “What is love doing here?” instead of “what is judgment doing here?” then we will find Him. Though I don’t agree with everything they said, or their lifestyle, those four boys from Liverpool really had something when they said “All You Need is Love.” The truth is the truth, no matter who says it. 🙂
Love you all!