I took a little trip to Houston to spend a few days with my daughter this week. The sudden shift from the overcast skies and blustery chilly winds of Indiana to sun and 78 degrees was such a treat! We were quite busy running around the outskirts of the city checking off her “to do” list, meeting friends, and seeing places I had only heard her talk about. But I did get a little down time to just relax in front of You Tube and Chromecast while staying at her cute apartment. I stumbled across a few short news documentaries that I thought were worthy of my time, so I watched and pondered. Two of the stories focused on real life accounts of several Saudi women who had managed to escape their prison-like existences covered in black from head to toe, while always having a male escort by their side. These particular women were not just ordinary citizens, but all were somehow related to the royal family and ruling class. The lengths that the men would go to to bring back “their women”, usually daughters, was the stuff nightmares are made of. Another short film covered the practice of Kyrgystani men literally kidnapping girls and young women to marry against their wills. Sadly, it was not uncommon for some of the victim “brides” to commit suicide in order to escape a life that they had no say in.
I think stories like these are what most people, women in particular, envision when the subject of patriarchy comes up. And then of course, there are also certain religious sects here in the US that practice patriarchy or polygyny, but not for what most would consider Biblical reasons. This can make it very challenging to have a productive conversation regarding Biblical family structure. So how do we go about broaching this subject, or defending the Biblical model to our families and faith communities? A couple of my favorite sayings come to mind; “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” and “chew on the meat and spit out the bones”. We must be apologists! And we must shine the light of truth on these errant philosophies and religions that would support this kind of atrocious behavior.
Not too long ago, I defended patriarchy and plural marriage to a friend that tended to lump it all together with Mormonism, Islam, etc. This friend was Torah pursuant so I felt we had a common foundation. I simply stated that the ideas were very Biblical and like Torah, I felt that they were applicable to our day. I continued by pointing out that the error lay with the false doctrines and belief systems, and not with the practices of Biblical marriage. I pray we continue to bravely dive into these opportunistic discussions within our circles, and diligently separate truth from deception. And may we continue to fellowship and support those that hear the Father calling them to courageously step up and live counter to our Godless culture!