I was listening to the radio last week (I think it was 5 live) and there was an article about a woman in the US who had decided to spend a year following all the rules in the Bible for women. She says on her blog about her year:
This meant, among other things, submitting to my husband (Colossians 3:18), growing out my hair (1 Corinthians 11:15), making my own clothes, (Proverbs 31:22), learning how to cook (Titus 2:3-5), praising my husband at the city gate (Proverbs 31:23), covering my head when in prayer (1 Corinthians 11:5), calling Dan “master” (1 Peter 3:5-6), caring for the poor (Proverbs 31:25), nurturing a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4), abstaining from gossip (Proverbs 20:19), and camping out in the front yard for the duration of my period (Leviticus 15:19-33).
I thought that it was fascinating that she would do all of this. It included her having to sleep in a tent after her period
This month, as part of my year of biblical womanhood, I’m submitting to taharat hamishpach, or “family purity,” as described in Leviticus 15-18. This means I am ceremonially unclean for a total of twelve days. For those twelve days I can have no physical contact with my husband (no sex, no hugging, no affectionate pats on the back), and no physical contact with men (no handshakes, no high-fives, no passing of items like salt and pepper shakers). I cannot attend official religious services, and anything I sit on is considered unclean, so I’ve taken to carrying around my Rhea County High School Golden Eagle stadium seat cushion everywhere I go.
What struck me from reading some of her blog was the high price that women have often paid in the past (and sometimes still do) for following an interpretation of the Bible that keeps women under the thumb. She did this to help people look at how we interpret the Bible and some of the consequences of doing so. On the positive side she said that
In striving to nurture a gentle and quiet spirit, I’ve learned a lot about contemplative prayer, which is something I would like to continue to practice after the project is over. I also had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the work World Vision is doing in Bolivia, which has inspired me to live more generously.
Fascinating and thought provoking.