Violence in a Beautiful Place

by Anna Blanch on December 9, 2011

The  second 16 days of action post for today is from Sarah Flashing. As I’ve mentioned on several of the posts, I sought out different perspective intentionally – I wanted guest posters the opportunity to explore the incredibly complex range of issues that arise from the very need to point out the relationship between human rights and violence against women. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the two final posts in the series!

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Violence against women is an atrocity and isn’t a rare phenomenon by any stretch of the imagination. Degradation, ridicule, physical harm, and all forms of enslavement against women have found justification in many eras and cultures since….I was going to say since ‘the beginning of time,’ but really it’s been this way since the moment sin entered into the world. Eve was deceived by the Serpent and exploited as the mechanism for the birth of sin. This, I believe, is truly the first act of violence against women. Though Eve wasn’t physically harmed in the way we think of violence, the consequences of this interaction are certainly both physical and spiritual—she now found herself separated from God and with increased pain in childbirth (Gen 3:16).

A closer analysis of Satan’s act of deception reveals that Eve was deprived of remembering her position before God. This was an intellectual assault that preyed on her understanding of what is good, right and true. Her view of the world was so severely distorted that she turned to herself as a source of truth instead of her God. She was persuaded to believe she had the authority to evaluate those things which God had already determined were off limits. Her knowledge was now permanently skewed, her life and her thinking in need of redemption. Violence against women continues to deprive her of the truth, knowledge, goodness and freedom that is rightly hers.

Having a proper view of sin and a relationship with God will not always protect women from the violence to which they are so often exposed. But women’s minds and lives need to be redeemed so she can think more accurately bout herself, her world and her God. In this healthier and more informed place, she is in a better position to protect herself from those people and ideas in a world that wishes to exploit, harm and reduce her to something less than human. Of course, no matter how well we understand how sin has tainted the human soul, no matter how committed we might be to Jesus as our Savior, and no matter how educated a woman is, many will continue to suffer at the hands of hate. But certainly, the woman who is better equipped spiritually and intellectually won’t continue to hold out for a hero. She is more likely to actively pursue—as much as possible—that which she needs to redeem herself from situations of violence, protecting
herself and her children.

Concerning ourselves with the problem of violence against woman must lead us to a discussion of solutions. A woman who understands rightly is a woman who teaches her children well and raises a new generation less vulnerable to the exploits of hate. An educated woman undermines the power of ignorance and deception. Education is one of the greatest opponents to violence and one that is easily shared. In our churches and communities, my hope is that we can make more progress in equipping women as thoughtful lovers of what is good, right and true. Without this understanding, the original
assault maintains its grip and redemption seems so far away.

Sarah Flashing loves unpacking the meaning of scripture–learning to love, loving to learn. She is the director of The Center for Women of Faith in Culture, a worldview ministry to women in the church. You can connect with her on Twitter!

 

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This post is part of the 16 Days of Action toward eliminating violence against women. The 16 Days of Action is a global campaign founded by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, I’m hosting posts across the 16 days, from 25 November to 10 December. You can help by sharing these posts on social media, by taking care of the women around you, & by standing against violence against women. The full list of posts in the series can be found here.

Connect with Anna on Academia.eduLinked Infacebook page, & Twitter.

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