Sunday, 11 July 2010

Why The Rib?

Sometimes in churches the impression can be given that, since woman was created after man, women are somehow secondary in God's purposes, but I prefer to look at it differently. I believe that God knew that man needed someone to stand alongside him and so He himself took a bone from man's side and created woman from it. I find it interesting that He took a rib - not a little finger or a toe or any other bit, but a rib.

Ribs are very interesting things.... they are not insignificant afterthoughts, but crucial to man's well being (just like woman is!) Firstly, ribs offer protection for the major organs of the body, and this is parallelled in a woman's natural desire to protect, not usually by outward aggression etc. but by wrapping around in a caring way. Another thing about ribs is that they are flexible, allowing our lungs to expand, and enabling us to move. My experience is that in general women tend to be more flexible than men, adapting to new situations more easily etc. and often more open to new ideas. Finally, as anyone knows who has damaged theirs, ribs are also sensitive. This means that although they can be easily hurt, women also are often more able to recognise and identify with others who are hurting. This sensitivity is often related to spiritual things too.

God took a bone from Adam's side to create Eve, not from his head, or his foot etc., and I believe this is a picture of God's intention - that men and women stand side by side, complimenting one another and supporting and being supported as each has need. In this context it's not about dominance or authority and submission - that's a whole other subject - this is about a basic creation principle: we are all created in God's image and stand equal before Him as Lord and Creator. Let's acknowledge and even celebrate our different qualities, roles and functions. They are God given, after all, and He only gives good gifts to His children, doesn't He?

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