Last year, I traded a New York City apartment for a house in a Midwestern cornfield. After living on the East Coast for nearly a decade, I didn't know what to expect from the dramatic change of scenery. The thought crossed my mind that the move might show me something new about America. It ended up showing me something new about God.
On a wintry Wednesday night in our new Midwestern life, I wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary when my husband and I gathered with a few friends from church for Bible study. We'd just started a DVD-based study about marriage, and as we pushed play to begin the lesson, I glanced down at a photocopied handout with the speaker's key points. On the white page in front of me, I read excerpted verses that played like a study in the overuse of ellipses:
Gen. 3:17— Then to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife … "
Deut. 13:6— If … the wife you cherish … entice you secretly, saying, "Let us go and serve other gods … "
Job 2:10— He said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks … "
Prov. 9:13— The woman of folly is boisterous; she is naïve, and she knows nothing.
2Tim. 3:6— … captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses.
The speaker on the DVD said these verses showed that women should appreciate the desire of men to analyze and provide counsel. But I had a hard time moving beyond the underlying premise, at least as I heard it: Women are foolish. Granted, a verse or two appeared on the following page about how a prudent wife is from the Lord, but that didn't counterbalance the overarching impression that women are at worst, shrewish, at best, naïve. ...