The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)
19:13-14 - "A stupid child is a ruin to a father, and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. House and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord."
19:26 - "Those who do violence to their father and chase away their mother are children who cause shame and bring reproach."
20:20 - "If you curse your father or mother, your lamp will go out in utter darkness."
21:9 - "It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious wife."
21:19 - "It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and fretful wife."
22:14 - "The mouth of a loose (alt translation: strange) woman is a deep pit; he with whom the Lord is angry falls into it."
Geez. We ladies are just a constant source of grief for those poor men. It is apparently better to life on a corner of a roof or out in a desert than it is to have to even share a space with a woman who dares to disagree with you. I mean really? And I imagine the "contentious" woman doesn't even have to be that disagreeable. She probably would be considered "contentious" if she just dared to voice her opinion that may go slightly against her husband's plans.
So now we see father's dealing with the unruly children but it seems there is a twist because the unruly child is being joined by a quarreling (as well as contentious or fretful) wife who is as joyful as constant rain. Supposedly a prudent wife (ie. quiet and doesn't speak her mind) is a gift from the Lord.
It really just seems ridiculous for the Bible to speak of both a father and mother raising a child because it seems a good wife wouldn't step out of place at all. How can a mother who is expected to stay under her husband's thumb going to raise a child or give orders for a child to obey? If anything she might be allowed to enforce the rules the father has set down, but it seems so odd that a mother would be allowed to have any authority over a son. A daughter, sure, but both her and the daughter would technically be under the rule of the father so even then I don't think she'd have much room to be any sort of teacher or authority figure to her children.
So why bother mentioning both parents when the Bible is making it perfectly clear that in a good, God fearing marriage only one parent (the father) is actually supposed to do what he wants and exert any sort of control? Why include the mother at all? Other than just a formality, which is what I think is going on. You pretty much never have a mother mentioned on her own when it comes to rules that involve obeying one's parents. Fathers a mentioned on their own, but mothers pretty much only showed up when mentioned right after the father. And how are children supposed to have any sort of respect for a person who is treated as no better than cattle and is only respected when she stays in line and keeps her mouth shut? The Bible claims that mothers are supposed to be respected along with their father but honestly, how do you expect a child (mostly male children) to respect someone that is treated as less than human. Kids are smart, they can tell when someone is being treated differently. Especially when the person being treated differently is being treated WORSE. The kid/son will realize that in the scheme of things his mother is less than him and will notice that it is her sex that is the reason. Daughters will notice this too, but instead of seeing themselves as better because of their sex they will realize that their lot in life is to be treated as less than by men for the rest of her life.
Kids are not stupid. Why does the Bible seem to think this is the case? If you treat half of the human race as things that are best kept quiet and out of the way kids will notice. Hell, kids notice the differences in the ways boys and girls are brought up today, and things are generally much better than they were in Biblical times (not that that's hard, the Bible sets a REALLY low bar).
It's because these ideas were constantly passed down to children that they continue to thrive. You treat you kids that women are inferior and men are the rulers of all and the kids will grow up believing that and will then teach their kids the same thing. It is a very hard cycle to break. Especially in societies as insular as tribes and clans were back in the BC. You cannot change your views until you go out and learn new ideas and new views from other people.
And I have written about 4 different ending paragraphs and haven't liked a single one, lol. So I have no real way to end this. I blame it on the fact that my all of me is frozen and I am thinking much more about curling up under the covers in bed and watching Farscape than a decent concluding thought. So I shall just leave it here.
Friday: Proverbs 23-27