The Weaker Sex

1 Peter 3: 7

Husbands, in a similar way, live with your wives with understanding since they are weaker than you are.

Happy Weaker Sex Day!! I hope you laughed when you read that. I have to laugh. You certainly wouldn’t walk through my YMCA and come away with the idea that women are weak, even physically. I look around the classes and the women are fit and strong. I wouldn’t like to be the person who walked into our Y proclaiming that women should bow to men because women are weaker. The person who does that better workout every day because at any time there will be dozens of women who can demonstrate the fallacy of that statement.

I watch these women walking into the Y with one child on their hip, pushing another in a stroller and with two bags over their shoulders. It is truly amazing. Then they go into class and press an impressive amount of weight and just leave you speechless. And this isn’t the rare case. There are dozens of women who are strong physically as well as emotionally and mentally.

My friend, Ann Musico (author of Today is Still the Day), said recently that women are the ones who typically suffer from adrenal failure because they are so over-extended. Women take care of their children, husbands, parents, husband’s parents, and the home. Besides that, they work and volunteer at church and with civic organizations. They are the people volunteering to help with special events, committee work, prayer teams, the kids’ soccer league. It’s practically endless. In fact, I think sometimes women do too much and that is what Ann was eluding too. It can compromise one’s health. Then some idiot says, “See there, women are physically weak.”

We have all heard the “weaker sex” banter but by now all but the really obtuse realize that women are not the weaker gender. Some men can lift more weight than some women, but I would not even make a blanket statement that men are physically stronger than women, especially when it comes to leg strength. Physically, women’s endurance is phenomenal. I watch these mother’s work night and day taking care of everyone else and still make time to get in their workout. I really don’t know how they do it and it is exhausting to even think about.

The real point is that today’s verse was an admonition to honor women though it has been used to abuse them so, let’s make sure we get this right, once and for all. You only have to read a few translations to see what this verse was meant to say. I picked a translation today which got it wrong.  Others do a much better job with this verse.  Some, like the Complete Jewish Bible make the distinction about the physical strength disparity between men and women but, at the same time, minimizes it, “Although your wife may be weaker physically, you should respect her as a fellow-heir of the gift of Life. If you don’t, your prayers will be blocked.” The point which is made in all the versions is that husbands should honor their wives. The failure to do so will inhibit, even block their prayers. That is a huge deal, but we haven’t heard this verse taught this way very often. We hear a nauseatingly huge number of sermons about women being submissive to husbands though. Peter made it very clear that women are joint heirs. As joint heirs they should be treated equally, one translation says, or better still with honor. That is the point.

Women are strong. Don’t be fooled. And they are worthy of honor. And so, with that on my mind I say to all of you mothers, Happy Mother’s Day!!!