As of late I see myself as a champion of women’s…. righteousness. Women’s rights… not so much. I’m thankful for some of them, but this isn’t my cause. We can do anything we want in this life except be empowered to make the right decisions for ourselves without judgments and criticisms. But what good is it to have license to do whatever you wish if doing all that you wished landed you in a pit of despair and hopelessness? I feel strongly that exercising righteousness is preferable to the exercising of rights. (And these two items are not mutually exclusive, so all you hotheads out there… cool it and keep reading.)
But I’m digressing before I’m starting… The point of this post is to tell you that YOU have a right to be righteous. So while it is legal and socially acceptable to do so many things, some of those things are detrimental to your well-being, your hopes, and your dreams. (Ok… NOW I’m back on track.)
And in exercising our rights, ladies, many of us have lost our value. Here’s an example of how society ONCE protected the value of a woman.
There was time when I man had to pay a bride price to marry a woman. He had to work hard to acquire something of value (sheep, goats, cows, etc.) AND give it to the woman’s family in order to marry her. While I believe this was primarily to compensate for the family’s loss of a helping hand, a deeper truth remains.
If you want to see what’s important to a man, watch how he spends his money. In past times, a man would work just to earn money to give to a family to “purchase” the bride (not even a gift for her yet). The price he paid demonstrated his personal investment in the woman and her family. So after giving up half his herd of sheep and cows, you best believe he thought twice about doing anything to harm the one for whom he gave so much away. When a man invests in your family before he even has marital rights to you, he will most likely protect his investment (i.e. the relationship with you).
*Warning… I’m about to hop down a bunny trail!*
So why do we see men with no jobs shacking up with women who work long hours just to make ends meet? One fella I know from high school openly told me he was looking for a woman to take care of him for a few months. He’d met one lady who offered, yet she wasn’t physically appealing to him. (He’s begging and choosing all at the same time, though he has no job, no degree, no future… just a felony and a few babies!) Unfortunately, this mentality has become commonplace! And, women, we are PERPETUATING IT!!!
It seems to me we’re paying for men to be with us. We’re giving them a “fake-husband price” and begging and pleading all the while for commitment, dedication, and faithfulness to a relationship that only exists in our heads. We haven’t even realized that they’ve made no investment in us whatsoever. For him, it’s nothing lost and nothing gained.
Yes, you have a right to be with whoever you want however you want. But is it truly to your benefit?
*Back to the scheduled program.*
Often a bride price wouldn’t be paid until marriage, so the bride would have responsibilities to ensure her future husband would be satisfied. I’m using this as a metaphor, you understand… but so many of us are unmarried, I guess the literal sense works too. I could go a few directions with this post, but I’m going to stick to the scope by posing a few non-rhetorical questions to you regarding your potential “price” at work, in friendships, as a parent, in romantic relationships.
Grab a sheet of paper and let’s get busy!
What behaviors have crept in to your life and lessened your worth?
What can you do, starting today, to remove those behaviors from your life?
In so many areas of our lives we are cheated because we simply do not know our worth. Undoubtedly, bride price will never be a part of mainstream American culture, but the metaphor holds true. If you are truly valuable, shouldn’t someone have to pay for your time and attention, and not the other way around?
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,