"Then he called hastily to the young man his armor-bearer, and said to him, 'Draw your sword and kill me, lest men say of me, 'A woman killed him.'" - Judges 9:54 (RSV)
'Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man' is the title of Steve Harvey's best-selling romance guide. The book purports that if women are to get what they want from men, they must deal with men on men's terms.
This message is echoed throughout the traditional sectors of society where gender roles are rigidly dichotomized and where persons of both genders are pushed to "Man up!," "Grow a pair," and "Develop the testicular fortitude necessary to get things done."
It's a message that depicts all of us in a 'Man's World' - a world in which the perspectives of women, children and same-gender loving persons are all subjugated to the thoughts and perspectives of the Alpha Males.
But our vaunted patriarchies are often disturbed by the Bible. In the book of Judges, Abimilech was a ruthless leader whose blind ambition to dominate the northern region of ancient Canaan caused him to massacre his brothers and incinerate the cities that opposed him.
Upon Abimilech's blood-thirsty assault on the town of Thebez, the townspeople sought refuge in the town's tower. As Abimilech approached the tower to burn it down, a woman on the roof dropped a millstone on his head and crushed his skull.
In order to deprive this woman of the recognition she deserved for having the courage, the ingenuity and the accuracy necessary to take down a tyrant and save her people, Abimilech ordered his own demise by the sword of his male armor bearer.
Think of how many more communities could be saved if more women were encouraged to think like women.
God, allow me think in ways that reveal more about my concern for family and community than my gender identity. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.