In God’s Image

Written by: Wilma Luimes

In the name of fighting injustice we often forget to fight the issue and start fighting a perceived enemy. The battle is not against a person, it is a fight against the perception of superiority and the subsequent imbalance of power it creates; an internalised ‘perception of truth and entitlement’ that justifies human rights violations. The battle for gender equality is not a fight that is intended to create a face-off between women and men. It is a struggle against the imbalance of power that the ideology of patriarchy has created. An active dispute against the assumptions that form the foundation of sexism and an affirmation of women’s value not a defamation of men’s worth.The imbalance of value has caused both men and women to lose their humanity. To perpetuate violence is to root oneself in the ideology of hatred. And once hatred is entrenched, it tarnishes all that is good and valuable in one’s life.‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.’ Matthew 5:8. The ideology of sexism (or any ‘ism) blocks one’s ability to see God clearly. For God created male and female in his image, Genesis 1:27 and failing to see the image of God in another person is an inability to see God.

My father was instrumental in teaching me that women are valuable. He never spoke about women with disrespect. That was not ok at our house. That is the foundation that informs my perspective on gender equity. Women are valuable and deserve to be respected. That was also the basis for my divorce and the reason that I would not allow my daughter’s father to teach her otherwise; for she too is worthy of respect.So I do not advocate for gender equity as a fight of women against men. I have a healthy appreciation for men. Men who value women that is, those who mirror the character of God in their relationships and honour the most high God in their lives. So while respect is given because we recognise the image of God in people, trust is earned.

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