Woman is blessed, not cursed

On International Women’s Day and every day, recognizing that woman and man are God’s equally (and infinitely) loved children offers a powerful basis for counteracting female-specific woes, inequality, and oppression.

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There is a great need today to pray about the status of women in the world. News stories vividly illustrate this need: negative predictions about women’s health; discrimination in the workplace; women and girls being abused, kidnapped, and killed around the globe.

A critically important way we can pray about this is to mentally embrace the idea of true womanhood. This true sense is given in the first chapter of Genesis: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (1:27). God, being infinite Spirit, has created male and female in the likeness of Spirit, not matter. Both female and male expressions of God’s nature have equal standing.

It is only in the second account of creation, beginning in the second chapter of Genesis, that a material concept of man and woman is introduced and female-specific woes and male domination appear. But Mary Baker Eddy writes in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “The Science of the first record proves the falsity of the second” (p. 522).

This allegorical account replaces God as Spirit with the “Lord God,” a material sense of Deity, who creates man from dust, or through sensuality, and calls that false sense of man Adam. And then a false sense of woman, named Eve, is created from this material man. After the Lord God discovers that Adam and Eve have eaten forbidden fruit, the Lord God curses them both.

Belief in the reality of this curse has caused untold hardship. It supports a false sense that women must suffer from menstrual difficulties, through pregnancy and childbirth, and as a result of menopause. It supports the oppression of women, the view that no woman is fit to be a leader or an equal partner.

Christian Science reveals the falsity of this curse. It comes not from God, Spirit, infinite Light and Love, but is self-imposed through acceptance of the lie that Love’s offspring could be at odds; that life is in matter, not Spirit; and that shame and sin are a part of God’s children.

Wouldn’t it then stand to reason that the way to overcome the oppression of women is to recognize the pure nature of woman, of man, and of God?

Christ Jesus’ ministry was based on an understanding of the spiritual origin of man and woman. He accepted women as worthy, as spiritually minded, and as blessed, not cursed. He showed love and respect for women. He preached the gospel to them. He healed them.

The life of Mary Baker Eddy is an inspiring example of the demonstration of true womanhood. The claims of the Eve curse loomed large in her life. Yet, she persevered. Male and female represent qualities of thought, which each of us expresses spiritually and uniquely. This clear understanding of true being enabled Mrs. Eddy to be healed of chronic ill health, to rise above prejudice and discrimination, and to emerge as discoverer of Christian Science.

The focus of Mrs. Eddy’s lifework was on liberating humanity from a limited, material sense of God and man. This is the understanding through which belief in the Eve curse – and the injustices springing from it – is destroyed.

One day, a woman called me in my capacity as a Christian Science practitioner to pray with her about sudden blurred vision. She’d had to leave work that day because she just wasn’t able to do her job. As we talked, divine Mind revealed to me that we needed to prayerfully address the belief in the mythical Eve curse. So we prayed about this false sense of womanhood. Because our true being is spiritual and created by God, we all have freedom and divine authority to express intelligence and grace, and to do so without interference.

This woman was back at work within two days, free from that physical claim.

She later said that just prior to this physical problem, she had been praying deeply about her marriage, which seemed to be under great stress; and that being reminded of the curse on Eve was a sharp wake-up call. A sense of freedom from the belief of that curse broke over her like a bright ray of hope. She also saw it was hope for her husband, because the curse on Adam could have no more hold on her husband than the Eve curse could have on her.

The healing of the marriage came gradually but surely, bringing with it great spiritual growth for both the woman and her husband.

Every man and every woman has a place at our Father-Mother’s table. And it is a place of deep and eternal dignity, dominion, productivity, and blessing.

Adapted from an article published in the Aug. 24, 2015, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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