By Paul Ejime |
PERHAPS it is more than a sheer coincidence that Easter, the most significant feast of Christendom, especially the Catholics, and Shab-e-Barat, which in Islam, is considered as the Night that “God forgives sinners,” are usually marked around April/May by adherents of the World’s two major religions, shortly after the international celebration of Women and Mothers.
To Christians, without the Passion (suffering) of Jesus Christ, his crucifixion, death and resurrection, Christianity lacks foundation. It is held that Jesus Christ died in order to set sinners free and without Good Friday the day Christ was crucified, there will be no Eastern Sunday, the day of resurrection.
Indeed, all religions recognise and frown at sins or transgression against divine law and so require their adherents to atone for their sins, so they can be at peace with their fellow being and God, and prepare themselves for Heaven. Since God cannot come down from Heaven to judge us, he does so through our relationships with others. Some of the many synonyms of sin, from which we must seek forgiveness, include crime, offence, wrong doing or misdemeanour. But most importantly, God’s injunction is that we must forgive fellow sinners so that he too can forgive us!
On this special occasion, I would like us to reflect on the centrality of the woman/mother to a functional family, the foundation of every society, nation, and by extension, the world. This is in relation to the bearing of fruits, good fruits!
According to some development experts, there are two entities that are fertile, capable of harbouring a seed and bearing fruits. These are Land and a Woman. We know that land appreciates in value and so does a woman. Both are capable of multiple yields, if given the right attention.
Which takes us to the question about how we treat our women? Do we treat them with sufficient care or lazier-fair attitude? Is the society getting the best of its women? Are women aware of their transformational potential or abilities? Are they living up to them, if not, what are the inhibiting factors, and how can these be overcome for the good of all?
It is a truism that the dysfunctional state of many families/homes today is responsible for the myriad societal problems.
By acts of omission or commission, women are not playing their God-given role. It is not about equality or competition between the genders, or which is the stronger or the weaker gender.
God in his infinite wisdom has carved out specific and unique roles for man and woman. Modernity and contemporary cravings might have eroded some of the gender-segregated functions, yet there are roles which a man no matter his dexterity, skill or ingenuity can never perform better than a woman and vice versa. And this is without prejudice to race, ethnicity or religion.
Until technology springs another invention on us, a woman’s womb remains the natural incubator of a child. Care for a child from the cradle is also better handled by a woman, whether biological or not.
Otherwise, short of divine mystery, can anyone explain why a girl of 13 is able to outsmart a man old enough to be her grandfather?
Many marriages have collapsed and many homes are in turmoil today because parents have abandoned their duties in pursuit of materialism and other worldly possessions.
My message this Eastern Season, dear people, is that our society, nations or the world may never know peace until we return to the basics. Families, which are the foundation and engine room of the society, must function properly. Men and women must play their roles in harmony, humility, understanding, tolerance, perseverance, mutual respect, selfless sacrifice, and above all, with the Love of God and one another.
Paul Ejime is an international media and communications expert