Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Is Receiving an Education a Sin??

“The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor”.  1 Corinthians 12:21-23

A while back in one of my trips to Haiti, I met a woman that asked me a question that puzzled me. She prefaced the question by saying: "The Lord has placed a decision on my heart and you talked today about making good decisions, is it bad to make decisions?" That's not the question that puzzled me; but the full meaning of her question was: as a married woman am I allowed to make decisions?  I respected her and did not push her to disclose the decision she was anticipating on making. But I answered her as safe as I can, for all I know she could've been trying to tell me that she had decided to sacrifice her child or something as horrific. Hey you never know.  So I went through the list and shared with her that making a decision in and of itself is not a bad thing, as long as a) it is not against the words of God, b) that you and your husband have discussed it and come to an agreement and c) if your decision is serving a greater purpose. To which she smiled and said "good, good" and assured me that her decision lines up with my list.

She then went on to ask the question that left me speechless. "The decision I want to make is to get an education; Is that a bad decision? Is it a sin to desire receiving an education?" Her question moved me to compassion. She went on to say: "I'm an orphan; I have no family. I love my husband and he takes good care of me but I don't want him to keep feeding me fish, I want to learn how to fish. If something happens to my husband; I will have nothing left. That is why I want to go back to school and get an education."

I was close to tears while she was making her case for an education. I was saddened that she would see this decision as a selfish desire that would displease God.

The more we talked the more hopeful she became about her future and how receiving an education can help illuminate her path.

Unfortunately, these stories are not uncommon throughout the world.  All around the world, women are going without an education because culture has prescribed that it is better to have women learn to cook, clean and take care of a household than to receive an education.  And the sad thing is a portion of the Church, not God, has joined society in their devaluation of women.  It is time for us to send the message loud and clear that a woman desiring to get an education is not a sin.  I can’t believe I even have to declare this.  But just in case there are some groups in a hole somewhere who have not heard, when a woman is educated, everyone wins; her household, her husband, her children, her community, her employers, the world; everyone wins.

Women, now go and show the world that God has created you with a brain, with gifts and talents that will enhance the world.  If you do not use those gifts, you will become a part of the problem not the solution. Your gifts and talents are indispensable to the rest of the world. 

Now go…. 

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