I pity the man who stands in front of you every Sunday and commands you to learn in quietness and full submission because he is afraid of the sharpness of your mind and the discernment of your words.
I pity the man who stands in front of you and sees sin that can only be redeemed through childbearing because you are more than your womb. You are a woman, a mother, a sister, a lover, a wife, a professional, a leader and an intellectual brimming with fire and strength.
I condemn the system that tries to curb your ambitions by using your faith against you. I applaud you for realizing that God blessed you, not based on your gender, but based on His grace. I applaud you for not allowing men who forget the value of a woman to stop you from achieving and learning continuously every day.
I salute you for being a soldier of faith, who honours her Lord and her husband but still makes something of herself because the lord made you just as capable as any man. I salute you for never allowing anyone to talk down to you because you are a woman of faith. I envy your courage in the face of pastors who propagate the idea that women are weaker vessels and should be treated like eggs capable of breaking at any moment. I respect the way you have found the balance between your faith and the equality you deserve in a world that tells you that the two cannot co-exist.
Mama, don’t ever let anyone make you believe that God deems you lesser because you’re a woman. Run with your life when they tell you that a man should have authority over you without him respecting you. Encourage those around you to be women who chase their dreams and stand on their feet, before they run into a household where they will be beaten, trodden upon and discarded.
I only hope that I can be half the man you have taught me to be. One who respects his lover, sees her as his helper and not his servant. One who seeks guidance and council from her because he knows that she has the ability to see his blind spots and caution him before he errs. I hope to be the father you have inspired me to be. A father who will love all his children equally regardless of their sex. A father who will encourage his children to be the best possible versions of themselves and not encourage them to be the best possible version of the person I think they can be. A father who is firm, fair and loving. A father who will not allow my daughter to settle for marriage or make her believe that marriage is the ultimate achievement of her life. A father who will inspire his children to want to live better lives than their parents.
Your faith should never be used as a weapon to oppress you. Your belief should not be used as a way to prevent you from making your own decisions. You have shown me that love is loving those who hate us. Kindness is thinking of your neighbour even when they may not think of you. Grace is fighting evil with love and not boasting of your victory. Dignity is respecting yourself enough to know that people’s lies about you do not matter in the face of the truth.
Love is praying for the pastor who tells the women of the congregation that they should listen and submit to their husbands at home because men do not like women who talk, and asking the Lord to bless his family and give his wife strength. Love is understanding that man and woman are different but equal beings with equal value.
Remember, you are worth more than rubies. You are clothed with strength and dignity. You speak with wisdom and faithful instruction and above all, I want you to know that your faith inspires me.
All my love,