|The beauty, virtues and strength of women|
|Saturday, 16 June 2012 22:04|
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By Stanford Chiwanga
They carry children, they carry hardships, they carry burdens,
yet they hold faith, happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They have sorrow at the loss of a family member,yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They can round up energy, even when they are tired.
They can stay up a little longer to talk to someone that needs a friend.
Women do more than give birth. They bring peace and hope.
They give compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
They weep with joy when their children excel,
and cheer when loved ones get awards.
If ever there was a poem that captures the beauty, virtue and strength of a woman, this is it. Without a doubt the contribution of women to the human race is unparalleled and there is no doubt that their reassuring presence has permeated through all spheres of life since the days of yore.
From the beginning of time a woman was created as a companion for man and since then the female offspring of Eve, the first woman, has been running the human race side by side with their male counterparts.
Women have been torchbearers for centuries. They are responsible for the miracle of birth. In most cases women are also providers of the families and the epitome and embodiment of morality. Women are also responsible for the image of the society.
It is the woman who is considered the guardian of the respect and honour of a family. Moreover, God emancipated woman from the start for no responsibility can be greater than that of continuing the cycle of life — childbearing. She is a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife. These are multiple roles that a woman elegantly fits into.
Women are also builders of nations, why not; they contribute more than half of Zimbabwe’s population. Even Finance Minister Tendai Biti acknowledged the importance of women when he said the informal sector was the driver of the economy, the saviour of the nation at a time when the sanctions onslaught made a mockery of the country’s currency.
Not only are they in the informal sector, but they are teachers, nurses, doctors, chief executive officers, authors, engineers, politicians who have a say in how the country is run and of course wives and mothers who keep men “sane’’.
Indeed women play an important part in the life of the family. Their value is beyond measure. No amount of money can adequately compensate a woman for her work. Words cannot express what women mean to the success of their husbands and children.
Mrs Samantha Moyo, a marriage counsellor, believes that women are the ultimate security, the shield that protects the family and the nation from harm’s way.
“There is something reassuring to a child to know that the mother is there. Men fall apart when their wife is not happy with them. Women give such a sense of calm and security to the home like no one else can. They are the anchor that keeps the family in shape, they give it balance.
“If you doubt this, just look at families that have no mother and you will see that they have problems that only a mother can solve. Don’t underrate the importance of the mother in the family,’’ said Mrs Moyo.
The role of women in the home, Mrs Moyo argued, is not to make sure the house is always clean, though they can help with that. It is not to bow to the wishes of the man whenever he makes a demand. The role of the woman is to be a teammate to her husband in creating a home, and raising upright children who grow up in wisdom and stature in favour with God and man.
She said: “The first woman Eve was made from Adam’s ribs not from his head to rule him or from his feet to serve him but from his side to walk with him as his equal. But women are treated as second-class citizens. They are paraded as hopeless, destitute and dependent on men. That is not the role of woman at all, that is why many have joined the feminist movement. They want to be unchained from the shackles that have them bound. Unshackle them and you will see the benefits that will accrue to the nation and the world.’’
Mrs Moyo may have run out of superlatives that describe women and the immense contribution they make in society but King Solomon the wiseman best put the importance of women in Proverbs 31 verse 10 to 31.
“Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
“She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms,’’ he said.
Waxing lyrically, King Solomon continued his praise of women: “She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet . . .’’
As if that was not enough, King Solomon saw as we see today that women are vital as their hard work in the family makes the people under their care happy and most importantly morally grounded.
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates,’’ concluded the wisest man ever to walk on earth.