20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
The passages concerning wisdom are loaded with symbolism and meaning, and I think there could be multiple ways to look at this.
First, I want to re-write these passages in a sense. The wording in the King James can be confusing, so I looked up the meaning of some of the words so that I could understand better. I think the first verse is clear to me.
As for the second, we could also say something like: she cries out in the leading places of contention and dispute (chief place of concourse). Or in other words, concerning all the things people are commonly fighting over.
What about the openings of the gates and in the city? When I think of the gates of a city, I think of protection and a place of defense against enemy threats. When I think of the city, I think of that which is precious and requires protecting.
What does it mean to be simple? What does it mean to be scornful?
I think simple is meant to be taken in terms of being naive, which is the perspective a young and inexperienced person might take on the world. That makes sense because the young and inexperienced naturally lack wisdom.
The scornful are those who mock. If we are naïve, yet we do not know it, it makes sense that we would mock that which is informed and wise.
I have another take on the gates and the city.
If we are wise, then we will look at the outer defenses that a person possesses, and we will consider them (the gates). We will see beyond the surface and consider the vulnerable parts of people that those outer layers of protection are trying to preserve in some way (the city).
Consider the many areas of contention today. If we are wise, then we will try to understand the matter from every side, and in so doing we are no longer naïve. We will not mock what is right. We also will not be scornful in the sense of wrath because in learning we find greater compassion.
What about the personification of wisdom?
Many things are personified in the scriptures and in other literary works throughout the ages. This is not something to get carried away with, but I think wisdom is made a woman for a reason.
In later chapters in the Proverbs, we see another woman who is very destructive and foolish, and we will get to that later.
I want to share with you a thought process I just went through, which is the reason why I am up at 2 am writing this.
I woke up at 1 am and my husband was still awake. His legs were bothering him because he works outside all day in the heat. I offered to massage his legs, and this helped him get to sleep.
This made me think. I could just go back to bed and ignore him, or I can get up and do this simple thing and help him sleep so that he can get up and work the next day with better rest.
Then I thought about the importance of women serving men. Talk about a topic of contention and hate these days!
Let’s see what lies at the gates and in the city, from a female perspective.
Women are afraid of strong men because they cannot differentiate strong, healthy masculinity from tyranny. This might be due to social misinformation or it could be due to experience with hurtful men. She develops a naïve idea of men and of relationships as a result (the city). Outwardly, she puts on a kind of strength (the gates). She might even adopt some of those masculine traits that she says she despises, because this is the only strength she knows of.
Here is the result:
When a woman is afraid of strong men, she will be drawn towards weak men. The problem is that weak men often become tyrannical men, and there are many reasons why. For one, weak men often lack proper assertion skills. They do not know how to be assertive without being abusive in some form. Pair that with a woman who behaves dominantly, and you have a problem. The woman ends up in relationships with the same kind of man she is afraid of and the man is miserable.
We perpetuate our own fears. Then what? Our families are in chaos.
It all stems from the home and the importance of women serving men.
Boys need mothers in order to grow into healthy men. Boys need to form healthy attachments to their mothers (of course girls do too). There is a whole branch of psychology related to attachment and the importance on life-long mental health.
Can a mother provide the proper care for her children if she is on her own? Not really.
A mother is vulnerable. A mother needs protection in order to be a good mother. This is not a bad thing. We NEED MEN. So, we serve them so that they can do what men are created to do!
Mothers need fathers who will provide and protect. Mothers need fathers who are strong examples of morality and discipline, not tyranny, so that the children will behave properly.
Mothers need fathers and children need fathers. Fathers need mothers. Women need to stop this masculinity-crushing nonsense and women need to stop shaming women for being women.
It takes a father and a mother to provide children with the best home life and emotional well-being possible. Another hot topic today, but I won’t get into that here. There is much “at the gates and in the city” that we can consider with understanding and compassion. Maybe another time, but I suppose that is very much related to what we discuss here.
It is a good and necessary thing for a woman to be at home raising children. It is a good and necessary thing for men to lead, provide, and protect. We are working together to protect that which is precious and valuable: our children and our future!
Women and men today are extremely naïve. We are fed unrealistic, selfish ideas about relationships and marriage. We belittle and hate natural differences between men and women. We belittle and hate traditional families. We are destroying our country!
We need to cry at the gates of our country! We need to understand the defenses that men and women carry, young and old, concerning this important issue of the family. We need to understand the wounds and the misconceptions that lie within.
I’m not a man, so I will speak to the women and I include myself.
Women need to understand the difference between strong, moral men and weak tyrants. We need to stop getting in the way of the men who are created by God to defend that which is most precious—our homes! We need to support our men. That is what God created us to do, and there is no shame in it!
We need to bring men up, not tear them down. If our men are immature, we help them mature by supporting them yet holding them accountable to perform that which a man should do. There is a delicate balance here, especially when dealing with today’s weak men. I’m not sure what that balance is.
I suspect that one thing we should do is take care of the children and the home, then our men are inspired to step up. That can be scary, especially for a woman with control and fear issues, but it needs to happen. We need to give men something worth maturing for! We need to give them something to defend and fight for! We need to care for the homes and children! We need to be loving and supportive!
Women can work. Wisdom works, as we will find later in Proverbs. However, children come first. The husband comes first. We serve so that our men can perform an even greater service—standing at the gates and being MEN!
Being a man is the greatest form of service, and any woman who has had to be the man or the father should appreciate this. IT IS HARD! Like Jesus, it is laying life down for those who need you most. Why do we want to take that over so badly? We praise being single and independent. Get real! We suffer. Our kids suffer. Men feel useless and they suffer!
Why should a man lay his life down for the sake of a woman who is naïve, scornful, adulterous, and thinks she can do it all on her own (the other women in Proverbs that we will get to later)? Why should a man lay his life down for unruly and disrespectful children?
There is so much to be said about this. And as a woman, I will not shy away from saying it. Christian sisters need to stand up. We need to be wise.
I will be thinking about what this means. I will be thinking more about what lies “at the gates” and “in the city” concerning these matters and others. I will be thinking about how our modern culture has caused me to view men and women in a naïve and scornful light. I will be thinking about what I might do about it.