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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Maid of honour?

Today, Maina wa Kageni and Mwalimu Kingangi were talking about maids. Apparently a lot of married women are letting the maids take over in terms of cooking, cleaning and raising the kids. Mwalimu was of the opinion that when a woman let's the maid take over, their value diminishes.

My Human Opinion

Mmmm what to say. This is one of those topics that cannot be generalized. Every case is a different as every other. Undisputedly, maids are an important part of most households. Problems arising thereof may lie with the husband, the wife, the maid, the children or a combination of any or all of the above.

Therefore, it's difficult to completely agree or disagree with Mwalimu on this one. However, generally speaking, a maid should help out on domestic chores. The wife should supervise and give direction since she is ultimately responsible on the domestic front. If the wife doesn't do this then her value, in this aspect, will diminish.

If Mwalimu expects the wife to actually cook (versus instructing what should be cooked) is like expecting the CEO of Kengen to climb up an electricity pole to fix a cable.

Anyway, problems arising from maids are not new, and nothing illustrates this more than the story of Sarah, her slave girl Hagar and buda mwenyewe Father Abraham.


My Biblical Opinion

The story of Sarah and Hagar is found in Genesis 16. I will insert commentary in red below

Genesis 16

Hagar and Ishmael
 1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Sarah doubts God's promise and looses faith. Consequently, makes a bad decision. Wife's fault!
   Abram agreed to what Sarai said. Abraham also doubt's and agrees to wife's idea. Does this ring a bell? An Adam and Eve sort of bell? Husband's fault! 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
   When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. For a woman in Hagar's position, becoming pregnant to the leader of the clan would have been a great honour. It would have raised her social status. Instead of accepting this honor with humility she become proud. Maid's fault!  5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me.”
 6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
 7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
   “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
 9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
 11 The angel of the LORD also said to her:
   “You are now pregnant
   and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
   for the LORD has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
   his hand will be against everyone
   and everyone’s hand against him
and he will live in hostility
   toward all his brothers
.” Mmm, I wonder who his descendants are...
 13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
 15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

Another example is that of Rachel and her maid Bilhah, Leah and her maid Zilpah and Mr. Jacob.

The fact that Old Testament Patriarchs did it doesn't mean it was okay. Look what happened with Sarah and
Hagar. (For more info and details about the Sarah Hagar situation read here)

The bottom line is that wrong motives, not trusting God's promises, laziness, lustfulness, selfish ambition are some of the reasons that can let a maid invade a marriage, with the permission of the husband and/or wife.

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