"In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself." Paul (Ephesians, 5:28)
Many times, the Apostle of the Gentiles has been accused of being too severe toward the feminine element. In certain passages of his letters to the churches, Paul proposed austere instructions which were, to some extent, shocking to some students. Few disciples could perceive in his energetic words the mobilization of the resources of Christ so that the defense of women would be strengthened, as well as to her corresponding higher qualities.
The true feminist movement actually started with Jesus. Not the one which puts in the hands of its followers the flags of political ideologies, but that which leaves in their hearts lofty and holy directives.
During the strictest religious times, such as that of Judaism prior to the Master, women were no more than captive merchandise, doomed to enslavement. Even great men such as David and Solomon did not rise above the abuses of their day in this respect.
The Gospel however, began a new era for women's hopes. In it we see the consecration of the Holy Mother, the beautiful conversion of Mary Magdalene, the dedication of Lazarus' sisters and the faithfulness of the women of Jerusalem who followed the Lord up to the moment of His supreme sacrifice. Ever since Jesus came, we note an increased respect on Earth for the mission of the women. Paul of Tarsus was the consolidator of this regenerative movement. Despite the seeming harshness of his words, he sought to lift woman up from her degraded condition. He entrusted her to man as a mother or sister, wife or daughter, as a close associate to his own destiny and as a child of God, like himself.
XAVIER, Francisco Cândido. Our Daily Bread. By the Spirit Emmanuel. Spititist Alliance for Books, 2003. Chapter 93.