As promised, here me thoughts on what you wrote:
Rachel: NO because I am the female child not the favored one. aj had an older brother and was not an athlete but just a nice guy.For me, the fact that it is a story about men only is pretty much irrelevant. It is a strange thing, and I know that many of you might not agree with me here, but in my life, it does not matter if a person is male or female. I treat them pretty much the same. At least as far as I can tell... it is alway difficult to assess own behavior.
Some of you have written to me in the past that they get "weak knees" around a beautiful woman. To me, with an attractive or good-looking man, this has never happened.(It has not happened with a handsome woman either , just so you know...). For me, its more as if I would meet or talk to a human being only. Male or female... does not really matter to me.
Tony: Yes, More to the prodigal son as I did most of my things my way. Still I associate myself more to elder brother in the the story where the father ask's the two bother to go the vineyards and elder one says no and he goes at the end and the other one vice verse.Tony, you really got me thinking. Bringing up that second story did confuse me quite a bit. Because I have not made up my mind who I tend to be in that parabel. Maybe we can talk about that story in "Tina`s advanced bible class" :-)
Scally: I had always thought I was a goody-goody because justice and fairness mattered so much to me that I had to try to embody it always. But I view my life as far as money and material things is concerned then I would certainly mimic that of the prodigal son - only without the happy ending of reunion.
I have 'wasted' money as others would see it, but for me it was about engaging with life and investing in other people's livelinhood. Moreover, it was also about trusting life and not thinking that I need to 'store up wealth' against a God/Universe that will not provide.
But I suppose the story is not really about material wealth but rather spiritual, and I suppose Jesus wanted us to stop embracing the animal instincts and instead embrace our 'spiritual father' / i.e. our divininty.
Either way, I would be the prodigal by choice. I don't value goody goody types. I value those who are prepared to be human, to mix with others without judgment, and to be honest with who and what they are. Why come to earth if only to be divine.Lets start with your last sentence: Why come to earth if only to be divine? As I said, I am pretty much the older/good son. All my life I have tried to be there for other people. I am the typical helper.
Might be due to a lack of support from "grown up" adults while me being a child. I learned from an early age that I had to be reasonable and sound and "good" and responsible. Because my parents, especially my dad, was not (always) like that. My dad did not have a good reputation in my family and in society, he still does not have it..and so I tried as hard as I could to show the world, that I am worthy of their respect.
I did not make troubles at school, had no excessive party life, did not do drugs, went to law school even though I hated it, have most of my life been very frugal with money, am now living with my old grandma and her old sister...and still, the people who I wanted to impress, I did not succeed in making them think my dad is ok and I am ok too. All I managed to do is: they are now scared of me, because when I am together with them now, I pretend to be a hardass lawyer who is afraid of nothing. And they buy it. But deep in my heart I am deeply sadened that we do not actually like each other.
Justice and fairness do matter to me, no doubt about that, but I am not a hard judge. Really not. In 99% of cases I do understand exactly why the other person acts the way he/she does.And there is almost always a good reason for their behavior.So I do understand all the "prodigals" in the world. And I understand your valid point with "trusting life" and "engaging with life". I did not see a need to store up too much money either, even though that is changing lately:-).
However, what sucks is the fact that the older son has been there for his dad all the time, without getting a reward at all.There is not even a "well done my good and faithful son". This is still very hard to stomach for me, even though I do understand the story is not about the "good" son. But hey, that makes it even worse...The "good" son not even gets his own biblical story?
Michael: I am an older son and took quite some time to understand and like this likeness from the Lord. Let me add, that I do think it is spoken as an invitation to the originally chosen people of Israel. In a vein, similiarly to the stupid virgins or the guest which cannot come to the fest...
Michael, you are giving me hope. so it is actually possible to be an older son and like this likeness? Cool! :-)
Tes: I am the "only" son. The only child for that matter.Only child or not, you can still get lost...And btw. and this is another point that drives me crazy: In the german translation the likeness is called "the lost son" whereas in the english translation its known as "the prodigal son". Sigh, not really helpful...
Wdspoone: When I look at this parable and the fact that it really speaks to different sides of a single persons character, it is hard to decide which (if either)I tend to lean toward the most? I can clearly point to examples where I have been a reprobate but there are also those too that show where I can be responsible and self disciplined. Therefore the question is not so much which one am I rather, which one shows up more often and in what circumstances? In the final analysis, I would have to conclude that I would most certainly exhibit behaviors that a more responsible female would feel obligated to ...um...correct! :D But other than that I am pretty much a perfect angel! heheLol, I agree, you could use a firm female hand in your life :-) And yes, the question is actually which side shows up more often and in what circumstances.
ServingB: I've never wanted (material things) from my parents nor envied siblings who have. I have "loaned" siblings considerable amounts of money without them repaying a dime; however, I do not rejoice like the father in this parable, as my siblings borrowed the money making clear their intention to repay, and I have no respect for those siblings because they lack integrity. My experience/feelings are only remotely connected to this parable - too complex for reduction, I'm afraid.ServingB, if I would have such a fullfiled sex, relationship and dd life, I would not even be answering questions like the one I asked :-) Sounds pretty much as if you tend to be one of the "good" sons...
Rich: I was the "good boy". My sister took care of prodigality.Rich, thats what I call a short but all-embracing answer.
FD: I was the good oldest son, the favored one with two younger sisters.
But not to get all religious on you, but the parable is not about the prodigal son. It is about the love of his father for his son even when he screws up.
If you are a parent, you would understand.Get religious on me as much as you want. Thats ok with me, I actually like that :-) I do understand that it is about the love of the father. And I know that we are all sinners and do need the fathers love.Me being the good girl, I have always been paying attention at bible school :-) The last sentence however was a deep hit...Never tell a woman who has no kids that she would understand if she had kids. For woman, having kids or not is always a very difficult subject. And even though I do not have kids, I have grandma, who is almost like a kid now :-)
Tom: I am clearly more like the older son.
I always took my responsibilities very seriously, especially when they involved my family or my friends.Thanks for that precise answer.Thats what I wanted to hear. :-)
Jack: I am the youngest, 'the baby'. The favorite of my father as he and I are most alike in the family. My mother would sometimes ask me to speak with my father because he would listen to me if no-one else. I miss him.Hmm.. hard to tell if that makes you "good" or "prodigal" son. And Jack, I like to hear that you were having such a good dad-son relationship!!!! I think there are only a few things on earth that make women as happy as seeing a father and a son get along very well.
spankedbywife: Well, as a Pagan (Wiccan, actually and no, we don't worship 'Satan' as Satan is a Christian god), none of this works for me, at least.
"The story includes the following:
who asks his father to give him his share of the estate"
Since when is it the father who has the option to pass on the estate. Why not the Mother. After all, if we follow the ideal of a Female Led Relationship, shouldn't property be passed on through the Matriarchial path?
Sorry, but the bible and its silly, patricarchial viewpoint just doesn't seem to apply. Give me that 'old (really old) time (Matriarchial) religion'. I prefer the Goddess path.We could so debate over religious subjects :-) I am wondering if your wife really wants matriarchy. My impression is that women, even in a flr, still want their men to be strong and powerful. Me, I do want that.And I think, matriarchy is as bad as patriarchy. It should be a matter of the people in a relationship only, to decide who is going to be the senior partner and who the junior partner.
It ´s late here now. I need to go to bed and get some sleep.Will let you know more about my initial thoughts and my theory soon.