Aug 2, 2009

The Love of a Woman

by: Shawnette Nielson

I promised myself I was NOT going to forget this week!!! And I almost did. Gee wiz. So, here I am, two months since my last blog.

I’ve known what I wanted to write about since my first absence, and I’ve been excited about this topic. Hopefully I can pick up the thoughts that had occurred to me so long ago.

I believe women have a very special gift, unique only to them. This gift has the ability to help lost souls, inspire growth, create a home, and hold a family together. This gift comforts, forgives, and heals. This gift is the gift of love.

Yes, I know that everyone LOVES. I am not disputing that. And everyone’s love has a healing power. I think, though, that there is something very special which allows a woman to love the unlovable. To love against all odds. Women are often jeered at for being soft or sentimental, but I believe that softness is actually a gift given that allows them to reach out and HEAL when no one else would. Or to love in a circumstance that others would not.

One instance is the Sabine Women. Romulus, leader of the Roman’s, desired for his mostly male followers to marry and have families. They went to the Sabine’s desiring intermarriage. The Sabine’s refused. Romulus then devised a festival and invited all his neighbors. At the festival he gave a signal at which the Romans grabbed the Sabine women and fought off the Sabine men. The women were then implored to accept the Roman husbands.

Romulus then went on to war with and conquer the surrounding cities. Due to certain circumstances the Sabine’s gained access to the citadel so the Roman’s went to destroy them. Battle ensued. After much bloodshed the women intervened in the battle to reconcile the warring parties:

[They] went boldly into the midst of the flying missiles with dishevelled hair and rent garments. Running across the space between the two armies they tried to stop any further fighting and calm the excited passions by appealing to their fathers in the one army and their husbands in the other not to bring upon themselves a curse by staining their hands with the blood of a father-in-law or a son-in-law, nor upon their posterity the taint of parricide. "If," they cried, "you are weary of these ties of kindred, these marriage-bonds, then turn your anger upon us; it is we who are the cause of the war, it is we who have wounded and slain our husbands and fathers. Better for us to perish rather than live without one or the other of you, as widows or as orphans.” (Livy: The Rape of the Sabines)

They reconciled and agreed to form one nation with the Romans and the Sabine king jointly ruled Rome.

In fictional accounts we can find the same theme of a woman’s love changing the tide. In The Phantom of the Opera Christine’s love saves Raul’s life … and her own, from the Phantoms fanatical obsession. In Beauty and the Beast, Beauty is able to actually love this unlovable, selfish, ugly creature that is keeping her captive. And her love heals him.

It is an amazing thing to be a woman. We have been blessed in so many ways and I belive that one of our gifts, our gift to love, has the ability to heal the world. After all, God compares Christ’s sacrifice with the love of a woman.



  1. I'm laughing Shawnette only because I teach gospel doctrine and in the lesson I gave yesterday was Joseph Smith's comment that RS was designed to teach women how to love a man. The people in my class cracked up. Somehow I think they were laughing at the comment, and not grasping the fact that women do have this special gift and are NOT using it at all.

  2. Thanks, Shawnette. I thought I was quite well-read, but I missed Livy's The Rape of the Sabines. Very interesting. Yes, women have always had a softening effect on men, inspire culture and refinement, and nurture even the most unloveable children and men.

    Some women have hatched the idea that since men are the leaders, the most influential and intelligent, to achieve equal status they need to become more like men. Hogwash! Feminine women have much more influence for good than we realize. You've outlined it beautifully -- and embellished the concept even more so.

    I say, hooray for women, and hooray for you.

  3. Thanks Shawnette, It was interesting to read the story of the Sabine women. I only knew it though the reference from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Thank you for sharing this great tribute to women.


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