1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. 3 And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 She shall then continue in the blood of her purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled.5 ‘But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her customary impurity, and she shall continue in the blood of her purification sixty-six days. 6 ‘When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 7 Then he shall offer it before the LORD, and make atonement for her. And she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female. 8 ‘And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons—one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’” (Leviticus 12:1-8)
Over and over again, God makes a distincition between men and women. Those who eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, will rail against a passage of Scripture such as this. To eat from the Tree of Life is to quietly say to the Lord, "Though I do not understand, as yet, why you have said as You have said, yet I will trust and obey Your commandments."
In this commandment can be seen the foundation for a later unfolding reality. Far too many young women, before they are married, are sent away from their father's home, and away from the nurturing and example of their mothers. In far too many cases, these women are told, "You need to get an education," or "be established in your career before you get married." So they set themselves up in share accommodation, and part way through their studies or career advancement, these young women meet someone they think they would like to be with, and have echoing in the back of their mind, "Don't get married until you have finished your education/career advancement." So the young women don't get married, they simply fornicate and live with (sometimes) a series of young men.
God has clearly commanded that a woman is to remain under the headship of her father until she is married: "3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God." (I Corinthians 11:3); then she is to live under the headship of her husband: "23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church;" (Ephesians 5:23) This is an acknowledgement of the vulnerability of women to abuse and seduction.
Oh the tragedy that many men live well below their God-ordained role! Oh the wickedness of fathers who abuse and seduce their daughters, and husbands who do not cover and care for their wives, as they aught! But this failure on behalf of many men, does not negate the commandment of God. It creates an urgency for such initiatives as the 'Valiant Man' course (Developed by Alan Meyer of Careforce) to be promoted and attended much more widely.
A young girl aught to stay in the home much longer than a young boy. A young boy may join the army, embark on intesive study courses, work long hours enhancing his career prospects, making himself worthy to be a husband and father. A young girl needs greater bonding with her mother to remain in the safety of the godly home of her parents, until it is time for her to marry.
Sadly, this is not the picture of many, and perhaps even most of our homes in Australia and the western world. However, it is passages of Scripture like the one above which alludes to the headship model which shall bring the greatest safety and security for young women of our society.