Recently, I’ve been thinking about David and Bathsheba. It’s a story that most people raised in churches know of, though how it is interpreted and taught varies. As I reread 2nd Samuel chapters 11 and 12, I remembered reading it as a girl. I was distraught by this story as a child for obvious reasons, but especially because of who else was being used to inflict God’s penalty. David’s other wives weren’t involved in this scenario as far as I know and giving them over to another man to punish David is yet another example of women during biblical times having no agency. This aspect of David and Bathsheba’s story is central to some of my questions about God and God’s goodness throughout my life. God suggests treating the other women in David’s life as the property they were at the time, using them as leverage to shame David by giving them to another to have and claim. I struggle deeply with this, even though God didn’t follow through with this punishment. This perspective arguably gives scriptural backing for women being traded and used, instead of women being individuals with wants, needs, and dignity. It hurts, and I understand why women would look at this story and say, “God doesn’t love me and God doesn’t love women.” I have had these feelings myself. I was taught as a child that the bible was God’s word, therefore it was true. When I happened on this story years ago in elementary school, what was I supposed to take from it, other than that I was expendable? Though I’d like to say that I have words to comfort a young girl if she were to come to me now, I can’t remove the truth of this story. Women were expendable during the time of David and Bathsheba, they continue to be expendable in many situations currently, and they will remain expendable in the future if more people don’t continue to do the hard work of uncovering the damage of gender inequality.