My Question: How Bible view women's role

Hi everyone,

I am wondering how the Bible view about man and woman role… I was having discussion with my sister in law and we kind of stuck on the fact that there are not many women mention in the Bible, or like why the books are mostly written by men etc… and so we were wondering if there’s a reason behind it, because to her she felt that some how the Bible emphasize more on the men rather than the women… it felt like God is signifying more on men than women. Another example that in the Bible, the genealogy only/ mostly mention the men name… is there other explanation to this than just saying it’s the culture?

I do understand that God create man and woman equal… and each has its own role… but I’m having trouble in explaining it more in depth to support this matter…

So… I hope my question is clear enough… thanks in advance for the help… :pray::blush:

Sincerely
Ingka,

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Hi @Mynameisingka, great question. Here is a video by Ravi below. I hope it helps.

After you listen to the video, in line with that, I also leave you with a thought that our God is so amazing that he is with us and let’s us fail and get up again as we mature and get better. What a great parent. Man was barbaric at the start of humanity. God’s law was perfect, but man was defiant and went by “survival of the fittest model” where they dominated the world and did their own thing. But God worked with man every time. Yes he wiped them out a few times when they were doing child sacrifice and were atrocious, but throughout time, he was patient and guided them to come back home and see his ways. Christ is the fulfillment of the OT. Christ is the only one who broke the social system of hierarchy, no rich, no poor, no jew, no gentile, no male, no female, no young, no old, all the same, made in the image of Christ, of equal worth and value. It is always good to remember that the bible has historical descriptive passages but it does not mean God approved of the ways man was living, but reading the entire bible you see the true character of our creator and savior.

God Bless.

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Hi Dan,
Thank you for the link. Will cheçk it out. :pray::blush:

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I was editing my post, I hope you get to see what I have added. God bless.

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Hi Dan,
Sorry about that haha I was too excited to see your first comment and straight away reply them. Yes I hàve watched the video. And it does helpful thank you so much. And I agree with what you said. We tend to follow our own ways and failed miserably. And yet God is always there to save us and remind us to go His ways. Always so patient. With my question I guess I am still trying to deepen my answers with more examples to support this idea that God doesn’t do gender favour or so I can like answer the question eg. Though the Bible may be written mostly by men but it doesn’t mean God choose men more than women… question like that you know…

So thank you again for your comments. God bless :blush::pray:

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Yes absolutely. God values you just as much as he values me. We, humans, cause the pain and division in the world. Look around, we find all kinds of ways to discriminate against each other.

You are right though that we all have different roles to play in his mission in this life. That does not mean favoring one over the other. In the times of the biblical times, from the way the outside world was, male dominated time, if a woman was to speak about the gospel to gentiles, they would have never listened to her as their social system at the time never allowed it. They might just kill her, but if he sent a man, then maybe they would at least hear him. God does not want to take away our freewill despite our rebellion. He wants us to learn and understand and come his way through our own choice and willingness.

It is the same thing Jesus told the pharisees when they asked him about divorce.

Matthew 19:8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

So God was working through the hardened heart of man to bring about the fulfillment of the OT and his free gift of Christ. Praise the Lord. :raised_hands:

God Bless You.

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Hi @Mynameisingka, this is a great question. I read it last night and wanted to answer, but thought I’d give it time so I could consider the question more. I think @Danageze did a great job. Plus, Ravi’s answer is one of the videos that first helped me with this when I was flirting with feminism.
The only thing I have left to add is my personal observations as I struggled with a woman’s place in the Bible. The first thing I noticed when I delved into these questions was that I was seeing things from my own cultural perspective, and disregarded the culture these women came from. I needed to strive to understand their perspective and motivations based on the time and place they came from.
And in the New Testament, if we understand what life was like for women in general during that time, then we are able to see what a radical Jesus was in his interactions and relationships with women. It’s beautiful, really. Jesus gave women a place, a voice, and a part in the greatest event in history.
I hope my own questions and struggles help answer some of yours. Blessings!

Rachel

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Hi Rachel.

Thank you for your respond. Yes it’s so easy to forget the the context that these women came from… thank you… that’s a good reminder :purple_heart::pray:

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Hi Dan,

Wow… That’s a very good point… thanks for that…
Much appreciated :pray: God bless you too

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One of the scriptures that is often used as an example of God putting women in a lesser role is Ephesians 5:22. Unfortunately when it is seen this way it is taken completely out of context. The context is found in Ephesians 5:21-33 and out of those verses so much is learned.

  1. The word submit in 5:22 is the same word that is used in Hebrews 5:7-9 where Jesus is in submission to His Father. It implies order not rank. That is Jesus is equal in all ways to His Father being fully God and at the same time revers the Will of His Father.
  2. Ephesians 5:22 should be seen as furthering of Ephesians 5:21 where we are all commanded to submit to each other. That is husbands should submit to their wives. One of the best messages I heard on this is that The Holy Spirit through Paul is stating that Husband and Wife are to submit to each other. However He(The Holy Spirit) goes on to emphasize Godly submission to the wife and Godly love to the husband.
  3. It brings out that marriage is a witness to the world of the relationship of Jesus to His Church. Eph. 5:32 is one of the most profound statements of the section and in Scripture. It is stating that the relationship between husband and wife in a Christian Marriage is portraying the relationship between Jesus and His Church. Thus the husband is portraying to the world, and more specifically his children, what God the Son is like; AND the wife is portraying to the world, and more specifically her children, what we as Christians should be like in our relationship with God.

One last comment: I have been all over the world and it is my observation that societies and cultures which place women in a subservient role have little softness. They have much that is beautiful but little that is pretty. As Ravi says in the video these cultures miss the connection between the cerebral and the emotion. I am a widower and I can tell you from experience it is very difficult for me not to have my wife at my side in this world.

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Hi Dan,

Thanks so much for sharing your input. Yes unfortunately the word submission is seen as less/ weak/ not equal to some people. Few friends told me that these days few women that they know are avoid using the word submit in their wedding vow… which I thought that was interesting and sad to see. But yes that’s just what happened when we don’t understand the role of women and how the Bible define the word submission…
I love your 2nd point. That is new to me. Thanks for that.

And I find it amazing to what Ravi point out abt women’s uniqueness… Just so encouraging…

Thanks again Dan :pray::pray::pray:

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Ingka,

I think you have received several great responses, and I just wanted to add a bit.

Yes, its true that men wrote the inspired word of God, yet this is simply a cultural issue, that at the perfect time God deemed it necessary, most historical traditions were passed on orally. To write things down was a fairly new phenomenon. It may be difficult to look at the roles of women in society at that time (education, family, politics, religion, social status), but yet God had critical roles for women in His redemptive plan right from the start.

I think it may be understated that women were critical in His plan. He could have interjected himself in any way, shape or form into history yet he chose to be born of a woman. This fact alone is a great example of the value God places on women and families.

Hope this is helpful,

Mike

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Hi, Ingka!
Ravi had one of the best responses to the question of gender equality in one of his Q&A sessions. And it goes something like this…
Men may have the prominence in most of the Biblical narratives we can read, genealogies included, but the Bible did give eminence to the role of women in, (perhaps few, but) very special things:

  1. Her lead role in the pro-creative act of human reproduction
  2. Identifying the mother of a king
  3. Mentioning women in the genealogy of the Lord, which is atypical for a patriarchal genealogy
  4. Mentioning women in the ministry dominated by men
  5. Giving an evangelistic thrust to the Samaritan Woman at the well
  6. Exemplified taking thought of, and giving care for women, especially, mothers/widows in distress; and, not the least of all,
  7. Making a band of women the first eye-witnesses of His resurrected body

God is fair to all, and no respecter of person. We just have to learn to take a wider view of the circumstances to see the greater picture.

Hope it helps!

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Hi Ingka,

Thank you for sharing your question. Foremost I would say that when God created Eve He had you in His mind!

From cover to cover, the Bible exalts women. In fact, it often seems to go out of the way to pay homage to them, to ennoble their roles in society and family, to acknowledge the importance of their influence, and to exalt the virtues of women who were particularly godly examples.

From the very first chapter of the Bible, we are taught that women, like men, bear the stamp of God’s own image (Genesis 1:27; 5:1-2) — men and women were created equal. Women play prominent roles in many key biblical narratives. Wives are seen as venerated partners and cherished companions to their husbands, not merely slaves or pieces of household furniture (Genesis 2:20-24; Proverbs 19:14; Ecclesiastes 9:9). At Sinai, God commanded children to honor both father and mother (Exodus 20:12).

May I share an excerpt from John MacArthur - “The Bible teaches divinely ordained role distinctions between men and women — many of which are perfectly evident from the circumstances of creation alone. For example, women have a unique and vital role in childbearing and the nurture of little ones. Women themselves also have a particular need for support and protection, because physically, they are “weaker vessels” (1 Peter 3:7 NKJV). Scripture establishes the proper order in the family and in the church accordingly, assigning the duties of headship and protection in the home to husbands (Ephesians 5:23) and appointing men in the church to the teaching and leadership roles (1 Timothy 2:11-15).

Yet women are by no means marginalized or relegated to any second-class status. The Bible teaches women are not only equals with men (Galatians 3:28), but are also set apart for special honor (1 Peter 3:7). Husbands are commanded to love their wives sacrificially, as Christ loves the church — even, if necessary, at the cost of their own lives (Ephesians 5:25-31). The Bible acknowledges and celebrates the priceless value of a virtuous woman (Proverbs 12:4; 31:10; 1 Corinthians 11:7).”

By God’s grace, I am leading a women’s group in Bible Studies for quite a time and since this pandemic, we go online (Zoom). The verse that we always claim is in Isaiah 43:4 " Since you are precious in My sight , Since you are honored an d I love you ,…. We are loved so much by God and there are times that we lost this sight when overwhelmed with so many cares in the family.

I hope this helps. Blessings!

Elsie

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Hi Dennis,

Welcome to Connect. Its nice to have you here and be blessed with the training that we will have.

Blessings

Elsie

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Ingka, I love the heart you display in the above statement. Often examples connect with our loved ones when pure logic doesn’t.

I looked for resources by Jo Vitale on this topic. Ravi mentioned her in the video that @Danageze shared. She did her doctoral dissertation on the way female beauty is depicted in the Old Testament, so I was curious what she would say about sexism in the Bible. I found a YouTube video and a podcast episode you might enjoy. See the links at the bottom of this post.

On the one hand, your sister-in-law is right. Men tend to play the leading roles in the Bible, although there are notable exceptions. I wonder if a good way to address this is just to admit that God told the truth. It was a male-dominated culture. We could discuss whether this was all wrong, but the real point is that God didn’t hide the facts. As Jo Vitale mentioned in “Is the Bible Sexist?” there are some awful stories in the Bible about the treatment of women. God is saying, “I see.” Victims may feel unheard and unseen by the human justice system, but they can always turn to the God who sees them.

Against this dark backdrop, the beauty of Christ shines even brighter. Jo Vitale described it well in “Why Is God Father Rather Than Mother?”

And what I love about Jesus is He doesn’t have a single interaction with any women in the gospels where He’s actually not breaking one cultural taboo or another, or overcoming some kind of stereotype that people had about women during that day to completely turn it on its head, and honor women, and value women.

  • He reached out to the woman at the well in John 4, surprising her and His disciples.
  • He honored the woman who anointed His feet even though she was known to be a sinner, and He pointed out that she loved more than the Pharisee who had invited Him to dinner (Luke 7:36-50).
  • He encouraged Mary to sit at His feet and learn from Him as an honored disciple would do (Luke 10:38-42).
  • He praised the widow who gave her last two copper coins, saying she gave more than any of the others (Luke 21:1-4).

Jesus proved that God doesn’t see as people see. He doesn’t value the things people value. Even when we women feel like we’re being ignored by all of society, He sees us, and He’ll honor us in the end.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:3-4 ESV)

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Hi Jennifer,
Thank you so much for your sharing… Yes I love listening to Jo Vitale too since I started listening to RZIM Ask Away podcast…

This is so true… and I agree… The more I learn about this, I am thankful that the way the Bible tells it, is so… straight and not shying away from this hard topics… and more importantly… we can actually see how great and amazing in Gods love for us…

Thanks for the links so excited to look into this… ^___^

God bless

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