Women in the Bible

Introduction

What about the status of woman in Christianity and her responsibilities toward her husband and society? We need to know that Christian faith is not a book religion, but comes through revelation by the Holy Spirit. With this in mind, we will look at women in the Bible.

Women have equal rights with men

Both man and women were made in the image of God. Therefore a woman has like a man the divine image. However, this divine image is through the man: “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man” (1 Corinthians 11:7-8) and “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). This doesn’t talk about power, but about responsibility and different tasks for men and woman, because they have a different physical body. Eve had other tasks than Adam. Eve was the first woman of mankind, she was also the first housewife and the first mother. The Bible mentions that thanks to Eve we have human relationship, friendship, companionship, and marriage. Her knowledge came from Adam and God. Because of that and that she was pure in heart. She did not know about evil things, and missed the responsibility of her husband Adam as protector when an animal attacked her. When Eve committed sin, God said to the devil that a child from a woman will destroy him: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15). The woman is Mary. Her child is Jesus the Messiah. Jesus died on the cross for the sin of mankind, so that every who believes will have eternal life. It doesn’t deny that men and woman are equal for God. We observe in Christianity that man and woman are equal in case of status, credits, excellence, usefulness and significance as the Bible confirms: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27) and “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Compared to men, women have equal rights.

Husband gives all attention to his wife

We can see that in Christianity there is monogamy, in which an individual has a relation with only one partner. Benefits are that there is certainty of access to sex with the partner. A man is able to give all to his wife, because he has only one wife. In Islam, where a man is allowed to take multiple wives, the competition for sexual desire causes greater levels of crime, violence, poverty and gender inequality than in Christian communities that practice monogamous marriage. Because in a Christian marriage the housewife gets all attention, no forced control to women is need by wearing a veil is needed as in Islam. Long hear is a covering of a woman as Bible suggests: “But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering” (1 Corinthians 11:15). We see monogamous marriage becomes more and more popular in society. People are happier when there are less social problems [1].

Women give love and peace

Women are doing cleaning, teaching children, cooking and arranging the house. They also help and comfort other people. Loving husband and children and for herself as being loved, brings happiness. There are many loves in the life of a Christian woman, her husband, parents, children, extended family, friends or unbelievers. Love is essential for every human being. There are big needs to help each other, cooperate with each other, and comfort each other. It opens the way to living Christian faith for children and others. There is support in the Bible: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). Christian women are the power of giving love and peace in the family.

Women pray and trust Jesus brings joy

Fear and anxiety of Christian women is broken by Christian faith. Feeling guilty, lonely, unwanted or unloved is tackled by her renewal of life after she accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour. The Bible confirms she is loved without condition by Jesus: “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3). She is grateful for all God’s gifts, such as the beauty of creation, her family and the forgiveness of Jesus when she fails. Christian women experience peace by the power she got when she accepted Jesus as Saviour, thanks him and prays as described in the Bible: “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). They create prayer groups, where they meet regularly for their own specific needs [2]. The Bible has a large set strong woman with faith who had an enormous impact on our world. Miriam was prophetess, saviour and sister of Moses (Exodus 15:20), Deborah was a judge, leader and prophetess in her country (Judges 4:4), Esther was a queen who saved all her people from genocide (Esther 5:4), Mary was the mother of Jesus the Messiah and Saviour of mankind (Matthew 1:18), Mary Magdalene was the first witness of Jesus’ resurrection (Mark 16:9), Priscilla had a powerful ministry to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah (Romans 16:3). The Bible is full of testimonies of praying joyful women, who trusted Jesus and had a high impact on our society.

Women in Christianity

Women in Christianity have a superior status over Muslim women. In Islam, woman have a lower status than men, have less rights than men and less benefits than men. Refer to Women in the Qur' an. Unlike in Islam, renewal was made possible in Christianity through reformation, revivals and church. Therefore the Holy Spirit was able to improve the position of women in Christianity according to the standard in the Bible. A Christian woman has trust in Jesus Christ as an anchor for today and future [3]. Jesus is the example for women to give courage against evil and to look for a new and just society [4]. The faith of the believing woman is that she will overcome death as seen in the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. It helps women in their suffering and perspective to a better future. The promise of the fullness of life is that love, peace and justice will survive and that everything will be new (Revelation 21:1-4). Christian women prove that there is a better way for a woman and to live in peace with society as the Creator wants: faith in Jesus Christ. With faith in Jesus Christ, a new future in prosperity and eternal hope is open for every woman: Come to Jesus.

Notes

1. J. Henrich et al, The puzzle of monogamous marriage, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2012; 367 (1589): 657
2. Hazal O. Ayanga, Women in African Christianity, in: Isabel Apawo Phiri (ed), Anthology of African Christianity, Regnum Books International, Oxford, 2016, 945
3. Mercy Amba Oduyoye, Introducing African women’s theology, Sheffield, Sheffield Academic, 2001, 117
4. Susan Rakoczy, In Her Name: Women Doing Theology, Cluster, Dorpspruit, 2013, 435