Today I read an article called ‘I’m A Christian Girl And I’m Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals.’
I’m going to be honest with you. It made me angry. In fact, the more I kept reading the more upset I got.
I don’t think the girl who wrote it meant any harm. She was expressing her opinion and her own understanding of God and feminism. Because this post has gone somewhat viral, I have felt burdened to examine these claims next to scripture so we, as Christians, can understand this topic better.
The author states, “Women and men are not equal in God’s eyes. If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal.”
I believe this quote would support the notion that women depend on men because they are inferior. Women have a few traits and qualities to offer the superior sex, like taking care of children and a home. This somehow supports her claim that if women were equal to men then God would be unnecessary.
A society obviously needs both to function and reproduce. However, on the individual level, things are a little different. Just so this doesn’t get confusing, let me be clear—A woman does not need a man. Period.
A man does not need a woman.
The only person you need is Jesus.
Paul tells us we can actually serve the kingdom better when we are single. (1 Cor 7:8)
This is because we do not have a spouse to answer to or split affections. We can focus totally on Jesus and kingdom work.
If you are unmarried you ultimately answer to Jesus. This is because the two of you are a unit instead of a man and a woman, and we must submit to his lordship. You do not have to submit to any person simply because they are a man. You don’t need the permission of a man to fulfill your destiny and do what the Lord has called you to. You answer to Abba. You are qualified and capable because He has called you.
But if you do decide to go the marriage route, you should NEVER be co-dependent like this article claims women are. You do not enter a marriage because one partner needs the other to function. Marriage should be two whole people coming together to reflect the beauty and unity of Abba.
Think about that. Men and women both display different attributes and characteristics of God so that when they unite in covenant, we get a clearer picture of who He is.
Now, would you tell me that the Holy Spirit is inferior to Jesus? Or that God is more valuable than Christ? You would never dare to compare their worth. They each function and move in different ways, but they are one. In a similar way, man and woman bring different characteristics to a marriage covenant and become one. Neither is more important than the other.
Let’s take a look at the (ENTIRE) scripture that was misconstrued to support these misogynistic claims.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.” Ephesians 5:21-33
People who have supported the oppression of women often quote the phrase, “Wives submit to your husbands” and leave it there. But before we even get to the wives, we are first instructed to submit to one another as believers. Men must submit to women, and women to men. This is because God wants us to be united, not shouting over one another, claiming that one sex is more important than another. How foolish.
Following Paul’s instruction to wives, men are then called to lay down their lives for their wives. Why? Because that’s what Christ did for us. He gave up everything. He served us. He washed the feet of his disciples. There were times when he cooked for them. He ministered to them constantly. He set the example for how to live righteously. Jesus put our needs above his own when he bore the cross.
This latter instruction Paul gives to men is a higher and harder standard to maintain. It truly is a heavier burden. That is why the man is the head of the household like Jesus is the head of the church. He had to learn, teach, suffer, and constantly sacrifice. Godly men don’t get to put their feet up and demand that their wives clean and cook and serve them all day. They aren’t superior, but they do have a bigger burden and responsibility. They will have to answer to God at judgement for all of the ways they either built up and served their wives/families or tore them down. Men of God do not just rule over their households like tyrants, because they must be submitted to Jesus.
To put it simply the point is this: Everyone must submit at the end of the day. Not just women.
So married men, don’t ask why your wives won’t submit when you refuse serve them. Marriage is sacrificial on both sides because there are two parties involved. When you are serving one another and concerned with the other’s needs above your own, submitting becomes easier because you realize you are both on the same team.
I do find it interesting that wives specifically get called out. Maybe the women in Ephesus were dishonoring their husbands, belittling, or bossing them around. We don’t know exactly what has happening in the church at Ephesus when this letter was written. But whenever wives (or husbands) lash out in this way, it is often an issue of pride or rebellion.
In the words of my friend Fade, “Married women (or men) can sometimes have a hard time submitting because they are not submitted to The Lord.”
And then… the inevitable happens.
Adam and Eve are brought up.
In case you’re new here:
Following the fall of man (Genesis 3 a.k.a when Eve ate the fruit), God punishes all parties involved and says to the woman: “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
This is the curse of man.
Some say that bible lays it all out there. That this is where inequality of the sexes is established and will remain forever.
However, I recall Romans 5 saying something a little different…
“You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses.
But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it.
If one man’s sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God’s gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There’s no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift.
Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.” Romans 5:12-19 MSG
Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse.”
So you see, if you are in Christ, he became the curse for you on the cross, and defeated it when he rose from the grave. He broke that power struggle between man and woman. We don’t have to live in disharmony! Isn’t that amazing?
Acts 2:17 says, “In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.”
He laid down his life so he could pour out his Spirit freely on sons and daughters. So He could move, minister, and work through all of his children, not just an elite few.
All of this building up to my final point: Feminism isn’t bad. It isn’t a dirty word. Jesus literally broke social norms to include women in a society that kept them oppressed. The bible actually celebrates powerful women!
The first person Jesus revealed himself to as the son of God was a woman. (John 4)
The first people resurrected Jesus appeared to were women. (John 20:11-18)
When Barack was too chicken to lead the army into battle, Deborah took over without hesitation. (Judges 4:9)
Women were prophets. (Judges 4; Luke 2:36-38; Exod 15:20; 2 Kings 22:15; Neh 6:14)
Women were politicians, judges, and rulers. (Deborah, Esther)
God made BOTH male and female in his image. This is why marriage reflects His image and wholeness. God intends male and female to contribute their unique strengths to benefit one another and the world. We are his children and he doesn’t value us based off of something so carnal and physical.
Parents: Do you look at your son as more important and valuable than your daughter? Of course not! Why would we ever teach or assume God views us in that way?
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
Scripture says we (ALL Christians) should never view ourselves as more valuable than another person.
Yes, we are different. But our value isn’t. We are each and individually so priceless and worthwhile to Jesus that he literally gave himself up. You were worth his life. That is your value.
And for the record, the Webster dictionary definition of feminism is: To advocate for the social, economic and political equality of the sexes.
If both men and women can come boldly before the throne of the Father (Hebrews 4:16), we should be able to be treated in society with that same equality.
Feminism isn’t anti-men. It isn’t women over men.
Feminism is wanting to see more representation of women in politics. For us to get equal pay for doing the same job. So we can walk to our cars at night without clutching a can of pepper spray and looking behind us every 10 seconds.
Here is my final point—I’m not trying to convert you to a specific ideology or promote a label as gospel. Quite frankly, God does not care whether you label yourself as a feminist or not. He cares about your heart and how you view and treat his precious children.
Women, you are powerful. God has created you to be fearless leaders.
You are not worth less than a man.
You are not a half.
You are a whole. (Colossians 2:10)
My prayer for you today is that every unbiblical and devaluing lens you see yourself through is shattered. That your spirit is encouraged, and Christ empowers you with the strength to lift your head high and wear the crown He has given you, boldly and unashamed.
Never forget that you are so treasured, worthwhile, and valued by your King and Creator.