Gender Equality & Scriptures
I got a call from a friend, asking me to talk about gender equality from a biblical point of view. It was an awesome discussion that I thought to share with you.
Gender equality, also known as sex equality, gender egalitarianism, sexual equality, or equality of the genders, is the view that both men and women should receive equal treatment and not be discriminated against based on their gender. The objective of gender equality is for people to acquire, if they so choose, equal treatment throughout a society, not just in politics, the workplace, or any other policy-designated sphere (Derived from Wikipedia). This for me is great as long as it doesn’t contradict the bible.
So let’s quickly peruse the bible for some lead on this topic;
At creation – Gen 1:26-27
Then God said, “Now let’s make humans who will be like us. They will rule over all the fish in the sea and the birds in the air. They will rule over all the large animals and all the little things that crawl on the earth.” So God created humans in his own image. He created them to be like himself. He created them male and female.
There’s no link here to an inequality between male and female. The dominion that was given here was collective to both genders; it is over animals and other creatures, and not over a fellow human being, either male or female.
In Christ – 1Cor. 12:13
Some of us are Jews and some of us are not; some of us are slaves and some of us are free. But we were all baptized to become one body through one Spirit. And we were all given the one Spirit.
In Jesus Christ, we are united as one body because we’ve been baptized by one Spirit into one body hence our unity. Even though we all have different designations (irrespective of our gender), there’s no default sign here that a woman is any less significant than a man.
In the Church – 1 Cor. 14:34
The women should keep quiet in these church meetings. They are not allowed to speak out but should be under authority, as the Law of Moses says.
Taking this verse literally would imply that a woman shouldn’t sing, testify, teach or even anchor any session in a church service. But Paul who gave this instruction in 1Cor. 14:34, also gave an instruction for women who pray and prophecy in Church (1Cor. 11:5). So was Paul contradicting himself? Definitely not. When you study the book of Corinthians, you’d see that Paul started giving guidelines on order in the Corinthian church, from chapter 11, and majored on the issue of order in chapter 14. It might just be a good way to verify this claim, just study these chapters when you can.
Hence, Paul wasn’t suggesting a notion that women were inferior to men, or less important than men, but he was setting a structure in place to bring order in conducting their church meetings. All through the bible, we find women who God used for HIS glory- Deborah, Esther, Ruth, Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s mother), Mary (mother of Jesus), Phoebe (Rom. 16:1), Anna (Luke 2:36), Priscilla (Acts 18:26, 1Cor.16:19), and many others. Moreover, till date, there are many great women of God, female leaders of service groups in church. God is not confused, neither is HE an author of confusion. Yield to Him, be available for the master’s work, HE is sovereign and will use anybody HE chooses to whether male or female. So don’t think it’s wrong for a woman to lead a group in church, or for her to be a pastor. Oh ye man and woman, respect the order, and submit to authority as a true believer of Christ. God wants order.
In marriage – Eph. 5:22-23, Col. 3:18
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
God has ordained the husband to be the head of his wife and not vice versa. When the wife tussles for the headship of her home, then that’s going against God’s plan with respect to headship in marriage. There can’t be two captains in a ship, so the Bible has clearly outlined this issue to establish order. The wife is to submit to her husband, but it doesn’t make her less significant or less important than her husband.
Let me state it here, a woman is not obligated to submit to any man who’s not her husband. So don’t go around servicing the idea that since the bible says a wife should submit to HER OWN HUSBAND, then she should submit to other men. This is far from the truth.
Wife, submit to your husband, no matter who you are, no matter how big you’ve become, no matter your husband’s worth, he’s your head because that’s the order established in the bible. Submission to your husbands in the Lord implies honoring and obeying him, from the standpoint of love. This obviously doesn’t make a woman inferior to a man.
I read about a great woman, Tara Fela-Durotoye, who’s got great achievement, yet she consciously obeys the bible on the order of marriage. I believe she’s an example to emulate.
READ ALSO: Letters to my single self
A weaker vessel – 1Peter 3:7
If you are a husband, you should be thoughtful of your wife. Treat her with honor, because she isn’t as strong as you are, and she shares with you in the gift of life. Then nothing will stand in the way of your prayers.
Hey, the bible enjoins the husband to take care of his wife; treating her with dignity, honor and respect, as she’s not as strong as he is. There’s no sign here of the wife being less of a human being than her husband.
Moreover the bible didn’t say a woman is weak compared to a man, it said a man’s wife is not as strong as HER HUSBAND; and should be cherished, taken care of, and treated with honor by her man. So if you feel this verse is a safe-ground for the assumption that all women are weaker vessels compared with men, then read that scripture again. A wife is a weaker vessel compared with her husband (whose duty is to protect her) and not necessarily compared with other men. She might just be stronger in every sense than a man that is not her husband or what do you think?
Hey, moving forward, it doesn’t mean men and women are the same, it’s no rocket science to tell the difference, yet, it’s never an excuse to discriminate any gender.
In conclusion, women aren’t insignificant in the society, and they have a lot to offer. Think about this, should you pick a man to run an organization over a well-qualified woman, just because he’s a man? I’m sure you know what will befall that organization in no time.
You’d have a daughter tomorrow, would you want a favorable environment for her to thrive? Would you be happy if your daughter is discriminated just because she’s female?
God created both man and woman and never made any gender less important or less significant to the other. Don’t introduce what our creator didn’t, instead let’s all dwell together in unity; honoring, respecting and loving one another as children of God.
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