Looking back, I realise that most of what I once thought about “a woman’s place” had a lot to do with the traditions of men (as in males), and almost nothing to do with the truth of God. When that happens, it does not necessarily mean what I believe is wrong, but it certainly sends me back to the Bible to check my beliefs.
My goal here is not to tell you how it really is. Even if I had it all figured out, I doubt my words would have much influence in this very difficult and volatile debate. Rather, I hope I can get you to challenge some of what you assume, and to find a way to search God’s Word for the truth. If the Bible really supports what you think, that is a win. If you find it does not, that is a win as well.
The problem with all of this is that we all come to it with preconceived ideas, and when we read what God’s Word has to say about it, we find what we already believe while being blind to things that are counter to what we believe. Even when we are honestly seeking the truth, even when we are willing to see that truth no matter what it is and no matter what it might mean to our theology, even then, we are hampered by what we have been taught and what we already believe.
A couple of things to consider:
- We must look at how Jesus (and Paul) treated women in cultural context. For their time and society, they were radically “pro-woman”. They pushed the envelope a great deal with regards to women.
- Much of what the OT says about women is simple reporting – that does not mean God is necessarily for what happened. (Think of what Lot’s daughters did, for example.)
- There were women in the upper room, and women received tongues of fire. Elsewhere, women are included in receiving gifts that are given for ministry.
- The usual reading of some “woman limiting passages” conflicts with other passages that are very difficult to read any other way. Or, the traditional reading makes other passages seem irrelevant. (For example, if women are not allowed to prophesy, then why did the OT tell us it would happen, and why did Peter report this had been fulfilled on the day of Pentecost? In addition, if women can’t teach men, then why did Paul praise some women who taught men?)
Are you sure that you are reading what is there, not what is in your mind? Does how you read verses on women make the Bible flow as a whole, or does it cause consistency problems? To misquote Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that verse. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
One last thing, before you throw stones at me, please see this post, by the same title.
Photo Credit Paul Jacobson
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Rethinking Valentines Day: Some great ideas here, and they come from a woman.
A Primer on Helping Men Buy Lingerie for Their Other: A lot good good information here.
Better Husbands and Fathers
What Qualities Does Your Wife Want in a Husband?: She what qualities 48 women want in their husbands.
Black and Married with Kids
Dr. Gary Chapman, Author Of The Five Love Languages, Shares His Tips On a Happy Marriage With BMWK: Always worth reading what D. Chapman has to say, IMHO.
3 Tips to Finding Time to Date Your Spouse: Don’t let “too busy” keep you from spending quality time with your bride.
Should Spouses Add Each Other on Social Networking Sites?: Some interesting thoughts here, including a comment that included “What was very dangerous to our marriage was friending his mom. ”
God Centered Marriage
Intimacy & Comfort: “Intimacy, as a source of comfort, has created some of the sweetest moments in our marriage and has led intodeep, all night-long conversations and prayer.” « Yes, they get it!
Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage
Get Off the Island!: This article is dead on. If your marriage is struggling, and no one at your church knows that, you need to READ and HEED these words.
Delaying Sex Leads to Higher Sexual Satisfaction & More Stable Marriages: This one is for those who have kids. Waiting isn’t just right, it makes for better sex.
The Romantic Vineyard
How Would You Answer?: Debi points to an article in which 84 women tell us the most romantic thing their husband has ever done. Guys, read this for idea and to try to understand what romantic is.
10 Hindrances To Cultivating a Romantic Vineyard #4 – Financial Pressure: This series continues to be great.