Some have attempted to use the Bible’s teachings to justify denigrating women. This ignorance was an issue in the time of Jesus, and it continues today, not just in undeveloped countries but even in America.
The problem of not carefully studying the biblical concept of women’s role goes back to Genesis 2:18-24. God created Adam as a living being with a spiritual dimension. Adam observes and names the animals, but he is still unable to live as God intended. Verse 20 says, “There was not a helper fit for him.” The Hebrew word for helper is “ezer,” which is “one who provides strength in the area where the helped one is lacking” (New World Bible Dictionary). Eve is not inferior to Adam. Adam joyfully proclaims, “This, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
In Matthew 19:8, Jesus refers back to Genesis 2 as He denies men the right to treat their wives as objects saying, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning, it was not so.” The passage in Genesis 2 refers to wife (singular), not wives plural. It is in Genesis 4:19 that man first violates God’s plan with Lamech having two wives. Lamech’s actions and denigrating women eventually led to the immorality that produced the flood of chapter 6.
The rejection of God’s plan has caused terrible treatment of women through the ages. Jesus included women in his ministry, and Luke 8:1-3 reveals they played a major role. In John 4, Jesus deals with the Samaritan woman at the well, and in verse 27, even His disciples were amazed at his treatment of this woman. Ephesians 5:25-33 tells Christian men to love their wives as their own bodies (verse 28). Galatians 3:28 tells us that in the Church, there is no male nor female, for we are all one. That was the message of Genesis 2, which is repeated in Christianity today.
Today’s world has turned away from God’s teachings, denigrating women and using them as sex objects. Men have used survival of the fittest to persecute women and keep them under economic control. Men and women each have specific roles. Only women can give birth to babies, but today many choose to abort. Men have the role of spiritual leadership, but most of them fail at that. Christ’s teachings and the Apostles’ instructions uniquely elevate women and challenge men to be what God calls them to be. As society rejects God’s teachings, women suffer the most.
— John N. Clayton © 2023