How Does God View Women?

This begs the question: What really is the Bible's viewpoint regarding women?

How Does God View Women?
Throughout history women have been described in various ways--often in ways that leave a lot to be desired.

Tertullian, a third-century theologian, once portrayed women as "the devil's gateway." The Scriptures have been cited to describe women as less important than men.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a pioneer for women's rights in the 19th century, believed that "the Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation." She once said: "I know of no other books that so fully teach the subjection and degradation of woman."

Many people of our time hold such views and believe that the Bible supports prejudice and discrimination against women. This begs the question: What really is the Bible's viewpoint regarding women?

To find the answers to this question let us  explore how women were treated in the Old Testament.
Genesis 3:16 states: "Your craving will be for your husband and he will dominate you." This particular passage has been cited by critics--they believed it was the judgment that God placed on Eve, rather than a declaration of God's purpose. It is a given that many wives in different parts of the world have been subjected to harsh treatment by their husbands. It is important to note that this was not God's purpose.

Both Adam and Eve were made in God's image, and were both commanded to be fruitful and subdue the earth. They were meant to complement each other; to work together as a team.
It was clear that at that point, neither of them was cruelly dominating the other.

According to Genesis 1:31, God saw "everything he had made and, look! it was very good." 
God is just. He hates all forms of discrimination and exploitation (Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 27:19; Isaiah 10: 1,2).

The Mosaic Law clearly condemned rape and prostitution. (Leviticus 19:29; Deuteronomy 27:19) The law protected the women rather than discriminate against them. It shielded the women from exploitation which was common in other nations surrounding the Jewish people.

According to Proverbs 31:10, 28-30, a Jewish wife was considered an esteemed individual and treated with respect.

Jesus regularly treated women with great respect. He did not follow the regulations and traditions of the Pharisees, which were discriminatory.

He spoke to both Jewish and non Jewish women. (Matthew 15:22-28; John 4: 7-9). Remember his encounter with the Samaritan woman by the well, and his deep friendship with Mary Magdalene.
Jesus Christ taught women. (Luke 10:38-42)

He protected women from being treated harshly. (Mark 10: 11, 12)

One of the most significant things Jesus did was that he accepted women into his fold as his followers and friends (Luke 8: 1-3).

Jesus was sent to earth to represent God. He was the epitome of all the qualities of God. He said whoever has seen him has seen the father. This means that God views women exactly the way Jesus viewed them. Jesus showed through his actions and words that every individual--belonging to both sexes, has equal value in the eyes of God.

On the Day of Pentecost, both men and women received the gift of the holy spirit (Acts 2:1-4, 17, 18).

In Galatians 3:28, for those who will serve as kings and priests with Christ, there will be no discrimination of gender at all.

God Almighty does not discriminate against women, but he has put in place a hierarchical system that allows for functionality. There is no society  that can function well without order. Authority must be administered (1 Corinthians 14: 33).

Subjection is not necessarily discrimination. Apostle Paul describes the family headship arrangement: "The head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of Christ is God." (1Corinthians 11:3).

Jesus Christ humbly subjected himself to the authority of God, not because he was discriminated against. He understood his purpose and place in God's arrangement. Women and men likewise should play their God-given roles with deep respect, honour and, above all, love.--Ephesians 5: 21-25, 28, 29, 33)

(Cited: Awake!  November 8, 2005, pg 19)

by: Olaide Ekunsumi

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Arinola O. Yinka

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