Feminism and Women’s Role (Also In Church)

Recently, I was asked about feminism, women’s roles, and women’s independence. These are heavy topics, especially in our society these days. Since I wrote out quite the message on these, I thought I would share it with you. This is a very general and short overview on these different matters. Each of these could — and should — be looked into in more detail. However, that is not for today or for this post.

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Feminism & Women’s Role

Feminism

Now first of all, I want to bring up my opinions on feminism. Feminism means by definition “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” However, I find that this is rarely true these days. Those who advocate women’s rights, do not actually want equality. They want women to have more than men. In times before, there were a lot of things that women couldn’t do and therefore feminism had a place. But these days? Women are already equal to men in most places. So those pushing for feminism want women to actually have and get more than men do.

As far as God’s Word goes, women and men have equal worth before God. Galatians 3:28-29 says, 

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” 

So before God, we all have equal worth. No one is better than the other, worth more than the other. It doesn’t matter whether we are male or female. Or what race or ethnicity we are. Even age doesn’t matter. However, there are certain positions that are assigned to each gender specifically.

Women’s Role In Marriage

Husband is the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23) and the wife is to submit to the husband (Eph. 5:22-23). Christ is always the head of the husband so a man should be lead by Christ, not by his own will. Women aren’t, however, expected to submit to men in general. Submission to men should happen at home and at church, according to the Bible. So God hasn’t said that men must have authority over women in business, politics, education and so on. No, women are to submit at home and at church.

Here, we must remember the role of the husband, too, of course. The husband is to love the wife. True love, if it is that, means that the husband will listen and care for his wife and his wife’s interests. So trusting the husband to lead and therefore submitting to him, shouldn’t be thought of as something hard or horrible.

Women’s Role In Church

There is a lot of debate and different practices these days on what women can and cannot do in church. However, this is what I believe the Bible says. Women should not teach men or have authority over men (1 Tim. 2:12). I believe this to mean that women should not be pastors or teach on Sundays. Yes, there maybe some exceptions when a woman comes to speak on a Sunday with the permission of the pastor and the elders of the church. Still, I think a woman shouldn’t teach the Bible in church in church services.

1 Timothy 3 talks about those in leadership, and the people talked about are husbands, so, men. So those in leadership should be men (and they have qualifications too so not just any man should be in leadership, 1 Tim. 3). I would rather think of this as elders: those who are elders and lead in that capacity. We are, in general, told to submit to our authority in church, so to our pastors and elders (Heb. 13:17).

Now, I am the leader of our Children’s Ministry at our church. We have women leading other ministries at our church, too. However, those positions that matter for the doctrine the church holds on to and the doctrine that is taught, should be left for men.

What About Submission Then?

Now, submission is a bad word in today’s society. But honestly it should not be so. In so many places in the Bible we are told to submit to God (for example: James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:6; Titus 3:1; Ephesians 5:24). Submission is essential for our spiritual growth and therefore, it cannot be a bad thing at all.

However,

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13 Comments

  1. Thanks for going in boldly where angels fear to tread!
    My personal opinion is that we “submission” has become a bad word because both men and women have failed to embrace the beauty of Christ’s submission.
    And as for roles and rules, there’s enough work for everyone to do in the Kingdom of God. Statistically, 75% of the world is either female or under the age of 18. Let’s get busy and stop arguing, Church!

    1. Michele, that’s a good way of looking at why we have such a hard time with submission for sure. Also those statistics are good to know!

  2. Whew! You tackled a very tough topic, Ronja, one that is fraught with controversy. I appreciate your bravery and honesty on discussing a subject that everyone seems to have a strong opinion on.

  3. Statistically, 75% of the world is either female or under the age of 18. Let’s get busy and stop arguing, Church!
    By the numbers alone, there’s work to be done by women.I don’t agree with all of your statements but that’s neither here nor there. I do believe God is Sovereign and will not contradict his word as he moves male and female to do what he has called them to do.

  4. I read that submission, actually means for husbands and wives to be on the same mission. I believe men were created stronger and not as emotional but not to be overbearing or domineering, but to lead and protect, if women submit to Christ, they would to true love, that comes from knowing Christ. Abusive men is something God is not happy with or women, to be fair.

  5. You are correct in that we are all equal in Christ Jesus & our submission is to Him not man. He fulfilled the law in His love, sacrificial death & resurrection for us. Praise Him!

    Marriage is another subject entirely one that is full of controversy & conjecture even within Biblical scholar debate in the translation, the setting of cultural practices & the circumstances of the which the Scriptures were addressing at the time of their writing…that are generally used for this topic of women’s submission in marriage & the church.
    Jennifer

    1. Jennifer, all the cultural practices then and now sure make this even more complicated. Still I think love should always be above all, that’s how we know we are following God. 😊

  6. Hi Ronja, yes yes yes. I love this. I love most that you said, this is what the bible says on this issue. People don’t want the bible to be the ultimate authority and even Christians want to delete and edit so as to adapt things to how they (I am sure all of us at some time or other) want things to be viewed, to their benefit. Great post. I will be following your blog, love how you write.
    God bless
    Tracy

  7. I’m sorry you’ve had a bad experience with feminists. I’ve run into quite a few feminists who don’t want more than men, but just want equality with men. I agree with you that God’s view is best: equal worth for all. That makes for a happier world. 🙂

    1. Lisa that’s awesome if you’ve run into feminist who actually want equality with men. That’s how it should be! 🙂

  8. Thanks for speaking the truth in love. We need to look to the Trinity. Jesus submitted to the Father and the Holy Spirit always gives glory to the Father and the Son. Submission doesn’t seem to be a bad thing there!