As the assertion goes, Christianity oppresses women. However, Christianity, as based upon the Bible, is not oppressive of females, in fact it is far more protective of women than any other religion/worldview in existence. I give Leviticus 20 as Exhibit #1. Note that the commands of this chapter all deal with sexual deviancy (and it is one kinky can of worms). Each command centers around a key statement: “If a man (insert sexual deviancy here).” Levitical law places the onus on MEN for sexual and gender confusion. If a man seduces a women, or he has a strange attraction to his uncle’s wife, his father’s daughter, his employee, etc. the man takes the main blame. It is clear that God places the responsibility for sexual clarity directly on the broad shoulders of men.
Our androgynous culture wants to blur the lines between men and women. The feminist wants to knock men down a notch. The GQ-BLT committee wants tolerance for all sexual expressions. We have, in essence, stuck freedom in the tumble drier and it has come out seven sizes too small. Women are not more free now, they are more in bondage, due to the muddied waters of gender confusion.
You see, women are not called the weaker vessel in scripture merely to make sure that they stay barefoot in the kitchen. They are the weaker vessel by reason of God’s creative decree. When feminism “wins,” femininity loses. The feminist movement seeks to create an environment where biblical gender roles are tossed out the window; but the result is not an improvement for women, it instead creates a gurgling soup of gender insecurity for the whole culture.
I am the staunchest advocate for the defense and protection of women. I am also the staunchest advocate of the need for wives to submit to their husbands, and for them to obey the commands of scripture to meekness and quietness of spirit, chastity, and so forth (1 Pet. 3:1-7, Titus 2:3-5). I am also the fiercest opponent of abusive masculinity, which subordinates a woman and treats her as chattel. The Bible does not teach men to treat their wives in this manner, instead it teaches them to value their wives to the extent that the man’s needs are placed last and that her needs are his priority.
Our culture, the more gender neutered it becomes, does not help women. Instead, it creates a culture of men who are either overbearing, abusive and full of machismo or it produces men, who think they’re women, and play dress up with pink feather boa’s. Women do not need a world full of wife beaters on one side and pansies on the other.
A woman’s role in the church, society, and in marriage and family is not–as the feminist would accuse the Bible of teaching–to shut up and “make me a sandwich.” A woman’s role is a high and holy role. The Bible ennobles a man, and it ennobles a woman. In Eden, Eve was the one whom the Enemy preyed upon, and as a result of a neglectful husband, through her fall she was also the one to whom the promise of the Messiah was given. The Bible goes out of its way to make clear that where this world is full of sin, the seed of the woman was the crushing blow to the Enemy’s schemes for mankind’s destruction. Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and even down to the Virgin Mary all were either prostitutes, outcasts, or gravely misunderstood. Yet God includes them in the greatest work of history, the redemption work of Christ. Further, in the garden tomb, Jesus appears to a woman and commissions her to go tell the disciples; so, the first one to proclaim a resurrected Christ was a woman.
Furthermore, in a godly marriage, a husband, though he is commissioned by God’s Word to be the “head of the home,” we must remember what happened to the head of the Church, Christ. The head is where the blow fell. The head is where the responsibility lies. I find it intriguing that God makes a man the head of the family and of the wife, because a head is full of a brain. What does the brain do? It monitors every crevice of the body and tends to its every need. In a godly marriage, a wife submits to her husband and her husband cares for her in the same way that the body obeys the loving decrees of the brain and the brain tends to the every need of the body.
A godly man does not look at his wife as a pawn or a possession. If he is a godly man he says with 1 Corinthians 11:7, that “the woman is the glory of the man.” Indeed, a woman is a glory to a man, precisely because you can look at a woman and tell what sort of man she is under the care of. If she is insecure, fearful, and paranoid, it is likely because her husband or father is a schmo. If she is arrogant, conceited and pompous it tells you she has a husband or father who is a chump. But if she is godly, it is a tribute to the grace of God unto her through the loving oversight of a husband or father. A godly wife shows the world what sort of man she’s married to.
Hmm . . . sound familiar? It is because that is what the church is to do.