"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." Galatians 3:28
I could not have found a better scripture to mark International Women's Day. As we continue to press for gender equality, let us take a quick walk through the bible to find out what it says about this issue.
We will start from the beginning of it all. Right from creation the bible presents gender equality. We learn from Genesis 1:26-28, that God made both man and woman equally in His image and gave them equal dominion. He blessed them and charged them together to "... “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 2 then tells us God's thought processes when He created the woman. The woman was created to be the man's helper not in the sense of a subordinate but as an equal partner to "rescue him from being alone" and to complement him as they together fulfill the mandate given them by God. This was God's original intention for the man and the woman before sin and the fall. Male domination over the woman was never God's original intention but a consequence of sin as seen in Genesis 3:16. In our fallen state men have used their dominion to oppress, suppress, abuse women and have successfully created an imbalance between the genders.
Throughout the Old Testament we see many women in leadership, exercising great authority and influence over many people including men and working side by side with them as well. Miriam, Deborah, Esther, Bathsheba, Huldah come to mind.
In the New Testament, Jesus championed women, treated them as equal to men, going against the norm and teaching them ( Mary, the sister of Martha and the Samaritan woman), choosing to show His resurrected self first to a woman, Mary Magdalene. Besides that Jesus' death and resurrection fulfilled Genesis 3:15, i.e. Jesus, the seed of the woman bruised the serpent's head, overcoming the consequences of the fall thereby restoring balance between the genders.
The Apostle Paul, contrary to what lovers of gender inequality will say, affirmed equality of men to women by consistently acknowledging the role of both genders in ministry. Many have stood on a handful of Pauline scriptures (especially 1 Timothy 2:12, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35) in which he was addressing specific situations to perpetuate gender inequality in the church of God and in church leadership.
Gloria Steinem famously said a feminist is “anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” If so then God is the first feminist!
Let us believe this truth, stand on it to change the narrative and live this truth. Christ has already restored the balance through His finished work on the cross.
#BalanceforBetter. Happy International Women's Day, everyone.
Love, Lady Monica❤