Monday, October 18, 2010

How do you know God loves women?

On Monday mornings, I'm involved with a group of ladies who are trying to figure out the Bible. They have all sort of questions and answers, but one thing that seems to be a stumbling block for quite a few of them is God in relation to women. I don't struggle with this, so I need your help.

It seems to be that many bits of Scripture lead them to believe that God does not love women. I asked them to try and come up with a few examples of things that are particularly challenging for them personally. So, while they are finding their own examples, I would like you to tell me how you know God, through his Word, loves you, as a woman. How are you comforted, affirmed, aligned, protected, and just beautifully loved by God? What Scripture references have encouraged you in this?

Have there been "tough" passages that have made you wonder if God's love is shortchanging women? If so, how have you dealt with these things?

Look forward to your thoughts.


Ruby said...

Our previous parstor would often say male and female after he read the word "man" in scripture. This is helpful for children as well if they maybe get the idea that it is referring only to men when really it is speaking to humans.
Another verse I love is the Isaiah verse, "He gently leads those with young."
Also "We are heirs together."
The fact that God one of God's name is the nurturing, suckling breast.(El Shaddai)
I'm with you Jena, I have never felt the Christian faith was a male centred religion. Our God is not a misogynist as some claim, that is the twisting of such men over the years.

DarcyLee said...

I've never felt this either but I have come across it with other women, too. The Bible says that God is no respecter of persons, so there is no "better" people, just different relationships and roles in life. I personally embrace being a woman and know that God made me who I am for a wonderful reason and feel special as His child. It's men (and women) that have distorted God's view.

Kayla said...

While I don't have any specific scriptures, I look at various stories in the Bible, like Jesus and his interaction with the woman at the well - He was offering salvation to a foreign woman "living in sin" - not the norm for religious leaders in that culture. Also, He first appeared to a woman after his resurrection - that is very empowering/encouraging - WE can meet Christ TOO!

Jan Hatchett said...

The only times that I have ever heard anyone say something similar is when a lady wants to be competitive with a man. Feminism in our secular world leads us to want to say, "anything HE can do, I can do better." Unfortunately, that attitude doesn't work well when scripture sometimes speaks differently to men and women.

To trust in God, one has to respect and learn to trust in His roles for men and women. Those roles don't compete with one another and we shouldn't complete on those terms, either.

sara said...

I have wondered the same thing. I have struggled with how women, the weaker vessel, suffer in this world. Why must women bear the brunt of male violence? Raped, beaten, sold into slavery even in this country. And what hope do they have to protect themselves? They are at the mercy of the stronger sex.

I don't care to argue, but I cannot agree with Ms. Hatchett's assertion that the only time a woman wonders whether or not God loves women is when she is in competition with men.

This isn't about competition or even about gender roles, but about a Father's love for his children. Yes, men and women are different, but does He love me as much as He loves my brothers? or more simply, does He love me? That's the question.

I look at Dinah, Tamar, Lot's daughters and I am horrified.

But then I look at how women were part of Jesus' inner circle; how they were the first to see him after his resurrection; how he said, "Mary" and instantly she knew him. I think of how Anna prophesied over the baby Jesus. I think of how it was a woman who was privileged to carry Jesus in her womb. Yes, Ruby, male and female created he them. That has helped me. As well as verses like Galations 3:28. But perhaps these examples of love are notable because they are so few?

So, yes God loves women - intellectually I know this, but I still have sinfully asked, "Why hast thou made me thus?" It IS a stumblingblock.

sara said...

Oh and how can I know what to make of Judges 19? Is this just something that happens or something that God wills?

Ruby said...

You've had some good comments here. Sara's comment remeinded me that we often tend to think of God in terms of our own experience. If one has had a protective, nuturing father than God is trusted easily. If one has had violent and abusive experiences either with their father or other men I understand this can be much harder. the wonderful thing about the forgiveness and love found in Christ is that all our previous memories can be dealt with in time.
I hope you and the other ladies get good benefit from these discussions.

Mrs. Parunak said...

I think, when looking at the Bible that it's really important to keep separated what happens because of our fallen, sinful world, and what happens because that is what God wants. Yes, it's true that women in the Bible were often brutalized, as women are all over the world today. But in our evil world, the stronger often brutalizes the weaker. Children are abused horribly, and so are the elderly, so are prisoners of war, so were/are slaves. But we know that God is absolutely opposed to such behavior. In the case of violence against women, we have verses like 1 Peter 3:7 "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." In other words, the prayers of abusive men don't make it past the ceiling.

Personally, there was one time in my life when I struggled with wondering whether God loved women. It was when I was really coming to grips with what women *weren't* supposed to do in the church (no teaching men, no taking their authority, even no talking at all). It wasn't that I wanted to compete with men. It was just that I wanted to serve the Lord, but it looked to me like He only wanted to use the tools with the blue handles (men), while the pink handled tools (women) got left on the shelf. After being depressed for a couple of years, I finally learned that God actually had A LOT of jobs for women, it was just that society (and then the church at large) had just decided they weren't important and that the only jobs that counted were the out-in-public, teaching-type jobs. I wrote a blog post about this: Mommy Likes Me Better: A Parable About Serving God in the Church.

KRH said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog so much that I want to pass the "Blog with Substance" award to you.

You can stop by my blog to pick it up.

Organizing Mommy said...

Thanks everybody! I'm heading over the Mrs. Parunak's blog to get her take on this. Has anyone else written a post about this issue? Could you send me a link?

KHR: thanks for the award. I'll go claim it.. name it and claim it--whatever that means.. LOL.

Mrs. Parunak said...

I'm glad you liked my post. I hope it helps a little bit.