What is God’s view on women?
What do you think? As a woman, I may have differing opinions than many men. But I am not sure why. It’s something I have been thinking about for quite some time.
Down through my years of Bible reading, I have seen nothing but good from God (Old Testament), and Jesus (New Testament). I think of the story of the woman at the well, the Samaritan Woman (John 4): Jesus met her where she was, in her element, her world. In all of the stories of Jesus’ interactions with women, He never made women feel uncomfortable. But He always made his point. His conversations with women always brought about life-changing revelation and change.
The woman at the well was OK in her sin, at least she pretended to be. Jesus took a detour to go talk to her. And he talked to her one on one, instead of embarrassing her in front of an audience.
Jesus healed Mary Magdalene of seven demons (Luke 8). This tells me what we all know, that Jesus cares about every aspect of our lives. He wants us to be healthy and whole mentally, physically, and emotionally. After Mary Magdalene was healed, she became a follower of Jesus. But what I find interesting is that on at least one occasion, several women who were also healed of demon possession, had traveled with Jesus at least on some occasions. In fact, there were other named women, women Jesus had healed of other physical issues.
Almost from the beginning of time, women have been mistreated. Traded like property in many cultures, like slaves in other cultures. But every where Jesus went, every interaction he had with women, he treated them as equals. And He loved women regardless of their status in life. The woman accused of prostitution by the Jewish leaders (John 8) was no different. Imagine, these leaders ‘made her stand in front of the group…’ (verse 4). But Jesus put the ball back in their court, asking if any of them were without sin.
So why do some men in every culture, mistreat women? Why are women’s wages just a percentage of their male peers. Why are women still traded like livestock in certain cultures? Why are women stolen and tricked into going into sex-trade slavery around the world?
In the Old Testament, God spoke to Eve as though she were equal to her husband Adam. In fact, when God created Eve, he did so by putting Adam to sleep and taking one of his ribs. He did not create Eve from the soles of Adam’s feet. It’s true, God did not create Eve from the top of Adam’s head to rule him. God created Eve as a helper to Adam, not as a slave, not as property.
Even in the case of Miriam, Moses’ sister. She spoke against the fact that Moses was the only person who ever heard God’s voice. She also did not like the fact that Moses was getting ready to marry a black woman. Again to my point: God created us all, from the darkest skin, to the lightest. We are all God’s creation. As punishment, God temporarily struck Miriam with leprosy because of her rebellion. I have always marveled at the fact that Miriam’s seven-day bout with leprosy meant that the entire camp had to wait until her punishment was removed. She delayed progress. But that’s another story for another day. I have also marveled at the fact that God’s punishment was temporary, and that his love for Miriam was not lessened. God loves His daughters AS MUCH as He loves His sons.
I continue to hope that one day women will be treated with equal respect, from the rib and not from the head or the feet. Given equal pay, and equal safety. I believe that is what God wants too.