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Women Rule!

By June 29, 2006March 13th, 2015Gender & Faith, Uncategorized

A bestselling Christian writer tells men that God gave dominion to Adam and his sons after him.

Ahem. Au contraire, mon frere! That’s true, but it’s only half of the story.

Write “women rule” or wear it on a t-shirt, and you risk having people look at you askance or label you a femiNazi. But women do rule. In fact, subduing the earth, managing its fish and animals and plants, is a big part of what woman was born do to. The first purpose we see for woman—we find it in the mind of God, even before we read the story about woman being created as a helper—is that God created humans, both man and woman, to rule the earth. That is the ideal. Consider my source:

Genesis 1:26–27: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

While we’re talking about bestselling authors, here’s another one. There’s a big idea floating about that God made men to be warriors and women to be rescued. The damsel in distress thing is super romantic. And it is so not biblical.

Read the Book of Judges. Who wields the tent peg that pierces the enemy, Sisera’s, skull? Ms. Jael, that’s who. Mighty in battle for God. And what about the woman who pushes a millstone over the wall and kills Abimelech (Judges 9:53)? And that P-31 lady—she is a woman of “valor.” You know how Proverbs 31:10 starts… “A noble woman who can find?” Well, when that same word, noble, gets used of David’s men, we call them mighty men of valor. And, in fact, the entire text of Proverbs 31 idealizing the excellent wife/noble woman is stuffed full of military terms. (For specifics, check out Carolyn Custis James’s wonderful exegesis of Proverbs 31 in When Life and Beliefs Collide.) The biblical ideal of woman is that she is strong. She is not the pale, Elizabethan, dainty feminine waif. She is the strong, suntanned Ruth hoisting bags of grain from Boaz on her shoulders and taking them to feed Naomi.

Moving to the New Testament we find men and women called to suit up with the armor of God and fight. Women need a cause as much as men do. And we have one!

Some might argue that since the fall things have changed. I agree. But the ideal hasn’t. And we don’t say it’s wrong to buy weed killer, even though weeds were part of the fall. And we don’t tell my friend, John Oglesby, who is graduating from college (congrats!) this December with Greek under his belt that he was out of God’s will to take language courses because God confused languages at Babel. Last I checked we are to fight the effects of the fall, not embrace them.

In the same way, we should embrace rather than fight against women having dominion.

So women rule. And so do men. Together. Male and female. I am not at all suggesting women are superior to men. We need each other. But both men and women need to know who women are meant to be.

Recently we stayed at Mt. Hood Lodge, which was built in the 1930s. A short film available in the room gave a fascinating history of the place. And I loved a story some of the old builders told. Apparently, when the men got pretty far along constructing it, they concluded something was missing—the influence of women. Up to a point the whole project had pretty much been a boy’s club. So they stopped and involved women in the process. And the end product, everyone later agreed enthusiastically, was much better for men and women having worked together.

My opera gloves are off to those guys. They came a long way, baby.

Humans rule!

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Camy Tang says:

    Good post! I surfed over when Mary DeMuth told me about your blog post. I’ve been doing a Bible study about the roles of women and it’s been hard for me to reconcile the fact that I’m not “feminine” in the way the authors describe it. I’m an Amazon. I think, so is Mary. One day we hope to get matching nose studs. 🙂


  • Lyn-z says:

    great title! love it! i can see you are getting reved up to teach your Role of Women in Ministry class for the fall! i wish i could take it again!

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