Monday, April 23, 2007

Biblical Womahood Continued

The following is my conclusion on biblical womanhood from a 50-page paper which I wrote in seminary.


  • As we have seen throughout this paper, God affirms: the beauty of manhood and womanhood, the equality of the both genders, and the striking differences in roles of both men and women found throughout the Bible to show his glory. God created women to perform a different function than man for His glory. Women can ultimately glorify him by adhering to what the Bible states her role should ultimately be. When a woman does not do the role God called her to, His glory may be hindered. We, as women, need to seek God’s glory in everything we do.
  • John Piper sums it up best when he states, “at the heart of mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman’s differing relationship.”[1] Piper is quick to affirm that we cannot and should not prohibit women from influencing men. Prayer is certainly a God-appointed means women should use to get men to where God wants them to be. At the home, when a husband leads like Christ and a wife responds like the bride of Christ, there is harmony that is more beautiful and more satisfying than any pattern of marriage created by man. Biblical headship for the husband is the divine calling to take primary responsibility for Christlike, servantleadership, protection and provision in the home. Biblical submission for the wife is the divine calling to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts. This is the way of joy. For God loves his people and he love his glory. And therefore, when we follow his idea of marriage “we are most satisfied and he is most glorified.”[2] God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him and his plans for us. God intends for the entire church, both men and women, to be mobilized in ministry. Piper concludes that perhaps the most devastating sin today, is not the so-called women’s movement, but the lack of spiritual leadership by men at home and in the church.
  • In conclusion, Piper gives a challenge and prayer for all women that is important to keep in mind when going through women’s roles throughout the Bible. First, a woman in all her life, whatever the calling, needs to be completely devoted to the glory of God. Second, that she be a women of the Book who love and study and obey the Bible in every area of its teaching; that meditation on Biblical truth be the source of her hope and faith; that she continue to grow in understanding through all the chapters of her life, never thinking that study and growth are only for others.[3] That if she is single, she is completely devoted to God (the way Jesus and Paul and Mary Slessor and Amy Carmicheal did) and she is not paralyzed by the desire to be married. And finally, if she is married, she creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of her husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow. That she encourage him in his God-appointed role as head; that she influence him primarily through her fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer. Lastly, all Christians must elevate God’s words found exactly in the text over experience or culture. Nonetheless, in the gender role debate, complementarians and egalitarians are prudent enough to know that the only way to maximize their ministries is to completely submit to the Word of God when it is correctly interpreted.

[1] John Piper, “A Vision of Biblical Complementarity: Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible,” in John Piper and Wayne Grudem, eds. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical (Wheaten: Crossway, 1991), 46.

[2] Ibid., 52-3.

[3] Ibid., 54-5.

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