Monday, October 29, 2012

Christianity and Women Part 2

I recently wrote about some of the characters in the Bible that illustrate how highly Christianity views women, and in this post I want to look at some of the instructions that are given in regards to women today.

As a wife a woman has a unique call and office to hold. How does God’s Word instruct the husband to deal with his wife? For starters, he is told to view her for what she is: a priceless treasure.

“An excellent wife, who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.”
Proverbs 31:10

That same chapter tells the husband that he is to recognize and appreciate his wife’s character, not just her beauty:

“Her husband also…praises her:Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
Proverbs 31:28-30

The New Testament gives further instruction for how the husband is to treat his bride. The Apostle Paul, who himself never married, was led of God to write, “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them (Colossians 3:19).”

It is hard to take the unsaved world seriously when they say that the Bible is a male-dominating book when we see that it actually commands men to not be harsh towards women.

But that isn’t the only time that Paul told the church to love their wives. In Ephesians 5 he again wrote, “Husbands, love your wives as (or, in the same way that) Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…in the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies…let each one of you love his wife as himself (verses 25, 28, 33).”

Three times in one passage Paul commanded husbands to love their wives. And notice the model that he gave them: as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. And in case you didn’t know, the way Christ gave Himself for the church was by both living and dying for it. Paul literally instructed husbands to both live and die for their wives.

Paul wasn’t the only New Testament writer who addressed husbands; Peter did as well. In 1 Peter 3:7 he wrote:

“Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel… so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Peter said that men should exercise understanding towards their wives, realizing that they are the weaker of the sexes. This is not a macho mentality referring to women’s physical strength, but a recognition of the common sense fact that women are more emotional than their male counterparts. While men tend to be brash and rough around the edges, women are more careful. Men need to understand, according to Peter, that women need their husbands to be sensitive and understanding of their different emotions.

This verse also shows that Peter said to give honor to the women. Again, how can people say that Christianity is anti-woman when the men were instructed to show honor to the women? What did Peter say would be the consequence of failing to treat women the right way? He said the men’s prayers would be hindered.

Here we see another important truth. It isn’t just the men who were defending the women’s honor, it is God as well. God is the one meting out punishment towards the men who don’t treat their wives with honor, and it comes in the form of unanswered prayer.

Hopefully the point has been made well that Christianity is not a religion that puts women down. Christianity promises better treatment towards women than any other group.

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