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God’s original plan was to empower men and women in their own roles. At creation, the Lord created the earth, heavens, and seas. He created all the living creatures, then He created Adam. He allowed Adam to see the world without Eve first, before creating her to be his companion:
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23). Thus, the woman was created out of Adam’s very flesh and bones, not to be independent of him, not to have authority over him, but to stand by his side as a help meet. He was henceforth to love her as his own body.
After the fall, God declared the following punishment: To the woman He said: “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16).
And to the man He said: “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:17-19).
After the fall, God assigned roles to Adam and Eve. To Eve, it was to mother the family, as was her name (Genesis 3:20). To Adam, it was to provide for the family. Because of her “dependent” status she has a claim on her husband’s care and protection (Ephesians 5:22–24; 1 Corinthians 14:34, 35; Titus 2:4, 5; 1 Peter 3:6).
The woman’s position is definitely honorable. For the husband is to imitate Christ, giving up personal pleasures for his wife’s happiness. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). Christ gave Himself for the church because she was in desperate need.
God’s Empowerment to Women
The Word of God teaches that God grants women all the strength, wisdom and grace to do His will. Throughout Bible history, God empowered women and they held major leadership roles in every facet of service. He granted women His grace to act as His Special Forces in His Army. They were recipients of the gifts given by grace through faith. Here are some references that support that:
- “God is within her, she will not fall” (Psalm 46:5).
- “She is clothed with strength and dignity” (Proverbs 31:25).
- “She is energetic and strong” (Proverbs 31:17).
- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
- “A gracious woman gains respect” (Proverbs 11:16).
- “A woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
- “When she speaks, her words are wise” (Proverbs 31:26).
Examples in the Bible
Let’s look at some of the empowered women in Scripture. One great woman in the Bible, Deborah, who held the office of judge in Israel as well as a prophetess (Judges 4:4). She even helped lead the army of Israel in a battle to victory (verses 6-24). Tabitha, also known as Dorcas, was a hard working and compassionate woman in the early Christian church (Acts 9:36-42). The name Dorcas is where many churches get the name for their outreach ministry to the needy.
Many other women served in the capacity of prophets. Examples of those are: Miriam, who also led in music ministry (Exodus 15:20), Huldah who dwelt in the college (2 Kings 22:14), Isaiah’s wife who bore a son of prophecy (Isaiah 8:3), Anna who had a prayer ministry (Luke 2:36-38), and Philip’s four daughters in the early Christian church (Acts 21:8–9).
Other great women in the Bible served as leaders like Jael (Judges 4), Abigail (1 Samuel 25), Queen Esther (the book of Esther), Elizabeth and Mary (Luke 1:41-42, 46-47), Mary Magdalene (Matthew 28:1-10), Lydia (Acts 16:14-15), Priscilla (Romans 16:3-5), and Phoebe the deaconess (Romans 16:1). All of these women fulfilled God’s plans in their generations and God inspired Bible authors to mention them as an example to future generations (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Today, it’s important for men and women to remember the roles God assigned to them. The man needs to work hard and by the “sweat of his brow” to provide for his family. The woman, by her God given wisdom and strength, needs to raise future generations. The man is to nurture and protect the body of the family while the woman is to nurture and protect the heart of the family.
Unfortunately, in our modern society, we’re seeing confusion on the roles of the sexes, and we’re reaping the negative outcome. It’s important for a man and a woman to unite in marriage and find strength in each other and in God in order to protect their children from the false teachings that relate to gender roles.
In His service,