Does God Think Less of Me Because I am a Woman?
Throughout my life, I have wrestled with the question, “Does God think less of me because I am a woman?”
I remember being 18 years old and sitting in one of my first college classes when a male peer asked a question I had feared since declaring my major, “What do you think a woman’s role is?” The look on his face read more like, “I can’t wait to put you in your place” rather than “I’m genuinely interested in your relationship with God and your understanding of His word.” It would not be the last time I heard this. These interactions, while in Bible college, left me feeling discouraged and unsure of God’s purpose for me due to my gender.
The truth was I had no idea where I belonged, and it was crippling. I had been told throughout my life, both directly and indirectly, that God loved me infinitely, but somehow, I was not as worthy of it as the boys sitting next to me. My wrestle became even more real when professors or individuals mentioned passages like 1 Timothy 2:11–12 and 1 Corinthians 14:33–35.
It seemed like these passages alluded to a clear yes to my question, but then how could that line up with God’s infinite love for all of humanity? I started researching the context of these letters and other passages in Scripture to gain a deeper understanding of what Scripture really says about women.
Here is what I learned:
We see throughout Scripture that God affirms the value and gifting of women. Throughout the Old Testament we God raise up women [Raheb, Deborah, Ruth, Esther, to name a few] to carry out His plan for His people. In the New Testament, we see Jesus empowering and educating women just a short time before the start of the early church. The culture in which He grew up in most frequently treated women as second-class citizens. However, that is not how Jesus saw them, which was something that often shocked His disciples (John 4:27). His stance is clear to see throughout His ministry.
The early church was no exception (Acts 2:17–18). We see women serving throughout the early church and many early church leaders empowering women. Even though there are passages, like 2nd Timothy or 1st Corinthians 14, that may make us question the value of women, we can see that was not Paul’s purpose. Paul, like Jesus, advocated for women.
We know Paul’s life and mission were radically changed when he met Jesus. Paul’s life did a complete 180 from a man trying to achieve salvation through his own piety into someone dependent on Jesus, who readily boasted in his weakness. He dedicated the rest of his life to planting churches and telling everyone he encountered the news that changed his life. In his pursuit of Christ and desire to continue to die to self, Paul became a friend and ally to women. We know this because we see many women serving in the church alongside Paul during this time.
When Paul wrote letters to guide and instruct the churches he planted, he would send them through a messenger, a trusted co-missionary, to read and discuss the message with them. The messenger of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome was a woman named Phoebe. In Romans 16, he mentions many women serving and helping to build the early church:
1️⃣ Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae (Romans 16:1–2)
2️⃣ Priscilla and her husband Aquila worked alongside each other to serve and build up the early church (Romans 16: 3–5)
3️⃣ Junia who was a female, well-known, and imprisoned with Paul
Scripture affirms from the very beginning that God made both man and woman in His image of God to bring Him glory (Genesis 1:27). And there is beauty in the fact that God created woman differently from man. However, that doesn’t make women any lesser. Woman helps man complete God’s mission and purpose. She brings something to the world that man cannot. Together, they provide a better picture of God’s character, and together they glorify him by working side by side.
Woman helps man complete God’s mission and purpose. She brings something to the world that man cannot.
So, does God think lesser of women? The clear answer is no. No matter who you are in Christ, you are called to carry out His mission. There is beauty in the fact that God created men and women differently, yet equal. I was 22 years old when I felt the full assurance of what my role is as a woman and what my answer needed to be anytime someone would ask me about it in the coming years (which trust me, it has). Our calling as men and women in the church is to fulfill the Great Commission for the glory of God.
If I could leave you with one last thought, it would be this. Regardless of who you are, in Christ, we are one. There is no one in all of humanity who is greater or less than in God’s eyes. I pray that we come together with a spirit of unity and pursuit of what is pure and noble in His eyes. Galatians 3:26–29 says this,
So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Written by: Shanna Craig, Student Ministry Director, Troy Campus
Published by Woodside Bible Church, www.woodsidebible.org