Access your downloads at our archive site. Visit Archive
Mother rocking baby to sleep in rocking chair

The Lack of Biblical Womanhood Contributes to the Collapse of Society *

Women have been given a crucial role in society. In the Bible every time a new king was raised up, the Bible goes out of its way to name that king’s mother. It is as though it is showing us the influence women have. Whether the king turned out a follower of God or a follower of man, you can be sure of a woman influencing him, be it his wife or mother.

  • Rebekah O.,
Share this

The following is a thesis presentation by one of the students in a world history class under the auspices of City Gates Symposium.

The lack of biblical womanhood in theory and practice contributes to the collapse of society.

What is womanhood? This seemingly straightforward question has been largely overlooked in modern times, so much so that while writing this, I encountered a  plethora of diverse answers while researching this topic.

According to an article I found, written by an online therapy group, the answer is: ‘Womanhood can be thought of as the experiences and sense of self an individual who identifies as female or woman-aligning has. What this looks like can differ, as can the extent to which someone identifies with their womanhood. Being a woman can mean whatever you want, allowing womanhood to be a profoundly personal experience.’

This definition describes it as a condition or some sort of feeling. Womanhood is now a vague idea and something purely based on someone’s ideas or perception about it. You don’t even have to be a woman to subscribe to it! It has been so tarnished in the modern lens that no-one can give a straight answer for it, including many Christians. Let alone Biblical womanhood, which is simply out of the question for many people today. And yet, Biblical womanhood is one of the crucial things lacking in society today. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the lack of Biblical womanhood in theory and practice contributes to the collapse of society.

First off, I’m going to reference what I’m basing Biblical womanhood off of. I am basing this on, of course, what the Bible has to say, mainly Proverbs 31:10-31. While that chapter is under the context that the woman in question is a wife and a mother, it’s portrayed as all the admirable accomplishments spanning over the woman’s entire life, and what women should strive to achieve in life, through the opportunities presented to them.

The world today has taken many things and twisted them to further a certain agenda. People see the state of the world, the many injustices and transgressions, but instead of turning to the Bible, they look elsewhere. Scores of women have abandoned the idea of Biblical womanhood, favoring instead feminism and the idea of equality. Their mindset seems to be: ‘Equality is the true issue here. If we simply make things perfectly equal, the world will be fixed.’ Women feel threatened by men, and so make it a life mission to prove themselves as good as, or even better than men. Abortion is legalized, in an attempt for that “equality.” Gender is turned into a concept, ready to be changed on a whim. Homosexuality and transgenderism is rampant.

The devil has directly targeted womanhood here, and by doing so, is cleverly making an attack on the family as a whole. Women shouldn't be getting married and raising children, they’ve got to rise in the ranks! Break the glass ceiling! If you want to raise a family later in life, sure, that’s fine, but you’ll still be busy with furthering your career, so you’ll want to put your children in state school. You can’t be focusing on bringing up your family or you will lose the position you've worked so hard to achieve.

And now, with both parents distracted, children being taught to repeat the same thing in school, family is now an afterthought, and the devil has a fairly firm foothold in society.

As a young woman living in these times, I am one of those being targeted. I have never been in state school and I have parents that are more concerned with furthering the kingdom of God than their careers, but I am still exposed to many of these ideas. Some of them sound appealing, some definitely do not. But the one thing in common they all have is that they are not examples of Biblical womanhood.

Naming the first one, and the one that seems to create the most buzz these days: feminism. Feminism has had a long and complicated history. The first wave started out as women fighting for the right to vote and the right for coverage. Now we’ve progressed to the fourth wave of feminism, where it’s all about gender equality and empowerment (although at this point, feminists don’t seem to be sure just what gender they’re fighting for!)

What are some of the ways these feminists seek equality?

Abortion, or the right to kill their children before they’re born. Men don’t get pregnant, and so are free to be as promiscuous as they please without consequence—or, at least immediate consequence. Women don’t have that right! So they clamor for the right to abortion, where pregnancy can be simply terminated. Equality restored, now men and women are on the same playing field.

Proverbs 31:28 ‘Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:’ is not the case here. Children and most often husband, are not even in the picture.  

Men are an issue for them too. Years of enslaving women with their oppressive patriarchy, men are nothing but tyrants in society, squashing women’s voices and strutting around with their male privilege. Feminists feel the need to compete, show the world that they are just as good—no, better—than men. In fact, eradicate all gender differences…we’re all equal here. There is no need for distinctions, since those only bring trouble.

To quote Rushdoony, from his book Institutes of Biblical Law:

‘Instead of restoring women to their proper place of authority beside man, women’s rights became feminism: it put women in competition with men. It led to the masculinization of women and the feminization of men, to the unhappiness of both.’

Eradicating the gender differences between men and women is the first step, it’s the edge that sends the snowball rolling. Then it escalates. Who needs gender? Men can marry men and women can marry women. You can change your gender. You don’t need to have one at all.

There are clear distinctions between the sexes for a reason. When we ignore them, or twist them to suit ourselves, we are meddling in God’s design.

To quote Rebecca Jones, from her book Does Christianity Squash Women?: 

“Feminism has fallen prey to its own success. It so successfully challenged our answer to the question ‘what is a woman?’ that it decimated our definitions of sexuality. It is so divided that it can no longer defend women because it can’t define them.”

Gone is the housewife of bygone days; we are in the age of a new woman. A woman is not held down by things like ‘family’, she is a rising star in society, pursuing a career, and contributing to the economy. She has no need for a husband, but lives unmarried with any man she pleases. If an unwanted pregnancy occurs, it’s a simple enough problem to fix. She is empowered, fighting for women and homosexual and transgender rights. This is the world’s ideal woman.

The Proverbs 31 woman is no longer a consideration in society.

But what about in the church?

Within the church, there are those who have, instead of seeking the Bible in its fullness, have taken feminist ideology and tried to push it into the church. They will do their best to find Bible verses and twist them, especially the ones they feel are unfair to women. They are the people who have seen the injustices women face in the church, and decide to solve them in the exact same way feminists do: by forcing things into an ‘all equal’ mold.

1 Timothy 2:11-15, 1 Peter 3:1, and Ephesians 5:21-33 are some of the most controversial Bible verses in the church today. This is where we have to become cautious of dismissing God’s commandments entirely or becoming legalistic.

Many churches have decided that 1 Timothy 2:12 (And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.) should be removed. This verse is speaking about women’s roles in the church, and how she should not be permitted to be in the place of eldership within the church (unlike people who argue that women should not be allowed to teach at all), but these people take it a step further, and say that women should be allowed to be pastors. They use various arguments, such as ‘there were female pastors, the Bible just didn’t put much attention on them’, ‘women having the gift of prophecy means they can be pastors’, or ‘Paul himself was just sexist.’

When you have to make leaps and bounds for your argument to make sense, create logical fallacies so the Bible is more palatable for you, I think it’s safe to say that you’re incorrect in your interpretation. Galatians 3:28 (There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.) teaches of diversity within the members of the church, but it says nothing about all having the same roles. Men and women have different roles in life, and one of the different roles assigned to only men happens to be eldership in the church.

1 Peter 3:1 (Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives) and the remains of 1 Timothy 2:13-14 (For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression) is especially distasteful to these people. Who wants to be told to submit to your husband? Many people view it as inferior, and just more proof that the Bible is sexist. They’ll come up with arguments to wave it away like ‘Adam and Eve were actually equal, there’s no need for submission’, ‘Actually Genesis 1-2 isn’t historically accurate’, or the most shocking one I’ve found: ‘Adam wasn’t even a male until Eve was created.’ The logical fallacies go on and on.

Well, now we can see why the church is so lenient on other issues in society these days!

God has created some roles for men, and some for women. Dismissing the fact that he made those roles different is rejecting God’s natural order. If we can reject one thing from the Bible, who is to say that we can’t reject it all?

Once again reiterating my previous point, trying to erase the differences between the sexes creates a door-opener. Especially so when done by the church! They allow secular thoughts to guide their worldview, trying to make the Bible fit into that worldview, rather than the Bible informing their worldview.

But now we look on the flip side of the coin.

‘Women belong in the kitchen.’ This is a phrase that has been around for many years. Sometimes used as a joke, oftentimes used as a disparaging way to talk down to women. It’s just one of the things that reveal an entirely different way women are viewed in the world. They are not only different from men, they are lesser.

Taking a glance at how women are treated in different cultures, you can see how “the lesser view” is still prevalent now. In Muslim countries, women are expected to cover themselves up so much that only their eyes are visible (and sometimes those must be hidden too) to prevent men from sinning, to the point that a woman can be imprisoned or beaten if seen without veiling. In certain Asian and African cultures, women are kidnapped from their homes, forced to marry the man who stole her from her family. Sexual harassment/abuse, domestic violence, rape, these are all things that happen to women all around the world.

Throughout history, the moment that Biblical law was no longer the basis for all of life, a women’s role in society became that of a doll, man's slave, child-bearer, or fragile plaything, without thoughts of her own (at least, not intelligent ones)

And that method of drifting away from the Biblical idea of womanhood affected the church too. While less extreme (in some cases) within the church, there are people all too eager to diminish women. They take 1 Peter 3:1 and use it to squash the women around them. That verse is a command given by God to married women specifically, but some men take it and say not only will they make their wives submit to them, but they also enforce that all women should submit to all men. Now we’re getting legalistic, and in a way that is sure to push women away from the church!

I’ve seen many examples of legalism designed to squash women in the church. If the church can't even acknowledge a women's role, how can we expect God’s vision for men and women to be carried out in society?

The patriarchy is not an issue, God set up men as leaders as part of his design. But what is the issue is when men use that leadership to become controlling. They become tyrants in the home, at church, in society. They are placing themselves above God, making their own laws.

While being a wife, homemaker, and mother are all fulfilling roles, society has often undervalued and diminished the significance of these roles, leading many women to distance themselves from them. It is crucial to acknowledge the inherent worth and dignity of these responsibilities, rather than allowing them to be twisted into demeaning expectations that belittle women.

It brings up the question again, what is Biblical womanhood? Is it being a doormat in life, taking 1 Peter 3:1 to the extreme, or reducing a woman's purpose to whatever man wishes it to be?

Proverbs 31 speaks of a woman who is buying property (31:16), conducting business (31:18), who teaches (31:26). These pursuits are not deemed superior to her. She is fulfilling the role God assigned to her, and she is praised for it. Her husband prizes her all the more for it. Her role may be different from a man’s, but she is not lesser for it.

Quoting Wayne Grudem, from his book Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth: 
‘Men and women share equally in the tremendous privilege of being in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 corrects the errors of male dominance and male superiority. We are all equally important and equally valuable to God.’

Another quote, from Andrea Schwartz and her book Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service:

 ‘In an attempt to swing the pendulum back to Biblical standards for marriage and family, an over-correction has occurred which has hampered the true expression of God’s plan for the Kingdom-driven family. Moreover, while it is true that the highest expression of womanhood is in the calling of wife and mother, to assert that women should not pursue proficiency and skill in additional areas of life goes beyond the dictates of Scripture. Women are not an underclass, but hold full citizenship in the Kingdom of God.’

Part of Biblical womanhood is seeing true worth in being created in God’s image, and seeing the glorious role he has designed for women as that—glorious. It isn’t stifling women or being under the impression that God made women lower than men.

From what I’ve talked about here, nowadays, there are many clashing views of what womanhood should look like.

In the eyes of the radical feminists, womanhood should become something to fade into the background, while equality reigns supreme. Either that, or, womanhood should be what reigns supreme, finally breaking free of societal expectations and proving once and for all that women (and anyone else that identifies as one) are superior. (if it seems contradictory to you, you’d be correct)

In the eyes of hardcore traditionalists, the world should go back to the good old days, where women were creatures that never spoke back, allowed their husbands to trample all over them, and didn’t do things like thinking or having ideas.

And yet, of all these ideas of womanhood presented here, only one truly matters. It is what the Bible, untwisted and wholly true, has to say about it. Any other interpretation is just man (or woman) doing what he sees right in his own eyes, living without ultimate authority. It leads to either anarchy or tyranny.  

Society is under direct attack by Satan. He comes in to divide and conquer, working to destroy the God-created order. He doesn’t want God’s Kingdom to be established on Earth, and so he works to prevent it with whatever opportunity he can find, like turning the gift of womanhood and family into a cage, an oppression.

The Proverbs 31 woman is what women should strive to be. She is trustworthy, a manager of her household, is wise and gives advice, and a hard worker. God has given her children, and she raises them up for the Kingdom of God. Even for women who do not have a family, or are not called to raise one up, she can still look towards Proverbs 31 as her ideal in life. Verse 30 says: ‘Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.’ Above all, she is a follower of God, and a disciple of Jesus. That is the epitome of Biblical womanhood.

As a woman, I’d say that women have been given a crucial role in society. Something I’ve noticed in the Bible is every time a new king was raised up, the Bible will go out of its way to name that king’s mother. I feel as though it is showing us the influence women have. Whether the king turned out a follower of God or a follower of man, you can be sure of a woman influencing him, be it his wife or mother.

To quote Dee Jepsen, from her section in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: 

‘I am convinced that the enemy has tried to destroy womanhood. Today he is breaking up marriages, denigrating the home, and trying to do us in, because he hates us. But I also believe that God will use those very circumstances to move against the enemy and ours. In our modern times, women have taken the center stage. Whether we like it or not, the spotlight is on us. I am convinced that God is raising up godly women to reflect this character on the world around us.’

That is why the lack of Biblical womanhood leads to society’s collapse. Because when God’s roles are rejected, it brings on a world that does what is right in its own eyes. It breaks free from yokes that should not have been broken.

Women have been given a role in life, directly from God. They are the helpmeets to their husbands, they nurture and raise their children. They play a pivotal part of determining the trajectory of the next generation, paving the path society will end up following. It is a role given to women, a role that has been neglected in wishing for a “better” role, wanting instead the role man was given.

I believe God is calling women to be examples to the world around them. To strive to be a Proverbs 31 women, embrace their roles, and live them out. In a world where Biblical womanhood is barely even thought of, the God-fearing women can be the difference.

For if the lack of Biblical womanhood contributes to the collapse of society, then the wealth of Biblical womanhood will no doubt contribute to its rise.


Here is an audio version of this presentation.