According to the scripture, men are in authority and women are in subjection. The apostle Paul made this very clear when he said, “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor 11:3). Does this mean women are inferior to men? Does this mean women have a lesser understanding of God’s Word? Certainly not! The scripture never said woman was incompetent. What it did say is that women were given different roles than man, even as man was given a different role than Christ, and Christ was given a different role than God.
Men and women are different biologically, emotionally, physically, and sexually. Regardless of all these differences, they are equal in God’s sight as concerning salvation. “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 (Gal 3:28). However, God gave men and women roles and responsibilities best suited to their natures.
Man’s Role: It was to the man that God gave responsibilities that involve the most physical strength. He was to dress and keep the garden (Gen. 2:15). His living would come by the sweat of his face” (Gen. 3:17-19). He is to be the provider (1 Tim.5:8).
Woman’s Role: Her responsibilities differ markedly from the man’s. Hers is the role of childbearing and a keeper at home (Gen. 3:16 f; Tit. 2:5).
Jesus And Equality
There were a number of times when Jesus praised women or did favors for them. He healed the son of the widow of Nain (Lk. 7); He saved the life of the woman taken in adultery (Jn. 8); He praised the widow who gave two mites (Lk. 21); He healed Peter’s mother-in-law (Matt. 8); He healed Jairus’ daughter (Mk. 5); He healed the woman with an issue of blood (Mk. 5); He honored his mother by making provisions for her (Jn. 19).
Inspiration pays its highest tribute by recording that it was women who were last at the cross and first at the tomb. While all others forsook him in his darkest hour, apparently only these women were guiltless (Matt. 27:55,61 f; Matt. 28:1).
Paul And Equality
Paul was not against women as so many have described him to be. He forever etched in our minds that “there is no respect of persons with God” (Rom. 2:11). Paul’s teaching on the marriage relationship shows inspiration’s high regard for women. A husband is to love his wife “as his own body” (Eph. 5:28); “as Christ loved the church” (Eph. 5:25); he is to “nourish” and “cherish” her (Eph. 5:29). He is to leave his parents and cleave to his wife and become one flesh with her (Eph. 5:31).
Peter And Equality
It was Peter who said, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that fears him and works righteousness, is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34,35). He also said the husband is to “honor the woman” and that husbands and wives are “joint-heirs of the grace of life” (1 Pet. 3:7). What could be more equal than that?
Headship And Equality
Since it is established over and over in both testaments that “God is no respecter of persons,” one is incorrect to think that God’s order of headship is somehow contrary to equality.
God has placed civil rulers over citizens (Rom 3:10), but that doesn’t mean God loves rulers more than he does citizens, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
God has placed parents in authority over their children (Eph.6: 1), but that doesn’t mean he loves fathers and mothers more than he does their children, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
God has given elders oversight of the flock (1 Pet. 5:2 f; Heb. 13:7,17), but that doesn’t mean he loves elders more than he loves other members, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
God has placed men with the obligation to preach and teach the Word of God both in and out of the church (1 Cor 14:33-40 ff; 2 Tim 2:2; 2 Tim 4:2-5; 1 Tim 2:11-15), but that doesn’t mean he loves preachers and teachers of God’s Word more than those who hear the Word, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
God has made the husband the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23). He has said a woman is not “to teach or usurp authority over a man” (1 Tim. 2:12), but this does not mean he loves men more than he does women, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Headship has nothing to do with God’s love.
In fact, the more responsibility God gives to one, more is required (Lk 12:48). In leading, elders take responsibility for your soul (Heb 13:17). Teachers and preachers can receive a greater damnation if they teach error (Jam 3:1). In being the head of the wife, the husband is responsible for the welfare and safety of his wife and children (1 Tim 5:8 f; Eph 5:25). Men have their role, and women have their role, and never the twain shall be the same.
Conclusion: While women must accept the role God has given them, it in no way means they are second class Christians or inferior in God’s sight. If men and women accept their proper God given role, having obeyed the gospel, they can be saved. Christian men and Christian women need to accept this, for of such is the will of God (Mt 7:21).