If we start at the beginning (which seems sensible), the book of Genesis outlines the way God intended the family unit to be structured. A heterosexual marriage, with children. Today we have all sorts of variations on this, but we know that this is the result of sin coming into the world through the fall of Adam. So when God created Eve, the first woman, he did so by using one of Adams ribs. I think we have symbolism in this, because after all, God could have just made Eve exist without using a rib and the fact that it is recorded in scripture means that God wanted us to know about it, because everything in the bible is there for us to learn from.
So this rib came from Adam’s side. Not a hair from his head or bone from his foot, but from his side. Not superior to him and not inferior to him, but created uniquely to be side by side and eventually joined together to make one whole – Genesis 2 v 24 ‘a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh’. I don’t believe that this verse is only talking about about the physical marriage, but also the spiritual and practical aspects of everyday life. Men and women are different for a reason, God intended them to need one another to make a whole.
Later on I want to discuss the teachings of submission and spiritual headship which God has outlined as the way families are to function. I hope that by the end of these blog posts, I will be able to show why I believe many people look at this topic of submission and authority from the wrong standpoint. It is not a patriarchal system of oppressing women, nor is it an old-fashioned way of living that we should dismiss. I want to stress that I believe the whole of God’s word has relevance to us today. We cannot pick and chose certain parts to follow and we must never despise or reject certain teachings because they do not fit in with our ideas of how we want to live our lives.
Anyone who knows me, will confirm that I am the first person to speak up against genuine cases of discrimination and sexism against women, and I hope to be able to show from God’s word how women are not described in scripture as inferior, but rather exhorted and created as unique people who have DIFFERENT roles to men. There is no discrimination in the bible. Discrimination is a result of sin and we should not use the language or ideas of the world to attack the relevance of scripture in our lives today.