Nel's New Day

December 28, 2014

Biblical View of Women, Marriage

Filed under: Religion,Uncategorized,Women's issues — trp2011 @ 10:20 PM
Tags: , ,

Family values are the war cry from evangelical Christians as their pastors tell them how to believe. A major part of these “values” are the roles that women are to play because of biblical instruction. Feminism is rejected, sometimes successfully as shown by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby that corporations don’t have to provide contraception through insurance because of religion and false scientific beliefs. In her book, Saving Sex, Amy DeRogatis explained that the evangelical “purity movement” requires that women can be “truly valued” only “through the Biblical worldview, where women are protected, and their bodies aren’t disrespected, and they’re really valued for who they are and what they can do.”

A closer look at the Bible shows a different view of women’s roles than the evangelicals want their parishioners to know. Right-wing Christian men prefer that they be seen as the bread winners while women stay home and do all the work. Life is easier for these men if women are weak, dependent, meek, humble, subservient, and obedient.

Proverbs 31 describes a wife as a property owner, investor, trader, and shrewd business woman who earns her own money through her work and investments. She is also to be praised, trusted, and respected for her abilities.

“She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” (Proverbs 31:16)

“She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” (Proverbs 31:18)

“She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.” (Proverbs 31:24)

“She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.” (Proverbs 31:15)

“The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.” (Proverbs 31:11)

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31:26)

“Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” (Proverbs 31:31)

Marriage is another areas of expertise for Christian evangelicals, and they have tried to spread the word that same-sex marriage desecrates the “holy institution established by God Himself.”

The Bible provides far more options that the one between one man and one woman. These include polygyny (more than one wife or concubine at the same time), open marriage for men who have access to female slaves or servants, forced marriage between a woman and her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29), and levirate marriage (when a childless widow is required to marry her deceased husband’s brother.

Jesus not only chose not to marry but also encouraged his disciples to abandon household and domestic concerns in order to follow him (Matthew 19:29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 9:57-62) or become eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom (Matthew 19:10-12): “Let anyone accept this who can.” Nowhere in the Bible is there any statement that “God Himself” established marriage as a holy institution. The closest to this “approval” is John 2:1-11 in which Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding feast.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7 that he wished everyone was like him, meaning celibate, but later endorsed male and female equality in a marriage. He also said, “Do not seek a wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:27) In Galatians 3:28 Paul said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

As Jennifer Wright Knust, author of Unprotected Texts, said,

 “If you’re reading the Hebrew Bible, we might have polygamy again. We might have not only polygamy with wives, we might have polygamy with concubines and slaves. And if we’re reading the New Testament, we would avoid marriage. The overwhelming opinion of New Testament writers is that marriage is a waste of time and that we shouldn’t be doing it because we should be spreading the Gospel. … If you’re married, you’re totally distracted and not focusing on God. If we took the New Testament seriously, we would all stop being married.”

The evangelical Christians can find many passages that promote the concept of wives as property or other chattel. The only conclusion to those passages is that the Bible cannot provide instruction about marital relationships or women’s roles–or probably anything else.

1 Comment »

  1. I thought I was the only one who noticed that Jesus REALLY deviated from Hebrew Law by staying single. Aren’t we supposed to like a life like Him? A rhetorical question, no need to answer. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

    Like

    Comment by betternotbroken — December 28, 2014 @ 10:57 PM | Reply


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