Men and women were designed by Jesus our Creator to be equal in gifting. Imagine the fresh wind in women’s hearts. Imagine the new confidence, sense of worth, and significant value they would feel. Imagine the infusion of fresh grace into your faith community. Imagine Jesus’ pleasure at seeing His grace-gifts being valued and utilized in His Body. But we shouldn’t have to just imagine it. Jesus meant it to be an operative reality.
It is not uncommon for women of faith to feel marginalized, unequal to men, and boxed-out from significant roles in the culture and in Jesus’ church. Their concerns are often summarily dismissed because they are often viewed as “feminist,” a loaded term in North American culture. But it is unwise to dismiss the concerns of women of faith. Scripture goes out of its way to establish the equality of women with men on the solid foundation of God’s image. So men and women of faith ought not to panic or draw their swords when women raise such concerns. We will be better lovers of God and people if we pause and listen.
There are, unfortunately, many dark marks in the history of Jesus’ church. One of the most egregious examples, thoroughly documented, has been the inequality that women have suffered. But when traced to its lair, the erroneous attitude contributing to the inequality is not Scripture, but the mishandling of it. Even today in Christ’s church, resistance to the equality of women can still be felt among men. But according to Scripture, Jesus’ church ought to be the arena where women’s equality is showcased. I hope that if you struggle in this area, you’ll consider some seminal thoughts from Scripture.