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Equal in partnership – not stronger or better: different

June 26, 2009

Once again I’ve left this blogpost far too long. I guess this time however was because I wasn’t sure of the answer to this whole women are weaker and men are leaders hypothesis. I’ve asked around and had various responses to the conundrum but I guess there’s no actual way of getting a non-biased opinion of either.

Thanks so much guys and girls for the responses to my previous post I’ve been looking through and reading and trying to figure out what my opinion of it all is. Here’s a couple of things I came up with.

The general consensus was a little scattered between women being weak and women not being weak but having to be submissive to their husbands/male role models. I took my debate to the Bible to check it out some, I mean in my head biblical teaching applies very much to today’s society so why shouldn’t the roles of women too.

Jamie suggested a great verse in Peter about the way wives and husbands should behave together however there is a slight ambiguity in the way you can interpret what is written if you look at two different translations of the Bible. For example, the New international Version – the current version I use – says this:

1Peter c3v7:  Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (NIV)

However the New King James version of the Bible says this:

7Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (NKJ)

Spot the difference? A key piece of punctuation – the comma.

This verse is saying to husbands treat your wife with respect, with care and consideration as if she were a weaker vessel.. It does not out rightly say that women are weaker.

Perhaps I’m looking at this wrong, I mean I’m no great theologian but I don’t think God intended us to be pitched against each other, he created us so that each of our strengths compensates for  one-anothers weaknesses. It says in Genesis that Eve was created to be mans helper:

Genesis c2v18: The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

God looked at the earth and saw that it wasn’t good for man to be alone so I guess it would be possible to say that mans one weakness was the lack of woman. What do you think?

Lauren made a great point too when she said this :

Read this Blogpost for me!

The original Hebrew word for ‘helper’ is used in Exodus 18:4 and Psalm 33:20 to describe God himself, and it carries with it overtones of military strength. So I dont think it can mean subservient else it implies that God is also subservient to man. Even in todays terms helper doesn’t imply weakness, it implies a choice.

I guess this is all fair enough in the sense of partnership and marriage but it made me wonder, as a single woman of God where in the Bible do I find a role model of womanhood that tells me I can be strong, independant and used for Christ’s glory as just me?

I looked through the Bible finding examples of strong women, naomi and ruth sprang to mind with there constant unfailing walk with God as they lost everything and everyone they loved. Then Ruth going out to glean and provide for herself and Naomi, that must have been a tough life, but both of these women had been married and were dictated to by other male roles in society as to how they should behave.

Deborah, an Old Testament Prophetess who led Israel, talk about a women out of her stereotypical role! She led Israel held a court, made laws decided what was wrong and righ and judged over the people of Israel if anything shouldn’t she be one biblical role of womanhood that we could aspire to?

Finally Lauren saved me and helped me to stumble across Proverbs 31, this awesome piece of the Bible talks about the wife of noble character and how she’s precious, it’s a really eye opening and inspiring proverb that teaches not only are women strong but a good woman can be hard to find. It screams strength, wisdom and the necessity for a woman to provide for her family but doing this happily and as a choice and also not being restricted to one way of doing this. If anything the strength of the woman figure in this should be a role model of how a woman, married or not should try and live.

I’m not sure if i’m contradicting myself in this post but I am trying to see all sides of the debate.

And one thing to leave you with, if we look at  how Jesus treated women in the new testament very often he stood up for them, check out these links for stories where Jesus has stood up for women:

Jesus heals the canaanite woman’s daughter

Jesus anointed by a sinful woman

Mary and Martha – In this very short story Jesus treats Mary as an equal to the men who were also listening to him, he doesn’t banish her to the kitchen he looks at her as important and values her listening to him over the preparations that Martha is doing in the kitchen for dinner.

To read more about this check out this great link that minijellybean posted on my last entry.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. pinkpointeshoes permalink
    June 28, 2009 2:26 am


    Great summary, glad I could help! hehe.

    Keep up the good work GGF and keep me updated on all your goings on.

    As soon as I can work out how to post stuff home I’ll post you this letter I wrote (might be a bit out of date!)



    • Claire permalink*
      June 30, 2009 10:16 am

      Thnx hun =) you are always a great help with this blogalisciousness =) Hows america?! I want to hear all the details hehheh xx oo you can even guest blog for me if you get time between looking after all the lil monsters =D hope church is great hun! xxxxx lots of love xxxxx


  2. Jamie permalink
    June 29, 2009 11:57 pm

    Aye, you’ve done well! On 1 Peter 3:7, it’s a bit awkward in English but it’s basically “the weaker female vessel”, so the NKJV translation could be misleading, but I think the points you’ve made about it and for the rest of the post are dead on anyway.

    And you can’t talk about great women in the Bible without mentioning Mary Magdalene – she funded Jesus’ ministry while he was alive, prepared him with ointment for his death, observed and assisted in his burial, was one of the first witnesses to the empty tomb and was the first witness (alone) to the resurrected Jesus. That’s probably the best resume of anyone in the Bible (well, y’know, not counting God).

    • Claire permalink*
      June 30, 2009 10:13 am

      Thanks for that Jamie =) and how could I forget Mary Mags! Thanks for reminding me 😀 It’s good to have someone in the know that can pull me up on these things 😉 thnx =) and keep popping back!


  3. March 27, 2010 1:55 pm

    Women carry life…Men just spark.

    From the Gospel of Mary Magdalene (Gnostic)…Mary was both (priestess and the wife of Jesus)…WOW!

    Please check the author Margaret Starbird…


    Phil E.

    • somethingcrazy permalink
      March 29, 2010 8:00 am

      The Bible never says anything about Jesus having a wife and family – and given all the passages in the New Testament (written after Jesus’ time on earth) about how family life should be, you’d expect that someone would have thought to mention Jesus as our example in this area if He actually did have a wife and family.


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