I don’t know about the rest of the women out there, but when I first read the bible I couldn’t help but notice how male dominated it is. Yes, there are a few women who are mentioned by name and have a popular story that almost everyone knows. But let’s be real. There had to be more than just Ruth, all the Mary’s, Esther, Eve, Elizabeth, Rachel, Hagar, Martha, and Rebekah. In all those centuries of living and there weren’t at least a few more women worth mentioning in the book that I am modeling my life after? Oh, and why are so many women in the bible mentioned without a name? Why aren’t they important enough to at least get a name? I’m not talking first and last, just a first name would have done. As if I needed another reason to fuel my confusion that was transitioning to being upset, why in the genealogy of Jesus were the mothers mentioned every blue moon? So everyone’s mother wasn’t important, just the daddy?
As you can probably tell from my myriad amount of questions, I wasn’t too happy about the inequality of men vs. women in the Bible. The first thing I thought to do was ask my mother. She’s a pastor AND a woman so maybe she had more insight that could ease my now inflated flame about this issue. Nope. Not only did she agree with me that women aren’t mentioned as much, she even told me that there was a certain woman who was actually written as being man in the Bible. WHAT? At this point I was upset with Jesus. He gave me this huge, dominant personality and then made me a woman. You better believe I had a silent one-way conversation with the Holy Spirit at that moment saying, “Oh, if I was born in Bible times I wouldn’t have been given an alias. You’re going to put MY name in the Bible.” I hadn’t really mastered the whole humility thing yet…
A couple of years passed and marriage became a popular topic of conversation. All of a sudden everyone wanted me to prepare to be a wife, which meant I had to learn how to submit under a man. Let’s just say Jesus and I weren’t the best of friends at this point. First, you don’t want to practice equality by not naming women as much you named men, BUT THEN, you want me to submit to a man AND you at the same time? Honestly, I thought God had lost his mind for a second.
Let me take a second to acknowledge all of the religious people currently reading this post and who are upset with me and the way I talk to God. Listen, if you can’t be honest with yourself and say that there were certain things God has asked you to do or different passages in the Bible that make you think “God, you are trippin’ right now,” then you must just go to church on Sunday and go home with no changes at all. Just because I asked a question doesn’t mean I’m not obedient. It means my relationship with God is real, honest, and vulnerable. He’s my best friend. If you have a problem with that, talk to Jesus about it.
Alright, now back to the point. Through all my frustration and with all of my questions I was really just asking God, “Aren’t I as important?” See, I thought having a name equaled importance. The more popular and well-known the more important right? I also viewed submission as a negative act. Socially, it is most commonly said with a negative connotation. I adopted this viewpoint without realizing it. I so desperately wanted women to be equal to men in the Bible, when in reality my view of what equality is was wrong.
Here comes my revelation. I was told by one of my favorites, Pastor Jerry Flowers, ONLY women have the power to conceive, carry, nurse and birth. See, a woman’s power is just different from a man’s. Just as powerful, just different. Then, my mom taught me about that word, submission. To submit to a man through marriage is a choice and through this choice, your union is endowed with power. As you submit to your husband, he also submits to God. This union is a commitment between both individuals and God, not a loss of individual power and purpose.
Now, in regards to the lack of equality of women’s vs. men’s name in the Bible, I had to come to terms with that through my own meditation. Why did it bother me so much that women weren’t named or mentioned? Well, instead of answering that question for me God asked me another. “What are you doing this for? For My glory or for yours?” That rebuke wasn’t easy to take, but of course God was right. My issue wasn’t with the Bible, but with my heart. I wanted to be like those people in the Bible who did great works for God, but I wanted to do it for the fame and popularity, not taking into account the sacrifice. Many of those people sacrificed their lives, yet I was worried about a name.
If at any point you ever find yourself like me, asking God questions about the Bible and about topics that have made you upset, always be willing to look within. Ask yourself why. If at any point the answer is not “for the glory of God,” be ready to go through a heart change. In my humility, I had to accept that my questions came from my imperfections, not God’s. God is perfect. I am not.