The Uniqueness and Value of Women
You Throw Like a Girl
“Don’t be so sensitive—you’re acting like a girl.” “You have a ‘girly’ voice.” Ever heard these kinds of comparisons? You likely hear them so often that they don’t catch your attention. These phrases are the symptom of a more deeply rooted issue: the constant diminishing of women’s worth through gender stereotypes.
Stereotypes are widely accepted judgments or bias about a person or group — even though they are overly simplified and not always accurate. Stereotypes can cause unequal and unfair treatment of a person. They can limit a person’s capacity to develop their personal abilities, pursue their professional careers and make choices about their lives and life plans.
Different, Not Less Than
Have you been affected by negative stereotypes, especially gender-based ones? Do you work in an occupation dominated by women? Have you resisted or discounted a calling because it is to a male-dominated field? Women have struggled with their place in society. There has been progress in some areas, but I propose another shift: women must embrace their identity in Christ as different, not less than, men.
God’s Good Design
Women were created to be co-image bearers of God (Genesis 1:27).
Women are unique from men, by God’s design. God gave Adam someone like him, but beautifully designed to complement and complete him. “At last!” [Adam] exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” (Genesis 2:23 NLT).
The beauty is internal as well: “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4) God has developed in women a natural gifting towards seeing needs and helping others.
But, as Sharon Jaynes shares in a recent devotional, "...a lot changed between the Garden of Eden and Garden of Gethsemane. By the time Jesus made His first infant cry in Bethlehem, women lived in the shadows. Women weren’t counted as people (as exhibited by the Bible describing feeding 5,000 men in Matthew 14:21). They couldn’t speak to men in public or eat with them at social gatherings; they weren’t allowed to worship with men nor sit under a rabbi’s teaching. They couldn't testify in court. Women who were divorced for any reason at all had no legal rights."
God Loves Women Too
Yet God loves men and women equally. In the Bible, He goes out of His way to intentionally show His love. And Jesus demonstrated in His ministry that he would cross any man-made social, political, racial and gender boundary to care for women with love and respect.
- In Genesis 16:7, God speaks to and encourages Hagar, an outcast Egyptian slave.
- In John 4, Jesus had a lengthy conversation with a Samaritan woman by a well and shares the good news.
- In John 8:11, the Lord Jesus set free a woman caught in adultery, saying ”go and sin no more.”
- In Luke 7:11-17, a widow in the town of Nain felt the personal touch and compassion of Jesus as He raised her son from the dead.
There are many more examples. I pray that the ones above give women personal assurance that they are known and loved by the Creator of the universe.
Jesus was willing to risk His reputation to save that of women. He delivered women from diseases and set them free from spiritual darkness. He took the fearful and forgotten and transformed them into the resolute and remembered.
Women Have Purpose
In this world men often make more money and/or have higher professional status. God does not care an iota about that—He has a greater purpose in mind. There are many women in the Bible who, through obedience, were used greatly by God. They demonstrated great strength and courage such as Mary, mother of Jesus, Ruth, Esther, and Rahab (Joshua 6:25).
When we cling to Him, we find that everything “works together for the good of them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
As God loves us, let’s pour out His love and grace onto others.
This brings me back to current day: NEVER doubt your value as a woman. You were God’s grand finale in all of creation. The Apostle Paul wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 NIV)
Practically, we can all strive to show the world the valuable uniqueness of women by doing the following:
Point it out. Magazines, TV, film, and the Internet are full of negative gender stereotypes. Sometimes these stereotypes are hard for people to see unless they’re pointed out. Be that person! Talk with friends and family members about the stereotypes you see and help others understand how sexism and gender stereotypes can be hurtful.
Be a living example. Be a role model for your friends and family. Respect people regardless of their gender identity. Create a safe space for people to express themselves and their true qualities regardless of what society’s gender stereotypes and expectations are.
Speak up. If someone is making sexist jokes and comments, whether online or in person, challenge them.
Give it a try. If you want to do something that’s not normally associated with your gender, pray about your motivation and interest. If you it is in line with God’s plan and safe for you to explore, give it a try. People may learn from your example.
Stereotypes change as people form their observations from experiences in daily life. I beg of you as women to learn what it means to be a Christian woman by soaking in His Holy presence and reading His Word.
As trite as it sounds, let’s be the change we wish to see.
At Chase Oaks, we believe our unity is beautiful when it reflects the diversity of our world. We are committed to the hard work
of bringing different people together for good and demonstrating God’s love in unexpected ways. Wonder what else is behind Chase Oaks? Check out our DNA.