What Does the Bible Have to Say about the Value of Women?

Posted by Michelle Tepper, on May 27, 2016
Topic: Blog

Topic: Cultural IssuesTopic: DestinyTopic: EventsTopic: Existence of GodTopic: FaithTopic: HopeTopic: MeaningTopic: MoralityTopic: OriginTopic: Practical TheologyTopic: PurposeTopic: Relationship and CommunityTopic: Reliability of ScriptureTopic: Worldview

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‘What does the Bible have to say about the value of women?’

I was asked to address this question for three Women of Substance events in New Delhi, Visakhapatnam, and Chennai, India.  The events are held two to three times a year with the vision of creating an oasis for women in India to be intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually equipped to confidently face and shape their worlds.

At each event, the room quickly became alive with vibrantly colored saris and animated greetings, but as I looked into the eyes of these beautiful women I sensed a deep hunger for truth and clarity on the topic.

The Bible’s high view of women stands matchless among sacred texts and historical documents, yet many think the Bible is to blame for most, if not all, mistreatment of women in our modern world. This is a common barrier to belief, but it’s a question I often look forward to addressing because the answer from scripture is overwhelmingly positive.

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As with all apologetic issues, though the gospel’s truth never changes, it’s important to convey it in a way that honestly engages with any challenges or hurts people may be facing when they ask a question.  This was no small task when addressing women who face the reality of injustice in the home, workforce, and government on a daily basis in their country.

Statistical studies continue to show a frustrating trend for the women of India.  Although women have higher educational opportunity and achievement than ever before, there seems to be little to no reflection or positive impact for them in employment.  The International Labor Organization in 2013 ranked India eleventh from the bottom in the world in female labor-force participation.[1] Yet even this injustice pales in comparison to the shocking fact that crimes like bride-burning or ‘dowry-death’ still occur at the rate of at least one woman each hour. [2]

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The women of this country have fought against injustice on every front and, for many, the Bible simply presented one more battle. However, the Christian faith is called “good news” for a reason: it’s all about light breaking through darkness, hope for the hopeless, and rescue for captives.

The Bible tells the story of a God who valued women so much that He made them in His image, honored them when society called them useless, placed them in positions of authority when culture deemed it inappropriate, and chose to reveal the greatest physical evidence of His eternal existence to women first.

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As these clear truths washed over the women at each event, it was moving to see joy, confidence, hope and vision spring up in their souls. The evenings ended with a live time of questions and answers where honesty, vulnerability, and the truth of the gospel reigned.

It was such an honor to have the opportunity to visit the beautiful country of India. Let us continue to remember the value God places on all men and women and to pray for our sisters who face such opposition every day.

 

Michelle Tepper is an itinerant speaker for RZIM in the US, teaching worldwide on a number of subjects, including the problem of pain, God’s character, sex, relationships, and love.

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[1] Pande, Rohini, and Charity Troyer Moore. “Why Aren’t India’s Women Working?” Editorial. The New York Times. The New York Times, 24 Aug. 2015. Web. 25 May 2016. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/24/opinion/why-arent-indias-women-working.html?_r=0>.

[2] Koutsoukis, Jason. “India Burning Brides and Ancient Practice Is on the Rise.” The Sydney Morning Herald. N.p., 31 Jan. 2015. Web. 25 May 2016. <http://www.smh.com.au/world/india-burning-brides-and-ancient-practice-is-on-the-rise-20150115-12r4j1.html>.