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Western-Style ‘Biblical Womanhood’ and the Wider World

Western-Style 'Biblical Womanhood' and the Wider World

Here is a link to one of the best articles I have ever read on so-called ‘biblical womanhood’. It shows that “the privileged frivolities of Western homemaking” have nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus and have little to offer the wider world, a world that is harassed and hurting and needs all able workers—Christian men and women—to minister the peace and wholeness (shalom) that Jesus offers.

The article is entitled On Being a Woman After God’s Own Heart: Biblical Womanhood, or Cultural Womanhood? and was written by gifted writer Jenny Rae Armstrong, who knows what she’s talking about. Jenny Rae spent much of her childhood in Liberia during a horrific civil war.

She writes,

“If it doesn’t work for African market women, it doesn’t work for me.” The gospel has to be good news for everyone willing to accept it, no matter their circumstances, or it isn’t good news at all. Besides, why should middle-aged, white Americans get to define what constitutes “a woman after God’s own heart?”

The article was first published in Mutuality magazine earlier this year, and is now posted on the Christians for Biblical Equality website here. Jenny Rae Armstrong’s blog is here.

Biblical womanhood, cultural womanhood


“Liberian Women” by http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/essay-10-01.html. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Pray the Devil Back to Hell via Wikipedia

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4 thoughts on “Western-Style ‘Biblical Womanhood’ and the Wider World

  1. I like her article. I wrote two posts on something similar on my blog called Gender Stereotypes in Christianity about women and men. I agree this biblical womanhood ideal seems more about a stereotypical image of what woman should be based on a cultural nostalgic idea of womanhood from the by gone era. We need to learn to separate biblical ideals and cultural ideals what a woman should be, although I’m not against all traditional gender roles and support some of them too an extent.

    1. 🙂
      I completely agree that we need to distinguish between biblical ideals and cultural ideals. Some traditional roles work well in my marriage, and others don’t.

  2. Thank you for sharing this! When I browsed around online, my heart sunk at some of the things some Christians say women have to be. The narrow box simply doesn’t fit who I am. I am someone inclined towards math and science, so limiting me would be limiting how God made me to be. I understand that some individuals do fit that ‘Western-style “Biblical Womanhood”‘, which is fine, but we are all different and unique.

    When it comes to femininity, I don’t think I have to try *so hard* to be feminine–I already am. And if I follow Jesus, my true feminine self will come through naturally.

    1. Hi Zoe,

      Same. I think I’m quite feminine in many regards, and that this has come naturally. But I also have a brain and want to use it.

      My children are grown now, so many of the things written in Christian marriage books about so-called gender roles do not apply to me at all.

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