By Sophia Bricker, Crosswalk.com
In a recent news article, an eleven-year-old girl was named the “youngest mom” in the United Kingdom after giving birth to a healthy baby in June 2021. While many people may find the story surprising and a matter of interest, the event is a terrible symptom of a sad and broken world. Many young girls and women across the world have been sexually abused and exploited.
Human trafficking of children and women is widespread and ongoing. Such devastation is a result of sin and an overall devaluing of women in the culture at large.
Sadly, the devaluing of women is not just seen in the secular world, but often in the church as well. Girls and women everywhere need to know of their value and worth to God, who created everyone in His image.
Despite the teaching of the world, which devalues women as objects and commodities, the Bible teaches that women are valued by God and have a special purpose in the world.
What Women Are Not
To help clarify the misconceptions about girls and women, a list of what women are not will first be examined.
1. Women are not commodities. In a world where sex trafficking and slavery are rampant, the idea that women and girls are mere commodities to be enjoyed is promulgated around the world.
Fueled by a wrong view of women and the prevalence of pornography, women and girls have long suffered the effects of being seen as objects rather than human beings.
This is evident in the modern slavery crisis where the majority of slaves, who are trafficked are women and girls (“Facts about Trafficking of Women and Girls,” American Psychological Association).
Scripture is in direct opposition to those who view women as commodities to be used. Instead, the Bible is clear that women are made in God’s image. As Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (NIV, emphasis mine).
All girls and women have worth because they have been wonderfully and fearfully made in the image of the loving Creator (Psalm 139:14).
2. Women are not defined by their appearance. With covers of magazines showcasing edited and unrealistic images of women, numerous girls and women have bought into the lie that their worth is connected to their appearance.
This has not been helped by many men, who sexually harass women with rude and vulgar comments about women’s bodies. Even in the church, people are often more likely to notice a woman’s outward appearance than her inward beauty, intelligence, or growing Christ-like character.
In contrast to the sexualization of women and a focus on their outward appearance, the Bible declares that God looks at the heart of people, both men and women (1 Samuel 16:7). He values women who display a gentle and quiet spirit instead of an overemphasis on beauty and appearance (1 Peter 3:3-4).
As Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (NIV). God does not define women based on their appearance but by their inward being.
3. A woman’s value is not based solely on her ability to be a wife and mother. Although people of other countries commonly restrict a woman’s worth to her ability to be a wife and mother of children, there are many Christians who make similar arguments.
Within the church, many people overemphasize the woman’s role and identity as a wife and bearer of children, forgetting that women are also made to glorify God and serve Him in unique ways (Isaiah 43:7).
A woman has the God-given ability to bear a child, but her entire worth is not tied up in that ability. Some women will never marry. Others may marry but may never be able to have children. The identity of a woman is much more than her ability to bear children and be a wife.
Although the task of being a mother and wife is an honorable service and a way to glorify God in a specific season of life, a woman’s identity according to the Bible is not specifically as mothers and wives.
Some women remain single and devote their lives in making Christ known to others (1 Corinthians 7:34). Many women, both single and married, may be called to overseas mission work or full-time ministry service.
Those who are followers of Christ are identified in Christ when they place faith in Him, meaning that a Christian woman’s identity in Christ should be first before anything else in her life (Galatians 2:20).
Jesus’ Treatment of Women
The ultimate example of a person who treated women with value and dignity was the Lord Jesus Christ. He treated women radically different than those in the culture at the time He walked on earth.
Jesus openly spoke to women, even when it was deemed inappropriate to do so, such as in the case of the Samaritan woman (John 4:7-26). Significantly, the conversation with the Samaritan woman led many people to trust in Jesus as the Messiah (John 4:28-30, 39-42).
In addition, Christ also allowed and welcomed women to listen to His teachings, which again was radical at the time. Normally, Rabbis would not teach women as disciples. However, Jesus taught Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet (Luke 10:39).
Martha also received teaching from Christ, who revealed to her that He is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25-26). Furthermore, many women followed Jesus as disciples (Matthew 27:55-56; Luke 8:1-3).
Significantly, Jesus also sent Mary Magdalene as the first witness of His resurrection (John 20:17-18). This honor could have been given to the male disciples, but Jesus instead chose a woman who was despised in her culture to be the first person to spread the good news that He had risen.
Everything about Jesus’ interactions with women shows that He saw them as equal to men, of great value, and as people who had a special purpose in His Kingdom. Christ, the Lord of all Creation, even called the woman with the bleeding problem His daughter, a term which showed that women are children of God too (Luke 8:48).
Women Are Valuable to God
Despite the teachings, which permeate the culture and the church, women have value in the eyes of God. Society may claim that women are only good for bearing children, to look at, or to use as a commodity, but the Bible teaches a truth that is radically different.
Christ Himself treated women with dignity and value. He even died on the cross to save everyone, including women and girls, from their sins (2 Corinthians 5:15). Hence, in Christ all people are equal (Galatians 3:28).
Recognizing the truth about women’s biblical worth will urge Christians to teach the truth that all people have value to God, regardless of if they are a man or woman. Numerous girls and women need to hear about their Creator who preciously made them and freely offers the gift of salvation to all who believe.
No longer do they have to be slaves to the wrong expectations of the culture or treated as mere objects to be used and thrown away. Jesus Christ offers His love to all people, and He stands with open arms to those who come to Him.
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Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Eva Blanco
Sophia Bricker is a freelance writer who enjoys researching and writing articles on biblical and theological topics. In addition to contributing articles about biblical questions as a contract writer, she has also written for Unlocked devotional. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry and currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Ministry, she is passionate about the Bible and her faith in Jesus. When she isn’t busy studying or writing, Sophia enjoys spending time with family, reading, drawing, and gardening.