Beauty, Marriage, Motherhood and Ministry
I have done many blog posts about topics mentioned in this other blog post from New Life Blog, which I have linked to farther below.
A lot of conservative Christians sound no different than the secular culture they criticize in terms of the subjects of sex, a woman’s physical appearance, marriage, and so on.
For example, conservative Christians will tell single women who desire marriage that they shouldn’t be too wrapped up in their looks, that any man worth his salt will value you based on your character and brains, remember that Jesus loves you for who you are, not what you look like, so don’t burn yourself out on dieting…
Yet, these same Christians will turn around a moment later and tell Christian single women something like, “But remember, God created men to be visually oriented, so you MUST stay thin, pretty, and attractive, and wear make-up all the time, if you hope to attract and keep a man, and here are some dieting tips for you.”
Yes, Christians often speak out of both sides of their mouths on this topic.
Another annoying tendency I have seen from male Christian speakers, authors, and pastors is to refer to a biblical woman character’s physical appearance, even if it’s a tangent to the text at hand.
Male Christians will sometimes pause in the middle of a sermon or discussion on Adam and Eve, for example, to go on and on about how surely, since Eve was the only woman created directly by God, she must have been a sexy, babe-a-licious fox, yum yum.
Seriously, one Christian guy – a famous author who has his own weekly TV show – I’ve seen who brings this topic up about every time he discusses Adam and Eve practically starts to salivate when thinking about how hot and sexy Eve must have been.
I suspect this guy must have a porn addiction problem, or something of that nature; his extreme fixation on Eve’s appearance makes him seem creepy, perverted, and sexist.
I notice these male idiots never mention that Adam must have been a smoking hot, sexy, hunk of man. And believe you me, most women, even Christian ones, are also “visually oriented” and prefer a hot, good looking, buff man, to an ugly, scrawny, obese, or bald one.
At any rate, I present to you a link to another blog page which discusses some of these topics and other ones:
(Link): Beauty, Marriage, Motherhood and Ministry from New Life Blog
This blog starts out by describing how women are frequently depicted in the Old Testament: often, women’s physical beauty or virginity is mentioned, and women are usually identified in relation to a man, such as their father, brother, or husband.
Here are excerpts:
- Women in the New Testament
- So, how many New Testament (NT) women are described as being beautiful? None. Not one.
- Moreover, Paul and Peter dissuaded women from concentrating on their appearance; instead they encouraged women to focus on their character and good works. Admittedly these instructions were given mainly to wealthy married women, and not to potential brides.
- [cut pertinent Bible verses the blog author cites]
- Women in the New Testament are mentioned primarily in reference to their Christian faith and ministry, and not in terms of their beauty or marriageability. We simply do not know whether any NT woman was particularly good looking, or not.
- Also, many NT women are not mentioned in connection with a male relative. This is unlike OT women who were (Link): typically identified as either a wife, daughter, mother or sister of a certain man.
- We don’t even know the marital status of several NT women.
- Were Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, Martha, Lydia or Phoebe married? Possibly not. (This calls into question the specious doctrine that women need some sort of spiritual “covering” from a man.) Philip the Evangelist had (Link): four daughters who were not married.
- While we are given their family connection to a male relative, their father, the four daughters are described in terms of their ministry; they prophesied (Acts 21:9).
- Paul recommended singleness and celibacy so that people could minister with undivided devotion (1 Cor 7:32-35).
- Some NT women were married, but we don’t know whether they were mothers. Was Priscilla a mother? Or Joanna? Some NT women were mothers, but motherhood is not emphasised.
- … The writers of the NT saw Christian women as more than wives and mothers, they regarded them as sisters in the faith and colleagues in ministry.
- Women in the Contemporary Church
- Some contemporary churches hold to a view of women that has more in common with the OT view of women than the NT view of women, and their view of the status and possible roles of women does not take into consideration the New Covenant ideal of equality.
- New Covenant women have the same potential as their brothers to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ and to be sharers in the divine nature (2 Pet 1:3-4). Both Christian men and women can (Link): represent Jesus Christ in ministry.
- … God tolerated patriarchy in the past, and he continues to tolerate it to some degree, but patriarchy is not God’s ideal. The rule of men over women came as a consequence of the Fall.
- Jesus came, however, to deal with the consequences of the Fall.
- We must look to the New Testament and the New Covenant to see how Jesus wants men and women to be regarded and treated. Jesus taught and entrusted certain women with the message of the gospel. And Paul valued and respected certain women as his fellow ministers.
- End Notes
- …  Parenthood is an important role that should not be minimised.
- Most people, however, do not restrict men to the role of a parent, similarly we should not restrict women to the role of being a parent. The New Testament writers did not view New Covenant women primarily as wives and mothers. [My article on Is motherhood the highest calling for a woman? (Link): here.]
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