Honoring Moms: The Key to Church Growth

It’s a sight that’s familiar in churches across the globe: Moms, with children in tow, fill the pews on a Sunday morning. They are the ones who shepherd their families to church, instill the values of faith, and foster a sense of community. In many ways, moms are the backbone of the church, and honoring them can play a significant role in church growth.

Moms: The Pillars of Faith

From a young age, it is often our mothers who introduce us to the concept of faith. They hold our hands as we say our first prayers, guide us through our first Bible stories, and teach us about love, compassion, and kindness. They are our first teachers, shaping our understanding of faith and God.


In Proverbs 31:26-28, it is said, ​​”She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” This passage beautifully encapsulates the critical role mothers play in nurturing spiritual growth within their families.

The Power of a Mother’s Influence

Mothers have a profound influence on their children’s lives, including their spiritual journey. According to a study by the Barna Group, a mother’s role is influential in shaping a child’s religious beliefs and practices. The study found that mothers are more likely than fathers to be responsible for their children’s religious experiences.


This influence extends beyond childhood. As children grow into adults, they carry their mother’s teachings with them. They are more likely to attend church regularly, engage in religious activities, and pass down their faith to the next generation. As it’s said in Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

What the Bible Says About the Role of a Mother

The power of a mother’s influence isn’t just scientific but biblical. In the Bible, mothers hold a special place, and their role is seen as significant. Here are a few scriptural references to support this:

2 Timothy 1:5

In this passage, Paul acknowledges the role of Timothy’s mother and grandmother in shaping his faith, saying, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” This shows the influential role a mother plays in nurturing faith in her children.

Exodus 2:1-10

In this passage, the story of Moses’ mother, Jochebed, demonstrates the sacrificial love and courage of a mother. Despite the decree to kill all Hebrew boys, Jochebed hid Moses for three months and then placed him in a basket in the Nile, where he was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised as her own. Jochebed’s actions saved Moses, who would grow up to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Luke 1:38

In this verse, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is highlighted as another powerful example of a mother’s faith. When the angel Gabriel told her that she would conceive the Son of God, Mary responded, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Her willingness to accept God’s plan shows a mother’s faith and obedience.

Growing the Church by Honoring Moms

If mothers are such vital players in fostering faith and filling the churches, it stands to reason that honoring them can significantly contribute to church growth.


Honoring moms goes beyond celebrating them on Mother’s Day. It means acknowledging their efforts year-round, supporting them in their spiritual journey, and creating an environment where they feel valued and loved.


Churches can honor moms by providing resources and support for their parenting journeys, such as parenting classes or support groups. Churches can also create programs that cater to children and youth, making it easier for mothers to bring their families to church.


Moreover, churches can acknowledge the hard work of mothers in their congregation by giving them roles in church leadership. By seeing mothers in positions of authority, others in the church are reminded of the essential role that women play in spiritual growth and community building.

The Strength of the Church Rests with Mothers

Honoring moms is more than a nice sentiment; it’s a strategic move for church growth. Moms are often the ones who bring their families to church, influence their children’s spiritual growth, and foster a sense of community. By recognizing their contributions and supporting them in their spiritual journey, churches can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment. This, in turn, can attract more families, leading to church growth.


As we move forward, let us remember the words from Proverbs 31:28, “Her children rise up and call her blessed.” Let us ensure that our churches echo this sentiment, honoring the mothers among us, acknowledging their impact, and, in doing so, growing our congregations in faith and numbers. 


How Women Can Regain Their Early Church Status

Women have been marginalized and oppressed for far too long, denied equal status and opportunities in society and even within religious institutions. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a rich history of women’s leadership and active participation in the early Church that we can look to as a model for moving forward.

Jesus’ Treatment of Women as an Example for the Church Today

If we examine the Gospel accounts, we see that Jesus himself treated women with respect and dignity, often going against the prevailing cultural norms of His time. He spoke to them directly, engaged them in theological discussions, and welcomed them as disciples. In fact, some of Jesus’ closest followers and supporters were women, including Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna. These women played an active role in Jesus’ ministry, traveling with Him and supporting Him financially.


“In the earliest years of the Church, the love and respect shown to women by Jesus during his lifetime, together with his acceptance of them as his disciples and proclaimers, spilled over into the aftermath of his passion, death and resurrection, ensuring a positive place for them in the ministry of the earliest churches” (Jesus and Women, p. 119).

Women’s Leadership Roles in the Early Church as an Example for the Church Today

In the aftermath of Jesus’ death and resurrection, women continued to play a critical role in the early Church. They were leaders, preachers, teachers, and prophets, and their contributions helped shape the direction and theology of the early Christian movement. Women like Phoebe, Junia, and Priscilla are mentioned by name in the New Testament as respected leaders.


For example, “When Paul founds the church in Corinth, he meets Aquila and his wife, Priscilla, who become important co-workers involved in a teaching ministry for converts and who also run a notably warm house church (Acts 18:2 and 26; 1 Corinthians 16:19)” (Jesus and Women, p. 119). 

How Medieval Women Mystics Paved the Way for Women in the Church Today

During the time when Thomas Aquinas formulated the doctrine of transubstantiation, which established the necessity of priestly mediation for access to God, many women mystics were asserting the availability of direct access to God, describing their mystical experiences of encountering God without the need for priestly intervention or mediation.


One such mystic was Marguerite Porete, whose book The Mirror of Simple Souls “declares that all people, whether male or female, rich or poor, professionally religious or members of the laity, can have equal access to a mystical relationship with God” (Jesus and Women, p. 125).


Writings such as this challenged the patriarchal structures of the Church, which limited women’s participation in religious life and restricted their access to spiritual authority. By claiming their direct access to God, women mystics were subverting the idea that only priests had the power to mediate between God and humanity. Therefore, “I would argue that the way forward for women in the Church can be inspired by the lifestyles and courage of the medieval women mystics” (Jesus and Women, p. 143). 

A Vision for the Future Church

Jesus treated women equally, and women were active participants in the early Church. So why, then, have women been excluded from leadership roles and relegated to second-class status in many churches throughout history? The answer is complex and involves a range of social, cultural, and historical factors. But what’s clear is that this is not the way it was meant to be. We need to look to the example of the early Church and reclaim women’s rightful place as leaders and co-laborers in the Gospel.


This means creating space for women’s voices to be heard, recognizing and affirming their gifts and talents, and actively working to dismantle patriarchal structures that oppress and silence women. “In the future Church, an important pastoral duty should also be the discernment and encouragement of the charisms of individuals in the community. Women’s abilities for empathetic and compassionate service, as well as serving at the individual level, would have a great contribution to make to the ordained pastoral ministry” (Jesus and Women, p. 147). 


This also means looking to the example of Jesus, who saw women as fully human and deserving of respect and dignity. It means embracing a vision of gender equality that is grounded in love, justice, and compassion.


“The new historical phase of Christianity, facilitated by science, will require an egalitarian, non-hierarchical Church, in which the focus will be on encouraging and providing Christian individuals with the means to develop close relationships of loving kindness with God. So how should the roles of women be defined in this future Church? In order to clarify the optimum use of female gifts in assigning roles to them in a new Church order, let us remind ourselves of Paul’s description of the Early Church community: ‘Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues” (Jesus and Women, p. 144). 


To continue this work, we must actively dismantle oppressive structures within the Church and create space for women’s voices to be heard and affirmed. If you are interested in exploring this topic further, I encourage you to read my book, Jesus and Women, for a deeper dive into the rich history of women’s leadership in the Church and how women can use these truths to regain their early church status in the Church today.

The Dignity and Personhood of Women Through the Eyes of Jesus


Have you ever wondered how Jesus perceived and treated women during His time on Earth? In a society where women were often marginalized and viewed through the lens of patriarchal norms, Jesus’ approach was markedly different. Keep reading to explore the revolutionary way in which Jesus acknowledged the dignity and personhood of women, setting a precedent that challenges us to reevaluate our own attitudes today.

A Revolutionary Perspective

During a time when women were marginalized and limited by societal norms and double standards, Jesus’ approach was revolutionary. He saw women not as lesser beings but as individuals of worth, affirming their dignity and personhood.


One striking example of this is found in John 4:1-42 with the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. During this time, cultural norms dictated that Jews did not associate with Samaritans, let alone a woman. Yet, Jesus not only spoke to her but engaged in theological discussions, acknowledging her capacity for deep understanding. He saw past her societal labels–a woman, a Samaritan, and someone with multiple marriages–and recognized her inherent worth.


Another example is Mary Magdalene, who is often perceived as a repentant prostitute in popular culture. The Bible, however, paints a different picture. Mary Magdalene was a devoted follower of Jesus, present at His crucifixion when most of His disciples had fled. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, entrusting her with the message of His resurrection to the other disciples (John 20:1-18). This act defied societal norms, as women’s testimonies were not considered reliable during that time. Jesus, however, saw Mary’s faithfulness and entrusted her with this crucial message, affirming her personhood and dignity.


These examples are just two that illustrate Jesus’ radical departure from the societal norms of His time. This approach was not only revolutionary but continues to be a powerful message for gender equality today.

“Do You See This Woman?”

Another example of how Jesus perceived and treated all women in the fullness of their dignity and personhood comes from a significant event in the Bible found in Luke 7:36-50


In this passage, one of the Pharisees invites Jesus to his home for a meal. While they are at the table, a woman enters the house uninvited. “Such an entrance would have created an immediate stir: it was highly inappropriate, to say the least, for a woman who was a known ‘sinner’ to come into the house of a respected Pharisee” (Jesus and Women, p. 70).


Overcome by emotion, the woman stands by Jesus at his feet, weeping. Her tears fall on his feet, and she wipes them away with her hair. Then, she kisses Jesus’ feet and anoints them with perfume from her jar. “Meanwhile, the Pharisee is dismayed to see that Jesus allows himself to be touched by a sinful woman” (Jesus and Women, p. 70)


While the Pharisee’s attitude toward the woman who is a “sinner” is legally correct, Jesus tells him a parable of two people who owed money to a certain moneylender–one owed five hundred denarii and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave both debts. Jesus then asks the Pharisee which of them will love the moneylender more. The Pharisee replies that he supposes it would be the one who had the larger debt forgiven.


“Before teasing out the full implications of the contrast he has made between the two debtors, Jesus forces [the Pharisee] to take notice of the weeping woman by asking: ‘Do you see this woman?’ (Luke 7:44). To the Pharisee she is something to be ignored, something less than human” (Jesus and Women, p. 70).


Jesus then points out the ways in which the woman has shown him hospitality and love–she wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair, kissed his feet, and anointed them with perfume. In contrast, the Pharisee offered no water for his feet, no kiss of greeting, and no oil for his head.


“For the dinner guests the woman’s courage and tenderness are irrelevant, negated by her shameful occupation. However, Jesus sees her in her totality as a person” (Jesus and Women, p. 74). This story exemplifies Jesus’ transformative perception of women. He saw beyond her status as a “sinner” and a woman, instead recognizing her repentance and faith. This is a powerful testament to Jesus’ recognition of the full personhood of women, regardless of their societal standing.

A Call to See Women as Jesus Did

Throughout His ministry on Earth, Jesus never patronized or dismissed women. Instead, he acknowledged their full personhood and valued their contributions. The recognition of the inherent value and dignity of all women, regardless of their societal status, is a strong theme in Jesus’ teachings and actions. It’s a theme crucially important in today’s world, where women still face inequality and marginalization, especially in the church. 


By understanding this, we can challenge the societal norms that continue to limit women and work toward a world where every woman is recognized for her full personhood, even in the church, just as Jesus did. If this topic is of interest to you, I recommend reading my book, Jesus and Women, in which I discuss the full implication of Jesus’ treatment of women and what it means for the restoration of harmony between the sexes. Purchase your copy today!




Princess Diana and Mother Teresa: A Testament to Female Solidarity, Love, and Compassion

In a world where women are often categorized as either “good” girls or “bad” girls, two iconic figures stood tall, embodying the essence of love, compassion, and female solidarity. These two women were none other than Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. Their close relationship serves as a testament that the strength of women, grounded in love and compassion, can shatter stereotypes and end the polarisation of the female sex, even in the Church.

The Unlikely Companionship Between Princess Diana and Mother Teresa

The iconic relationship between Princess Diana and Mother Teresa, two of the most influential women of their time, offers a compelling narrative on the sexual double standard that pervaded society. Princess Diana, despite her unwavering Christian devotion to charitable works, was often maligned by the male-dominated political and religious establishments. This criticism was largely rooted in the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles, an event precipitated by his adulterous affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. Yet, interestingly, the same establishments that chastised Diana remained silent about Charles’s infidelity.


In stark contrast stood Mother Teresa, a beacon of “good girl” virtue within the Roman Catholic Church. Her status was not just anchored in her selfless, Jesus-focused charitable work but also her commitment to a life of celibacy. As a Roman Catholic nun, she represented the epitome of moral purity within the Church’s framework.


Mother Teresa’s relationship with Diana was marked by a deep sense of maternal support, particularly during Diana’s search for a new partner and the ensuing backlash from society. She recognized and appreciated Diana’s Christian charitable works, seeing them as a reflection of her own mission.


The relationship between these two women serves as a potent symbol of the polarizing portrayal of women in Proverbs. It highlights the societal tendency to categorize women into binary extremes – the “bad” girl and the “good” girl. Yet, through their bond, Diana and Mother Teresa challenged this dichotomy, demonstrating that women could embody a spectrum of virtues and attributes. Their friendship underscores the need to move beyond reductive stereotypes toward a more nuanced understanding of womanhood.

Defeating the Double Standard

Their friendship challenged the double standards imposed on women. Princess Diana, despite her royal status, was often subjected to public scrutiny and judgment. Mother Teresa, though revered for her work, also faced criticism. Despite these challenges, they remained undeterred, continuing their efforts to make the world a better place. Their actions sent a powerful message–that women are not just “good” or “bad.”


This double standard was also evident in the Old Testament. A clear example of this is the depiction of The Bad Girl: Jezebel and The Good Girl: Ruth. “The name Jezebel became laden with connotations that link normal female behaviour, such as self-adornment and the application of make-up, with great evil, facilitating the common biblical characterisation of women as either ‘good’ girls or ‘bad’ girls” (Jesus and Women, p. 45). Then you have Ruth, who, “like Jezebel, was a foreign woman and yet is a beloved biblical character” (Jesus and Women, p. 45).


As the narrative goes, Naomi and her husband Elimelech, along with their two sons, left Bethlehem due to a severe famine and settled in Moab. After Elimelech’s death, the two sons married Moabite women: Ruth and Orpah. However, tragedy struck again when both sons also died, leaving Naomi and her daughters-in-law widowed.


Deciding to return to Bethlehem, Naomi urged her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab and remarry. Orpah reluctantly stayed, but Ruth famously pledged her loyalty to Naomi, saying, “​​Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).


Upon arriving in Bethlehem, Ruth began to gather grain in the fields of a wealthy relative of Naomi’s, a man named Boaz. Learning of Boaz’s kindness, Naomi instructed Ruth to request Boaz to be her kinsman-redeemer (a close relative who could marry a widow to continue her deceased husband’s lineage according to Jewish law). 


“When Naomi hears of Boaz’s kind and noble treatment of Ruth, she speculates that he could be a potential husband for her and begins to devise a plan of seduction. She tells Ruth to wash and perfume herself and put on her best clothes. Once she is all dressed up, she is to go to the threshing floor where Boaz will be working and bide her time until she discovers where he will sleep for the night. When he is asleep, she is to creep under his blanket” (Jesus and Women, p. 46).


Fortunately, Boaz was already planning to marry Ruth before this act of seduction. And when they did, they had a son named Obed, who became the grandfather of King David, thus placing Ruth in the direct lineage of Jesus Christ. However, “while Ruth is traditionally considered to be the star of the story, I would argue that its ending elevates Naomi to an even higher level than that of her daughter-in-law” (Jesus and Women, p. 47).

What We Learn from Ruth and Naomi’s Friendship

The story of Naomi and Ruth in the Bible is admired and celebrated, despite Naomi’s cunning and Ruth’s seductive actions. This acceptance stems from their pure intentions, the genuine love between Ruth and Boaz, and the deep bond between Ruth and Naomi. 


“The fact that love conquers all is evident in the way they are portrayed as exemplars for all women, while allowing them the fullness of their femininity. The outcome of their loving relationship also highlights what women are capable of achieving when they work together and also how the sight of it can elicit solidarity from other women, as is evidenced in the pleasure the women of the town take in Naomi’s good fortune. I believe that the story of Naomi and Ruth exemplifies the power of female solidarity in defeating the double standard and generating joy and harmony” (Jesus and Women, p. 49). 


Similar to the friendship between Princess Diana and Mother Teresa, Ruth and Naomi’s relationship highlights how female solidarity, grounded in the gifts of love and compassion, can defeat the double standard and create space for women to exist, not just as “good” girls or “bad” girls, but in the fullness of their femininity. 

What This Means for the Restoration of Harmony Between the Sexes and the Church

When it comes to Princess Diana and Mother Teresa’s relationship, “it is clear that their shared qualities of love, compassion, and empathy enabled both women to cross the boundaries of their lives… The fact that it was the saintly Mother Teresa who instigated their unique and loving relationship is an important indication that a Christian context of grace will be necessary for the achievement of the feminist ideal of ‘the sisterhood’, a situation of female solidarity that remains to be achieved despite decades of feminist campaigning” (Jesus and Women, p. 158). 


“Their relationship also illuminates the way forward for the achievement of harmony and cohesion among the female sex, the achievement of which will be closely linked with the restoration of harmony between the sexes” (Jesus and Women, p. 158).


Women’s voices, often sidelined, are vitally important in fostering an environment of love, compassion, and understanding. Recognizing and valuing these feminine gifts can lead to a more inclusive, empathetic, and balanced society and transform the Church to God’s original intent in which there is harmony between the sexes. Princess Diana and Mother Teresa’s “greatest legacy… may well be their demonstrations of how female solidarity grounded in the female gifts of love and compassion can defeat the double standard and end the polarisation of the female sex” (Jesus and Women, p. 161).


Should this topic pique your curiosity, I’d highly recommend delving into my book, Jesus and Women. In it, I explore how Jesus’ life on Earth exemplifies the value of the female sex and how it’s essential to the restoration of harmony between the sexes and the Church. Purchase your copy today!

The Truth Behind the SBC Controversy About Women as Pastors

The role of women in religious leadership has always been a subject of intense debate and controversy. The topic has sparked conversations and divisions within various religious communities, including the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which recently made headlines by deciding to expel churches with women as pastors. This decision has ignited a fresh wave of discussions around the inclusion and recognition of women in religious leadership roles. In this blog post, I dive into the SBC controversy surrounding women preachers and pastors, exploring what the Bible really says about women in leadership roles and the implications of the SBC’s decision.

The “Women as Pastors” Debate and Its Historical Context

The controversy around women preachers and pastors stems from long-standing traditions and interpretations of religious texts, particularly within conservative and evangelical circles. Some argue that certain biblical passages restrict women from holding positions of authority within the church, citing verses such as 1 Timothy 2:12, which states, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” This perspective views male leadership as the ordained order of God, rejecting the notion of women assuming pastoral roles.


Additionally, “the fact that Jesus did not send any of his female followers out to proclaim him is often cited by church authorities as justification for the non-ordination of women. It needs to be acknowledged that he could not have sent them out to proclaim him publicly in his lifetime as it would have been culturally impossible, an argument that no longer holds” (Jesus and Women, p. 144-145). 

What the Bible Says About Women in Leadership Roles

When it comes to women and the Church, the only “argument” that holds any ground is what the Bible says. And there is “scriptural, theological, and pastoral justification for female ministry and authority in all Christian denominations” (Jesus and Women, p. 118). Multiple passages highlight that women played significant roles in the Early Church. When biblical passages are viewed within their historical and cultural contexts, we see the spiritual gifts and calling of women encourage their active participation in preaching and pastoral roles.

Lydia’s Leadership Role in the Bible

Lydia is a clear example of how God used women in the Early Church and still wants to use them in leadership roles today. “In Acts 16:15-15 and 40, we are told about a prominent female Christian called Lydia, who, impressed by the preaching of Paul, is baptized along with her household into Christianity and then becomes the head of a house where a Christian community meets in Philippi” (Jesus and Women, p. 119). 


In Lydia’s era, there were no dedicated church buildings as we have today. Instead, Christians would come together in homes to engage in fellowship. Consequently, it can be inferred that Lydia served as the leader of a house church, akin to what we now refer to as a “pastor” or “religious leader.”

More Examples of Women Leaders in the Bible

Lydia wasn’t the only female “house church” leader in the Bible. In Acts and Corinthians, we learn of many people whose service involved leading house churches, either independently or as co-workers with their husbands.


In Acts 18:2 and 26, we learn that Paul stayed and traveled with Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. In 1 Corinthians 16:19, we hear of this couple again: “The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.” 


These examples make it clear that “in the Early Church, women and men were equally involved in church ministries. With its change of status into the state religion of the Roman Empire, however, it became highly patriarchal and developed attributes common to religion, in general, that are at odds with the ministry of its founder” (Jesus and Women, p. 129). 

The SBC Controversy and Its Implications

The historical, cultural, and religious obstacles women face in contemporary churches contrast significantly with biblical teachings about female leadership. Still, some denominations, like the Southern Baptist Convention, continue to exclude women as pastors and exclude churches with women pastors, like Saddleback Church. By taking this step, the SBC has sent a clear message that it aligns with a more conservative interpretation of biblical teachings on gender roles.


However, this decision has not gone uncontested. Many within and outside the SBC express concerns about excluding women as pastors, questioning the denomination’s commitment to equality and its impact on women’s leadership within the church. Critics argue that such exclusions marginalize talented and qualified women, hindering the growth and diversity of the denomination. They point to examples of successful women preachers and pastors who have made significant contributions to their communities, emphasizing the need for an inclusive and representative leadership structure.

Understanding Women as Pastors in the Bible

Women served in leadership positions in the Early Church. Therefore, there is evidence that God intends for women to lead in some capacity today. Personally, I believe “women’s abilities for empathetic and compassionate service, as well as serving at an individual level, would have a great contribution to make to the ordained pastoral ministry” (Jesus and Women, p. 147). 


Should this topic pique your curiosity, I’d highly recommend delving into my book, Jesus and Women. In it, I explore the historical importance of religion’s evolution concerning women’s rights, roles, and the vital relationship between women and the Church. Purchase your copy today!

What Two Marys in the Bible Tell Us About the Portrayal of Women


There are a few different Marys in the Bible. To understand the portrayal of women in Biblical times and its impact today, we’ll need to focus on the two Marys in the Bible who seem to be in contrast to each other: Mary Magdalene, the “sinful woman” turned one of Jesus’ closest followers; and Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was visited by the angel Gabriel and told that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit.

Mary Magdalene

“In Roman Catholicism, until the 1960s Mary Magdalene was officially a ‘sinful woman’” (Jesus and Women, p. 75). Her name was finally cleared after Vatican II, but still, many Christians confuse her with the unnamed prostitute discussed in Luke 7:36-50. Because of this, “the image of Mary Magdalene projected by the Roman Catholic Church until the very recent past is a complete travesty of her role as portrayed in the Gospels” (Jesus and Women, p. 75). 


Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ closest women disciples, as indicated by the fact that her name is mentioned first in any list of women–a pattern we see with the male disciples, with Peter named first. “It can be deduced from this that she should be seen as a disciple who is on equal terms with Peter, despite the fact that Peter receives so much more attention in the texts” (Jesus and Women, p. 76). In this way, Mary was the “leader” of the women disciples, as Peter was the leader of the men.

Mary Ever Virgin

By the sixth-century Pope Gregory’s papacy, Mother Mary’s “virginal conception of Jesus had been extended to encompass a perpetual virginity” (Jesus and Women, p. 80). At the same time, the promotion of celibacy in the Church was strong, even to the point that it devalued marriage to a lesser status than that of a virgin. Even with the mention of Jesus’ brothers and sisters in the Gospel text, the belief in Mary’s perpetual virginity “gave rise to a disgust for the human body in the Early Church and a belief that Christian virtue must be grounded first and foremost in control of the body” (Jesus and Women, p. 81). 


As you can imagine, this view was challenging for Roman Catholic women who saw Mary as celibate yet also a wife and mother. “The doctrine of her perpetual virginity is preached in such a way as to place her in a different category to all other women and leads even to faithful wives and mothers being tainted with sin since they cannot conceive without sexual interaction” (Jesus and Women, p. 81). 

Mary Magdalene and Jesus’ Unique Relationship

Throughout history, both Marys have been viewed in different ways, each impacting how women are portrayed in Biblical times and the role and expectation of women today. However, to understand these women’s roles in restoring harmony between the sexes, we must consider Mary Magdalene’s unique relationship with Jesus.   


A story that captures this bond beautifully is found in John 20 when Mary visits Jesus’ tomb after his crucifixion, and his body is not there. Mary is weeping when she’s approached by someone she does not recognize. 


“He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’ Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’” (20:15-16).


When Mary sees Jesus but doesn’t recognize him, “he speaks her name in a tone of voice that instantly evokes for her the essence of their relationship… This must have been a relationship of great depth and intimacy” (Jesus and Women, p. 77). Yet, we know this was a platonic relationship because of Mary’s use of the Hebrew word “Rabbouni,” which means teacher or master. 


Furthermore, “the joyful tenderness of their post-Resurrection encounter implies that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were extraordinarily close; the fact that it was Mary to whom Jesus first appeared and not his mother, or Peter, or ‘the beloved disciple’ would seem to suggest that she had been more sensitive towards him during his ministry than anyone else” (Jesus and Women, p. 77). Not only that, but it also has symbolic significance beyond their personal relationship. It is evident throughout scripture that Jesus’ female disciples loyally stood by him, while his male disciples abandoned and denie


d him. 

The Connection Between the Two Marys in the Bible and Restoring Harmony Between the Sexes

“From the fourth century onwards the doctrine of [Mother Mary’s] perpetual virginity became a defining feature of Mary’s categorisation as the new Eve and, hence, a stick with which to beat all non-virginal women” (Jesus and Women, p. 85). However, there is no mention of this in the New Testament. There is, however, mention of Jesus as the new Adam, who redeems humanity, as well as a correlation between Mary Magdalene and the first Eve. 


The most significant similarity includes Mary Magdalene’s presumption that Jesus must be the gardener when she didn’t recognize him. “The young man, Jesus, meeting the young woman, Mary, in the garden immediately after he has redeemed humanity from the sin of Adam calls to mind the Garden of Eden in which the sin occurred” (Jesus and Women, p. 86). In a way, Jesus is “the garde




Therefore, it can be viewed as a symbolic representation of a redemptive version of what occurred in Genesis, where “the loving and harmonious relationship between the two can be interpreted as a crucial first step on the path to the restoration of a healthy state of harmony between the sexes” (Jesus and Women, p. 86).


Would you like to gain a better understanding of Jesus’ unique and unconditional love toward women in the Bible? If so, I encourage you to read Jesus and Women, where I dive deep into even more relationships that point to Jesus’ aim to redeem harmony between the sexes during his ministry on earth and how women play a central role.

The Role of Evolutionary Biology and Gender Inequality in the Bible

Whereas Christians once rejected Darwin’s theory of evolution because it seemed to present a seismic challenge to the creation account, such is no longer the case. “Most Christian denominations now accept that God creates through natural processes” (Jesus and Women, p. 5). This understanding has become known as “evolutionary creationism.” 


Discerning how human beings evolved is essential to understanding gender inequality in the Bible, as well as God’s original design for harmony between the sexes. By diving into the evolution of patriarchy, we can uncover how sexual selection and the Fall of humanity work together to produce a lack of equality and the prevalence of sexual coercion in the Bible and today

Patriarchy Wasn’t God’s Original Plan 

It is no secret that patriarchy was present in the Bible and, in some ways, still exists today. The systemic belief and acceptance of men holding the power and women being largely excluded from it–even abused and taken advantage of by it–is highlighted in the past through the double standards presented in the Bible and the present by the #MeToo movement. 


The question is, where did patriarchy come from because it wasn’t God’s original design? We must look into the evolution or development of male dominance over women to answer this. Most evolutionary biologists and psychologists accept that “the evolution of patriarchy was driven mainly by sexual rather than natural selection… the former results specifically from the differential abilities of individuals to acquire mates” (Jesus and Women, p. 5). 


However, “due to their primary role in caring for offspring, females must generally have chosen males who were not merely attractive, but also capable of defending and supporting them. The most attractive males would have evolved to be both attractive and hard-working, combining the effects of both natural and sexual selection” (Jesus and Women, p. 6).  


The process of this sexual selection, Darwin argues, has a peaceful, charming, and beautiful side–like the courtship of birds and how the males perform dances, sing songs, and show vibrant colors to attract a female. However, it is evident that today, and in Biblical times, a more aggressive sexual selection process seems to occur. So, what happened?

The Fall of Humanity and Evolutionary Biology 

In his writings, Darwin suggested that our earliest human ancestors were a gentler and more affectionate species because reason and foresight were new traits. He believed that, at that time, men would have been guided more by affectionate instincts than reason. In comparison to the hunter-gatherer tribes that Darwin observed, there would have been no licentiousness, mistreatment of wives, or infanticide. 


Darwin was not aware that his ideas were similar to an updated version of the Biblical story of the Fall and its impact on human nature. However, “now that evolution is accepted in mainstream Christianity, the findings of evolutionary biology and psychology on the impact of selection on human nature enable much greater understanding of what, in Christian terms, is described as sin. The spiritual misdemeanour of the first humans would have impacted on the course of evolution” (Jesus and Women, p. 7). 


From an evolutionary perspective, many behaviors considered sinful by Christians can be attributed to the development of patriarchy, which resulted from the aggressive form of selection being more dominant than the peaceful and charming type. 


While the gentle and beautiful type of sexual selection still exists, it is not as widespread as it could have been, although it can be highly advanced at the individual level. At the group and species level, however, the power-seeking, aggressive type dominates. It is interesting to note that the #MeToo movement brought attention to this phenomenon to an unprecedented extent, although it was also a reality in Biblical times and throughout history. 

The Evolution of Patriarchy Is Not the End of the Story

What I’ve shared here is the beginning of a larger conversation about the role of evolutionary biology and gender inequality. To gain deeper insights into the evolution of patriarchal cultures, it’s essential to consider male aggression and female choice, the role of male parental investment, and the issue of sexual coercion and the impact sexual selection has on the female sex. 


I unpack these topics and more in my book, Jesus and Women, where I explore the role of women in the Bible and the impact of patriarchy on their representation. I look at how women were treated and portrayed in the Bible and how cultural and societal factors, including the evolution of patriarchy, shaped their status and roles. 


Most importantly, I examine the life and teachings of Jesus and how they offer a different perspective on women and their place in society. I also show how they hold the potential to greatly enrich our understanding of His divinity. Through an exploration of evolutionary biology and feminist theory, “Jesus and Women” provides a thought-provoking analysis of the Bible and the ways in which it has influenced our understanding of gender and power dynamics. I encourage you to read it today.


Should a Man Rule over a Woman According to the Bible?

Do you struggle with understanding gender roles and equality according to the Bible? Are you asking questions like, should a man rule over a woman? Is a man always supposed to be the head of a household? Does the Bible imply male hierarchy over gender equality? How can we interpret challenging scriptural passages in today’s world? 


To find the answers to these questions, it’s imperative to look beyond one or two scriptures to understand God’s original plan, the impact sin had on male and female relationships, and how Jesus came to radically revolutionize the way the world views women. 

Equality was God’s Original Plan

When seeking to understand whether it’s biblical for a man to rule over a woman, it’s essential to go back to the beginning. In Genesis 1, we learn about God’s original plan for gender equality.


Genesis 1:28-29 says, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’”


From this passage, “it is clear that God has given man and woman joint dominion over creation… As the text makes very clear, Adam and Eve, who can be taken to represent the male and female sexes, have both been given dominion by God over creation” (Jesus and Women, p. 3). Equality was God’s original plan–not that man shall rule over a woman but that both have equal rule over creation. 

Inequality was a Result of Sin

While God’s plan for equality is evident in Genesis 1, the confusion often comes just a few chapters later in Genesis 3. Genesis 3:16 says, “To the woman he said, ‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’”


So, what happened? Why did we go from gender equality and equal dominion to now a man ruling over a woman? It’s simple: sin entered the picture. Gender inequality, therefore, is a result of sin and was never God’s original plan for His people.


Before sin entered the Garden of Eden, everything was perfect. However, everything changed after Adam and Eve caused the Fall of humanity by consuming the fruit of Good and Evil against God’s command. The Fall changed the human experience forever.

Restoration Between the Sexes was Part of Jesus’ Mission

While it may feel like all hope is lost for women if we stop at Genesis 3, Jesus brought new hope for restoration, harmony, and equality between the sexes during His time on the earth.


“What is… clear from the Genesis account of origins is that the underlying cause of the loss of all harmony in creation stems from that original loss, and that the restoration of harmony between the sexes will be essential to the restoration of the overall harmony of creation willed by the Trinitarian God. As a consequence, the healing of relationships between the sexes and the restoring of Trinitarian harmony would have to have been the main aim of the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ” (Jesus and Women, p. 4). 


This truth is evident in New Testament scriptures that point to God’s original intent for equality between the sexes. 


Galatians 3:26-28 states: “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”


Ephesians 5:21 tells husbands and wives to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” From there, it goes on to explain what “submission” looks like for a man vs. a woman, but both are called to submit to one another, not one rule over another. A woman is called to “submit” to her husband by respecting his leadership. A man is called to “submit” to his wife by loving her unconditionally. 


Both are a form of submission that creates harmony within a marriage. After all, when two people get married, they become “one” person. And a body can only have one “head.” Harmony could not exist between men and women if both fought to carry the same role. This was God’s intentional design–not that man shall rule over a woman but that there be equal submission to God’s perfect plan. 

Jesus’ Treatment Toward Women Highlights His Plan to Bring Harmony to the Sexes

If you’re interested in learning more about what the Bible says about gender equality, the result of sin, and how Jesus began to bring complete restoration of harmony between the sexes, I encourage you to read Jesus and Women


In it, I highlight perspectives from evolutionary biology, feminism, and the #MeToo movement to provide insight into the Christian faith and what it all means for women today. I empower Christian women to reclaim their religion with grace and encourage them to challenge the regressive course of Christianity that has been in place since Roman times. Most importantly, I highlight the hope available to women because of Jesus’ mission to restore harmony between the sexes through a revolution of grace. If you want to understand and answer questions like, “Should a man rule over a woman?” I encourage you to purchase the book today.

What Does the Bible Say About Equality?


What does the Bible say about equality? We know women everywhere have been fighting for equality since the late 1700s. Significantly, a women’s rights convention in 1848 began decades of activism that eventually led to the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. 


During this time, women began to break all sorts of barriers–becoming doctors for the first time, holding positions in government offices, and being elected to Congress. Then, in 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, prohibiting wage discrimination between men and women. These landmark moments in history began paving the way for equality between the sexes. 


But what does the Bible say about equality? Are men and women equal in the Bible, and do scriptures provide any indication of God’s original intent for the relationship between men and women? The answers to these questions and more provide a revolutionary hope for the future of humanity.

What Does the Bible Say About Equality

In the beginning, God… cared about equality. “In Genesis chapter one it is clear that God has given man and woman joint dominion over creation:


God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. … See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.” (Genesis 1:28-29)


As the text makes very clear, Adam and Eve, who can be taken to represent the male and female sexes, have both been given dominion by God over creation” (Jesus and Women, p. 3). 

Are Men and Women Equal in the Bible?

While joint dominion and equality between the male and female sexes were God’s original plan, sin entered the world, and this joint dominion was lost. “Over time, relations between the sexes became tragically characterized by lust, domination, and the subordination of women. This was not the will of God, who intended that men and women should live in mutual and self-giving love for one another” (Jesus and Women, p. 4). 


As time went on, Biblical text exemplifies how the criminal and religious laws of the time, as well as social customs and norms, unfairly and unjustly treated women. Remember: this was not God’s will but a result of sin and evolutionary biology. This is evident in how God cared for women in the Old Testament and how Jesus treated women radically differently than expected during His time on earth. 

Bible Verses About Equality in Gender

Part of Jesus’ mission while on earth was to begin the work necessary for restoring harmony between the sexes. This is evident in passages like Galatians 3:26-28, which states: 

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”


However, based on the recent #MeToo movement, we know that gender inequality, patriarchy, and “the battle of the sexes” still play a central role in our society–even more so in other countries where women still have little to no rights.


So, does this mean Jesus didn’t accomplish what he set out to do? No, because “in the Early Church women and men were equally involved in church ministries. With its change of status into the state religion of the Roman Empire, however, it became highly patriarchal and developed attributes common to religion, in general, that are at odds with the ministry of its founder” (Jesus and Women, p. 129). 


Jesus’ message inspired change. However, historically-founded, cultural, and religious barriers continued to find a way to oppress and segregate women from the church and certain aspects of work and life. 

How to Restore Harmony Between the Sexes and Achieve Equality

So, what do we do to bridge the gap between God’s intent for equality in the Bible and the ever-apparent inequality in our world?


If you’re interested in learning more about what the Bible says about equality, how women were treated in the Old Testament compared to Jesus’ treatment of women in the New Testament, and how it establishes a path toward restoration between the sexes, I encourage you to read Jesus and Women


In it, I combine insights from evolutionary biology, feminism, and the #MeToo movement to encourage Christian women to reclaim their religion and correct the regressive course that Christianity has taken since Roman times–focusing on a revolution of grace as the solution for a full restoration of the harmony between the sexes.


Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery: Understanding Jesus’ Radical Response

The story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery is found in John 8. “In this scene Jesus is teaching in the temple when the scribes and Pharisees bring a woman to him who has been caught in the act of adultery, in the hope of trapping him into objecting to the law and gaining grounds to bring a charge against him” (Jesus and Women, p. 64). To understand the significance of Jesus’ radical response to the scribes and Pharisees–as well as the woman–we must first take a look at the criminal and religious laws and social customs and norms of the time, particularly in how they unfairly punished women. 

Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery: The Law

During the time of the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery, women were seen as inferior to men. Women were “owned” by the men in their lives–either a father or husband–and a woman’s worth rested on the number of children she had. Deviating from their socially-accepted roles was not looked upon lightly. Additionally, women were held to much higher standards than men, especially in regard to their sexuality, and the criminal laws were rooted in double standards between men and women. 


For example, while it was accepted–even praised–for men to have multiple partners, a woman could only have one. And while it was ok for men to engage in sexual relations outside of marriage (so long as the woman wasn’t married), a woman caught in adultery was condemned to death, no matter the circumstances.


So, in John 8:4-5, when the scribes and Pharisees say to Jesus: “‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’” they were hoping to “trap” Him into speaking out against the law. 

Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery: The Response

Naturally, Jesus did not give the scribes and Pharisees the answer they expected. “Jesus’ initial response is to bend down and write on the ground, an act that has been interpreted in various ways” (Jesus and Women, p. 65). Some interpretations include the following:

  • Kneeling as a symbolic act in reference to Jeremiah 17:13, reminding the group of men that they were also breaking the law since they only brought the woman under accusation, not the man with whom she committed adultery.
  • Kneeling as an attempt to spare the woman of further humiliation by directing His gaze–and the gaze of others–on something other than her. 
  • Kneeling as a move to defuse tensions, as “Jesus is dealing with what is, in effect, a wound-up mob, itching to stone the young woman to death” (Jesus and Women, p. 65).


Whatever the case, it is the words Jesus speaks next that highlight His revolutionary response to the men. He says, “‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’” (John 8:7). 


“This statement, as well as highlighting the unfairness of their judgemental attitudes, forces each man to think as an individual and not as part of a mob. As a result, they leave one by one, and not as the group which had brought the woman to be stoned” (Jesus and Women, p. 65).

Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery: The Meaning

What follows is a conversation between Jesus and the woman caught in adultery: “Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin’” (John 8:10-11). 


Jesus neither condones nor condemns the woman’s act of adultery. Instead, He shows her mercy, kindness, and compassion–something that was radically different during such a time in history. By doing so, Jesus acknowledges that “without knowing the circumstances of her life, judgment cannot be passed on her end and, even more importantly, that her character and personhood cannot be defined solely by a sexual affair” (Jesus and Women, p. 65).

Understanding Jesus’ Radical Response to Women in the Bible

The story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery is one of many that highlights Jesus’ empathic and loving treatment of women. It also exemplifies Jesus’ mission to fulfill the law by transcending it when necessary. 


If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, I encourage you to read Jesus and Women, in which I highlight more stories of Jesus and women in the Bible that point to His unconditional love, respect, and admiration for women. In addition, it offers insight into what the Bible says about feminism and how Jesus’ radical life paved the way for a restoration of harmony between the sexes.