What does the Bible say on how women are to be treated? Has it changed over time? How did the early church treat women? Was it with reverence and respect, or were the treated as lesser people? Objects, commodities, as if they were truly valued less.
In the United States today, women have more rights as equals and partners alongside men than perhaps anywhere else in the world. But the way we treat women today, as equals, as people, has in part to do with an idea introduced by Jesus.
Jesus brought a standard into this world about women that we should gladly accept today. The idea that we should honor them as equals. Men and women, all are made in the image of God and Jesus died for us all.
But in the first century, the idea of honoring women was counter cultural.
Jesus told Peter we are to grant and assign honor to women. And while many of us have grown up with some semblance of this idea, at the time it was revolutionary. In the first century, giving women honor? Showing women respect? This was unheard of.
What exactly did Jesus mean by honor? What is Peter making reference to in 1 Peter 3-7?
Honor is awe. Like, ahhhh. As in wow.
It’s a kind of reverence. An acknowledgement that we are both, men and women, equals.
And at that time, back in the first century? How can I say this? It was a new way of thinking.
1 Peter 3-7
The idea of treating women as equals was a new way of thought. Women in the first century had almost no rights. No power. And then Jesus ushered in this new set of standards. Not just for men, but for all of mankind. Women were to be included as partners, not party favors.
In 1 Peter, women were referred to as the weaker partner- and before you get offended, Peter was simply talking about physical strength. This was a time when might meant more. Might meaning power, and strength.
If you had the money and power, you made the rules. And Peter came along and said God has introduced a new ethic.
What God was calling us all to, was something of a new idea. The idea that what we had, our strength, our money, our resources, was given to us for a reason. And that reason was to help others.
As a Christian, Jesus was saying that you are to leverage your power, your influence, your finances, your resources- all of it- for those that are weaker. Those that are less fortunate.
Jesus called us to forget what you’ve seen illustrated in culture. Leverage your strength for the benefit of others.
The women in your life answer to the same heavenly Father.
Jesus Died For Everyone
Jesus died for the women as well as the men.
And Jesus said women were made in the image of God, too. Revolutionary.
He said that men and women were both heirs. It’s a really, really big deal. In God’s economy, man or woman, doesn’t matter. They’re both heirs. Both important.
The girls you’re attracted to, the girls you’re not attracted to, the girls you’ve dated, not dated, lead along? A man’s job is to treat them with honor. And you’re accountable to God to how you treat them.
And it’s all practice for how you
You cannot date like a slave owner then get married and everything changes.
Habits don’t change, relationship issues don’t change, no one changes.
You get married and the chemistry? It may dissolve immediately.
You’ve got to make up your mind to treat women differently. Be honoring.
The way you treat women, it’s important.
Clearing Your Mind, Changing Your Heart
Are your actions today honoring to your future spouse? Do the movies you watch, the activities you spend time on, and even the people you hang around with, would they bring honor to you, your wife, and your marriage? Or would they damage it?
Every thing we spend time on and with, from the entertainment we indulge in, to our favorite past times has the potential to make or break our futures.
For example. If you have any song on your playlist that refers to a woman as a “bit**” or “Whore”, you need to delete.
It’s dehumanizing. It’s disrespectful.
Did you know that throughout history, men, women, and groups of people have dehumanized other humans by calling them names? It alters your mind. It affects your heart. Think of how the Nazis must have described the Jewish women. Then do your research if you don’t believe.
Same goes for warring tribes in Africa. And I’m sure everywhere else.
If you continually listen to songs or watch movies or hang out with friends who call women by disrespectful, inhuman terms, eventually you’ll do the same. You’ll start calling women whores, rats, roaches, something disrespectful, hateful, and hurtful. And pretty soon, that’s how you’ll come to think of them. As beneath you. Something other.
If you allow it into your mind, it will creep into your heart and twist you. Don’t allow it. Delete the songs. Get rid of the movies. Do it for the sake of your future spouse and yes, future children, too. Lead by example.
Filters and Role Models
Think of someone you respect. If you’re a Christian, consider someone that, in case of the Rapture, that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, heaven would have them. Jesus would take them. Think of them and use them as your filter. Or use the ultimate role model. Jesus himself.
If you can’t imagine them calling their wife, their daughter, your mom, or your wife by one of the above terms, then you shouldn’t either.
You need to be intolerant of those terms. Even if our culture isn’t.
Some of us, especially in our youth, push back saying, there’s nothing wrong with those terms. In fact, I’m sure you have friends that refer to themselves in those terms. Female friends.
I know I do.
But if you’re okay with those terms, you shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t be.
We shouldn’t want to be part of a culture that celebrates the degradation of women or of any class of people.
Not all cultures are equal. Christians have since the first century been called to a different standard. A higher standard. A higher culture.
A culture that refers to women as whores is not honorable. You should not want to be a part of that.
It teaches you to treat women less than you.
Delete those songs. Get rid of them. Even if it means you no longer have a playlist.
Renew your mind.
Next, and this needs to be said.
Erotic imagery? Porn? Any kind of photos of naked women. You shouldn’t be looking at it.
There are men, Christian men, who do that. They look at erotic images. But you shouldn’t. And they shouldn’t.
If you’re entertaining yourself with images of naked women, you’re doing more harm than you realize. The porn industry is not a victimless crime or activity. It harms literally everyone involved. And what it teaches you is this:
A real body isn’t good enough.
One body isn’t good enough.
And in essence? Porn is saying:
Your wife’s body isn’t good enough.
If you’re single, you’re saying, I don’t have a wife.
One day, you will.
And porn teaches you harmful, hurtful, hateful lessons.
A great romantic relationship isn’t built on porn. So check out of doing it. Stop it. Or never start. It sets you up for extraordinary disappointment. And ultimately, porn destroys romantic relationships.
You may think it doesn’t hurt anyone. But it does. And you may think everyone is doing it, it’s a past time, it’s all fun and games, no harm done. But consider this.
During the second world war, the military gave G.I.s as many cigarettes as they wanted.
Then uh-oh, it’s bad for you.
Cigarettes are toxic. They kill. They’re full of poisons we don’t need to be inhaling. And we know that now. Uh-oh.
In regard to porn, it used to be thought that only narrow minded Christians were bashing it.
But now even people who don’t claim to be Christians are saying uh-oh.
This is destroying marriages.
Real women can’t compete with images.
Women are not a commodity. They are loved by God.
The same Savior who died to save you died to save women. And you need to honor them, and honor yourself.
Erotic imagery is essentially a drug.
It deadens your desire for real women.
You may think that while you’re single, you can pig out on images. But when you get married, do you think your wife is going to meet those needs? How can she? Porn is harmful. Porn… isn’t realistic.
And the problem is, like any addiction, your craving for porn? It doesn’t stop when you get married.
The porn habit doesn’t just stop because you exchange rings. It’s an addiction. And every time you sit in front of that screen, you’re destroying your desire for a real woman.
When you get a girlfriend, a fiance, a future wife, try this.
Tell her the truth. Because no one can gorge themselves on porn then be fed fully with a real, female body. So tell her up front about your addiction. Be honest that you can’t, or perhaps have chosen not to, give up porn. Because if you don’t, that’s deceit. And she needs to know.
No wife discovers that her husband watches porn and celebrates. Often, it breaks her heart. Because she can’t satisfy him. How could she?
Give up your porn habit now.
How To Treat Women
Think of a woman you look up. Respect. Maybe a president’s wife. A senator’s wife. A famous singer or actress.
If you met her in person, you’d defer to her wouldn’t you? You would honor her.
That’s how you should treat every woman you ever meet.
Because they’re all made in the image of God.
And even if they’re not a Christian yet, Jesus is their Savior.
It’s all of them. All women. Honor them as if she were (fill in the blank).
That’s how Christian men are to treat women.
Did you find the above information helpful? Why or why not? Comment below and let us know!
**This post may contain affiliate links meaning if you click on those links, I may receive a small compensation at no cost to you.**