It was my mother who attentively watched my crib as a premature newborn, sacrificing her sleep to make sure I remained breathing. It was my twin sister who stood up for me when I couldn’t use my voice to stand up for myself. It was my female teachers who encouraged me to keep trying when my self-esteem told me to give up in my studies. It was my girl best friends who showed me what intentional and supportive friendships look like. It was my female mentor who helped me see my potential for ministry and first cheered me on to pursue seminary.
While men have certainly impacted my life, women have played an integral role in shaping me into the woman I am today. They have opened their homes to me, comforted me in moments of brokenness, prayed for me when I needed direction, hugged me in the times I craved a warm embrace, and imparted precious wisdom in troubling seasons. I am utterly grateful for each and every woman who has loved, supported, encouraged, and cared for me.
Today is International Women's Day. It is a day to honor women in the past and present. It is a day to celebrate the actions and achievements of women. It is a day to highlight the progress that has been made to give women equal rights while advocating for women who have yet to receive those rights. Days like today allow us to pause and reflect on the women who have greatly impacted and touched our lives.
But days like today also remind us how troubling the topic of womanhood can be. People debate on social media over how women should act, dress, and live. People advocate for women’s rights while also believing that being a “woman” is subjective and means whatever one wants it to mean. And trying to be faithful to how womanhood is displayed in Scripture often leads to ridicule for Christian women today. Our current cultural climate is discouraging. But even though our societies wrestle with what it means to be a woman and how women are to operate and be treated, God’s Word reveals to us the gift of womanhood. While there is much we can discuss when it comes to the topic of biblical womanhood, Scripture shows us these two truths about biblical womanhood.
God created women intentionally
The first human God created was Adam. Even though Adam had what he needed in the Lord, it was clear that he desired a companion like him. Among all of the animals that were around him, there was no person with his exact design. God recognized this reality and the truth that man should not be alone (Genesis 2:18), so He chose to create a partner for Adam. From Adam’s side, God created Eve—a woman.
God’s intentionality in creating Eve reveals how women are essential for the flourishing of mankind. Women are not only designed to create life through childbearing, they are designed to complement men and provide them with the necessary support, wisdom, and care. As women embrace rather than reject this unique role, God is glorified and His people thrive.
God chooses women purposefully
Throughout Scripture, we see the ways in which God used women. From start to finish, the Bible contains numerous women God worked through to accomplish His divine purposes. While these women didn’t always make the best choices, nor were they always treated rightly, God still used their unique positions, giftings, and backgrounds to progress and fulfill His plan of redemption through Christ. Ruth, Abigail, Rahab, Mary, and Phoebe are all examples of women who played a part in the biblical narrative. God’s decision to choose and work through women teaches us that women are vital to God’s kingdom. While God can and does grow His kingdom and accomplishes His purposes by His power, He also chooses to work through mankind to do so, and this includes women.
So on this International Women's Day, let us remember that God created women intentionally and chooses women purposefully. While our world may try to devalue women or change what it means to be a woman, God’s Word shows us how God created and defined womanhood exactly how it was meant to be. Womanhood is a gift, and when women live the way that God has designed and called them to live, they point others to the One who made them.
Additional resources on biblical womanhood