Why Aren’t Women’s Ministries Teaching Biblical Womanhood?

Why Aren’t Women’s Ministries Teaching Biblical Womanhood?

The first Women’s Bible Studies began in the mid-1800s by Katherine Bushnell when women began watering down the language in the Bible towards women. The way they by-passed the limited role of women in the churches was by focusing upon the verses about the equality of men and women, then pointing out those women in the Bible who had leadership roles (all from the OT: Deborah, Ruth, and Esther). They even wrote a Woman’s Bible in the late 1800s.

Thus, we get all of the arguments against the commands for women to be silent in the churches back in the Apostle’s day because the women were “unruly and loud” during the church gatherings. Another made-up argument is that as long as women are under the leadership of the church, they can preach and teach as much as they want. The Bible verses that women are to be silent in the churches no longer applies. Yet, another argument is that the women were teaching inappropriate things, therefore, as long as they are teaching appropriate things, it’s fine for women to teach the Bible in the churches to men and/or women.

From this, women began teaching egalitarianism within marriages (mutual submission) and that there is no authority structure in marriage, thus we have the Christian feminists who believe it’s fine for women to preach/teach the Bible in the churches and have egalitarian marriages. You won’t find any of the famous female Bible preachers/teachers teaching true biblical womanhood (especially being keepers at home and being silent in the churches) because they would have to quit what they are doing if they did.

This is what makes it difficult for women like me to teach biblical womanhood. Women have all of the arguments against submission, being keepers at home, the authority structure in marriages and churches, and women being silent in the churches from those who have found all of the excuses why this no longer applies to women today. Every day I receive comments from women trying to water down what I teach by the arguments from the Christian feminists.

Here are some portions of an article written by Audrey Broggi about the problems that have been caused by women in ministry and the negative effects that this has caused for those who want to live out true biblical womanhood.

This seemed to be an emerging mindset as full time career ministries for conservative women was taking shape. Home and family, domestic things – things like preparing meals, cleaning, doing laundry, educating the children – all of that – get in the way of ministry. Those things rob you of the walk with God you could have, the ministry you could be doing, the potential your life could have.

The mindset was growing in our American Culture, even among believers, is that we must get rid of the domestic scene to have ministry.

But when you study God’s Word, you find that He spends much time in the Scriptures instructing in these domestic issues.

After all, He is One Who made woman to be a helper suitable for her husband and called her mother in Genesis. He is the Author of Proverbs 31 and shows us how domestic she was and that it was her husband and children who called her blessed.

But somewhere along the way, Christian women listened to the culture and all the empowerment of women mantra and decided they’d rather have the corporate world, the real ministry world, or the girl’s club, and have all the women (and men) out there call them blessed.

Who cares what the hubs thinks, much less the children.

Yet Scripture is so clear. God is the One Who said He wanted young widows to get married, bear children, and keep house in keeping with the role of young women. He is the One Who described a godly, older woman as someone who has brought up children and been the wife of one man among humble attributes. He’s the One Who said He wants women to be workers at home and included a laundry list (no pun intended) of six other domestic duties in Titus 2:3-5. And He is the One Who said the best teachers of these things are the godly, older women in the church. In fact, He actually commanded the older women to be godly and then gave the ministry of the young women to them, including the curriculum! I think that’s a tough sell in our day of career ministry women. Oh, the older women (and the young women) will teach alright – they’ll teach like the men – but the list in Titus? Isn’t that a little sexist?

Think about this for a moment. How can I teach something that I feel is so mundane, so old-fashioned, limits my personal ambition and potential, and that I really don’t believe is all that important? Do I just ignore the passages for women? Or do I twist them to say something they don’t say? Do I say Paul or God didn’t understand the culture and this was written for another time? Or do I write a book and take Scripture out of context and end up making fun of it all the while saying that was not my intention?

Other questions emerge. As a woman teacher, do I begin to travel all over the country (and/or world) consistently leaving my husband, children, and the domestic scene – the very place God has charged me with keeping?

See, if I do women’s ministry God’s way – rather than staying in nice hotels, traveling on a regular basis, receiving per diem, having a publishing industry push me to an adoring public, having a fan base and sold-out arenas – I will only have little fans who ask me for more than my autograph and a picture; they want me to read a story. They want me to answer their questions and tuck them into bed at night. They are my groupies.

And neither will she get to leave her home for extended times of seclusion so she can hear from God and write Bible studies to tell women how to live in His presence. Imagine that. She’ll have to learn to hear from God and live in His presence while making sandwiches for toddlers who like peanut butter. She’ll have to lunch with a 4-year-old who asks how stars stay in the sky rather than discuss her husband and theological matters with other women at Starbucks.

Because I have to tell you – not once at that training conference [to teach women the Bible] did those older women who led the training speak to me or any other of the young mothers in attendance about seasons of life, about the priority of home and family. Not once did they challenge me about God’s very specific instructions in His Word about the high and holy ministry of home and family. Not once.

Yet that’s exactly what God says the older women are to teach the younger women. That laundry list in Titus doesn’t get top billing at a woman’s ministry conference. In fact, it gets no billing.

Over the years, I have learned that almost none of the big name women Bible teachers help women in this area. There has been one – and in those years, she was single. Think of the irony of that. It’s sad but even though so many women may not mean to, they seem to see the years of raising a family as something to get through and work around till you can get to real ministry. It is so sad.

“Where were the godly older women in her life who could help her fix her relationship with God and show her how those years of small children, small little toys, and small little words were exactly the ministry God wanted her to have? Where were the women who could help her and nurture her and come alongside so she could view her home and her life with small things from God’s perspective?”

So many Christian women in the ‘50s and ‘60s listened and neglected the home, the family, and turned to other gods. Armed with college degrees, a growing women’s movement, birth control, reproductive freedom and I-don’t-need-a-man mentality; some sought careers, others sought playtime and leisure, while others were bored finding new ways of freeing themselves from responsibility.

All seemed to think home was drudgery.

But see, this condescending view of children isn’t just the mindset of a select few believers. This is the mindset of thousands of Christian women. I’ve gotten so many invitations to big ministry events for women leaders and do they teach how to teach and counsel women in the roles for women God has outlined in Scripture? No. It’s too controversial. It makes women feel judged. We don’t want to offend.

You know, God never speaks negatively of children in the Scripture. He never says that children shut you up, keep you away from all that is happening, and keep you from being involved in anything your heart loves. Never, not once. You search all of Scripture and you’ll never find that kind of thought. In fact, you’ll find just the opposite. See, God says that children are fruit of the womb, blessings, rewards, arrows in the hand of a warrior. Oh, Christians will affirm that truth with their lips – but their hearts are very far from it. It’s no wonder God says that young women need to be taught to love their children.

Women in ministry are giving lousy advice, by their lifestyles and their words, to the next generation. If you’re a young mother – better watch out. And you’ll have to decide where your heart really is and what it longs for. You want the affirmation of all the women out there or do you want to be faithful in the difficult nobody-sees-it world of home? Who do you want to call you blessed?

If you’re a young woman reading this, please don’t get distracted. You only have a window of time to be faithful as your children are growing up. This is real ministry.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

39 thoughts on “Why Aren’t Women’s Ministries Teaching Biblical Womanhood?

  1. Our local area just had the Aspire Women’s Conference which is held all over the country. I went once three years ago and decided never again. If any of the women spoke on true Biblical Womanhood believe me that would be the last time she would be invited.

    There is yet another women’s event on Saturday featuring a simulcast of a well known woman teacher that I’m going to pass on. If this woman taught true Biblical womanhood she would be blasted all over social media and labeled a ” traitor” to all her fans.

    I have The Study Bible for Women and it’s gotten negative reviews because of it’s strong anti-feminist stand. Some women can’t stand it because the women who wrote it encourage Biblical womanhood in the study notes. I really don’t understand why women want to argue over God’s Word.

    Anyway, thank you Lori and have a blessed day.

  2. The only Women’s Conference that I know that teaches biblical womanhood is Nancy Campbell’s. I don’t think any of the others even touch on it. This is why most Christian women are not living any differently than those of the world.

    It’s great that there’s a study Bible that teaches biblical womanhood, Regina! Who is the author? I am sure others would be interested in knowing.

  3. Yes, even in the churches. I have been told that I can’t teach what I teach (submission and keepers at home) in two different churches since it would offend the women.

  4. Sadly there are two forces at work here. One is the evil influence of feminism which permeates every aspect of life and the other is the desperate race to the bottom in terms of morality and Biblical observance by pretty much all Churches who see maximising attendance as more important than teaching Christian morality.

    The accusation that you may ‘offend women’ by advocating Biblical Womanhood, shows the overlap of the two.

    God did not mean women to preach in Church, but older women should impart their wisdom to their daughters and younger women.

  5. Lori, I opt out on many events and things because at this point in our lives I am super busy at home with 5 children. In the 11 years of our marriage I am always either pregnant or breastfeeding and homeschooling in addition to keeping house and other jobs my husband asks me to do like managing correspondence, coordinating our calendars etc. Many have vilified me for being a homebody but it has saved me a tonne of problems. I hear stories of ladies falling out over gossip a year after it has happened because I am busy minding my own business. Recently the elders in our church had to “disband” a women’s fellowship that was usurping the leadership using seemingly benign but underhanded tactics veiled in prayer meetings and ladies’ teas. When I told my husband that I felt guilty for failing to honour any of the invitations that these ladies had extended me, he advised me to stay away entirely and focus on the home. Sound advice that, in hindsight, served me well.

  6. It was absolutely sound advice and your family is blessed to have you wholly committed to them and their welfare. It’s your God-ordained ministry!

  7. Hi Lori, please keep teaching just the way you are now! Reading your posts always provides inspiration and perspective that is rarely seen these days. It’s sad when the pressures of feminism causes so many Christian women to “teach” (misinterpret) what God’s word plainly instructs us to follow regarding biblical womanhood and marriage. If I have a church related question I ask my husband about it in our home and do not speak in church. Mutual submission – seriously??? We are to submit to and obey our husbands, period. There is no other way around. Asking my husband to submit to me or obey me is almost comical to me! However, obeying my husband and submitting to him is as easy and natural as breathing for me! Keep the faith and teach what is true and right Lori! Oh, btw this little barefoot housewife learned a great big word today – egalitarianism!!!!!!!

  8. “All seemed to think home was drudgery.”

    Marriage and the roles of Christian wives have always been the intended target of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and “company” through the Declaration Sentiments.

  9. I wondered if you had anything written about the wife who sent her husband to the store with a ridiculous grocery list (non-existent items) because she was mad at him for not helping. I don’t think I have seen anything on here and hope I haven’t overlooked. It made me sad.

  10. I love this post Lori! Very true women’s ministries teach proper Biblical womanhood, especially pertaining to being keepers at home, submission, and such.

    The role of a woman is a beautiful thing. We were created with specific responsibilities regarding marriage, parenting, jobs, and such.

    I am so blessed by your site. Thanks for teaching the truth.

  11. “in two different churches since it would offend the women.”

    … I think that’s a large part of the solution – most (not all) but most women *need* to be offended because, well, the truth offends lol.

  12. It amazes me, how many Christian women do not understand or know God’s mandate for women or maybe they are just not reading the Word. God’s command for women is so clearly stated it is not hard to understand His written Word concerning women’s rolls in marriage, church, and society. I believe many Christian women are not reading their Bible,instead they are reading books(that women in the church are recommending and doing “Bible”studies with)written by so called authors that have added a few scriptures with some eloquent words and these women try to live their life based on the latest best selling devotion book, not the Word of God.

    And as for women being permitted in the church to teach out of context with God’s word this is not surprising seeing that the world and feminism has more influence on the church than the church has influence on the world and feminism. Look at how church nurseries, kids church, youth groups has made it so convenient for women to get rid of their babies and kids so they can get a “break” for an hour or so. This feminism movement in the church is the work of the enemy to weaken the family unit. Sadly he is accomplishing his plan so very easy in the place it should be the hardest, the local churches.

  13. Sorry to say I spent money to attend one of these conferences several years ago. I just thought I would see what all the fuss was about. There was such a lot of entertainment and music and lights and just a big appeal to the emotions of those present. I thought it would settle down and we would get into the Word but it never happened. It was like sitting down to a meal and all the hostess does is pass a plate of cookies and refill your water glass. There was just nothing to it. These “ministers” are running a business and like any business, the priority is making a profit. They can’t make money unless they water it down and appeal to the emotions. A generation is being deceived. Stay home, save your money and love your children and husband! Those precious babies will grow up so quickly. We have an enormous opportunity to influence the next generation right under our own roof.

  14. I completely agree – if the women profess to be Christian they cannot be offended by the teachings of the Bible.

  15. I help at a Catholic women’s group. We try to help girls, wives and mothers in their lives and especially as mothers. We don’t preach as we leave that to our Priests, but we are as a group unashamedly traditionalist and very much encourage all our members in following the teachings of the Church, without compromise, ask that they be sure that their husband supports their attendance and that they don’t compromise on their role at home.

  16. Great article, Lori.

    Speaking for the men who value Godliness, righteousness, and holiness, your articles are an absolutely astonishing addition to America, and we can’t have enough of them, from you and other women who speak the language of truth.

    While many in our culture value love, love cannot exist without truth, and the truth you teach is the foundation of the love that made America great. It is departing from this truth and love that has led us to our current dysfunction.

    Thank you to you and Ken for all you do!

    A very necessary restoration of Godly woman hood in America.

    May God bless and encourage you, as it is pretty certain the arrows of the Marxist left and Satan are every day aimed at you, to tear down all that is good, holy, and pure.

    Hurt people hurt people, and sadly, those who are wounded by Satan’s devices often hate the very medicine that can heal them.

  17. The church I used to go to never taught this. All it was about was “getting saved and staying saved”.

  18. I’ve been told the same! We mustn’t bring about “mommy guilt” since these women feel
    like they have no choice but to work outside of the home. Sorry, but if I can’t teach the New Testament instructions, I
    Just don’t see the point in teaching at all.

  19. If a mother is doing all she can to stay at home and look after her children, but cannot do so for reasons of real hardship, she should be helped and offered support.

    If she chooses career over her role at home, then she should feel guilty.

  20. Lori (VT2),
    So thankful for your faithfulness to the Lord and His Word! I am faithfully praying for you and the platform God has given you. So sad that we can’t look to the local church for these wise older Godly women….God is allowing us younger women to be encouraged and to remain steadfast in these dark days of motherhood through your wise exhortation! You are loved and treasured here in VA.

  21. There is not much to add to the article, blog post nor comments. Using contrast as a teaching point, I offer the following consideration that dismantles the lie of ‘God will take care of the children for the sake of ministry’:

    Men have standards which are outlined in their adopting a formal role of leadership within the Church. These are outlined in 1 Tim 3:8-13 and Tit 1:6-9. In BOTH examples, one of the criteria listed is a ‘home that is in order’. Well, if the man has a disorderly wife, or a wayward son, very basic logic states that the man does not meet the prerequisites. The reason is obvious: because it would be better that a man be focusing his time and energy on his family rather than Church leadership, than to be in leadership with a family that remains undisciplined.

    A woman cannot well leave her husband with the children while she pursues ‘ministry’. That would be a point-black, black-on-white, textbook example of a woman taking a position of headship over her husband.

    So if the husband has requirements which are outlined, and in those requirements it makes it pretty clear that family > Church leadership, how much more obvious is it that a wife’s position is with the family? And obviously, heap all the direct quotes on top of this assessment pertaining to being a busybody (eg. Prov 7:11, 1 Tim 5:13, etc) and the direct instructions on her ordained role (eg. Gen 2:18, 1 Cor 11:3, etc).

    No, no. In these examples she is not pursuing ‘God’s plans for her life in ‘ministry’, she is appeasing her own ego. It’s that simple. She is masking in in a lie of it being for the Kingdom, but let’s call it what it really is: a ‘career’.
    Come her judgement, Matt 7:21-23 will be the situation in which she finds herself. Actually, maybe that verse is the one that should be quoted ad nauseum to these Women in Ministry advocates. It really does demonstrate the seriousness of their wayward path. God will not be mocked or blasphemed. His instructions are clear, and He of course knows the difference between those performing ministry for the ‘least of these’ and those ‘performing ministry’ for themselves. The ‘least of these’ are her husband and children, Scripture makes this obvious time, and time, and time again.

    As an aside, I take exception to this word the way it is oft used in the Church today: ‘ministry’. People get all worked up about service trips to Haiti, or leadership positions within one’s local congregation. You know what ‘ministry’ really is? It’s reaching over to a guy at work who is having a really bad week and asking him if he knows God, and would like to pray with you over lunch break. It’s talking to the classmate in middle school who keeps getting picked on by the mean girls, and affirming her value before her Creator. God put me in this skin, in this family, with this job, at this location and that is where I am called. If He wants me somewhere else, He’ll move me (and boy did Jonah sure learn this one the hard way!).
    These false prophets in the Church who throw this word around have no clue what ‘ministry’ truly is.

  22. Regina, thank you for sharing this! I will look it up and if it meets muster, will be recommending far and wide.

  23. Hi Tamara, you are exactly right. Christian women today need to be reading their Bible as God’s word is spelled out perfectly to instruct us how to live our daily lives. These “devotional/study” books that are popular now are usually loosely based on a few scriptures twisted around to fit the author’s thoughts and intentions, not God’s instructions. A few years ago I went with a friend to a women’s “Bible study” group and was very uncomfortable when I got there and was given a book to read and discuss for several weeks. I got home that night and my husband looked through the book and did not allow me to read the book or return to the study group. I was very relieved with his decision and guidance. He and I have devotional time several times a week at our house, of course led by my husband. I won’t make the mistake of falling for a “women’s study group” again, I’ll stick to my Bible and my husband’s teaching and guidance. It is sad how easily women are deceived these days as feminism seems to push its way through everything, including our churches!

  24. How pathetic to send your husband to the shops as “revenge ” with a non-existent shopping list. I send mine to the supermarket for chocolate. Lots of chocolate ?

  25. Read the Bible and learning from our husbands’ is God’s will for us, not learning from other women who most can’t even tell when they are teaching something unbiblical. You have a wise husband, Summer!

  26. not a lot to add to such a thorough article. just wanted to say that I have seen the destruction left in the wake of these ministries. women believe the lies and make a mess of their marriages and children, spend hard earned money on useless books, etc. when all they need is their Bible.

  27. It is shame these women teachers are not teaching the whole counsel of God- they should not be leaving anything out of the Bible- we are all to study the whole Bible. Even for those of us who are not wives or mothers, we can learn how to cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit, and to keep our homes nice and live frugally. ALL women need to learn to keep their homes, yet so many of these things are not taught. And women who God calls to marry or who wish to marry need to learn about living under a husband and how to submit in love.

  28. To be fair, the church I was brought up in as a child DID say that women should have quiet and meek spirits and that our beauty should come from that, rather than vanity about our looks, but with the first one (meek and quiet), we were not taught HOW to be meek and live quietly There were many very gossipy busy body type women in church who were not good examples of teaching us to live quietly.

    Women who developed brash personalities to cope with hurt or abuse we just told to “be meeker” but not told HOW and their hurts were left unhealed. a brash loud personality can be a cover for low self esteem and insecurity- I am not against psychology or self help (as long as it isn’t the type that contradicts the Bible) but the Church should be meeting these needs ideally. I admired the gentle women I did see, but had no idea how to be like them. 🙁

  29. It isn’t only the women who teach feminism in the church it is the pastor and the priest. So I have to shut up or the women go the priest and he tells me how I am against God and how he hates me because I am not a feminist. I’ve had to work because I was alone and not married but now I am at home Thanks God.

  30. That is a horrible abusive thing for the woman to do to ther husband. Poor man! He must have felt humiliated and awful. If a parent did that to their child as a punishment it would rightly, be regarded as emotional abuse.

    A quarelling contentious angry woman is unattractive as well as unGodly.

  31. Brian, I agree completely re: the word ministry. A wife and mother can minister in the home to her children and their friends and by encouraging other wives, widows or women, feeding the homeless, sitting with the grieving, visiting the sick. Having a full time job gives less time for that but a stay at home wife and mother has the opportunity to do these things and can even involve her children. what a wonderful example for them!

  32. Mommy Dearest, I could have written this for myself! I am homeschooling, mom of 5 who husband prefers that I am taking care of our family and home. Although I have felt guilty for “opting out” of the popular movement of women’s ministries and activities, I so am grateful for the peace that comes from minding my own business, being in God’s will, and having a wise husband!

  33. So glad I just read this. The newest women’s ministry at my church is just a big click. I went to their first event & sat at a table with all working women or retired working women. I had nothing in common with them. I felt very low after I said I was a stay at home wife & grandmother and they all just looked appalled & didn’t engage me any further. I cried on way home. Didn’t go to church again for 9 months. I already was suffering from pretty bad depression plus my marriage was failing after 27 years. I needed support & had known. I have a difficult time making friends & this event was supposed to help. Instead I was later told I probably wasn’t the right fit for this particular ministry. If my husband didn’t work at the church, we would’ve gone elsewhere.

  34. This post was thought-provoking and convicting. I especially resonated with this portion:

    “Oh, Christians will affirm that truth with their lips – but their hearts are very far from it. It’s no wonder God says that young women need to be taught to love their children… Women in ministry are giving lousy advice, by their lifestyles and their words, to the next generation. If you’re a young mother – better watch out.”

    I do not have children yet, but the Christian women around me are not making motherhood look very appealing. It seems to have become a contest of who is the biggest martyr – complaints about lack of sleep, personal time, etc. Although I understand that parenthood is a difficult work, I caution mothers to be careful of the words they use around those who do not yet have children. You may be instilling a lot of fear an anxiety, and be delaying them from having children at all.

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