Can someone explane these scriptures?

I know God created man and woman with equal dignity. “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created them; male and female he created them.” So how am I supposed to see these passages (and ones like these)? “…in pain you shall bring forth your children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband and he shall be your master.” Genesis 3:16 (excerpt) “But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ…A man in the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image of the glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.” 1 Corinthians 11:3-7 (excerpts).
There are some readings that almost seem to put women below men or make it sound like they were made less in God’s image than men. I know deep inside this isn’t true but I’m not sure how to read these.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

I think you are reading them correctly insofar as how the writers saw the relative position of male and females to God. After all, God created Adam but He created a woman from a bit of Adam. She is derivative. But these are cultural understandings reflected in the writings of the individuals, not Eternal truths.

Is important to take the whole of the scriptures to build up the entire picture.

God created Man in his image and likness. Make and female He created them.

man and woman are co equal in dignity. Co equal in being made in the image and lines of God.

To call God “male” however is to restrict your view of Him. However that restriction is within the scope of how God has chosen to reveal himself to us.

Now Here’s an important point.
“Equal” and “the same” are different concepts.

Men and women are equal. That does not mean that a woman can be a father offer a man can be a mum. Those roles are gender specific. Both roles are equal and essential but they are not the same. They are not interchangeable nor subject to a free choice.
When you become a patent your biology determines if you are a mum or a dad.

Now within the spiritual life or gender roles carry specific spiritual roles. A woman can no more be a protest than a man can be a Nun or the Mother Superior of an order of nuns.

Now the roles in Christian life for men and women are described in the epistles of St Paul.
There is much debate in liberal circles about ignoring those parts of the Bible as they do not sit comfortably with a modern feminist ideology.

But I have seen no theologically defensible argument if favour of this. As Christians we are called to be counter cultural.

Take a look at my other recent posts for about roles in marriage there’s no need to repeat that thread here.

Yes, i can see your point. And though those have very common themes, they should still be taken in the context they were written.

Not to contradict Julia Mae, but I think there is always eternal knowledge within all scripture. What I find these kind of verses conveying, is order. An order of respect due to our creation in God 's family. Paul, who wrote the majority of these, tries to teach us to work, live and love each other in a selfless and serving way. We are created in God’s image because we have a natural family which has fatherhood, (motherhood), children and a loving relationship between them. But most importantly a soul that makes us infinitely greater than just an animal. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. His Son came from Himself. And God’s Son is man. I think Jesus was before us, so we are actually created like Him.

As for women being “below” man, you are right that they are not “less” significant or noble. Neither are they less of a child of God. But I think if you honestly look with your heart at what the roles of men and women should be, in God’s eyes, you will find these scriptures to be enlightening. Remember, men are obligated to love and serve their wives in a specific way because they are (in ways) weaker, and designed to be subordinate. Men are held more responsible in these areas, which is not always so great!

Likewise, the structure in the Church has possitions and roles that have different duties. Bishops and Popes are to be held in esteem because of their position. It certainly doesnt mean they are automatically more special to God. But they have an office which is able to reach out in a greater way to people. They are thus, held to a higher more strict judgement.

Men, by nature will be held to a more strict judgement than women, but only when we are living out our roles in the correct way. Some women are unruly and overly head strong in their relationship. This is disfunction and results in conflict. Some men are lawless and lack conviction. This builds weak structure in the family.

God is neither male or female, but He is masuline, so it is only possible for Him to be a man in His human form. But we are all feminine in our relation to God the Father. That should be all of our focus, and our relation to our fellow brothers and sisters will be natural.

God bless,

I think perhaps modern attitudes look to “he will rule over you” as some sort of dictatorship, form of slavery, rather than a headship or a Christ-like “lordship” in which the master is also the servant. That is one thing Christ taught us of manhood. So where you have Scriptures such as Gen. 3 or 1 Cor. about women serving their husbands, you can’t forget the bridegroom’s example on the cross, giving his entirety to his bride, with nails through his hands and feet, thorns in his head, and a laceration in his side. Men should theologically give that for their brides. That’s why Paul also says that a husband should love his wife as Christ loved the Church. (Eph. 5:25)

In other words, in order for a marriage to work, yes, there is a certain leadership quality to be exhibited by the man, a certain stability he must bring to the relationship, a rock, so to speak. But ultimately, both parties must be the servant of the other. Both parties must give of themselves in their own way. And the totality of Scripture shows that.

May the Grace of Jesus and the Hoy Spirit be with you in this time of discernment.

Note that not only is the Husband is head of the wife.

but God (the Father) is head of Christ…

Note now the Catechism regarding the Trinity:

253 The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the “consubstantial Trinity”.83 The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: "The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God."84 In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), "Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz., the divine substance, essence or nature."85

Does the reality that God the Father is the head of Christ – make Christ some “lesser God” or “less God”? No… There is only one God and Christ is consubstantial with the Father…

Scripture says that husbands should love their wives in the same manner as Christ loved the Church, that we should be willing to die for our wife

***Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, *(Ephesians 5:25)

It says that I should be willing to take a bullet or jump in front of a car for my wife, willing to give up my life for my wife just as Christ gave up his life for the Church.

The greatest, most perfect, most exhalted and most loved creature in our faith is a woman. Next to Jesus, Mary is the pinnacle of all creation, the model of perfection that we all strive for - a woman.


As someone said above - equal in dignity but different in roles. I think that gets confused now days in many families and in the media. Some even take it to the extent to think woman should be priests :eek:

I’ve encountered others with a modern-feminist bent who don’t even like to hear the term “roles,” as if it were something arbitrarily “assigned” to the genders, rather than as certain gifts with which the core of our beings are graciously endowed.

But some roles are assigned to genders by the cultures in which they live. And those roles change when the culture changes. So, if there are “roles” specific to women and exclusive of men or specific to men and exclusive of women, they have to be things that are not affected by culture.

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