Women and Religion- Freedom or Oppression

Mar 28, 2022

Since I was a child I was taught we have freedom in Christ. Galatians and Ephesians speak about this often. Actually if you do a search on Bible verses about freedom, you will find over 100. Galatians also says in 3:28 that there is neither male nor female in Christ. So it seems that religion, at least christianity, would provide freedom. But what really happens?

Submissive. That one word. I could not even begin to count (nor do I want to try) the number of books written centered around this topic. Not just books, but Bible studies, devotionals, workshops, marriage conferences, sermons, youth group lectures, and even christian university classes. The focus is generally on the woman submitting to the man (the verses about submitting one to another are not discussed in depth, if at all). Unfortunately this has contributed to, and often caused the abuse of women in church and in marriages. It has also created a church where only half of the members have the freedom to follow God's calling. 

I would like to look at this topic from a wholistic perspective, as opposed to a traditional mind set. Many things we believe, we believe simply because we were taught that way, and never really questioned them. When we hear a perspective that is different from what we are taught we automatically feel a sense of panic and/or anger. We may feel guilt for even thinking these thoughts or listening to them. We may hear a preachers voice in our head yelling "blasphemy". I would like to encourage you to just let your mind think. As you read these questions, I hope you will do your own research, and pray for God to reveal truths to you. I just want to get you started on your journey of exploration.

  • Was the Bible written to Americans?

I know many would like to think it was, but it simply wasn’t. It was written from an ancient eastern mindset. The majority was written for the Jewish people, although the New Testament has some letters that were written to Gentiles. In many Bibles, the beginning of each book will tell you the audience it was written to.

  • "Help Mate" what exactly is that?

An incorrect translation? Ezer Kenegdo is the Hebrew word used in Genesis. I encourage you to explore this word! You may find things like the only other times it is used is in reference to God. Particularly when God steps in and rescues. You may find the word Ezer means power and strength, specifically Warrior! And you may find the word Kenegdo means corresponding to him (Adam). This is a truly fascinating road to go down.

  • What does the Mosaic law say about wives being submissive?

Absolutely nothing. There are 613 mitzvot. This is the law given to Moses, by God for the people of Israel. When you read through this list it seems like every aspect of living was covered. Things as simple as how to deal with mold are included, but nothing about wives being submissive to husbands. Then you have the 10 commandments. The BIG laws. Adultery is mentioned, but nothing about the role of husband and wife.

  • What did Jesus say about husband and wife roles?

Absolutely nothing! In all His sermons, and all His teaching during his time physically on this earth, Jesus never said a word about the roles of husband and wife.

So, if God and Jesus never said a word about it, how important could it be? How did we end up with all these books, classes, Bible studies, etc, focused on this subject, that neither God or Jesus commented on?

We have built an entire religious belief system from some statements made by a man in letters to very specific churches, having very specific problems, in a truly pagan and idolatrous time and place. Letters written in a different language, for a culture we do not understand. There is a statement in I Peter, but there is controversy over who wrote that book. All other statements are from Paul.

I would like to take just one of those passages, and lightly explore it.

Ephesians 5:21-24

v.21 submit (Greek- huppotasso or huppotassomai) one to another. Hmmm- it can not mean obey. We don't obey each other. Children are called to obey parents, but not submit. They are two different meanings. 

v.23 "because the husband is head of the wife". What does head mean? Could this word have been mistranslated? While researching this you may find the Greek word is Kephale. This word could mean physical head or source. Archon was used for ruler. Many very qualified scholars believe that word means source. It would often be used to mean the source/head of a river. This makes a lot of sense. Woman came from man, and now men come from women. In other words, man was the source of woman and now woman is the source of man.

My purpose in these questions and comments is to get you started thinking deeper about what you believe and have heard. I didn't tell you what to think. I brought topics up for you to explore and learn more. The exploration of these topics is fascinating, and the more I learn, the more I realize the power and strength God designed us to have! Sadly, over millennia, and to their own demise, men have twisted scriptures to hold woman back. We are a strong spiritual force that can create a more beautiful world for all to live in. But if we are not allowed to get in front of the congregation and speak (as many churches do not allow), or follow Gods calling (because we are told to stay home and obey our husbands), how can we be this strong force?

How has a wife being submissive received so much more attention in the training and teaching in churches, than the teaching of the Holy Spirit receives? If a husband and wife are both seeking the Spirits guidance in a matter, shouldn't they  BOTH come to the same conclusion on matters? How has a wife being submissive received so much more attention than developing a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior? Or charity and compassion? Or healing? Or faith? Even as child I remember thinking, "if BOTH people just work on becoming more Christlike, wouldn't the marriage be great". Wouldn't BOTH submitting to each other, and following the Spirits guidance, make a beautiful marriage?

Unfortunately this is not taught. Submission of only one person, and specific roles is taught. Due to this indoctrination, I fear that many women put their husband/boyfriend/desire for a man, in between them and God. The man becomes an idol. All the training and teaching to women is about how to be a good wife, how to respect your husband, how to submit to your husband. That doesn't leave much time for focusing on God.

Maybe your specific religious upbringing did not focus on this. If that is you, you are truly blessed. This teaching crosses all denominations and religions, and is definitely more the norm. This teaching has caused tremendous pain and suffering for countless women. I have heard hundreds of stories through my adult years of women who tolerated being abused because they were trying to be submissive to their husbands. Their husbands used these verses to manipulate them into obeying their every wish. I have seen women sacrifice their hobbies, desires, careers, dreams, etc, to be "submissive" to their husband (do what he wants).

If this is part of your story, I encourage you to study this topic in depth. Discovering God's true design for us is exhilarating and liberating! When we sift through all the traditions, mistranslations, old beliefs, and sadly, sometimes brainwashing, we can find the truth. If we faithfully pray for God to reveal His truths to us, He will.  There truly is freedom through our faith! I pray your true calling in unleashed.

In sincere appreciation of your unique gift to the world,


If you enjoy discussing topics like this, I encourage you to join our Liberated Women Community. 







Visit me at StephanieJenkins.org for more information on empowering and liberating yourself. 

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