We often hear the teaching today that marriage and motherhood are what constitute as a woman’s highest calling. This may seem well, fine, and good at the outset, but the reality is that this teaching is not only unbiblical but also incredibly damaging and hurtful to our single sisters-in-Christ, who are thereby made to feel as if they just do not measure up.
The truth of the matter is that biblically-speaking, being an image-bearer of God (Genesis 2:18) and an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) daily seeking to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is our true highest calling.
This means, then, that women – regardless of whether they are married or single! – can live out Biblical womanhood in its fullest and most true sense. In fact, we see examples of women throughout Scripture who were not necessarily married, but who were still just as impactful for the kingdom all the same.
What the Bible Actually Shows Us
What emerges when you become a student of the entire canon of Scripture (and not just the “pink passages”, as some have referred to the verses pertaining to marriage, motherhood, and homemaking) is a far more robust and beautiful picture of what it actually means to be a woman who lives to the glory of God than you might imagine.
What emerges from the pages of Scripture is a picture of Biblical womanhood that applies to all Christian women everywhere – not just to those who are wives and moms.
So, What is Biblical Womanhood?
• Biblical womanhood is womanhood as God designed and defined it Genesis-Revelation.
In other words, Biblical womanhood is God’s plan for women as found in the entirety of the Bible – not just passages like Titus 2 and Proverbs 31! God did not provide His daughters with 66 books for them to then only zero in on two chapters.
The fact of the matter is that we are ill-equipped for our callings as women of God if we are not studying and wielding all of God’s Word for use in our daily lives. Biblical womanhood is womanhood as God designed it, Genesis, to Revelation.
• Biblical womanhood is for every woman, applicable to every woman, and good news for every woman.
This truth also only comes when we realize that we are to look to the entirety of God’s Word for our framework of what constitutes Biblical womanhood. When we make the mistake (as I did for years!) of only looking at passages like Titus 2 and Proverbs 31, we leave out a whole host of sisters in the process. And that needs to stop.
The lie that marriage and motherhood are the highest callings leads to the kind of desperation seen in women like Leah in the Old Testament – these women were living in cultures that based a woman’s worth in her ability to produce children.
God never did that. He referred to children as being blessings and rewards (Psalm 127:3-5), but He never based the worth of His daughters in whether or not they have those blessings and rewards. A woman’s worth comes solely from being an image-bearer of God Himself.
Here’s the thing: the beautiful design of true Biblical womanhood applies to all women everywhere. If our man-made “system” of Biblical womanhood is not, then we know we have a problem. And, I would say, we do have a problem in the church today. We have a problem when the only picture we ever-present of Biblical womanhood is one of a woman who is a wife and mother. That is not the total of Biblical womanhood. That is not Biblical womanhood as defined in the whole canon of Scripture, Genesis to Revelation.
Biblical womanhood can – and does!- take on many forms and fashions in God’s design. Biblical womanhood can look like being a wife, mom, and homemaker as described in Titus 2, Deborah who was a leader raised by God (see Judges 4-5), Priscilla being a Great Commission worker and partnering with her husband to teach others the Word of God, it can look like running a business as the Proverbs 31 woman and Lydia both did (Proverbs 31:16, 24; Acts 16:14).
Biblical womanhood can look like being a servant of the church as was Phoebe (Romans 16:1-2), serving the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:20, Acts 9:36, 1 Timothy 5:9-10), it can look like hosting a church in your home, as did Nympha (Colossians 4:15). I could go on and on, but I think you get the point!
Robust, purposeful, Biblical womanhood as designed by God can be lived out in the lives of all Christian women – whether single, married, mothers, or childless.
It’s Time to Stop Presenting an Incomplete Picture of ‘Biblical Womanhood’
Our God is a big God, able to design womanhood in such a way so that women of all ages, callings, cultures, personalities, and seasons of life can honor Him, be biblical women who are faithful to the Lord’s design and His Word, and still lead unique, purposeful, and fruitful lives all the while.
And that is good news for all of us!