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4 Truths Women Need to Hear

Karen Soole
4 Truths Women Need to Hear

Four Truths Women need to Hear 

Life has never been so good for women. Women work in every sector of society from unskilled to skilled and occupy positions in industry, business, politics, media, law, medicine, and academia. Young women are encouraged to express themselves, assert themselves and be told that they can be anything they want to be. We even have a female Doctor Who. We have come a long way since Mary Wollenstcraft (1759–1797) observed that the women of her generation were infantilised, had no autonomy, were denied an education and destined to be timid, compliant and merely decorative. Women in the west have largely shaken themselves free from those shackles, yet all is not well. Despite massive social upheavals, many women still live with the reality of domestic violence and abuse. Others who seem to have many advantages and privileges cannot shake off the vague feeling of disquiet but can’t quite put their finger on it. The pressure to be beautiful, successful, and self assured , to have it all and do it all, is overwhelming. Has liberation been achieved or not? 

We don’t live in a feminist utopia. Underneath the successful glossy exteriors promoted on social media lies anxiety, insecurity, confusion, fear, and many mental health problems. Young girls are bombarded with idealised sexualised images and burdened by a sense of inadequacy. They are told to assert themselves, embrace their freedom and sexual power by artists such as Cardi B but find themselves trapped in abusive relationships distorted by the porn culture. Ironically much in our culture returns women to the cage early feminists worked so hard to break out from.

Ironically much in our culture returns women to the cage early feminists worked so hard to break out from. 

The one thing many will not even countenance is that the Bible might have something to offer them as they grapple with life realities. The Church is considered an outdated institution which at its worst is the reason for women’s oppression in the first place. Sadly church history shows that some of these suspicions are justified. For many women (and men), the idea that the Bible could offer more liberation than the world seems like madness. Some think its message is irrelevant, while others believe it is inherently sexist and abusive. Yet, the Bible offers a sense of worth that extends well beyond physical beauty, educational attainment, and career progression. This was the reason I wrote my book because, despite fears to the contrary, the Bible values women beyond their marital status or their ability to conceive. There are four truths the modern women desperately need to hear.



The Bible teaches that women have worth, not because of the status they can achieve in society but from the fundamental truth: they are created by God. Worth is not dependent on online approval ratings. Every single person matters because everyone is made by God, in his image. Both male and female are image–bearers of God. Some teaching in the past has suggested that only men bear the image of God fully and completely, and women are only included with their husbands. But that is to deny the explicit declaration that God made humanity, male and female, in his image. There are no caveats. Men and women are God’s representatives, called to rule over the earth together. We are all matter, whatever our wealth, our social status, our educational achievements or our body shape. Our creation by God is the starting point that gives us significance, and women can confidently embrace that.



Women matter. Women’s status in the ancient world was low. The disciples rebuked Jesus for speaking to a woman who they felt was insignificant. Jesus, however, turned everything on its head. He was prepared to have complex theological discussions with women. He went out of his way to engage with them. He sought out a distressed woman in a crowd to speak with her, reassure her and teach her. Jesus revealed some of the most significant truths of the gospel to women. In a culture that did not educate women, Jesus wanted women to learn. In a society that dismissed women, Jesus held out the offer of living water and resurrected life. Jesus was clear that he had come to serve everyone and made it clear that meant women too. What is the value of women? Jesus believed that they mattered so much he would go to the cross to give his life as a ransom. He did not die only for men. He showed his love for all in laying down his life so all might be saved. 



Humanity has dignity by the very fact that we are made by God and in the image of God. However, the Bible recounts humanity’s rejection of God and all its consequences. Men and women lost their dignity, but God offers restoration. The Old Testament law honours and respects women and provides a framework to give them a place of safety in the harsh ancient world. Women are never described as the property of men. The father in Israel was not allowed to exploit the women in his family. His role was to ensure a system of harmony and mutual accommodation for his household so that everyone might flourish. In the Israelite household, there is a call to respect your mother. Unlike some cultures, she was never under the authority of her sons.

The call to respect women as co–heirs in salvation is explicit in the New Testament. The pattern for relationships taught in the gospel is about reversing the horrors of the fall. The Bible describes difference but within the framework of love and respect. The bibles teaching on marriage calls both husband and wife to radical other person–centredness. Paul is clear that the husband does not own his wife’s body; neither partner owns the other. Both partners, however, are called to provide for one another in a relationship of mutual consent. It sounds surprisingly modern. God’s plan for marriage, when fully embraced, does not diminish either partner but exalts them. Paul’s teaching on marriage fits beautifully into the big story of the Bible as it points to Christ’s relationship with the Church.



Feminism recognises the value of women so does the Bible. Women and men are equal in dignity, worth, and value. Women and men should be respected and honoured; their lives and justice matter. Feminism sees the horror of abuse, God hates injustice, and the Bible explains its origins. Feminism seeks better lives for women; Jesus brings life and reconciliation with God. Jesus fills the gap that feminism cannot do. Of course, politics and activism have their place, but only Jesus can bring complete reconciliation.

The Bible is all about equality. Men and women are created equal: equal in the image of God, equal in rebellion, equal in salvation. Men and women have the same offer of life in Christ. Too many women fear that the Bible is all about difference and that difference is oppressive. The truth is that the Bible’s message is primarily about making us wise for salvation, and women desperately need an opportunity to hear it.


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How the Bible Exalts and Dignifies Women

Karen Soole
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