What is gender role? Gender roles can be linked closely to the Bible as the relations between men and women as both intuitive and sensual. Biologically gender is not determined; however, as a result of sexual characteristics of either men or women, it is established socially. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations gender is a central organizing principle of societies, and often governs the processes of production and reproduction, consumption and distribution.
Gender issues focus on women and on the relationship between men and women, their roles, access to and control over resources, division of labor, interests and needs. Gender relations influence family well-being, household security, planning, production and many other aspects of life including the way we think or feel according to one’s gender. For this reason the definition of gender role today should be revised and predefined because the meaning it once had is no longer comparable with the Bible. Many countries have experienced huge turmoil and revising of its traditional gender roles within the last generation.
These changes in gender roles affect the home, the workplace, and the school, plus they affect all walks of life to some degree. Gender role is a commonly discussed subject in society and many may argue about the true role of a man or a woman. Society and culture are also very important in relation to this subject. This means different societies and cultures may produce children and later, grown men and women, who have quite different views of a man or a woman’s place in the world around them, often determined by their culture’s gender stereotypes.
Gender roles are attached to persons according to their gender. So, what are men’s and women’s roles in society? Should they be equal or do they have well defined roles they should play? In this day and age, people like to be intolerant by attempting to make the two sexes equal. Most people feel that it is unfair to say that women can do certain activities better than men and men can do other activities better than women but God actually made men and women differently and has given them different roles in life and society. God has made men and women to fit certain roles He has defined.
The Bible talks a lot about God’s roles for men and women. Genesis, the first book of the Bible, talks about Creation and how sin entered the world. When God created everything, it was perfect and good. Right after Adam and Eve disobeyed God, God kicked them out of the perfect place he had made for them called the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:16-19 says: “To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you shall bring forth children; yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.
Then to Adam He said, ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread’. This is God’s first example of roles to women and men. It was meant for men to take care of land and work it for food to provide for his family and women would bear children and take care of them and raise them while their husband worked. Again, a man and woman’s role is well defined in a home.
They are both made for each other and to grow strong as one. A woman has quite a unique role to fill. She is made as a companion for her husband because without a wife a man is alone and she is the only one who can provide the companionship needs. She should give her husband affection because he needs it just as she needs it also and only she may know the husband in such a way to provide the kind of affection he needs. A wife is there to give physical needs because God made man and woman to rely on one another.
Also a woman should bear children for her husband to make a family that they can all love and appreciate. Most mothers spend more time with her children and her influence on their character development is great because they see her the most. Lastly, every woman should be a keeper at home and this requires diligence and the kind of care only women can provide. It is a place of honor among God and His people. “A woman should be a guard, and ruler and keeper of the affairs of the home” (Prov. 31:13-15).
There is nothing wrong with a woman working, as long as it is done in the right way it is honorable. All women, whether married or not, can look to the worthy woman for guidance for living godly lives. In God’s pattern we do not see slavery, but freedom, honor, and true beauty. However, all women shall strive to fulfill their God given roles in their own families, so as to gain honor for themselves, for their families, and for God. In addition, a man’s role in society differs quite differently from a woman.
The man is the key to making the family work the way God intended. God puts the responsibility of having a Biblical family on the man. On top of that, men are under a lot of job pressure because of the failing economy which makes it harder to provide for the family. Many men never had a role model in their home. There should be Godly men helping their off springs to become who they ought to be for the glory of God. Men should love their family as Jesus loved the church; he is to also love the members of his family as he loves his body.
He is to nourish it. He is to cherish it. He is to take care of it. That’s the way God wants a man to love his family. Eph. 5:23 says, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church and the Savior of the body. ” Notice that it didn’t say the head over the wife; it said the head of the wife. It is not dictatorship. A man is not the dictator in the family but the man is to protect and provide for his family. Being a good provider is not enough as men have a spiritual responsibility.
They should get their family in church each Sunday and take every opportunity to help them learn about Jesus Christ and to grow in their relationship with Him. Men should obey the word of the Lord and ask the Lord to help him be the man he should be. Many of men have failed to lead their family like they should. However, if he is the man, the father, the kind of husband God wants him to be, and if he lifts his family to be everything God wants them to be, one of these days he will reap a good harvest in his children. However, the shifting of gender roles in the past thirty years has been huge.
It has happened so quickly that men and women are still trying to sort out what the new roles and rules mean to them although women are no longer expected to be the keepers of the house, in reality, they are in most families and although men are generally open to the successes enjoyed by the women they share their lives with, some still find it hard to celebrate a woman’s triumphs because they feel it attenuates their own. Even though the Bible clearly states the role of a man and a woman many individuals may argue this because the Bible was written a long time ago and they feel such implications do not apply anymore.
Yet, the Bible is the word of God and his word is always right and should be abided by no matter how we may feel. Historically, it is important also to note that cultural differences flourish in the emphasis of one’s gender role and in certain societies such assumption in accepted gender norms can also play some part in the definition of gender identity. It will take time to sort out all the assumptions of the changing gender roles of individuals, but new expectations should result in better lives, better relationships, better schools, and better workplaces.
Courtney from Study Moose
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