PART 1: Does the Bible teach that men are superior to women? START UP with some brainstorming questions If you ask people in your society this question: Who is most important, the woman or the man? In Family? Society? Government? In church ? What will they answer? Short discussions in groupes: According to culture and traditions in your society, men and women are given different roles and have different tasks to do. 1. Make up a list where you give examples of behaviour and tasks which are not acceptable for a man? 2. And for a woman? Show some examples in a drama/sketch from each group (Keep the list for more discussion later in the session) Genesis 1.26-27: How God created man and woman: God said “Let’s create humans in our picture... So God created humans in his own image; God patterned them after himself: male and female he created them.” This means that both sexes are created in God’s image, not only the man. What is specific with a woman compared to a man? Give examples. • Women have female sexual organs, (uterus, ovaries, ..). • Women can have babies and breastfeed them. • Besides these physical differences; are there works or duties women cannot have in your society? (Pick from the list you have already made) • Why? Is it due to lack of intelligence, strength, education etc.? What is specific with a man compared to a woman? Give examples. • Men have male sexual organs, (penis, sperms, ..) • Besides these physical differences; are there works or duties men cannot have in your society? (Pick form the list you have already made). • Why? Is it due to lack of skills, gifts, education etc.? • Look again through the list of what a woman can not do and ask: Can she, if she is given the opportunity? Make a tick where she can. • Look again through the list of what a man can not do: Can he, if he is given the opportunity? Make a tick where he can. Why is it difficult to make these changes? What changes would you like to see? PART 2: Some says God created the woman to be a helper (servant) to the man? Is this true? Genesis 2.18: « And the Lord said, it is not good for a man to be alone. I shall make a helper for him.” Some have used this verse to tell women they were created only as a helper or servant to the man and therefore inferior to him? Is this a correct interpretation? The word “helper” has been translated differently in different Bible translations: Genesis 2.18: • • • • “I shall make him a helper fit for him” (RSV) “I will make him a helpmate” (Jerusalem Bible) “I will make him a helper comparable to him” (NKJV) “I will make a companion who will help him.”(NLT) The word used in Hebrew is ‘ezer.’ What is the meaning of this word? The word ”ezer” in Hebrew means ‘a power’ or ‘strength’ 1. God said he intended to create ‘a power’ or ‘strength’ for the man who would in every way correspond to him. 2. God solved the loneliness of the man by giving him a mate with the same value and excellence. “This is bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh,” the man said. 3. The woman had the same genetic heritage as the man, and she was given the same rulership over the creation as him. Through this God had accomplished his creation of pairs; and both man and woman were equally created in God’s image. Conclusion: The Bible doesn’t present the man as a superior person and the woman as inferior. They are equally created by God and complementary to one another. In marriage “the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.” PART 3: What is the biblical role models for husband and wife? Does the Bible teach that the man’s role is take all major decisions in the family and the wife should submit? What is the meaning of “the husband is the head..” Ephesians 5: 21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Some people think that to be “a head” means to exercise power and authority; like an army commander or an African chief who can oblige others to bow down and serve him/her. They put it in a command line as shown below: Christ Husband Wife and Family members That is not the meaning of being “the head” according to Jesus Read Marc 10, 42-45, John 13,12-15 According to Jesus; what is the role of a master or a leader? Jesus was the master for his disciples, but bowed down and washed their feet as an example. This was contrary of how a leader in this world will act. A Christian leader is asked to copy the example of Christ who served and gave his life for others. This is contrary of what we often think: Instead of using power and force Jesus bowed down and served his disciples. He said a Christian leader should follow his example. By this, he turned the command line into a servant line: Serving others Disciples - leaders Christ A “head” (according to Jesus) should be the first to initiate love and wellbeing for people. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5.25) Wife and family members Husband Christ Like Christ the husband should practise love and kindness and even give out his life for those he loves. : The message to both husband and wife is: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5,21) Christ Wife Husband The foundation in a Christian marriage is built upon willingness to Love, to Serve and to Submit to one another. Through this union with Christ, husband and wife have the same value and dignity. Christ It is up to them to decide how to share responsibilities and tasks in their home. The love from Christ inspires them to practice love, faithfulness and willingness to serve. Summary: 1. If somebody asks: Does the Bible teach that men are superior to women? What is your answer? 2. Give examples how both men and women can use their gifts to serve God and other people?