Theology of Woman

By Cindy Koch

Today in our world there is a battle between men and women. As a mother of four daughters, sometimes that scares me more than a little. As my little girls grow up in this deep, dark society, I fear for their safety and future. Will they find a man who cherishes them or abuses them? Will they have experiences that are encouraging or damaging? Will my little girls grow up to fight for their femininity or struggle against it?

Unfortunately for all of us, I don’t think the battle of male and female is much different than the wars of the past. Ever since the fall of creation, there has been constant strife and struggle between the sexes. God declared plainly, because you have done this—disobeyed my word—there will be consequences tearing apart your relationships. “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gen 3:16). God proclaimed His curse on the creatures that were meant to love and care for one another. From now on they would fight—maybe for a voice, for a place, for money, or for respect. Time after time, generation after generation, no one has sustained a final peaceful conclusion to this fight. And so there continues to be misunderstanding, hurt, pain, and abuse as long as we live in this sinful, broken reality.

In the confused mess of men and women, we turn to God for an answer. In order to preserve the dignity of woman, we discover a theology of woman. Foundationally fighting for her value as a female, critically emphasizing her worth as an equal creation of God, this theology inspires justice in our crooked world. Comforting those who have been pressed down, raising up the meek, the theology of woman empowers the visible coming of the kingdom of God.

But then, the strife is not yet over. We turn to God for an answer. In order to solidify the authority of man, we discover a theology of man. Steadfastly clinging to his vocation, emphasizing his worth holding dominion over creation, this theology builds up leaders in our apathetic world. Challenging those who have been pressed down, emboldening the meek, the theology of man blazes the path for the awaited kingdom of God.

And the struggle spins round and round, even within our theologies. As terrible as it is to live in severed relationships with the opposite sex, we all struggle and fight against the Word that reveals this offense to God. We accuse men of chauvinistic oppression, and we forget about the grievous sins of our unforgiving women. We bind up our women in guilt for God-given gifts used and unused, and we also forget about our faithful men, who we regularly take for granted. We selectively forget that even our dismembered theologies struggle and fight against each other and ultimately against God and His Word.

The theology of man or woman, or any other for that matter, is not the story of the God of the Bible. These theologies are rooted in our struggle of sinful relationships, our solutions for epic problems of separation here on earth. These theologies certainly use God and His Word to their own particular advantage, but entirely miss the solution that God prepared from the very beginning of the struggle.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

A theologian of the cross looks upon the exhausting battle in a sinful, dying world and wholly despairs of her own theologies. A theologian of the cross cries and laments at today’s problems and completely trusts a Savior’s work instead of his own solutions. The theology of the cross is an unattractive, recklessly passive theology in the middle of our complicated fights. But the free gift of God that has reconciled every struggle is Christ’s cross alone, and everything is already done for you.

2 thoughts on “Theology of Woman

  1. There is really only one theology of the cross, and it is meant for both sexes, but men and women approach it from their own perspectives. It makes sense that culturally, physically, and biologically, males and females have separate inherent values which come together in the human family, and hopefully work for the common good of society. I think it was always God’s plan for male and female relationships to compliment one another, rather than engage in a historic struggle for power over the other. It is true that the Christian model is patriarchal, not comfortable with a matriarchy which customarily shifts power away from men. Our own society struggles with the implementation of roles and changing values for men and women. As an old timer and a traditionalist, I think God’s original plan works quite well, and the Lord expects us to make necessary compromises in exactly how we might live together in Christian love, as the family of God.

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  2. And a further iteration of this conflict faces our children now; they enter a world where this age-old strife between male and female has devolved into a resentment against the original created polarity itself. It is one thing for men and women, even as social entities, to “seek dominion” over one another — but what if the world effaces all distinctions, rendering the distinction-in-unity of male and female into a spectrum of endless, fragmented gray shades? My daughters do not hear the voice of angry 20th century feminism; they hear a newer, more subtle inquisitor who asks whether gender itself is a reality, or a mere construct.
    In this context, to affirm that one has any firm, created, objective gender is itself a theological statement. It claims that the human person exists through and in the Logos, that our “who” or “identity” is given by the Word that creates us, not society or the self-defining, self- creating ego.
    If our daughters and sons can cherish the mere /fact/ of their gender, then perhaps- we hope, we pray- they can cherish and honor it in each other.

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