Role Play: Biblical Gender Roles

One of the questions that remains in debate is the issue of the roles of men and women, or possibly lack of roles. How can one understand God’s design and purpose for humankind?

When God assigned tasks in Genesis 3 were they defined roles or consequences of the fall?

When Paul instructed the Corinthian (1 Corinthians 11) church about the headship of God, Christ, and man, was he insinuating that the creation account provides an authoritative role for man?

And how can we balance that with Paul allowing women to prophesy in the church services but then commanded that they keep silent?

All these questions and more can be discussed and explored below in the comments! This is not an educational post from me, just collecting people’s thoughts.


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9 thoughts on “Role Play: Biblical Gender Roles”

  1. How can we be a light to the nations, if the creativity that lies within us lays dormant? Why do many say, and even myself included, that we are not talented or gifted? We do ourselves and our nations a disservice when we diminish the gifts that God has given us.

  2. I was thinking the exact same thing today in fact! Someone made an off handed comment about another having so many grandchildren, when the one who made the comment happily only had one and no more…So irritating how some think that more than one or two children is enough. Children are a blessing from the Lord, and happy is the man and woman who have a quiver full….I think child bearing is in some ways, more important, in that you are helping to shape not only your children but the generations to come. Maybe thats why it is frowned upon, because of the huge responsibility it is. Yes, a responsibility for sure, but a privilege for certain!

  3. Re: ‘When Paul instructed the Corinthian church about the headship of God, Christ, and man, was he insinuating that the creation account provides an authoritative role for man?’

    Paul was no insinuating that the creation account provides an authoritative role for man, he was affirming mans rightful role.

    • I think that it could go either way in arguing…but I guess the question is: What IS that role for man? (and of course woman)

      • Please tell me more of the context of Paul seeking silence from the women. I dare say Paul favored the gifts of women by affirming them publicly. In 2Timothy 4:19, Paul mentions Priscilla first before her husband.

      • The role of men and women is to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it, to have dominion…What if to be fruitful and multiply meant so much more than just children? What if it also means using the gifts we have been given to bring His glory to the earth? We were designed to be fruitful in all its implications, not just childbearing. , We are to become pregnant with the promises of God. To be a carrier of His presence, and do steward that presence that others would know Him too.

        • Hey Tamara!
          I think the verb “to bear/be fruit/fruitful” (פָּרָה) according to the way the OT authors used it almost always refers to bearing children or building a nation.

          Gen 17:6 – I have made you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you (NASB)
          Lev 26:9 – I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you (NASB)
          Dtr 7:13 – He will alove you and bless you and bmultiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground. (NASB)
          Psa – The fruit of the womb is a reward. (NASB)

          However, what you said seems to have some merit to it. The purpose behind God making the nation of Israel so fruitful was so that they could be a light to the nations. In fact if you go back and read some of the passages I posted from you will see that God almost always intends it to be for HIS glory!

          Maybe that says something about God’s view on bearing children??

          • Which actually makes me think….when did child bearing become something that is not as important as other things? There used to be a day when bearing children was a symbol of pride. Now it seems to have lost it’s sense of worth :/

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