GodReflection: My Bible Doesn’t Read Like Yours
It didn’t take too many steps on God’s planet earth to discover that I didn’t understand the opposite sex.
Apparently, I am not the only one without a clue.
In 1992, John Gray’s book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus went viral with eventual sales of over 50 million copies. It’s easy to see that the book struck a nerve.
Over the 286 pages Gray explores differences between males and females in the way they deal with emotions and ways they interpret the world and each other.
Here is what I think. (Excuse my generalities.)
We impose this same contrast of gender viewpoint when we read our Bible.
I don’t understand all of the “whys and wherefores” but I suggest women are more warm and sensitive than men. They just seem equipped for the mission of care and nurture—given they weren’t robbed of their compassion by evil-others.
Their hearts must understand in greater depth the abundance of Bible accounts of women who placed their trust in the Holy.
I suspect my female counterparts read the Bible accounts of barren women of faith with an increased empathy that we males cannot generate.
As residents of a male dominated world and as members of a male dominated church, Christian women read Paul’s words from Ephesians three:
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
My guess is many women see in Paul’s summation greater freedom in Christ than their Christian brothers find comfortable.
Now for us males.
My observation is that men are more dominant and arrogant than their female counterparts.
Against opponents, males are “sock it to them” and “grind them into the ground” warriors. When men speak everyone must listen.
And so, we open our Bible.
If we are not careful, we guys tend to read our Bible with a spirit of dominance. From far too many of our pulpits and lecterns flow the male proclamations of “see it my way”.
Our Bible sets out to tell the story of God. That alone should call me to respect its incalculable depths. It would surprise every one of us if we could see the myriad of nuanced interpretations taken from our Bible due to gender viewpoints.
Could it be that we forget the Genesis 1:27 account where BOTH male and female were created in the image of God? Perhaps I need to remind myself that men and women are equal and designed by God to complement each other as The Holy’s Creation.
What if I make it a point to listen more closely to the texture brought by feminine voices to enhance my own Biblical interpretation? I suspect my male-gender only viewpoint of my Bible results in less than a complete reading.
Rather than create division over what might at first seem to be a conflict of viewpoints, could it be that we need both gender viewpoints to gain a fuller insight into our Bible?
I would love to hear your own insights into the subject matter of this post—especially from the feminine voice.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: Does My Gender Effect My Bible?