In 2022, a documentary hosted by politically conservative commentator Matt Walsh, host of The Matt Walsh Show podcast and columnist for The Daily Wire, was released. This was an eye-opening documentary detailing the anti-God agenda regarding gender identity that is destroying many lives, including those of young children.
What the documentary didn’t cover was a biblical answer to the question “What is a woman?”—not discussing the One who created and designed women: our Creator God. The movie also didn’t give the real solution to the gender issue, which is the truth of God’s Word and the saving gospel. (Now so much could be said about this documentary and the question it posed, but I’m just going to highlight this one particular aspect today.)
The Answer Starts in Genesis
What do we learn from God’s Word regarding the answer to the question, “What is a woman?”
Genesis gives an overview of the creation week, culminating in the creation of the first two human beings on day six:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)God’s Word tells us a lot about men and women and their differences.
We learn that God created only two genders of humans, male and female. And we know from the study of genetics that men have an XY pair of sex chromosomes and women have an XX pair. But God’s Word tells us a lot more about men and women and their differences.
God gives the details of why and how he created the first woman (female) in Genesis chapter 2. We learn that God created the first woman to be a helper for the first man Adam:
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18)So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:21–25)
So, God made the first woman as Adam’s wife. She was made from Adam’s side. We then read in Genesis 3:20:
The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
So other than the first man, all people would be descendants of this first man and first woman.
God told the man and the woman to be fruitful and multiply, and both were to have dominion over the creation:
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
Men and Women . . . Equal?
Are men and women equal? They are both equal in value, and both are sinners. Both can receive the free gift of salvation, and both are commanded to live lives honoring to the Lord. So just like men, women need to be born again, to abide in Christ, and to trust God’s Word as the absolute authority in all areas.
However, God gave men and women different roles. Adam was created first, so he was given a headship role in marriage. Adam was given the instruction not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That’s why Adam gets the blame for sin, not Eve, as Romans 5:12 teaches:
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)
The man is given the role of pouring out sacrificial love on his wife:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word. (Ephesians 5:25–26)Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)Marriage is actually a spiritual picture of Christ and the church.
Marriage is actually a spiritual picture of Christ and the church. The church is to submit to Christ, as seen in the teaching about the woman’s role:
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. (Ephesians 5:22–23)
And the principle given in Ephesians 5:21 is a reminder for men and women in the church to place themselves under each other’s authority out of respect for Christ:
[S]ubmitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)
Sin Nature Effects Everything
Now because we no longer live in a perfect world, there will no longer be perfect relationships or perfect obedience to the roles God gave. We need to be warned about what can happen because of our sin nature.
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)
Because of sin, now roles will be distorted. Our sin nature will try to master over us. Because Adam sinned and Eve was deceived, now women will have pain in childbirth. Also, if a woman lets her sin nature master her, she will want to usurp the headship role of the man. The man will want to corrupt his headship role and lord it despotically over the woman, instead of sacrificially loving her. That’s why the Apostle Paul reminds us this way in Colossians 3:18-19:
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
God’s Word in 1 Peter 3:3–4 instructs women this way:
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1 Peter 3:3–4)
And Proverbs 31:30 describes a godly woman:
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
And this is what every woman should aspire to be described as:
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” (Proverbs 31:25–29)
So, What Is a Woman?
So, what is a woman? We can’t answer that question fully apart of the authority of God’s Word beginning in Genesis.
And we will answer this question in much more detail at our 2024 Answers for Women Conference, Reclaim. At Answers for Women 2024 at the Ark Encounter, you’ll learn how to reclaim God’s good design for women and how to overcome in the war on women that threatens to overtake us. Engaging, passionate speakers who love God and his Word will equip you with biblical and practical answers to live confidently and courageously as women. Since this conference is sold out, we’re offering a second conference on the weekdays April 1–3, 2024, with the same speakers, so don’t miss it!
And if you’d like to teach your children to understand how God has made them as either a boy or a girl, I encourage you to check out two brand-new children’s books from AiG-Latin America’s Joe Owen and his daughter Abby: Why Did God Made Me a Boy? and Why Did God Make Me a Girl?, both recently translated from Spanish into English (the Spanish titles are also available).
I am so thankful for the talented people God has brought to Answers in Genesis so we can provide these powerful resources for families!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.