Updated: Sep 13, 2022
Her image. Her identity. Her heart. Her soul. Who or what determines a girl's worth?
For a long time, the world has tried to define the value of girls and women.
In many ancient cultures, women were viewed as little more than property. They often had no legal rights and no means to provide for themselves which is one reason the Bible highlights God's command to care for widows (James 1:27, Luke 7:11-15). One final matter Jesus attended to as he was being crucified was the care of his mother in her widowhood. As the eldest son, he was supposed to be her provider until her death, John, the apostle, records this precious moment where Christ esteems his mother's worth by entrusting her care to the beloved disciple (John 19:25-30).
Many believe the Bible devalues and degrades women. It actually highly esteems and elevates them. Genesis 1:26-28 records God's proclamation of the co-equal creation of males and females in His image as well as their co-equal commission to have dominion over the earth. God's original design was for men and women to rule over the earth together for God's glory!
Of course, something went wrong in the Garden of Eden . . . terribly wrong! God and humanity's mutual enemy (Satan) sought to separate human beings from their Creator. Not only that, his scheme involved creating a schism between men and women. I find it interesting that of the two human beings in the garden, the devil chose to go after Eve first. Women have had the enemy's bullseye on their backs from the beginning. Satan has been highly successful in his tactics from Genesis Chapter 3 all the way up to the Resurrection of Christ. That day, the segregation of women and being treated as "lesser" among God's people ended.
The apostle Paul assures Christians:
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28 (ESV)
Jesus restored the dignity and worth of girls and women when he conquered the power of sin.
Sadly, many modern cultures still esteem boys over girls. Did you know that sex-selective abortion--the abortion of preborn babies simply because they are female--is having detrimental effects on our global society?
Demographer Nicholas Eberstadt analyzed empirical research on this phenomenon and concludes:
"The practice has become so ruthlessly routine in many contemporary societies that it has impacted their very population structures, warping the balance between male and female births and consequently skewing the sex ratios for the rising generation toward a biologically unnatural excess of males."
Eberstadt terms this atrocity "a global war against baby girls." You can read more about how this war on girls has left the world with an "increased demand for prostitution, [and] an upsurge in the kidnapping and trafficking of women . . . " in the article "The Global War Against Baby Girls" by Joe Carter.
How Important is the Church's Role in Properly Valuing Girls and Women?
In March 2021, a Missouri pastor went viral on social media with a sermon focused on the physical image and "trophy" identity of women, specifically wives. If you have not watched it, please watch and consider the following:
A. His flagrant misinterpretation of God's Word and lopsided preaching to wives with no instruction to husbands.
B. For the majority of his sermon points, he quotes secular books, not the Bible.
C. The damage his erroneous message has caused to the girls and women in his congregation (and anyone else who watched the video online).
D. The boys and men in his congregation have been taught warped ideas about God's design for marriage, to mistreat their wives, and to excuse themselves of personal responsibility for sexual sin.
What does God want Christians to do?
Since our society tends to devalue the lives of girls and women, Christians (especially men) need to be working hard to esteem women as co-equals, co-valued, and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
Teach girls their inherent worth ascribed to them by their Creator.
Teach boys to value girls the way God does.
Teach the world that God values, and fights for, the worth of all women because they too bear His image.
How Can We Do This?
Teach God's Word properly.
We are only able to teach proper thoughts, attitudes, and actions by learning proper doctrine ourselves. From charismatic to reformed circles of Christianity (and everything in between), there is a high probability that the traditions of men have crept into some of your thinking and have replaced God's commands as "doctrines" that are then taught to boys, girls, young women, and young men (Mark 7:6-9). Proper exegesis and hermeneutics make for proper doctrine. Are you considering context, the whole counsel of God, descriptive text vs. prescriptive text?
Read Gospel-centered children's books on the value of girls and boys to kids.
Here are some gritty gospel life recommended reads:
How Much is a Little Girl Worth? by Rachael Denhollander
How Much is a Little Boy Worth? by Rachael and Jacob Denhollander (Coming Soon!)
Read Gospel-centered books combating lies we believe about ourselves.
Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh Demoss Wolgemuth
Lies Men Believe by Robert Wolgemuth