We’ve all heard about feminism since we were little. It’s not something most of us set out to study. It’s just a big part of the culture. But what is it and what kinds of ideas have we learned from feminism? How does it impact us spiritually individually and in our marriages and families?
What Is Feminism?
According to Merriam-Webster, feminism is a:
belief in and advocacy of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes expressed especially through organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.
There are probably thousands of definitions of feminism. Not all have the same goals but most talk about equality for or the empowerment of women. But the question we should ask is, “Empower women to do what, exactly?”
(I’ll share a post on this topic next week. We don’t all have the same thoughts in mind about what it means for women to be strong and to have power. Some types of power are constructive, others are destructive.)
Why Did Feminism Begin?
Feminism began because women were being mistreated, many times. They had very few rights. Some were oppressed and abused by their husbands and there was little anyone could do to help or protect them from harm.
Women couldn’t own property if they were married. They had no voting rights. Often, they couldn’t get an education, go to college, or earn a living wage.
Largely because of the Declaration of Independence and the ideas that came from the American Revolution and the Enlightenment, women began to think more about wanting equal rights with men in society, marriage, and the church.
The problem is— these hurting women didn’t consult God or His Word about what to do, seek His guidance, or invite Him to show them the way to go to handle their grievances. And they didn’t honor God’s authority structure or the authority of God’s Word.
When we choose a route without praying and without establishing a movement on godly principles, only using human wisdom, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Many of the leaders of all 4 waves of feminism viewed God and the Bible as an impediment to what they wanted to do and a large number of self-proclaimed feminist leaders of various types have been atheists who hated God, the Bible, masculinity, femininity, marriage, and the nuclear family.
A desire for equality in the eyes of the law became a desire for sameness with men, interchangeability, and superiority to men and God.
A Desire for Equality with God Is Not a New Thing
It is the same temptation of Satan, himself. To be equal to or greater than God—to usurp His position and authority. To have everyone bow down to him and his will instead of to God.
This is also the first temptation the devil presented to deceive Eve. Essentially, he said:
- God is not good and doesn’t have good motives toward you.
- You can be as wise as God and equal to God if you eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
- Rebellion against God is necessary because He is holding out on you and oppressing you. There won’t be any bad consequences.
- God’s Word doesn’t have all authority, you should have it instead.
Unfortunately, when Satan sets out to deceive us, his goal is not to help us. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10)
Types of Feminism
There are many types of feminism that have different premises and goals. Some of the main ones are:
What does this mean to me?
Women my age (48 years old) and younger have all been marinating in these ideas, and other types of feminism, all our lives. No one says, “Here’s a Marxist Feminist idea for you…” They aren’t labeled when we hear them.
These ideas are just part of our culture and society now, completely integrated into just about every facet of life.
The voices that push for these types of feminism want to abolish the authority of the Bible, the “cultural institution” of the nuclear family, the institution of God-ordained marriage, God’s design for men/women/gender/children, private property, and anything in society that they believe is oppressive to women having more power and control.
They believe that society and culture must be completely destroyed and transformed into something radically different. Something totally foreign to anything God prescribes in the Bible.
Feminist Lies Impact Many Critical Issues
We have heard the lies so many times, they may seem like the truth. You know the lies I’m talking about. They probably sound familiar. Keep a little tally in your mind to add up how many of these you heave heard or believed.
Note: not every self-proclaimed feminist believes all of these ideas necessarily.
Feminist Lies About Women (1st-4th Wave Feminism)
- Always right.
- Morally superior to men.
- Above men in virtue and value.
- Essentially perfect goddesses.
- Not in need of repenting for anything.
- The ones who should be in charge of everything.
- So independent of men that they don’t need men.
- Supposed to be just like men.
- Entitled to demand things from men and society.
- Not in need of Jesus or salvation.
- Never to apologize for anything to men.
- Able to treat men like dirt and that is entirely acceptable, necessary, even.
- The ultimate authorities. Men, children, lawmakers, and God must bow to the will of women… or else.
- Empowered by witchcraft/the occult.
- Supposed to hold any position in society, marriage, the family, or the church that men do.
Feminist Lies About Men (2nd-4th Wave Feminism)
- Idiots, evil, and worthless.
- Deserving of hatred.
- Big children.
- Unable to do anything right.
- Always wrong if they don’t agree with women.
- The cause all relationship problems.
- Completely responsible for women’s happiness.
- Supposed to give up their jobs to make room for women.
- The only ones who need to apologize.
- The source of all the problems in the world.
- Essentially toxic. And Masculinity, itself, is toxic.
- Supposed to be just like women.
- Brute animals.
- Oppressive to women if they lead women in any way. That is always male domination.
- To treat women like princesses and be okay with being mistreated, themselves.
- To submit to women and do anything they want whenever they want however they want.
Feminist Lies About Gender Identity (3rd-4th Wave Feminism)
- Men and women are the same, identical, even.
- There are no biological, mental, or emotional differences between men and women.
- Men and women are interchangeable in relationships, in marriage, and in society.
- Gender should be fluid, there aren’t two genders.
- Women being involved in pornography is liberating for them (note: 2nd wave feminism believed pornography was degrading to women and worked against it).
Feminist Lies About Marriage, Sex, and Family (2nd Wave Feminism)
- Marriage is oppressive.
- Women should avoid marriage like the plague.
- Moms should never support and cooperate with dads.
- Divorce is freeing.
- Promiscuity is liberation.
- Any sex between a man and woman in marriage harms the woman.
- Women should avoid relationships with men altogether and choose lesbianism instead.
- Chastity is boring and oppressive.
Feminist Lies About Children/Motherhood/Career (2nd- 4th Wave Feminism)
- Motherhood is bondage.
- Children are a burden.
- Abortion is freedom and a human right for women. It is sacred and empowering to women.
- Not having children is the only way for a woman to truly be fulfilled.
- Women can only really find fulfillment and purpose in a career never in marriage, family, or motherhood.
- Children don’t need their father’s influence in their lives.
Feminist Lies About God (1st-4th Wave Feminism)
- Is out-of-date and old fashioned.
- Can’t be trusted and isn’t a source of absolute truth.
- Is not relevant to women today, especially any passages about women.
- Has no authority over women.
- Was written by men to promote evil patriarchy.
- Is evil, hate speech, and full of lies.
- Is a bunch of myths designed to harm and oppress.
God and His Authority
- God doesn’t exist.
- If there is a god, she is a woman.
- Women decide what is right and wrong, true and false, not God.
- Women decide if anything in the Bible is true, not God.
- Women are morally superior to God.
- Women are goddesses who reign over the world.
- Women have authority not God.
These Ideas from Feminism Did Not Come from the Bible
They aren’t compatible with the truth of God’s Word. They are a scam and a trap from the enemy of our souls. They create confusion and discord. They lead to misery for us and our relationships and families.
Just look around at the fallout of these ideas on our marriages, individual lives, children, families, churches, and society. But they are paraded and glorified almost everywhere we look.
What Does God’s Word Say About God?
- There is one true God of the Universe, the God of the Bible. (Isa. 44:6)
- God is the ultimate source of all fulfillment, identity, purpose, hope, peace, and joy. (John 17:4, Gal. 5:22-23, Matt 13:45-46)
- Only God is good. (Psalm 34:8, Mark 10:18)
- Only God is always right. He is omniscient, omnipresent, all-powerful, sovereign, perfect, holy, righteous, and the King of kings and Lord of lords. No person can usurp His place. (Ps. 18:30, Ps. 90:2, Ps. 146:5, Isa. 55:8-9, Jer. 32:17, Rev. 4:18, Rev. 19:16)
- Those who say, “There is no God,” will face God as Judge. (Psalm 10:4, Psalm 14:1, 2 Pet. 3:7, Rev. 20:11-15)
- God has the highest authority in the universe and on earth. He created the universe and He reigns in sovereignty over it. (Gen.1:1, Ps. 103:19, Rom. 13:1, Matt. 28:18, Acts 5:29, James 4:7, 1 Tim. 6:15)
- Only God has the authority to decide what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong. (Gen. 2:15-17, Psalm 119:160, John 17:17, Matt. 17:13-14)
- Only God has the authority to define womanhood, manhood, marriage, and family. (1 Cor. 11:3, 1 Cor. 11:12, Gen. 1:27, Gen. 2:21:24, Eph. 5:22-24, Gen. 2:24, Ps.128:3, Ps. 127:3-5, Eph. 6:1-4)
- Those who disregard God’s authority and exalt themselves to be “as God” are committing the same sin Satan did and will face significant consequences. (Gen. 19:24, Ex. 20:5, Isa.14:12-14, Prov. 16:18, 2 Pet. 3:7, Rev. 20:11-15)
His Word, the Bible
- God inspired His Word to be written through people as the inerrant, authoritative source of absolute truth for us. (Matt 5:18, John 16:13, 2 Tim. 3:6)
- The Bible is timeless and completely relevant to us today, even the passages about women. (Heb, 13:8, 1 Pet. 1:24-25)
- When we trust and obey God and build our lives on the Solid Rock of His Word, we (and those around us) are blessed. (Matt. 7:24-27, Joshua 22:5,
What Does the Bible Say About Men, Women, and Gender?
Gender, Men, and Women
- God created two genders, male and female. They are different on purpose and each gender is a very good gift. (Gen. 1:27)
- Men and women are created in God’s image. (Gen. 1:27, Eph. 2:10)
- They have different roles. When we defy God’s design for gender/marriage/sex and His authority, our marriages, children, husbands, families, and societies suffer. Even we suffer both in this life and in eternity. (Prov. 11:29, Prov. 14:1, 1 Cor. 6:18, Jude 1:7, Rev. 21:8)
- Men and women are equally loved and valuable in God’s sight. (Gal. 3:28)
- All people, men and women, have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)
- All people need salvation. Men, women, and children need to repent and humble themselves, yielding to Jesus as Savior and Lord or they are condemned before God. (John 3:16-17, Rom. 10:9)
- All people need to submit to the Lordship of Christ and His authority as the highest authority there is or face judgment from God. (Matt. 28:18, John 12:47-48, Rom. 10:9, 2 Cor. 4:5, Phil. 2:10)
What Does the Bible Say About Sex , Marriage, and Family?
- Sex is a gift that is only for the holy covenant of marriage as defined by God between a man and a woman. (Gen. 2:24, Heb 13:4)
- Sex in marriage is a blessing and a joy, designed by God for a husband and wife to cherish and hold sacred. (Song of Songs)
- Promiscuity and sexual immorality lead to severe physical and spiritual consequences for individuals and nations, causing them extreme harm and, eventually, judgment from God. (Prov. 6:22, Prov. 18:22, Eph. 5:3, Gal. 5:19-21)
- Masculinity and femininity are beautiful gifts that, together (because of their differences), portray the gospel in a tangible way in marriage as the husband and wife display the unity and love between Christ and His Bride, the Church. (Eph. 5:22-33)
- Marriage is to be a lifelong holy covenant between one man and one woman that is to be honored by all. (Gen. 2:24, Heb. 13:4)
- God defines marriage. (Gen. 2, Matt. 19:2-9)
- Marriage, done God’s way, is a great source of fulfillment and blessing for women and men, providing a firm foundation for the children in the home and a strong witness for Jesus. (Gen. 2:24, Mal. 2:13-16, Prov. 31:10-31, Titus 2:3-5, Eph. 5:22-33)
- God’s design (for marriage, family, masculinity, and femininity) doesn’t oppress people—sin, lies, deception, and delusions oppress people. (Rom. 6:23, Gal. 6:7-8)
- Divorce is not God’s design for families and should only be a last resort in certain extreme sitautions. (Matt. 19:2-9, 1 Cor. 7)
- Motherhood is a blessing and a delight for women. (Prov. 31:10-31)
- Life is a precious gift. Every person is created in God’s image and only God has the authority to determine when someone dies. (Ex. 20:13, Matt 5:21-26)
- Raising children is an honor and a blessing from God. (Psalm 127:3)
The Messages of Feminism Are All Around Us—We Really Can’t Escape It
For many of us, we hear the same degrading messages about men and lies about women and marriage from every corner of our lives: school, home, friends, coworkers, social media, the internet, Hollywood, women’s magazines, books, relatives, even church. This hurts us and our relationships.
Maybe we never set out to become radical feminists. We didn’t even think about that topic at all. Most of us lived in a post-feminist society. This thinking had already become mainstream and very widespread.
When You Hear Something Often Enough, It Seems True
We all absorbed a whole lot of ideas, often without even questioning them from our culture and almost everyone around us. When practically everyone tells you something is true, it becomes pretty easy to accept it.
Who Will You Believe? God’s Word or Feminism?
We don’t have to just accept the ideas that have been taught to us all our lives. We get to make our own choices. Will we listen to the women who came before us promoting radical feminism (and the other ideas) or will we listen to God’s Word?
Who will we trust? Who will we serve and worship? What will we believe and pass down to our children?
That choices is up to each of us to make.
May we invite God to help us see the truth about Himself, His inerrant Word, masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family. May we purposely reject the world’s toxic ways that lead to dysfunction and heartbreak and choose God’s ways.
We can stop bowing at the altar of worldly, godless feminism. We can repent from believing lies and building our lives on sinking sand and turn to Jesus as Savior and LORD of every area of our lives.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10
Let’s turn to Christ! He CAN and WILL heal us! He can show us the path that will bless us, our marriages, and our families. Let’s build our lives on the Solid Rock of Christ and His wisdom, sisters! His ways lead to abundant spiritual life and peace for men, women, and children.
Have you seen these kinds of lies in our culture? Are there any I missed?
How have these ideas impacted your marriage, family, and walk with the Lord?
Two of the most eye-opening resources I have found on understanding the history of feminism and how it has impacted us in our families, marriages, society, and even in the church are these:
Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley
The Feminist Mistake by Mary Kassain
Another very helpful resource is this one, to go through many lies that ensnare modern women and counter each one with the truth from God’s Word.
Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Got Questions Resources
What Does the Bible Say About Women Pastors? by Got Questions
What Does the Bible Say about Being a Christian Wife? by Got Questions
What Does the Bible Say about Being a Christian Husband? by Got Questions
We Have All Been Greatly Affected by Feminism (the goals of feminism)