Christian women are admonished to be subject to their husbands. How would this affect a Christian woman holding political office?
This is a
bit problematic, isn’t it? Scripture and experience both teach us that God has
created our very nature and relations as human beings with the need for a
is evident in the three basic institutions by which God has been pleased to organize
society: the family, the church, and the
State. There must be leaders who are held responsible by God for the
accomplishment of his purpose in each of these institutions and who are
consequently entrusted by God with authority to govern them.
Scriptures are equally clear that God has ordained men to be the head of each
of these institutions. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians with respect to the home,
“The head of a wife is her husband” (1 Cor. 11:3; cf. Eph. -24; Col. 3:18; 1 Pet. 3:1-6).
with respect to the church, he instructs Timothy and Titus to appoint men as elders and deacons and to lead in
prayer and preaching (1 Tim. ;
3:1f.; Tit. 1:5f.).
respect to civil government, we read in the book of Deuteronomy that Moses
instructed Israel, “Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced
men, and I will appoint them as your heads” (Deut. 1:13).
the other hand, God has ordained that a woman’s primary calling is to be a
helper to her husband (Gen. 2:18). Paul refers to this when he says that the
woman was made for the man, and not
the man for the woman (1 Cor. 11:9). Her helping role consists largely in her
tending to the needs of the family by “bearing children and managing the household”
(1 Tim. ). This does
not mean, however, that she cannot be active in economic pursuits. Proverbs 31
speaks of the virtuous wife who makes garments and sells them and buys a field
from the fruit of her earnings (Prov. 31:16, 24). Nor does it mean that she
cannot engage in some forms of
ministry, such as ministries of mercy (Acts -39) and teaching other women in the church (Tit.
I should add that because God has ordained the roles of the sexes, he has
created men and women to be different. He has created them with natures suited
to their respective callings. This is something we all know, but are reluctant
to say because we are afraid of being politically incorrect. Men and women are
different—not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, too. These
differences do not mean that men are better than women in general, or that
women are better than men in general. But it does mean that men are better at
some things than women, and women are better at other things than men. This is
how God created us.
important that we keep these things in mind because all kinds of problems arise
when we ignore the order that God has created.
things being equal, we should prefer male candidates for public office over
female ones. This is the biblical norm. But not all things are equal, because not all candidates
are equal. What I have described is the ideal. But we live in a fallen world,
and things are highly disordered. Circumstances are such now that we may well
find ourselves in a position that the views of a female candidate for public
office are far better than the views of a male candidate. If you’re faced with
a choice between a female candidate, who holds a biblical view of the issues,
pitted against a male candidate who doesn’t…it’s a no brainer. You vote for the
she should be elected, it will present some unique challenges for her and her
husband, and how they relate to one another, because in the home he is her
head, but in the civil sphere she is his head. Presumably she sought public
office with his approval and blessing and he is willing to live with the
demands on her time and energy that her office will necessarily impose upon her.
By permitting her to run for office he has already tacitly agreed to these
things. But in the home she must still honor him as her head.
In the meantime,
however, we ought to labor for a reformation of our homes, our churches, and
our civil government that we might return to a more biblical view of the sexes
and recover the order which God originally intended.