I am borrowing a bit from Dr. Mohler’s radio program from this past Tuesday. I do this because it is so pertinent to a study I attended in this week’s IBS class. IBS stands for Institute for Biblical Studies. (The link will give you info from our church web site)
This past week we discussed the biblical roles of men and women. You may have heard some of the details surrounding the kidnapping ordeal of the 15 British troops captured by the Iranian military and their subsequent release. Some of those details involve the exploitation of the lone female soldier. During his usual denunciation of Western policy in the Middle East, Iranian president Ahmadinejad, made this observation.
“You will know that among the detainees there is one lady who is a mother of a child. Why is it that the most difficult work like patrolling at sea should be given to a woman?” “Why is there no respect for motherhood? Why does the West not value its women?”
This telling observation in the whole scene stood out for me, especially in light of the recent study of women’s roles. It does cause me to ponder the question. Is it really biblical for a woman, especially a mother and wife, be in the military?
In our IBS class we discussed three main attributes of a biblical woman. Those three attributes are:
- Women are Helpers
- Women are Nurturers
- Women are Submissive
I’d just like to focus a bit on the second attribute, women are nurturers. I think that providing some scripture would help at this point. If you read 1 Timothy 5 you will understand that the apostle Paul is providing Timothy with guidance toward dealing with women’s roles in the church and in the home. Several verses in this chapter deal with the women’s role of nurturing. Titus 2:3-5 also depicts women in this nurturing role. Paul writes in verse 5 that women should be “working at home” (ESV).
This one attribute is the one attribute that provides an answer to my question above. If a mother or wife is serving in the military can they also fill their womanly role as a nurturer? Now I know some folks may say that they can if the husband is also in the military. But I would have to disagree because being married in the military is no guarantee that you will be stationed or serving together. If the couple have a child, who would provide the appropriate nurturing for the child? The military demands a lot from those serving and a mother would not have the necessary time to fill this biblical role. I believe the bible teaches throughout that it is the responsibility of the mother to provide the training and the passing on of the gift of Christ.
Please understand I am not saying that I agree with the way the Iranian president Ahmadinejad used this situation to point out the so called flaws in Western culture. Like I said before this was unashamedly an exploitation ploy for the world media. But the words he used did strike a nerve within the body of Christ.
Kudos and citations go to Dr. Albert Mohler for covering this in his radio show and blog seen here.
Also kudos to Todd Swift one of our elders at OBC who lead our IBS class and provided the scripture for me to use.