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In this article, we will explore the story of Tamar from Genesis 38 as a transforming woman from the Old Testament. After her husband dies, Tamar appears to be a helpless woman, but she does not easily give up.

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This contextual reading notes that Jesus’s death on the cross, represented by Eve’s offspring crushing the head of the serpent, frees humankind from sin’s consequences and reorders concepts of male dominion for all time.

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For egalitarians, the book of Judges clearly demonstrates God’s approval of women leaders. Yet many who view women’s leadership as unbiblical dismiss the pattern of God-affirmed female authority in Judges.

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Many Christians believe that strict gender roles—men lead and women submit—are God-ordained. They attempt to find support for this claim in Genesis, pointing to “creation order.” 

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Dating is difficult in today’s culture. As I have counseled single women and men through the years, I often heard pleas for help to find a Christian person to date. And let’s be honest. There are many different kinds of Christians. How does one get help to find a similar kind of Christian? One who values mutual submission and servant leadership in marriage?

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Some say gender hierarchy is God’s perfect design—a pristine plan for women and men’s good and flourishing. They point to Genesis, arguing that God clearly intended patriarchy from the start. But the text tells a different story.

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Given our legacy of broken relationships and deeply entrenched misogynistic practices, how can we follow Jesus’s example and create a culture where the full flourishing of both men and women is normative?

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Whether married or single, Christian faith is a social faith. It knits everyone into communities for support and service. 

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If we want to see women free, we have to challenge the message that passivity is godly. We have to encourage women to boldly exercise their God-given authority. We must image Bible women who took direct action to further God’s vision for the world.

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God's original design was mutual; it gave male and female shared dominion over the earth—not over each other. God commanded the first humans to co-exercise dominion. They had the power and responsibility to rule and care for creation. The consequences were severe when humanity, tempted by Satan, did not implement God’s holy plan for dominion in the garden.

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