Question: "What does the Bible say about women leaders in government? Should a woman be President?"
Answer: The question of whether a woman should lead a nation as President, Prime Minister, or any high governmental office is one that is not easily answered biblically. For one thing, the Bible has much to say about the roles of Christian men and women in the home and in the church—where the man is the divinely ordained authority—but not much on the role of women in the leadership of nations. If we apply the biblical principles of leadership in the home and the church to governments, we may be taking liberties with Scripture that God did not intend.
In addition, we cannot strictly apply Old Testament commandments for the nation of Israel to any modern nation, because God chose only one nation to be His special people. Neither the United States nor Britain nor any other nation is the spiritual equivalent of Israel, and God’s dealings with Israel are not necessarily cross-cultural. Having said that, though, we can still apply certain scriptural principles to help us determine whether to vote for a woman for President or any other high governmental office.
Women in the Bible occasionally held strong positions: some good, some bad. Esther was put in a place where her influence could help Israel, but she was not in authority. Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab, but she had an evil influence. Many women followed Jesus, and godly women helped the apostles. Paul wrote to Timothy about the importance of the spiritual influence of Timothy's mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois (2 Timothy 1:5).
Bible women often held influential roles yet not necessarily leadership positions. While Deborah led Israel (Judges 4:1-5:31), she appears to have had more of an influencing role. In fact, women rulers were seen as a sign of judgment. The prophet Isaiah lamented, “O My people! Their oppressors are children, and women rule over them” (Isaiah 3:12). Isaiah is saying that women were considered ill-suited for leadership in the nation of Israel, but the question remains whether we can extrapolate from this verse that all women are equally ill-suited for leadership of any nation at any time. Modern times have seen several outstanding female national leaders, including Israel’s Golda Meir, who successfully ruled Israel from 1969 to 1974. Since we know that God ordains all leadership—“For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (Romans 13:1)—we can assume that He placed Mrs. Meir in the leadership of Israel and sovereignly ordained her term of office.
Generally speaking, God designed men for positions of leadership. But apart from leadership in the church and family, which is given to men alone, the Bible doesn’t expressly forbid women from positions of government. As a “gray” issue, the question of women leading in government has been passionately debated. Even those who are most vehemently against a woman president would be hard pressed to justify voting for an ungodly man who has a favorable position toward abortion, for example, over a godly Christian woman with a strong pro-life stance.
I (the writer of this article) am a woman who has found joy in my femininity. It is not an inferior role but a high calling. I bear, nurture, support, influence, and unite life. My personal belief is that the best is for men to lead in government. However, as a citizen of this nation, I willingly submit myself to the civil authority that God places over me—whether men or women (Romans 13:1-7). God’s command to obey government rulers has no caveat as to whether or not we think they are good authorities. Therefore, if a woman were to be elected president, I would obey her direction.
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