Does Gender Really Matter in Counseling?

May 9, 2012

Does Gender Really Matter in Counseling

Recently I was doing some research on the importance of gender, specifically biblical womanhood, in counseling. What I discovered was pretty shocking.

The Surprising Statistics

In February, 2012, I completed a national survey by 155 biblical counselors. The survey participants consisted of biblical counselors living in the United States. All participants have completed some type of biblical counseling training that would classify them as a biblical counselor. The survey consists of a wide range of educated and experienced counselors.

Sadly, the survey revealed that only one out of 155 biblical counselors teaches the differences between biblical manhood and womanhood as part of their counseling regiment. Furthermore, only two of the 155 counselors teach the God-given roles of woman in the home and church.

Gender manifests itself in everyday living. Why are counselors not teaching biblical womanhood to individuals? Could it be fear? Could it be false assumptions about the individual’s testimony or beliefs on the topic? Without truly understanding who the counselee is as a woman, she will never understand the significant impact it has on her day to day living.

Gender expresses itself in functioning roles in life. Paul Tripp says, “In all of this, God’s ultimate goal is His own glory. Christ came to restore people to the purpose they were made for: to live every aspect of their lives in worshipful, obedient submission to Him.”[1] There are significant benefits and wonderful blessings for a woman in understanding who she is as a woman in Christ.

God Created Male and Female: There Is a Difference!

Genesis 1:27, says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female He created.” God created male and female! Let’s not be afraid to teach what God designed and created. It’s fabulous!

Unfortunately, even to Christian woman, biblical womanhood can be viewed as ugly and unattractive. It’s a lie! Womanhood is part of her identity, but how it functions flows from her understanding of who she is in Christ. Carolyn Mahaney says, “Being the creation of God determines everything for us as woman. We don’t look at our culture to find our feminine identity; we don’t consult our feelings to discover our purpose. Everything that we are and everything that we do must be rooted in God.”[2]

Are There Implications?

Author, Susan Hunt, says, “Our daughters will be products of their theology. Their knowledge—or lack of knowledge—of who God is and what he has done for them will show up in every attitude, action, and relationship. Their worldview will be determined by their belief system.”[3] We need to teach woman, young and old, biblical womanhood. The implications of not teaching biblical womanhood to Christian women can be extreme. In time, a genderless society without any distinct demeanor or roles for men and women may exist.

When women do not understand the importance of their gender, there are some major effects. Marriage, parenting, sexual orientation, and biblical roles in the church can be confused and distorted which leads to a negative impact. John Piper says:

We are concerned not merely with the behavioral roles of men and women but also with the underlying nature of manhood and womanhood themselves. Biblical truth and clarity in this matter are important because error and confusion over sexual identity leads to: (1) marriage patterns that do not portray the relationship between Christ and the church (Eph 5:31-32); (2) parenting practices that do not train boys to be masculine and girls to be feminine; (3) homosexual tendencies and increasing attempts to justify homosexual alliances; (4) patterns of unbiblical female leadership in the church that reflect and promote the confusion over the true meaning of manhood and womanhood.[4]

Teaching or recalling woman to their created gender will transform society and preserve it from becoming a genderless society. Nancy Leigh DeMoss defines a biblical woman:

She is, quite simply, a woman who is being molded and shaped according to God’s design. She’s a woman who loves Jesus and whose life is grounded in, tethered to, and enabled by Christ and His gospel. As a result, she is serious about bringing her thoughts and actions in line with what the Bible says about who she is and how she ought to live. She is a woman who rejects the world’s pattern for womanhood, and gladly wears God’s designer label instead.[5]

Can you see how important it is to teach biblical womanhood? It is key to help a woman understand it because it affects all aspects of her life and can lead to deeper intimacy with Jesus Christ. Womanhood is amazing!

Additional Resources

For additional resources, see: The Danvers Statement and True Woman Manifesto.

Join the Conversation

In your ministry, how and what are you teaching women about biblical womanhood?

[1]Tripp, Paul. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, 6.

[2]Mahaney, Carolyn. Becoming God’s True Woman, 24-25.

[3]Hunt, Susan. Becoming God’s True Woman, 142.

[4]Piper, John and Grudem, Wayne. Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, 60.

[5]DeMoss, Nancy Leigh and Kassian, Mary. True Woman 101, 14-15.

2 thoughts on “Does Gender Really Matter in Counseling?

  1. Jill, I am very surprised by your findings concerning this.  I always start with who a woman is in Christ and how that affects how she lives out the roles God calls her to.  Our womanhood flows out of who we are in Christ not what the world tells us we should be.  Thank you for the reminder to keep on keeping on!

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