"Why are women better Christians than men?"

“By almost any measure, women are better Christians than men are. They’re more
likely to read Scripture, believe it, practice what it teaches, and tell others about it.” The Spiritual Sex

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Ed Vasicek's picture

I can't read the article because I am not subscribed, but the headline sounds ridiculous.  

"The Midrash Detective"

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

There's a link there to a pdf version of the chart--and it has a few paragraphs of explanation. The gist is that if you measure things like daily prayer, Bible reading, church attendance, etc., women consistently outdo men.

I have often wondered why that is.

Edit: I guess it's only one paragraph.

Jim's picture

I don't think women are inherently more spiritual than men.

I do think that men (again speaking generally) are less committed to church.

 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Why are they less committed... almost always (statistically) less committed?

Jim's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Why are they less committed... almost always (statistically) less committed?

I think the church (I know ...  broad term) tends to be (I know .... generalizing) feminine 

  • Flowery soft language
  • Many pastors have not done "hard work" and have soft hands
  • Lay women often have more responsible roles available to them (roles the pastor may ignore while the lay men's roles are more closely supervised)

 

 

Ed Vasicek's picture

I do not think that women are more spiritually committed than men.   I do believe women are generally more relational (certainly not always) than men, who tend to be more independent (certainly not always).  Women, I think, are better at realizing that they cannot stand alone, but that they need God and others.  Some men (perhaps because of male ego), never get there.  And, like Jim, because of this, I believe women are more prone to attend church -- or PTO/PTA meetings.

If you look at a passage like I Timothy 2:11-15, it becomes evident that men have an edge when guarding spiritual truth.

As a pastor for 33 years, I used to think that men were worse sinners.  I no longer believe that at all, although they may be more prone to be violent sinners.  But female sin can reach amazing levels of insidious complexity.  Unlike male rage, female rage is often more stealth, which makes it more espionage than warfare. It oozes out in unexpected ways.  These, of course, are broad generalizations.

I know many families -- perhaps more these days than in the past -- where the men come to church and the women lag behind both socially and spiritually.  I think single moms, for example, understand their need for God, but single dads often do not.  So circumstances also affect this.  If you took single moms and widows out of the equation, I don't know that the statistical difference would be as great.

 

"The Midrash Detective"

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

The logistics of 'church' are often oriented around typically 'female' tasks of organization and nurturing. IMO women also invest themselves emotionally much more readily than men. I've also seen some studies that indicate that women have a higher tolerance for pain and discomfort, so they will hang in there much longer and try to work things out.

Major generalizations, I know, but that's what my experiences lead me to believe.

While the focus of church should be to act as the pillar and ground of truth, it is often so burdened with operational issues that little real teaching and discipling take place. 

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Or one could respond to the survey's implied conclusion with 2 Corinthians 10:12:

(ESV) Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

There may be something mildly observable but it should be tempered, rather thoroughly, with this passage and certainly no conclusions encouraged from such comparisons.

christian cerna's picture

The way 'churches' are organized today, it often seems that there aren't many things that men can do in them. Most churches are 'established churches', in which a handful of men take on the roles of teaching and pastoring, and in which the rest of the work that needs to be done is usually things like organizing activities, preparing meals, and taking care of the children- things which women are usually more inclined to do.

As others have said, men are usually more independent, don't need as much emotional support as women, and prefer to keep their thoughts and problems to themselves. 

 

Women are not more spiritual than men, or better Christians- just more emotionally expressive(which can seem outwardly more spiritual) and attached to the 'church'. 

 

 

dmyers's picture

If women are more spiritual than men "by almost any measure," why are women filing three times as many divorces in the church (with only a small minority of those involving adultery or abuse by the husband)?  Why do wives generally insist on rigorous application of the injunction that husbands love their wives unconditionally, but are highly resistant to the corresponding injunction that they respect their husbands unconditionally?  And so forth.

I appreciate Ed's more balanced comment above (# 7). 

christian cerna's picture

I agree. Unfortunately, that is one great fault(sin) of many Christian women, and women in general. They are very good at finding faults in their husbands, and using any excuse to criticize them, and make them feel guilty over little things- things which are usually not morally wrong, but merely have to do with the way men handle household tasks. Women are very good at hurting men with their words, and manipulating them. Almost all arguments end with the man having to apologize to the woman, and having to work to prove themselves to them. Women rarely apologize for their emotional outbursts, and often get away with many things by playing the "PMS" card.

Women expect the man to cherish and love her, the way Christ loves the church; but men cannot expect a woman to submit to her husband- that would make him a sexist and macho.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

The premise is based on the idea that we generally accept certain habits as being 'good Christian' behaviors- reading the Bible, praying, faithful to church, involved in church ministries... Women are generally more likely to be exhibiting these habits, ergo tango pipso columbo oreo women are 'better Christians'.

This doesn't touch heart issues or one's relationship with God, and I don't think it really is trying to do that. They point out that one reason might be because women tend to be more risk-averse than men. Women are also more likely to be people-pleasers as well, and use good works to 'please' God, to look good to others and be accepted in a group,  etc... These are obviously not 'spiritual' motives for doing these 'good Christian' works.

This is more of an interesting conversational thing than making a case for female spirituality. But as I said, in my experience, these I've seen these dynamics in churches over and over. It doesn't surprise me, and sounds about right, generally speaking.

 

Richard Pajak's picture

Christian,

You must be kidding when you say that almost all arguments end up with the man apologizing. Men are notoriously reluctant to say sorry. Their pride just won't let them do it, they lose too much face.

You must have a different type of woman over in the US if you seriously contend that women rarely apologize.

 

Richard Pajak

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's pretty hard to accurately generalize on how often women apologize on what continents, isn't it? Something for researchers I suppose.

... I'll bet our tax dollars are already at work on that one!

In my experience (for what that's worth.. not much) both men and women are pretty reluctant to apologize for anything they are ashamed to admit (the more shameful, the less likely the apology).

 

I think Susan's got a good pt. that there could be issues with the criteria we use to measure how godly people are. All the same, there are some Christian basics that are pretty easy to measure. It may be that women outshine men in the "easy to measure" categories but not the others. I think it's more likely (a simpler explanation) that for whatever reason male believers are, at least for several decades now in the Western world, less committed then most female ones.

I wonder if missionaries find this to be the case in, say India or other parts further east? From what I've seen and heard it tends to be the case in South America and Europe. Don't recall info on this for Africa.