Pink Theology: a systemic issue within women’s Bible studies

Growing up, camping was a summer staple in my family. One particular camping trip I was about eight years old and left the campsite in search of as many Salmonberries as I could find. I wandered off of the side path a bit and came across an enormous bush filled with scrumptious berries. I began eating them without any thought of harm.

I will never forget one particular berry, so plump and rich in color. It went straight from the bush and into my mouth. I soon spat it out faster than it entered my mouth. I began screaming and raking my tongue with my fingers. Worms. There were worms on the top of the berry where the stem attached. To this day I can still feel them squirming on the tip of my tongue. 

How often do we as Christ followers do to bible studies and sermons what I did with the berries? We search for a bible study and select one based on various attributes that fit our current flavor. More often than not we scour blogs and books in search of answers or we attend a church based on what we view as a wow factor. I don’t mean these words to be harsh, but they need to be said. We need to rid ourselves of pink theology. 

What is pink theology? It is religious fluff, and while it appears wondrous on the outside it’s no more nourishing than cotton candy.  Now, I like pink, but not when I’m learning about Jesus unless of course, it’s the color of my coffee mug. Pink theology says that women can’t be intellectually challenged and that femininity somehow is equivalent to weakness. It also assumes that women can’t be theologically rich and hold sound doctrine. Women don’t need a watered-down gospel.

The same Holy Spirit that spoke to the Apostle Paul also speaks to women and kids, not just men (Ephesians 1:13). Pink theology has nothing to do with color and everything to do with a lack of theological depth and sound doctrine. While I’m focusing on women in this article it is important to remember that pink theology isn’t gender specific.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

More often than not Christian women end up relying on church leadership or their husband to teach scripture instead of seeking to learn on their own.  While attending a Bible study is not a bad thing, it is if there isn’t any theological depth within the book being discussed. God gave men the responsibility to study His Word and know Him well; He also gave women the same individual responsibility (1 Timothy 4:13, 2 Timothy 2:15).

Yes, a husband is to be the leader in the home, but that does not mean only he is equipped to learn God’s word thoroughly. My husband has pastored for many years and loves Jesus, but he will not be standing in front of the Holy God and vouch for my relationship with Christ. That’s my job. My relationship with Christ is my responsibility, just as it is yours. 

Why are women prone to not deeply study God’s Word? I believe the fundamental root of the issue is a misinterpretation of scripture regarding men having headship. Frankly, I think many Christian women have been submerged into a culture that teaches women are inferior to men in all regards. When in fact I don’t believe much is withheld from women within scripture except for the role of eldership, but that’s for a different post. Women can maintain a feminine touch and possess a rich theological understanding coupled with sound doctrine.

Ladies, we have a responsibility to know the God we love and serve. We are responsible to own our relationship with Christ. We absolutely should seek wise counsel and study the Word with our husbands and others within the Church body (Colossians 3:162 Corinthians 13:5, Titus 2Proverbs 15:22). I want to encourage you to read the books you choose with discernment. Make certain there aren’t any worms lurking between the pages.

Don’t consume a book or take a sermon to heart based on outward appearances or popularity. Do you know the background of the authors you read or the pastors you listen to? Study intently what is being taught to you and others, ask questions, and be certain the teaching is parallel to scripture. Learn how to read your Bible with deep intentionality and understanding. It’s okay to like supplemental reading that has a feminine touch when what you are consuming is biblical truth and not cotton candy. 

Had I looked at the berry before putting it into my mouth I would have seen the worms. I was impatient and didn’t think twice about just popping them into my mouth. I actually had a more recent encounter with a worm in my food. My husband served up some kale from our garden with dinner and promised me that he washed it really well. We both know kale is prone to cabbage worm so it needs to be looked at one leaf at a time front and back.

While I believed my husband, I also knew that it would be prudent to inspect my food myself, after all, my husband makes mistakes. Sure enough, as I separated a kale leaf from another, a fat squirmy cabbage worm was begging for his life. He never made it to my mouth and went straight into the trash. Needless to say, I didn’t eat salad that night. 

Investigating what we are being taught is vital to eliminating the worms that come along. It’s not wrong or disrespectful to double check that the instructions we are being given are biblically accurate, it is imperative. In fact, God instructs us to do so (Acts 17:10-11, Joshua 1:8)

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:3-5

Moving Beyond Pink Theology is a follow-up post with practical tools to help study scripture.

Pink Theology: a systemic issue within women's bible studies

6 thoughts on “Pink Theology: a systemic issue within women’s Bible studies

  1. “Investigating what we are being taught is vital to eliminating the worms that come along. It’s not wrong or disrespectful to double check that the instructions we are being given are biblically accurate, it is imperative.”

    I agree with what you stated above. Now that I am older, I realize that its important to check and at times questions the sounds of teachings in the church. I used to just accept all teachings as truth but then later I realize that its important for me to read the word and search whether what I am being taught is actually accurate.


  2. How important this message is! Even secularly, women are often taught not to think for themselves. We are told that a smart, self-possessed woman will be intimidating, or less attractive, or just abrasive (things we “aren’t supposed to be”). Add a skewed view of biblical submission on top of that, and there is just no winning for a woman who thinks for herself.
    Thank goodness we are starting to see a change of direction on this issue! I’m seeing more and more great posts on this – and this is one of them 🙂 Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As some one who personally loves to search the Scriptures, I haven’t understood the seeming lack of interest in deep study/Biblical research that a lot of women I’ve known [FYI I am a man] appear to have. It has always seemed like some of those I’ve known haven’t been super studious. It makes me wonder if part of the reasoning behind it is found in the misconceptions you’ve mentioned. But there is a lack of Bible Study all the way across the board in Christianity as well [in the case of both genders] where the Bible is neglected. You’ll at times see “read the Bible in a year” plans, but this isn’t really “studying” the BIble. So at times it comes off like Christians are not really searching the Scriptures.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I cannot think of a single passage from Genesis to Revelation that even remotely implies that women somehow need a watered-down theology and that only the men are equipped to thoroughly learn God’s word. Such thinking sounds comparable to what I’ve heard the Mormons believe, where only the men get their version of Salvation.

    Liked by 1 person

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