#33 Question: I was listening to something by John Piper and he said something that made it sound like women shouldn't join the army. I was wondering if the bible says that or not?
Thank you for your question: As a former military officer I have seen many women serving our country carrying arms. Their proficiency and bravery in combat setting cannot be denied.
On a personal note, I believe the Old Testament set guidelines for men to serve their country and rarely if ever do you see women serving in an armed conflict. In my research I found these scriptures and examples from Richard Mayhue in 'Answers in Genesis'. (See below)
Only men were counted to go to war (Numbers 1:2–3).
Only sons were chosen for war (1 Samuel 8:11).
Only men went to war (Genesis 14:14–15).
Daughters served in domestic roles (1 Samuel 8:13).
Wives and children did not go to war (Deuteronomy 3:19–20).
Women welcomed men back from war; never did they return with them (1 Samuel 18:6–7).
Again, my opinion, but I believe our country has plenty of men who can serve our country in combat if needed. I want to make clear that I don't find any reason for women NOT to serve in the military. There are many brilliant, competent women who serve with great distinction. My experience, however, is that combat is a different arena. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and stamina to maintain a combat readiness and proficiency. I am not saying that some women couldn't do this, but I do believe most women are not made for this.
While in Iraq, many Soldiers were carrying as much as 50-60 lbs of gear plus their weapons. The heat was intense. Sometimes we had heat indexes as high as 140 degrees. When Soldiers encounter a 'firefight', you have to move and deploy quickly. Sometimes you have to carry another wounded Soldier to safety. No matter how 'politically correct' one wants to make this, for most women, it is simply physically too demanding.
Now I know I can get into trouble with my 'opinions' but I can live with that. Also, another more practical reason I see as a great need today; the harsh environment of war tends to change a person. I have counseled many Soldiers who have PTSD - they are changed. In our country today, we are trying to 'blend' the sexes; war hardens people. We need women at home who will maintain the 'softness' and gentleness the Soldier needs when he returns home. If our women are also fighting, where will we get the comfort?
In direct answer to your question, "Does the Bible forbid women joining the Army", no I don't believe so, but I do see plenty of reason to say I believe that women should not fight in combat.
I hope this helps, may God bless and please continue to keep our nation in prayer.
PTSD is post traumatic stress disorder. A disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.