【米クリスチャニティ・トゥデイ】女性は男性よりも多く聖書を読む。それはなぜか?バイブルスタディ関係者が語る理由 (2)



Although some business experts suggest that flexible work schedules are the future of employment for both men and women, women have long prioritized flexibility in order to balance work and family life. Jackie Hill Perry, author of Gay Girl, Good God and a recent LifeWay Bible study on the Book of Jude, said, “It isn’t that women have more time—but I think women have more time at home.” Whether women are working from home or homeschooling, Perry believes this time at home and flexibility in daily schedule provides some women with more opportunities to dig into the Scriptures.
Jennie Allen, founder of IF:Gathering and author of the book and Bible study Get Out of Your Head, also said women’s leadership in Bible engagement likely has to do with having “margin” during the day. “A lot of women I know did a ‘Mother’s Day Out,’ ” Allen said. “They would take their kids to Bible study, they would go for three hours, and they would [study the Bible].”
Of course, not all women choose or have the option to work from home. Lotz, commenting about women’s commitment to Bible study in earlier eras, said, “One reason was because women seemed to have more at-home time . . . and men were working outside the home. That’s not true anymore, because I guess there’s as many women who work outside the home as men.” Indeed, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of 2014, about 6 in 10 women age 16 or older worked outside the home (57%) compared to 43 percent in 1970 and 34 percent in 1950. In 1900, just 6 percent of married women worked outside the home. For women today without significant flexibility or margin in their work schedules, other factors may drive them to prioritize spending time in Bible reading and study.

書籍『レズビアンの女の子と善き神(原題:Gay Girl, Good God)』や『バイブルスタディ・ユダの手紙』の著者、ジャッキー・ヒル・ペリーは、「女性のほうが読書に費やす時間が長いというよりは、女性の方が家にいる時間が長い、ということだと思います」と語る。女性は自宅勤務やホームスクーリング(自宅で子どもの教育を行うこと)などで自宅にいる時間が長いことから、毎日のスケジュールがフレキシブルになり、聖書を深く読む機会も多くなるのではないか、とペリーは推測する。
女性啓発団体『IF』の創設者であり、書籍『頭の切り替え方(原題:Get Out of Your Head)』の著者でもあるジェニー・アレンは、女性が男性よりも聖書に深く向き合っているのは女性のほうが日中の「すきま時間」を多く持っているからだろう、と言う。




女性に与えられているリーダーシップやミニストリーを行う機会は限られている -Limited Leadership and Ministry Opportunities-

Christine Caine, founder of the A21 Campaign and Propel Women, posits another reason American women are so highly committed to Bible reading and study: “Is it because there are not opportunities for women to serve widely within a local church context?”
In its Christian Women Today study (2012), the Barna Group referred to women as “the backbone of U.S. Christian churches.” Yet it found that while many women were satisfied with their opportunities for ministry and leadership, a notable portion was not. “About three out of 10 churchgoing women (31%) say they are resigned to low expectations when it comes to church. One fifth feel under-utilized (20%). One sixth say their opportunities at church are limited by their gender (16%). Roughly one out of every eight women feel under-appreciated by their church (13%) and one out of nine believe they are taken for granted (11%).” The Barna report notes that although these numbers may seem low, they amount to millions of women who feel underutilized by their local church.
The limited leadership and ministry opportunities that some women encounter in their congregations can drive them to look for other ways to serve and to exercise their spiritual giftedness. Bible study is one arena where opportunities abound. Caine remarked on the difference between her home country of Australia and the popularity and prevalence of Bible study resources authored by women in America. “In Australia it’s the exact opposite,” Caine said. She believes that if women were given more opportunities to use their spiritual and communication gifts in the local church, it might not “occur to us to write a Bible study unless we’d been to seminary.”





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