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Saturday, April 17, 2010

defining womanhood

God's image in earthly skin.  That's what humankind is.  Male and female.  And the Creator said it was good.  No, God doesn't have a body.  He is a Spirit, as Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman in John 4.  Jesus took on a body that we could recognize so He could minister as one of us.  How did God decide on the form of the human body on that long ago creation day?  I'm not sure.  But He was pleased with His handiwork.  And then He breathed His very own breath into a motionless, play-dough man and that man became a soul, a living eternal soul. God knew the picture wouldn't be complete without a woman, but He let Adam discover that for himself.  And then finally, there was a couple, a complete representation of the nature of God.  Man embodies His strength and power; woman reflects His majesty and tender love.  And this is seen not only in their physical forms, but in their very natures, their souls which are heaven-breathed. 

The handprint of God stamped upon the genders is the defining mark of each.  It is rather an instinctual understanding.  Even in primitive peoples, men are most often the hunters and warriors while women are the gatherers and nurturers.  It is written somewhere in human DNA. 

God defines manhood and womanhood by His image, His design for the human family.  Throughout history, people have defined the genders with clothing, occupations, hobbies, and relationship roles.  These are right and good if they mesh with the principles of God's Word.  But I think the culture is wobbling on the precipice.    Because the present generation scoffs at traditional roles and accouterments, they look for other ways to differentiate the genders.  And too often, it seems that society is defining gender through sexuality. Women today feel compelled to confirm their femininity by revealing those parts of their bodies which prove it.  Men are emotionally baffled, wandering in a borderless land, unsure of what masculinity is all about.  And those who find themselves unhappy with the obvious gender with which they were born are now "becoming" another gender because they feel like it better "fits" who they were meant to be (and they procure the bodily apparatus to confirm their "choice").

I fully understand the fact that humans are prone to error and have, in the past, imposed unfortunate restrictions and burdens on one gender or the other.  And, thankfully, men and women of sensibility have tried to correct those errors.  Yet, not every "victory" has been a good one; the ranks of confused souls grow daily. 

As women of faith, it is our calling, our delight to showcase the beautiful plan of God for womanhood.  It need not be proclaimed by sensuality in dress or manner, but is most wonderfully affirmed through our daily lives which are conformed to the image of Christ and displayed in the gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4) which God values in His daughters.  And that attitude will affect every detail of our living.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

equality and Easter

No woman is mentioned as having spoken against Jesus in his life, or as having had a share in his death.  Of woman born was he annointed for his burial; a woman -- Pilate's wife-- pleaded for him, and here women wept over him.  Women ministered to him in life, laid him in the grave, and were the first to meet him at his rising. 
-- Spurgeon Devotional Commentary

The femininists rave about equality. 

 I don't need to do so. 

The very life of Jesus bears out the truth that, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)

The differences of role and place are very clear in Scripture, but there is never a question of worth.  Men and women are simply gifted to do certain things better than others, and life works best when everyone delights in doing what they do well.  I am no more insulted that my husband is gifted for leadership than he should be that I am better at multi-tasking,  His ability to focus on a single task makes him a a better leader; my ability to do several things at once makes me a better mother.  It is a diversity of gifts, never a statement of value.

The creation of man and woman was complete and good in the Divine eyes.  Alone, each is incomplete.  Together, they balance and complete one another.  Incorrect thinking on this topic abounds today -- the culture has skewed it one way; the fearful church another.  Yet, the creative design was perfect -- the power of God exhibited in the strength of the man; the majesty of God displayed in the beauty of the woman.  And what splendor in their unity -- a portait of the Godhead - a covenant relationship.

What we really need are men and women who will live out the truth; sure of their standing before God and in His creation and quietly prove to anyone watching that our worth comes from what we know about God  and His loving plan and it is unchanging.

 "And you are complete in him . . ."  (Col 2:10)
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