Archive for January 26, 2009

Following on from the ‘Dont Waste Your’ series (the first being Dont Waste Your Stage), Amaka Alkobundu has written the follow up article to The Role of Women in Church

As Christian women in today’s culture we seem to be having an identity crisis. With the development of the feminist revolution, we have been robbed of our distinctive makeup and calling as women. The measure of a woman’s value has been likened to her role in the community and workplace, and little or no value is placed on the role of women in the home. This confusion on the calling of women is not only predominant in the secular world, but has also infiltrated the church, the body of Christ. As Christian women today, we need to be willing to turn back to the authority of God’s word and embrace God’s priority for our lives and to live out the beauty of womanhood as God created it to be so that we can be an example of godly women to the world. In order for us to understand womanhood as God intended it to be, where better to look than in the word of God, the Holy Scriptures? Susan Hunt, a pastor’s wife and the former Director of Women’s Ministries for the Presbyterian Church in America, said this:

“It is time for women of biblical faith to reclaim our territory. We know the Designer. We have His instruction manual. If we don’t display the Divine design of His female creation, no one will. But if we do, it will be a profound testimony to a watching, needy world.”

I pray that as we look into God’s word, that He will reveal so much to us and open the eyes of our hearts that we might see wondrous things from His law.

So let’s start from the beginning; let us take a look at the creation story, and more precisely the creation of the woman. Man and woman were both created in the image of God,

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).

After the Lord had created the man from the dust of the ground and placed him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it, He said,

“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him. And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:18, 21-22)

I’ll say this; when God created the male and the female, He created them with the Cross in mind. Now I’m sure some of you reading this are wondering what I could possibly mean by that. How does the fact that God created them male and female have anything to do with the Cross? Let’s take a look at the New Testament, Ephesians 5:31 to be precise:

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

I’m sure that verse looks familiar to most of you. Paul quoted Genesis 2:24 when he was writing to the Ephesians about marriage. Why did he do this? Contrary to popular belief, marriage between a man and a woman was not an after-thought on God’s part as something to apply to the meaning of Christ’s death on the Cross. It was not a post-fall institution. It goes way back to the beginning; before the fall. He quotes God, and then goes on to say in verse 32 of Ephesians 5, “This is a great mystery but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.” That is an amazing interpretation of marriage and of the differences between male and female. The distinctions between manhood and womanhood display the most important thing in the whole universe – God displaying His grace to us through Jesus Christ sacrificing His life for His bride, the Church. The distinct roles of a man and woman in relationship to each other provide a picture of who God is and how He relates to His people. Jesus is equal with God the Father yet is submissive and responsive to Him. God the father loves the Son and exalts Him. This pattern is repeated in the relationship between Christ and the church; Christ provides loving, servant leadership and the church responds with respect and submission as His bride (Ephesians 5:22-33). The relationship between a man and woman at every level has been distorted by sin but as believers we are called to relate according to the Creator’s plan instituted in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world (Genesis 2:15-25). This plan is marked by a holy reciprocity in which the husband’s love awakens a responsive submission from the wife just as the wife’s respect and appreciation draws from her husband leadership and love.

So what is the ultimate meaning of true womanhood? John Piper defines it as this: “True womanhood is a distinctive calling of God to display the glory of His Son in ways that would not be displayed if there was no womanhood.” Maleness and femaleness display the glory of Christ in relationship to His blood-bought bride. I don’t know about you but that leaves me in awe of the glorious Creator who created man in His own image; male and female He created them.

In light of all this, how then do we waste our womanhood? We waste our womanhood when we don’t see how God’s glory is displayed in the distinct roles of the man and woman. We waste our womanhood when we see being a woman as merely a difference in our biology and physical attributes. True womanhood is so much more than that as we saw earlier. We also waste our womanhood when we see it as being interchangeable with manhood. Man and woman, husband and wife, headship and submission, are no more interchangeable than Christ and the Church are interchangeable. They are NOT interchangeable. We can learn from Adam and Eve what happens when roles are reversed. The account of the Fall points out the role reversal that occurred when Adam knowingly allowed himself to be led into sin by his wife. God had originally instructed Adam concerning the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17), and the Lord clearly placed the ultimate responsibility with Adam (Romans 5:12, Genesis 3:17). This does not, in any way, suggest that the woman is less intelligent or more easily deceived than the man. The woman was not an afterthought and the word helper does not imply inferiority. Designed as the perfect counterpart of the man, she is neither inferior nor superior to the man, but she is alike an equal to the man in personhood, while different and unique in her function. God created the woman to complete, complement and help the man. She was created from and for the man and is the glory of the man (1 Corinthians 11:7-9). Don’t miss the point of your womanhood, because when you do, you diminish the glory of Christ in your life

Related Posts:

Dont Waste Your Stage

The Role of Women in Church