At the start of each month in 2022 this blog will focus on something we’ve named “Feminology.” This is our make-believe word for the “study of being a woman”. Specifically, we will study what God says about being a woman- in other words, biblical womanhood. A part of me feels like I’m walking into the lion’s den as we embark upon this journey; many, even within the church at large, disagree on this topic. But, perhaps this is exactly why we’ve chosen to study it. I want to know how God views women, and I want others to know this as well. If my ideas are contrary to God’s, then I want my thinking to be corrected so I may live in a way that honors Him. May this be our desire as we study God’s word on this topic.
“In order to learn what it means to be a woman, we must start with the One who made her.”Elisabeth Elliot (Let Me Be A Woman)
Understanding what it means to be a woman starts with our Creator. Knowing God and how He has made us provides a stable foundation upon which we may rightly view all that He has made. If this topic starts with me–or any other human–and what we think it means to be a woman, then things will get chaotic depending on our moods, feelings, or the current fads. God is our Creator and a good Father who knows us intimately. He has made us to image Him and glorify Him as we live for Him.
A quick look at my husband reveals differences between us. Our personalities add even more differences. But, although we’re quite different, we are still made of the same kind by God. This phrase is repeated several times throughout the early chapters of Genesis. As we consider what it means to be a woman, we must acknowledge that God has made man and woman to be of the same kind: humans who were made in the image of God Himself. What a privilege we have over the animals. This is one reason why we must deem baby humans as superior to baby animals. When we are fighting for the baby sea turtles but approving the murder of baby humans, our thinking is upside-down and backwards. (If you want to fight for the baby sea turtles, please do! But fight harder for the unborn humans.)
Men and women are made to be of the same kind, reflecting God, and in this is great value. In fact, a man’s value is equal to a woman’s value because our value is found in our Creator God as opposed to anything we’ve done or will do. Even so, with equal value and image of God, there are differences, or rather distinctions, between men and women. We will focus on some of these distinctions throughout this year so that we might know and embrace how God has created us, man and woman, and live according to our Creator’s plan.
Foundationally, though, we image God. He made us to look like Him, and this was deemed “very good” at Creation. Yet, when sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, our image was marred. Instead of perfectly reflecting God, our sin messes up this image. We know this to be true in our daily lives. For instance, when we sin against another person in anger, are we showing more of Christ or more of our sinful flesh?
So, as our sinful nature is seen so clearly (or even when it’s not), we must ask ourselves: “How can we image God? Is this possible, or has sin destroyed our reflection entirely?” And, here’s the good news: Jesus Christ has died and risen again in our place to set us free from our slavery to sin! When we are given faith to believe in His sacrificial work, then we are saved from sin to live for Him. This process of living for Him is a process of being changed more and more into His image.
“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren”Romans 8:29
This foundational truth must be solidified before moving forward in understanding how God has made us as women and for what purposes. Here are a few important re-cap questions:
- Are you saved from your sins through the work of Jesus Christ?
- Does your life show that God is doing a transforming work in you as He conforms you more into the image of Christ?
- Will you agree with what God has said about women through His word? Will you agree that He is the Creator and He determines our value and purposes?
Next month we’ll focus on the distinct roles that God has given women. I pray that we will embrace them and glorify God as we walk out in the calling He has given us as women.