Faith, Humility, & The Glory of God: Foundations of Womanhood
In the last post, I introduced what will be a several part series on what the Bible has to say about womanhood. I briefly described the influence of feminism as well. And on that note, it is the influence of feminism that makes this topic such a touchy one. There are a lot of books, opinions, and viewpoints on this topic, and I care very little for them all. There is only one source I care to look at when it comes to my femininity, and that is the Bible. While I will quote from other people, their opinions are valuable to me only so far as they base all their arguments on the comprehensive truth of the Word of God. But, before we dive into what the Bible says about womanhood, we need to come with a right heart posture. Because these topics have the potential to create tension and conflict, we need to make sure we come to this topic with 3 basic foundations:
- A love for the glory of God: "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another." (Isaiah 42:8)
- A desire for humility: "God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble." (1 Pet 5:5)
- A heart of faith: "Whatever is not from faith is sin." (Rom 14:23)
THE GLORY OF GOD
As Christians, our primary goal is to extend the fame, the renown, and the beauty of God. This purpose should be front and center in all we do, including our approach to this topic. Unlike the world’s self-centered views of gender, we want a God-centered view of gender.
The very first mention of male and female in the Bible revolves around God. Genesis 1:26-27 states, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God created two distinct expressions of humanity, male and female, to reflect Himself. Our femininity isn’t about us, it is about God and reflecting who He is.
We don’t reflect God simply as humans, but specifically as male and female. This is important because God is triune. God is one and God is also Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Unity and diversity in one God. Likewise, men and women are both human. They both have the same organ systems, bodily functions, and are distinctly human as compared to other species on the earth. Yet men and women are very different in how they express their humanity. It is with this unity of species and diversity of expression that we reflect God fully. This is why a Biblical expression of womanhood is important: to bring God glory.
The Bible tells us that pride will actually cloud our understanding. It deceives us. (Jer 49:16) Or, in other words, it will make you foolish. Too often, the discussion of womanhood is coming from pride: "Anything you can do I can do better." Women, we do not need to make a defense of our gender as we approach the Word of God. God Himself has already highly valued us and given us more weight and dignity than we do ourselves. Let us approach His Word and His view on our womanhood with humility, giving Him His proper place as God.
All creatures, with two exceptions that we know of, have willingly taken the places appointed to them. The Bible speaks of angels who rebelled and therefore were cast down out of heaven, and of the fall of man. Adam and Eve were not satisfied with the place assigned. It was, in fact, the woman, Eve, who saw the opportunity to be something other than she was meant to be – the Serpent convinced her that she could easily be “like God”-and she took the initiative. What sort of world might it have been if Eve had refused the Serpent’s offer and had said to him instead, “Let me not be like God. Let me be what I was made to be-let me be a woman.” – Elisabeth Elliot
God has the right to define our womanhood; this is why we look to the Bible for direction. It is God who created women after all and therefore knows how we flourish. As we look at His design for women, we must not respond in pride, thinking we know better than God. This was Eve’s original sin. Rather, let us respond with humility by allowing God to have the final word on femininity.
Along with humility we need to come with faith. Many women don’t want to hear what the Bible has to say about womanhood because the doubt God is for them, that He wants great things for women. Remember, we are talking about a good and gracious God who went to unthinkable lengths to save us! Let us exercise faith that God wants good things for His daughters. Remember, Jesus gave such great honor to women that His own disciples rebuked Him.
With a vibrant faith in a redeeming God, we will see that Biblical womanhood is about the freedom to be what we were designed to be! Though there may be limitations in this process, the limitations themselves are part of being free. And we need a strong faith in the goodness of God to embrace them.
“Every creature of God is given something that could be called an inconvenience, I suppose, depending on one’s perspective. The elephant and the mouse might each complain about his size, the turtle about his shell, the bird about the weight of his wings. The special gift and ability of each creature defines its special limitations. And as the bird easily comes to terms with the necessity of bearing wings when it finds that it is, in fact, the wings that bear up the bird--up, away from the world, into the sky, into freedom--so the woman who accepts the limitations of womanhood finds in those very limitations her gifts, her special calling--wings, in fact, which bear her up into perfect freedom, into the will of God.” – Elisabeth Elliot.
As we continue to study Biblical womanhood, may God give us the grace to care about His glory, to humble ourselves before Him, and to exercise faith in His goodness for us.