Let’s be honest: the feminist movement has left us in a bit of a conundrum. What started out as a claim to equality has evolved in sameness – where women don’t really have any distinction at all. Women are no longer defined by clothes, by motherhood, by domestic abilities, or even birth & DNA. Since culture’s definition keeps changing, we’re looking to God’s Word to discover what exactly it means to be a woman.
Genesis 1-2 teaches that woman was created in the image of God for the purpose of ruling. Just as the persons of the Triune God are equal & rule as one, so the man & woman were created equal to rule as one flesh. Woman’s only distinction is that she is uniquely designed to become one flesh with man in away that reflects God’s triune image. In the same way, man’s only distinction is that he can become one flesh with woman. However, sin soon enters the world and changes the woman’s status. Adam assumes the ruling responsibility & names the woman “Eve” – designating her in charge of child-bearing. The united image of God in them is now broken and replaced with an image of dominance.
But God promises hope! He promises an eventual Savior who will conquer sin and bring freedom. This Messiah will pave the way for God’s Spirit to come live in people. The Spirit will heal people’s brokenness, restore God’s image in them, & empower them to once again rule as God intended. At first, few people seem to have access to God’s Spirit. Deborah is one of the lucky few. As a married woman, God empowers Deborah to lead His people in every way possible: she leads spiritually as a prophetess, she leads politically as their judge, & she even leads their military! A handful of other women become respected as prophetic leaders, but mostly women are just dominated.
This past year as I saw image after image of Kaitlynn Jenner, I began pondering, “Just what does it mean to be a woman?” Culture’s definition keeps changing. Not all women are wives or mothers, not all are domestic, and not all are career-driven. Since culture now claims anatomy nothing to do with it, how do we define what a woman is?
It’s in times like these, that I trust in the enduring truth of God’s Word. So in the first post, we studied Genesis 1 that teaches women are created in the image of God to rule. In the second post, we learned that Genesis 2 teaches that women are equal to men, but distinct. Only a woman has the potential to be supernaturally made one flesh with a man in a way that reflects God’s triune image. Likewise, only a man can be supernaturally made one flesh with a woman. There is no other distinction between man and woman listed in the creation account; and everything points to their equality.
However, Genesis 3 records how sin ruins paradise. Many believe that because Eve first ate the forbidden fruit, she disqualified herself as an equal ruler. However, the Bible says sin entered the world through Adam, not Eve. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—“ This passage is talking about Adam, who is named just two verses later in verse 14. Likewise, 1 Corinthians 15:21 says, “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.”