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.”
Last week we wrestled with culture’s changing definition of womanhood, and asked, “Just what does it mean to be a woman?” We looked at Genesis 1 and discovered that woman is created in the image of God to rule. Of course, so is man. So this week we’re looking at Genesis chapter 2 to see how the genders are distinctly different. In Genesis 2, we’re given more detail about the creation of humanity. For example, we find out that God creates the male first. What can we deduce from this?
Some people say since man was created first, he is superior to woman. Well, the monkey was created before the man, so does that mean monkeys are superior to men? Some say since woman was made out of man, man is superior since he was the original substance. Well, man was made out of dust, so does that mean dust is superior to man? The logic here doesn’t hold up.
The only thing we can deduce from male being created first is what God deduced: “It is not good!” So far, God had declared everything he’s made good. But then God makes man & declares it is “not good.” Why? Because man’s alone. Why is it not good that the man’s alone? Because he’s supposed to be made in the image of the triune God! And he can’t reflect the image of the triune God when he’s alone. So God makes a helper for him, so he won’t be alone & he can be in the image of the triune God. “That is why a man leaves his father & mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
This past year, with the hugely promoted transition of Bruce Jenner to Kaitlynn Jenner, I have been pondering, “Just what does it mean to be a woman?” Is it really just about a feeling, a glamorous makeover & big, fake breasts? I know that’s a crass over-simplification, but seriously, how do we define what a woman is today?
Culture’s definition keeps changing. The ancient Roman culture defined women as man’s property. Sadly, that’s still the definition in some places today. In the 1950s, our culture defined a woman by her domestic abilities. Later generations threw out those traditional gender roles, and defined women by their power –that they could do anything equally as well as men. Now, it seems our culture defines a woman just be her inner desire & her external appearance – which can easily change. And since we’re not all wives & mothers, how do we define what a woman is?
It’s times like these, that I choose to trust in the enduring truth of God’s Word. The Creator of women knows what a woman truly is! Now, to cover all of what God’s Word teaches about women in one blog is pretty much impossible…so I’m going to break this down into 4 blog posts. I’ll focus on Genesis, because all good theology starts in Genesis. It’s in Genesis we learn how God originally created things to be, before sin messed everything up.
Genesis 1:26-28 records why God creates man & woman…
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in OUR image, in OUR likeness,
Let’s pause right here & realize this is a reference to the Triune God. Genesis 1 records that God is present, the Spirit is present hovering over the waters, and John 1 records that the Son (also called The Word) is present in speaking things into existence. All three persons of the Godhead are present, and yet they are a unified one –they have only 1 image.