Womanhood today usually looks far different from the way God intended women to be. Feminism is a big movement today, pushed to the front of the headlines by BBC and even evident in the churches. It is often difficult to tell from a distance whether a person is male or female! Young Christian women need to understand how God created them as a woman and how He wants them to live as result. I want to spend some time looking at the foundational truths of womanhood and apply them to our lives as 21st century women.
In the beginning…
Have you ever thought about how God created woman? She wasn’t made at the same time as Adam, like other creatures which were made together in pairs.
Woman was the final part of God’s creation. Having made woman, His creation was complete.
When God made Adam, He saw that Adam needed company; it was not good for him to be alone (Genesis 2.18). So God brought all the animals and birds that He had created before Adam, to see what he would call them, and to see whether there was one among them suitable to be his companion. Adam named them all, but none of them were suitable as a helper to him. There was no animal enough like Adam.
So what did God do? He didn’t leave Adam alone; He saw how great his need was. God put Adam into a deep sleep and removed one of his ribs, and out of that formed woman. Then He brought her to Adam, and he called her Woman, for he said ‘this is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh’ (Genesis 2.23). He saw her likeness to him, her close connection to him and her suitability.
Eve was made from Adam’s rib. The puritan Matthew Henry wrote about this is in his famous commentary:
‘The woman … was not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved’.
Isn’t that beautiful?
I would like to look at the different aspects of this quote in more detail in other blog posts, but for now, let’s look at a brief overview.
Woman was made:
- to be submissive to man
- to be equal with man, but not the same
- to be protected by man, the stronger of the two sexes
- to be loved by man.
Today many women think that these are old-fashioned ideas which no longer apply to them. They think:
- men should not be in authority over them
- they can do all the same things as men can do
- they don’t need protection – they are strong enough themselves.
These are not how God wants women to think. They are rebellious thoughts, words and actions against the beautiful plan laid by Him. We need to recognise the faulty thinking of the world today which can so easily infiltrate into our own minds and fill them instead with the truth of God’s Word, so that we can practice it with His help.
There is much more to cover about biblical womanhood, stemming from her creation by a sovereign, wise, all-knowing God. We will look at different aspects of it in the weeks to come.