God's glory in womanhood...
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." (Genesis 2:18)
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all. (Proverbs 31:29)
This past Mother's Day I was led of God to preach a sermon on the glory of womanhood. I had one goal in mind: with God's help I wanted to send every woman of God's kingdom home from church that day glad that God had made her a woman.
Given the warfare in our day against God's truth in regard to sex, much of our talk about women in the Church must center on the contested boundary of woman exercising authority over, and teaching, man. The danger in the heat of battle is to lose sight of all God has permitted women to do; and even more, all the glories He has made visible in their womanhood.
The devil is always pointing out what has not been permitted and in our sinfulness that is where we tend to focus. The devil has done a masterful job of leading women into a state of heart and mind where they regret that they aren't men, instead of seeing their privilege from God in being a woman. May God grant the daughters of Sarah to rejoice in their womanhood. Equally, may the sons of Abraham do all that we can to honor our women; to encourage them in the use of their gifts and positions, to praise all that which is distinctively female in them, and to cherish them as God's gift to us as our help-mates.
Men, it is time we acknowledge that a good part of the reason women want to be men is because we have refused to be. Why should women want to stay home and shoulder the work of leading a home while their husband perpetually runs to his hobbies and avoids the home? Why should she want to be faithful while her husband views porn (and may even carry out his unfaithfulness with another woman)?
Should we be surprised women want to avoid having children when men will not help raise them? Men have had something good going for some time and women want in on it. If women are to love their womanhood, men are going to have to embrace their manhood based upon God's truth.
Now some reflections on the glory of God in womanhood:
- God has granted women a loving tenderness that is beautiful to behold. I trust I offer my children many things but I cannot offer them the gentle love and understanding that my wife can. May I say further? I am not made to. Here women have something on us as men. A woman's tenderness is woven into her by God while men in most cases must be broken and labor to be tender. In addition, women look for opportunities to exhibit this tenderness and love. They see such opportunities naturally. Men, on the other hand, are often oblivious.
- God has granted women an insight into life and its situations that is entirely geared to complement their husband. I often have the big picture in mind as I look at daily life in my home and church. My wife Alisa then comes along and shows me a hundred little steps that lead to the end goal. I want to get to the goal but often do not see how. She does. This is how it works: God gives the vision to the man and his wife helps him bring it to pass. It is a marvel to watch a Godly woman who sees the goal.
- Women are industrious in a way that men often are not. My wife works harder than I do and that is simply the truth. My wife wakes up working and goes to bed working and often lays in bed thinking about work that needs to be done. She makes lists of work to do. I work very hard to avoid seeing those lists. She is unhappy if the work isn't done. I sleep just fine if it isn't done. Read Proverbs 31 and what do you say of this excellent woman? Is she not a force? Is it safe to get in her way? Will we not praise her for the insight and sheer effort that she possesses from God?
- Some are determined to think us chauvinists so let's enjoy it knowing we can't change their minds. Is not a woman's femininity her glory? Is her beauty not unmatched in all creation? The way my wife looks, walks and smells has to be of God. Why are so many women intent on forsaking these glories for buzz cuts and military camouflage? At no time is this more true than when a woman is carrying a baby in her womb. Is there not a glow that God causes to shine forth from her countenance when she in her glory carries out one of her chief responsibilities--namely child bearing? Isn't an expectant mother's form artwork? No, I don't need a cold shower, I am speaking truth that more often spoken might result in women who take joy in their womanhood.
- There are many more things to list but I will mention just one more. There is something in a woman's fortitude and faith that I often feel chided by. There have been many times that I have lost heart in my life and calling, and time after time my wife has pointed me heavenward. My wife has remained positive when I have been negative. She has believed when I haven't. She has compelled me to continue when I have all but quit. Some of you may be familiar with the story of Katharina von Bora, Martin Luther's wife, who is said one day to have worn a black dress of mourning at the start of a new day. When Luther came down and asked who had died she responded, "Apparently God has died the way you walk around in despondency." Luther was rebuked and repented of his unbelief. This has been the case many, many times in pastor's homes through the ages. Let us never forget that there were more female than male disciples at Christ's cross, and it was to a woman that Christ appeared first after the Resurrection--before any of the men. If you don't think there is something underneath that, you are blind.
Sadly, many men in their rightful work of defending the order of creation and God's distinct roles for men and women fail to honor God for His glory displayed in womanhood. Mentioning my wife's strengths and my weaknesses does not change the fact that I am her head. Acknowledgement of a woman's virtues does not have to mean milk-toast men. One might argue that acknowledging our women's glories makes us better leaders and heads of our churches and homes.
Let us fight vigorously to defend all of God's truth: The truth that Adam was created first and Eve for him. And no less, that Eve is created by God and brings Him and her husband much glory as woman.