“If God wanted men and women to function in exactly the same way, I believe He could’ve made one gender. We could’ve reproduced asexually, like starfish. But He didn’t. He could’ve made Eve first, or inspired Paul to urge men to be keepers of the home, subject to their wives. But He didn’t. He intentionally created both men and women and through Scripture revealed the equal but different roles for which He designed them…” – Jeanne Harrison
God created male and female to be equally valuable.
Men weren’t created to be higher in value or significance than women. In fact, God created male (as a spiritual entity) at the exact same moment as female. Women were never an afterthought in the mind of God.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God, He created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
In God’s original design, males and females are to exist in:
- The equality of personhood
- The equality of dignity
- The equality of mutual respect
God created male and female to be different.
God designed the male with a specific role and purpose to fulfil. Likewise, He designed the female with a specific role and purpose to fulfil. Males and females were created to reflect different aspects of God’s character and nature. And in doing so, we bring God immense glory.
Men were created to reflect the strength, love and self-sacrifice of Christ. Women were created to reflect the responsiveness, grace and beauty of the Bride He redeemed.” – ‘True Woman 101’
As females, we glorify God the most when we embrace and live out His design for our gender.
Our bodies reflect God’s design.
- Typically, women have softer skin, smaller muscles and slighter frames.
- We have the capacity to become pregnant and carry a baby in our wombs
- We tend to be more naturally relational and nurturing
We are hard-wired differently. Our unique features and gifts should inform us on God’s design for us.
A biblical woman is one who has traded her own perceptions of womanhood for a greater truth. She is a female who has chosen to walk in the understanding that Christ calls us to a higher level of living than the world. Authentic biblical womanhood is the life of Christ shining through you.
A biblical woman is:
There’s a reason why the devil didn’t go straight to the man in Genesis 3, to cause him to sin by eating from the tree. Instead, he chose to go to Eve, his wife. The enemy knew something profound: women are incredibly influential.
Consider Deborah (Judges 4-5). She stirred up a military leader to faithful action when he wanted to run away from a problem. She exhorted him to trust the Lord in the face of overwhelming odds. She was a true leader. She never made their success about her – in fact she pointed out the strengths of everyone else. This is influence.
What about Esther (Esther 4-8)? She was planted in a pagan palace so that she could influence a king to spare her people from ethnic cleansing. No military intervention. No revolution. Just one woman, submitted to God. Influence. And her predecessor, Vashti? She was dethroned after digging her heels in against the king’s request. Why? Because even pagan politicians knew that women have influence.
Remember Jezebel? She influenced her husband Ahab to deal treacherously with a landowner, and seduced the nation of Israel to serve the pagan gods of surrounding nations (1 Kings 19, 21). Influence.
Euodia and Syntyche must have had some strong personalities for Paul to tell them to get along. Apparently their rift was causing serious issues in the church at Philippi (Philippians 4:2). Influence.
And then there’s Miriam. She influenced all of Israel’s women to celebrate their deliverance after crossing the Red Sea. All of the women followed her lead (Exodus 15). But then she helped to instigate a rebellion against her brother, Moses, over who was going to be in charge (Numbers 12). Influence. (1)
There are so many accounts thoughout the Scriptures of women who wielded their influence, for good and for bad purposes alike. How will you use your influence?
A Strong Helper
The first mention of woman in Genesis is as a “Suitable Helper” for the man (‘Ezer Kenegdo’, Genesis 2:18). The Hebrew word, ezer, is used 21 times in the Old Testament. Of these, in all but six, the term refers to God. Typical examples include, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence comes my help [ezer]? My help [ezer] comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2,). Or “Our help [ezer] is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8). The word comprises the ideas of power and strength, a guide and shield. (2)
Women have a unique way of helping people, through encouragement, critique and strategy. Helping others is a foundational aim of God’s design for womanhood.
Women are God’s chosen gender to carry, develop and birth new life. Pregnancy and birth are unique to the female gender alone. Never will a male be able to naturally experience this process. The physical aspects of our design are only an outward representation of an inward reality. More than just birthing children, God calls us to something deeper. God calls us to nurture and give spiritual life. Most women naturally feel a tug from God to help, teach or mentor younger generations of women (hence the abundance of women’s ministries). Within God’s unique design is the ability to give life and nurture.
Biblical womanhood is not a standard achievable by human effort alone. We as women sell ourselves short when we reject God’s ideals for womanhood and embrace the ideals pushed by modern day culture.
“You would not be a better carrier of the love He has entrusted to you if you were a male. God does not love sons more and daughters less. Nor does He love each gender equally. He loves male and female uniquely.” – Lisa Bevere
Ify Alexis Lee