Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What is Biblical Womanhood?

photo by Anastasia Lander

Common sense tells us that because of the unique way God created the first man and woman, there must be specific gender roles. God created Adam first, and after allowing him to feel acutely aware of his loneliness, caused a deep sleep to come over him and used one of his ribs to fashion Eve. Human beings are made in the image of God, male and female, and God saw that His creation was good.

Biblical Womanhood and Christian Femininity

Men and women are equal in value yet differ in role function, and this is a paradox we live with. The Apostle Paul likens this arrangement to the human physique, with a head and a body, and we can learn from his metaphor. Man is the head of the woman, but what is a head without a body or vice versa? The body works cohesively with the head leading and the body following. The two are connected and cannot exist apart from one another. Each cell of the body communicates through the nervous system to the brain, and in a healthy organism, the head makes decisions to take care of its body. If a person burns his hand, the nerves quickly send pain signals to the brain, and the brain communicates in a nanosecond the command to remove one's hand from the fire.

Some people reject the idea of female submission as expressed in the New Testament because it appears unfair and risks exposing women to mistreatment. This is a valid concern because all men are sinners, but women do have the responsibility to confront any sin through the authority they have in Jesus Christ. Their ultimate head is Jesus Christ, who is sinless and always takes care of His body. Yielding to a man's leadership based on the principle of Biblical submission may be a scary proposition to some women, but their doing so will help them to develop trust and overcome their fear. And of course, they should bathe all their decisions in prayer.

If a woman centers her life around Jesus Christ, she will be empowered to live out her gender role effectively. Her character will provide evidence of what is transpiring in her heart, and the proof of her faith will be in the tangible fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The Lord had a plan when he created the two genders, and when they operate in tandem, the result is very good.

“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”
--David O. McKay
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