September 18, 2020

What’s God’s Design for Women?

This is a snippet from our new course: Titus 2 Women’s Ministry. If you’d like to sign up for the course, click the image below.

This is a massive subject, and it’s impossible to cover every aspect of biblical womanhood in one lesson. Many books have been written, conferences held, and sermons preached on this important topic. So I’ve tried to pick out a few fundamental questions that I think will help us understand this huge subject.

Let’s start with the cultural definition of womanhood. What is our culture teaching our daughters, young girls, and even grown women about what it means to be a woman? What are today’s role models saying? Here are a few interesting quotes I found.

  •  “A bossy woman is someone to search out and celebrate.” (Amy Poehler)
  • “Pour yourself a drink, put some lipstick on and pull yourself together.” (Elizabeth Taylor)
  • “It’s hard to be a woman, you just think like a man, act like a lady, look like a young girl and work like a horse.” (Anonymous)
  • “We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.” (Beyoncé)

As Christians, are these the messages we want to send to women? Are they a true portrayal of what it means to be a woman?

According to Pinterest, a true woman is one that meal plans, stays home, doesn’t dare wear a bikini, knows how to sew, and can turn toilet paper rolls into beautiful decorative wreaths.

Is this what it means to be a woman today? Is this all we should be teaching young girls to aspire to? Should we all take out shares in hobby craft and spend our time making the latest craft craze? Surely being a woman has more meaning than that—I mean, are we just here on earth to produce babies, cook amazing food for our family, and create palaces for our husbands to live in? As nice as that sounds on some days, I know I would get bored, frustrated, and feel unfulfilled if that summed up my purpose in life. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are elements of those things that are true, but they’re a small part of a bigger picture.

As Christians, we nee to start by looking at what God has to say about womanhood. Let’s do that now.

Womanhood According to God

John Piper defines womanhood like this:

“The ultimate meaning of true womanhood is this: It is a distinctive calling of God to display the glory of his Son in ways that would not be displayed if there were no womanhood. If there were only generic persons and not male and female, the glory of Christ would be diminished in the world. When God described the glorious work of his Son as the sacrifice of a husband for his bride, he was telling us why he made us male and female. He made us this way so that our maleness and femaleness would display more fully the glory of his Son in relation to his blood-bought bride.

This means that if you try to reduce womanhood to physical features and biological functions, and then determine your role in the world merely on the basis of competencies, you don’t just miss the point of womanhood, you diminish the glory of Christ in your own life. True womanhood is indispensable in God’s purpose to display the fullness of the glory of his Son. Your distinctive female personhood is not incidental. It exists because of its God-designed relationship to the central event of history, the death of the Son of God.”

Do you see how this definition gives far more value to being a woman than what the world says? It wasn’t a mistake that God made male and female. And women weren’t an afterthought. In fact, if you look at Genesis 2:18, it’s the first time in the creation account where God says something is not good. “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” Every other time God speaks about His creation, He describes it as good (Gen 1:491218212531).

It was not good for man to be alone. Something was missing. He was created perfectly, but there was a lack in his life and the world. So God created Eve.

God Defines ‘Good’

When God created two genders, He also instituted different roles for each gender. He designed the bodies and brains of men and women to work differently and to fulfil complementary roles. A man should not act like a woman because he can never be a woman. He can never process information like a woman because his brain, his DNA, and his entire being are distinctly male.

God also created women to be distinct from men. We see this played out in our lives all the time. Men tend to be more logical thinkers and like to solve problems. Women tend to be more driven by emotions and don’t want a solution to their problems; they just want to talk about them and get them off their chest.

When we see women striving to be in positions of authority—both in the church and the wider world—it flows from a rejection of God’s created order. Satan questioned God’s Word when he said, “Did God really say?” Satan wanted Eve to question the truthfulness of God’s Word, telling her that she wouldn’t die. Satan also wanted her to question God’s goodness, telling her that God was withholding something from her. Unfortunately, Eve listened to him.

In one sense, Satan does the same today. He’s still telling women that God’s Word isn’t true, that He can’t really be trusted, that He’s withholding something from them. This deception harms women in so many ways. Nancy Leigh deMoss has written a book called Lies Women Believe, which covers topics like:

  • God isn’t really good.
  • God doesn’t love me.
  • God is not really enough.
  • God’s ways are too restrictive.

I’m sure we’ve all thought these things at one point or another. It’s scary how quickly we can allow this type of thinking to influence us. The media often portrays it too. There was a programme I used to watch called “Keeping up Appearances” (I’m showing my age now!). Basically, the show was about this feisty, bossy woman who wanted to live a perfect life. Her home was pristine, and she was always volunteering at the local church and organising charity events. Her husband was properly henpecked—he would obey her every command, and he lived in fear of his wife.

Now, the show was a sitcom, but it’s actually a great portrayal of how women try to live their lives. When we spend time with women in our communities, they are often slagging their partners off, calling them a waste of space, telling them they’re useless, etc. It is quite clear that the women rule the roost. Unfortunately, this is not only true for unbelievers; there are many Christian women who act as if they are the man in their home. This struggle is a result of the curse (Gen. 3:16). Women are dissatisfied with their role and desire to have the role of their husbands.

What Does the Bible Say?

Let’s have a look at some of the passages in Scripture that talk specifically about women. We’ve looked briefly at the creation account, but we’ll come back to it later on when we think about how we are to live as biblical women. To start, I’d like us to look at several passages that address womanhood (Prov. 31:10–31Titus 2:1–5Eph. 5:21–24 and 1 Pet. 3:1–6).

This first thing to say is that the priority for being a biblical woman has to start with actually being born again. We must become “new creations” in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) and take seriously our need to abide in Him (John 15:1–5). The Word of God must be our final authority in life, because if its authority is not clear to us, then we will become a judge of Scripture rather than letting Scripture judge us. This leads to compromise and eventual moral collapse (Rom. 1:22–25).

Before we do anything, we need to make sure that we are walking closely with God, allowing His Word to change and shape us into the people He wants us to be. If we’re not living in this way, we have no hope of being biblical women. Our priority must be living according to the way God has ordained. We can’t claim to be following God while we’re fighting for position and wanting to be in male roles. I’m not talking about those stereotypical roles that we think should be male, like builders, car mechanics, or pilots. I’m talking about the general order of headship within the home and the church. Our next session is going to be about submission, so we’ll leave Ephesians 5 until then.

If you’d like to access more content from this course, you can sign up here.

Connect with Us

© 2019 20schemes Equip   ·  Submissions   ·   What We Believe   ·   Privacy Policy  ·  Site by Mere.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram