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And God Made Woman

It's "Lady's Day!" More specifically Mother's Day, but I want to shoot a little broader than mothers and celebrate all our ladies, both older and younger. I want to briefly examine the intimate place women have in God's heart, and the essential place they have in his work in the world.

Three things come to my mind concerning women this morning: 1. Women as partners with their husband, and in doing this I recognize those women whose circumstances or God's leading has dictated singleness at this time. 2. Women as partners with their children, and 3. Whether married or single, Women as partners with God.

Women as partners with their husband: (Genesis 1: 26-28; 2:18)

Have you ever noticed, in the Bible, how often God speaks in the plural? We have "one God" ("You shall have no other gods before me").

"Then God said in Genesis: "Then God said, 'Let us (a reference to the Trinity:) Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, make man in our image. The word, man here means humankind, both men and women. Men and women are both created in the image of God. There is no lesserness either in the mind of God or in his creative act of bringing Adam and Eve into existence. In verse 27: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female he created them." They were to rule the earth for God, but not each other. This is a strong biblical statement against men's abuse of women.

Another verse to be careful with is Genesis 3:16, God's words to Eve after she and Adam had sinned; "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over thee." Some men have used this verse to justify dominating their wives, or even abusing them, but this certainly is a misuse of and very likely a misunderstanding of God's word to Eve.

In Genesis 2:18 we read the words of God, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper (or partner) suitable for him." Who is suitable for you? Someone who God brings to you. Someone who loves Jesus.

Although Adam has been created in the "image" of God there is something not yet brought to completion. Adam has no one like himself. But God has the answer. Out of his creative heart will come Eve, also made in God's image, and Adam will exclaim, "This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh..."

But Eve is not a clone of Adam. She is God's creation in her own right. Together, however, they will more fully express the "image" in which they have been created. Do not be deceived, God does not have a "unisex" perspective on life, he has a "partner" perspective. Each finding in the other those elements of goodness that are not predominant in themselves.

Women as partners with their children (Proverbs 1:8-9. Also Ephesians 6: 1-4)

Both mother and father, or man and a woman have an important role in the training of their children to love and serve God. The "Father's instruction" reminds us of a more structured involvement in the child's learning, while "your mother's teaching" draws our imagination to the intimate conversations, whether at her knee in the kitchen, or on lap in the living room. This becomes so valuable to the child's understanding of God and themselves.

In Ephesians 6 children are commended to the teaching of both parents, but in both Scriptures it is the fathers who are cautioned against harshness with their children. Where the circumstances of life have removed mom from the child's life, grandmothers and the mothers of the church can take up some of the slack.

Women as partners with God (Joel 2: 28-29)

The ministry of women in partnership with their God is both vast, from a biblical point of view and vulnerable as it is interpreted by the church. In the book of Joel in the Old Testament we read, "And afterward I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days."

It is widely believed in the Christian church that the New Testament fulfillmeant of this prophecy began on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell upon the 120 (both men and women. The least that this Scripture tells us is that God empowers both men and women for ministry, and in some cases the same type of ministry. With this promise in Joel, the movement of the Spirit encompasses the whole of society, regardless of sex, sons and daughters, old men, young men, or social status.

It is the Spirit of God who raises people up for ministry, both men and women. It is the task of the Church to recognize this, and to celebrate our women as partners with God in his work in the world. The women who appear in the Scriptures are competent, secure, qualified people who had responsible roles to fill.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Joe Elick 1940-2021

 

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