We have looked at five important doctrines that a woman seeking biblical womanhood should stand firm upon in her life. It is because of these doctrines that we affirm a number of beliefs that are central to the Christian faith and those desiring to practice biblical womanhood. For the next several weeks we will examine these beliefs and how they relate to us and the culture in which we live.
Culture today would have us to believe that men and women are equal. That is what Scriptures teach. However, we must remember that Satan has a way of taking a biblical truth and twisting it ever so slightly to steer us away from God’s truth. This simple biblical truth of equality of the sexes now has women behaving as a man instead of embracing the roles and functions that the Lord has for us. What is happening is the taking on of roles that God never intended for us to have. Here is the biblical truth that a woman seeking biblical womanhood must affirm.
Men and women are both created in the image of God and are equal in value and dignity, but they have distinct roles and functions in the home and in the church.
Genesis 1:26-27, And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
God did indeed create man. Let’s look at the Hebrew word for man found in the above passage. The word ‘adam literally means man or mankind. In the English language we use these words to describe both male and female just as God illustrates in these two verses. The use of the pronoun them and in verse 27 the intended distinctions in “humankind” of male and female are clear. God was intentional in His creation, not only in the differences of the sexes, but also in the timing of the creation of each sex.
Adam’s name is no mistake. In the Hebrew, his name literally means man, and in this case first man. After God created the man Adam, He placed Adam in the garden (Genesis 2:8, 15) and gave him the responsibility to dress and keep the garden. (Genesis 2:15) Bible scholars believe that this was a hedged garden, a protected area in all of God’s creation. In other words, it was a home, a specific place to live. Variations of this word are later used in Scripture to mean the household. Further, God gave Adam the charge to dress (serve, work) and keep it. The Hebrew word for keep is shamar which means to keep, watch, preserve. The idea is that Adam was to guard or protect the home that the Lord had provided for him.
Genesis 2:18, And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Adam was alone in his new home. God said that this was not good. Everything else He had created was good or very good. But it was not good that man was alone. God created for Adam a help meet, or help mate. Remember, God said He was going to make ‘adam (mankind) in His image, both male and female. God was continuing with His intended plan.
The words in Hebrew for help meet are ezer kenegdo. Because the English language is so changeable and at times unspecific, we sometimes lose meaning in translation. The word kenegdo is defined to mean “before.” In the Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon we see the definition as “the front part, the front, the side of a thing which is next to the spectator.” Some have translated kenegdo to also mean suitable or counterpart. Adam’s help meet was specifically created out of his side to perfectly be the counterpart to his maleness.
The word ezer is directly translated as “help.” Too often we assume that it means “inferior,” that women are weaker than men. However, when see how the word ezer is used throughout Scripture to describe the help we have from God we may have a better understanding of the help that we as women are to be to our men. This is not a weak help, but a powerfully strong help. Often, in describing God as being our ezer (help) it is describing His protection of us. In Day 7 of this series we discussed Titus 2 and the idea of being a keeper (defender) of the home as a soccer goalie (the keeper) is the defender of the soccer net. A woman living a life of biblical womanhood is to protect her husband. The practical application to this aspect may be different for each relationship, but the goal of protection is the same.
In the above passage God indicated what our individual roles are as men and women. Men are to work, serve, and protect the home. Women are to be the counterpart (kenegdo) to men and to protect or help (ezer) them. God gave both men and women the directive to be fruitful and multiply (have children) and to subdue and have dominion over all the earth. These are our biblical roles and functions as men and women.
Galatians 3:26-28, For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Although there may be differences between males and females, as children of God we have put on Christ thus making us all one in Christ. There is no difference between any in God’s eyes. We have become one. This is the same terminology we use in the marriage vows when we speak of becoming one. Man and woman are uniquely different, yet each work together as one inside the bounds of marriage. Each of us, as children of God, bring gifts, talents, and abilities unique to the individual to be used together for the furtherance of the Gospel (birthing new believers) as we work together as one as the bride of Christ (the church).
Ephesians 5:22-33, Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
This passage in Ephesians gives us a glimpse of the illustration of the husband and wife relationship as it relates to the relationship between Christ and the church. As wives we are to submit to our husbands “as unto the Lord.” The word submit is the Greek word hupotassó, which means I place under. It is a willing, intentional submission not only to the Lord but also to our husbands. We then see the illustration of headship (position or leadership). The Greek word for head is kephalé which means the head. A secondary meaning to the word is that of a corner stone, uniting two walls; head, ruler, lord. When we look at the illustration we see that God is the head of the husband who is head of the woman. At the same time, God is the head of Christ who is the head of the church. Paul admits in verse 32 in the above passage that the headship of Christ over the church is a great mystery.
We may not completely understand how the illustration of marriage and the relationship of Christ and the church work together. We can, however, strive to do what we have been instructed to do. We can, through biblical womanhood, live lives that reflect the glory and majesty of God and His Son Jesus Christ.
The framework of this series was taken from the True Woman Manifesto provided through Revive Our Hearts Ministry.