Adam was lonely. He searched the vast and beautiful garden but found no one to call his equal, his friend. God caused him to fall asleep and with Adam’s rib, he created Eve. She was the most beautiful creature in all the garden, loved by both God and man. Hand in hand, man and woman walked as one, with God’s presence surrounding them. Paradise was complete.
Today, the beauty of this moment seems long forgotten…with feminism on the rise and the roles of both men and women no longer established, the bliss and harmony between Adam and Eve in the garden looks more and more like a fairy tale. To openly say today that women were created for man would incite a riot. Have we really grown so uncomfortable with who we are that we feel shame when we are reminded of our beginning?
As a child I remember wanting to hang with boys. While all the girls I knew were having sleep overs and playing with Barbies, I was outside playing war games, catching bugs, and playing basketball with the neighborhood boys. I had loathed wearing dresses and hated being around girls my age. Things only started to change for me when I fell in love..my first crush. I suddenly wanted to be “girly”, and though I still enjoyed catching bugs and playing basketball with a group of boys, I no longer desired to blend in as “one of the guys”, I wanted to stand out as a beautiful woman. The older I became the more I learned to accept God’s intention for me. I love being a woman! I love my wonderful husband and the life that we share…accepting God’s original design and purpose brings more fulfillment than anything we could create for ourselves. The same goes for church, family, and marriage. He created it all and has assigned each its purpose and call.
Beauty begins with acceptance. We must accept our identity. Men and women who are insecure with their gender will walk down many paths to find an outward answer to their problem, thinking, “God made a mistake when he made me!” When in reality, the problem lies within the heart. God makes no mistakes, he created each and every one of us to be happy and fulfilled the way he made us. We shouldn’t want to change a thing, we should view ourselves the way God views us….the question is, why don’t we? I’m sure we all can surmise that since we fell from the garden of bliss we have not only been at war between ourselves but inside ourselves as well. From the moment we were born satan has exhausted all efforts to turn us away from God and blind us to our identity in Him. That is why we see boys and girls unhappy in their skin, growing up in broken homes with society left to teach them who they are and that beauty is superficial.
Ladies, we need to embrace who we are again. Now is the time to listen to what God says about us and tune out what the world says. We need to bring up our children in homes where husband and wife are at peace with one another, following the roles set before them by God’s Word. It’s time we establish in our children that they are all uniquely and wonderfully made by God. Boys must be taught to respect women and value them as they value themselves, while girls must be taught that beauty is what lies within, and that their roles in marriage are just as important, valuable, and fulfilling.
One role that is often misunderstood is submission. It is not a weakness…why is it that submission in marriage has taken on a different meaning than if we were submitting to God? To submit to God means to respect Him and His place of authority….it is a sign of humbleness and is a posture that is rewarded by God. Society has made marital submission to mean weakness or even abuse, when its definition should be the same. Wives show honor and beauty of heart when they are submissive to their husbands…in marriages built on love, the act of submission is involuntary and fulfilling for women. Every strong marriage involves a man and a woman who love and respect one another. It’s in loving and respecting that men and women naturally take on the roles created for them.
I am simply here to tell you that just as society has been wrong about our identity and beauty, so it has been wrong about the roles of both men and women in marriage, church, and in the family setting. Feminism was birthed from women who failed to recognize their worth…I believe it stemmed from men and women failing to love and respect each other. As well as from the very moment Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. From that moment, women would see their honorable place in marriage as “unequal”, as Genesis 3:16 supports, “…you will desire to control your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Before eating of the forbidden fruit there was no conflict…God didn’t have to give marital advice and counseling and there was no sound of bickering amidst the peace of the garden. It was after mankind fell that conflict entered into the equation and both men and women failed to see each other clearly.
With God we see marriage clearly again. His Word guides and helps us through every situation this life has to offer in marriage and in life. As a woman, I am reassured when I read the Bible. Jesus was all for women’s rights, especially given the era the Bible was written in. Marriage itself was created to represent Christ and the church. Imagine that, Jesus gave himself up for the church (bride) because of his great love…our earthly marriage is supposed to represent His great covenant with us!
I could honestly discuss all day the many ways we, as women, have fallen away from God’s intention for us. We are particularly vulnerable to satan’s lies, and he realized this when he deceived Eve in the garden. I am not saying that it is all on our shoulders. Both men and women sinned that day in Eden, and today we both bear the weight of that choice. However, through Jesus we are restored to God and to each other. We will still have conflict, we will still make mistakes, but through God we will know who we are and whose we are, and love each other far deeper as brothers and sisters in Christ, and kings and queens of Heaven. Beautifully and wonderfully made.
“Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
(1 Peter 3:3-4)