Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

This is Part 3 of a series for Gender Week for the Idea Camp. Please see the previous posts for Parts 1 and 2. This week, the Idea Camp bloggers are writing about Gender. What does it mean to be a man or a woman?

Since the fall of man, the lens through which men and women are viewed has been skewed, to say the least. Prior to sacrificing and covering their shame, God warns them there would now be enmity between man and woman. Furthermore, her desire would now be to control her husband and he would desire to rule over her. (Genesis 3) This relational strife pitted between man and woman would be something to contend with for generations to come.

For years and years, men and women all over the world have struggled with shame, condemnation, oppression, depression, abuse, adultery, divorce, substance abuse, murder, suicide and many other maladies in part due to animosity between one another. Relationships have been destroyed, visions and dreams have been crushed, limits and glass ceilings have been put into place and broken through either appropriately or inappropriately, but none the less, we can all agree it has been difficult.

In Jesus, we have a Savior who has come to restore and redeem His Kingdom so men and women can view themselves and one another through the lens of Jesus and God the Creator of mankind. The way it was intended to be. Because of Him and the Spirit which gives us power, we have the ability to seek Truth, to understand God and each other.

A few years ago, I wanted to teach a class on Biblical womanhood. I searched through dozens of books and curriculum to find something I believed was truthful, biblical and within the scope of reality for the women in my church. I wanted them to see the truth of who God made them to be in a very tangible, attainable and applicable way. Every thing I found either viewed women solely through Genesis 3, put them in a cute little box making every woman feel like they needed to be cut out of the same mold, and basically didn’t leave much room for any diversity in lifestyle, personality, or calling. According to what was out there, we were either deceived, insubordinate, needing to understand more what it means to be gentle and quiet or we had to learn to put everything aside so the man if our life (assuming there was or would be one) could become the man God intended him to be.

This was difficult because we have many women in our community who are married, divorced, single, young, and older. We live in Los Angeles, so many work out of necessity or because they are called to careers in which God is moving greatly through them. So, I put aside every other book and decided to go with what always works… the Bible and wrote a case study called Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: A Field Guide for Women in the 21st Century.

If you read the stories of women in the Bible, you will find women who were imperfect, broken, noble, benevolent, giving, deceitful, naughty, and good. And those are just the ones God chose to use to advance His Kingdom.

Beginning with Eve ~ We see a woman God intended to complete her counterpart and work alongside him to fulfill God’s purpose for filling, ruling and subduing the earth.

Sarah ~ A woman who had to learn the hard way not to take matters into her own hands but to trust God… no matter how long it takes for Him to answer our prayers.

Rahab ~ Even a prostitute can be used to bring about His purposes before she even shuts down her business.

Ruth and Naomi ~ The value of friendship, loyalty and redemption for those who wait upon the Lord.

Deborah ~ When leaders aren’t leading and doing what they are supposed to do, God does indeed raise  up a woman to judge, make decisions and inspire the people to do what they are called to do.

Huldah ~ A prophetess in the time of King Josiah who warned of impending disaster and spoke on behalf of God regarding the Book of the Law.

Mary ~ God used a woman to bring about His Son. She was the first to hear of Him and the last to be there at the foot of the cross when He gave His life.

The Bleeding Woman ~ We need to reach for Jesus in our most desperate moments so we can see, He is all we need.

The Woman caught in adultery ~ There is no one who is without sin and when we look to Jesus, we can actually go and sin no more.

The Woman at the well ~ In our most sinful and broken places in life, Jesus knows all and loves us still and can restore women and use them to bring an entire community to Him.

Mary Magdalene ~ An outcast in society, overcome by 7 demons before she met Jesus and she was the first person He chose to reveal His resurrection to and the first person commanded by Him to”Go and tell…” (John 20).

Priscilla ~ Alongside her husband Aquilla demonstrates how a woman can gently instruct a man bringing truth and perspective that in turn benefits the body of Christ. (Acts 18).

Phoebe ~ A vital part of Paul’s ministry in Cencherea was Phoebe, a servant or deconess, whom he commends to the people of Rome to receive in a manner worthy of the saints. Many suggest she delivered the book of Romans and from her we learn that God entrusts His word to women.

The one thing all these women had in common was that in their defining moments, they responded to God first and as a result it effected the relationships and communities around them. They are but a few examples of how God uses the broken yet beautiful parts of us to bring healing, restoration and redemption to this Kingdom.  If we carefully study these God given examples, we know we can fix our eyes on Jesus and in response be women {and men} the way God intended us to be.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” ~ Psalm 139:14

How do you see your unique contribution as a man or a woman to God’s Kingdom?

6 thoughts on “Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

  1. Teresa Rincon says:

    Enjoyed reading these posts! I’m wondering how to respond to people who use scripture passages like 1 Timothy 2:12 to say that women can’t be leaders.

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