This week, I’m joining the Idea Camp bloggers as they prepare for a conference on the topic of sex on September 27-28 in Las Vegas. For the weeks leading up to the event, each week is dedicated to an aspect on this discussion. From the website, here is what the conference is all about:
In a culture formed and broken by tainted views of human sexuality, what should followers of Christ embody?
Join us for a fresh, honest and transformative conversation with leading thinkers on topics including sexual identity, orientation, abuse, gender perceptions, porn, marriage, family, prostitution, and slavery.
The issues related to human sexuality are too often misunderstood, ignored, or avoided in far too many churches. The Idea Camp will facilitate a safe and transparent environment of learning, sharing of insights from the respective fields of focus, and practical insights and examples of holistic care.
The focus topic of the week is gender perceptions, so I would like to take the next few days to dialogue (hopefully with you) on what it means to be a woman.
Depending on where you go and who you ask you will get scores of different answers to that question. What does it mean to be a woman? How do you define womanhood?
In American culture, a woman can be whoever she wants to be. She can be a leader, a politician, she can be a mother, she can be a wife, and she can choose to be a mother even if she chooses not to be a wife. She can be a pastor, she can be a firefighter, she can be a law enforcement officer, and she can serve in the military. Unlike half a century ago, a woman can be virtually anything a man can be.
But does that make her who she is?
What distinguishes her from her counterpart?
God created man and woman equally. He loves women as much as He loves men and both enjoy the highest value of all His creation.
Yet she was made for a different reason. Man was missing something. It was not good for man to be alone. Creation was incomplete.
There needed to be a partner, a helper, a co-heir, a collaborator with man, so together, in their uniqueness, they could steward the land, be fruitful and multiply. (Genesis 2)
So after she was created, what does it say about her?
“This is bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh.”
The intent was that she would work with man, not against man.
“They were naked and unashamed.”
In her created and intended origin, she was so free and secure in who she was that she was actually naked and unashamed.
She didn’t worry about what she looked like or what people thought of her.
She was unashamed of her purpose.
Unashamed to be alongside man.
Unashamed of being a helper.
Unashamed of working the land.
Unashamed to fill the earth and subdue it.
Unashamed that she was created in His image, in His likeness. (Genesis 1)
But because of Chapter 3, we have come far from this original plan. We’ll get to that tomorrow.