It feels fantastic to be back on the blogging scene. Today I want to talk about a controversial topic that I am passionate about which is: Biblical femininity. I will also be addressing marital roles of genders according to Scripture. This message will apply for my fellow single ladies whose goal is to be who God intended you to be as a woman as well as those of you who are married. In a feminist culture that focuses on equality between males and females, we have lost the beauty of femininity. Ultimately marriage is a picture of Christ and the church. Even though Ephesians 5 specifies that wives and husbands must have different roles in the home and in the church, it also says that they “are equal in dignity and all else that comprises their essential humanity” (quote taken from “Loving Oneself, and Loving One’s Wife” by Ligonier Ministries). Genesis 1:27 makes it clear that both men and women are equally made in God’s image. Today I will be taking you through Genesis 1-3 (the story of Eve) and Genesis 12 (about Sarah) in light of Proverbs 31 and Ephesians 5. Let us start off our study today by studying our earthly mother’s creation. Our roots of femininity begin in the Garden of Eden.
Before the fall, gender roles were less stringent. Adam and Eve were made to work together as one body in perfect harmony. Genesis 3:18 (ESV), “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Eve was made for Adam to assist him in life as a counterpart who complements him.
As females we were made to be relational human beings. Relational people are sensitive to the needs and concerns of others. We were made for intimacy in marriage and friendships. We were made out of man’s rib to be bound as one in marriage. Genesis 2:24 (ESV), “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This bond also is an image of how we are one in Christ. Marital unity can only be present if both husband and wife are peaceful and careful not to spur one another in anger. 1 Peter 3:4 (ESV), “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.” As females we have the gift of encouraging and providing emotional support for those we encounter in daily life, not just our husbands, or future husbands, for those who are single.
A quality that females possess is that we are nurturers. God commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” in Genesis 1:28. We have the wonderful responsibility of raising children up in righteousness and truth. We get to bring life into the world. We can pray for our children and lead them in God’s perfect ways. We get to teach our children to treasure God’s Word and His love. There will be suffering in labor because of the fall, but there will be even greater joy in being a mother.
Eve did not consult her husband for advice on eating from the tree, but instead, she acted on her own, disrupting the marital harmony which she and Adam had. Because of this, God made gender roles in marriage more clear. Adam mistakenly allowed his wife to lead him astray, even though he knew the instructions which God had given him. God first addresses Adam regarding the sin which he and Eve committed. God held Adam responsible first, because of his leadership as husband. Then God turned to Eve. Genesis 3:16 (ESV), “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” This verse is often misunderstood or twisted in order to allow men to mistreat women. The Preacher’s Homiletic Commentary describes the verse in this way, “But man’s rulership is not to be lordly and offensive, but loving and graceful, thoughtful and appreciative. Under such rulership the woman is a queen, herself the sharer of a royal life.” Royalty, therefore, is a part of our femininity. Ephesians 5:23-25, “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” I would like to clarify that while husbands are the heads of their households, they are not in authority over other women. Men were not made to dominate women. But, husbands were made to lovingly guide their wives and their families with godly leadership. Husbands are called to sacrifice themselves for their wives like Christ did for the church.
Next I’d like to move on to the story of Abram and Sarai, which is a fantastic example of healthy submission and marital respect. It also reveals some other qualities of our femininity. As females we are courageous, and we have a God-given inner strength to endure difficult circumstances. We are made to be fearless. Genesis 12:4 (ESV), “And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan…” God called Abram to make a drastic change in lifestyle, by taking his family to a new land. Sarai had to leave her friends, family, and familiar surroundings. It took a lot of courage for Sarai to journey into an unknown future. She was much like the Proverbs 31 woman who is “clothed with strength and dignity” and who can fearlessly “laugh at the days to come” (Proverbs 31:25).
Sarai trusted her husband’s leadership and his relationship with the Lord. She had faith that her husband knew what he was doing, and that God would provide. She trusted her husband even though at times he was misguided. One such instance of this was when Abram told Sarai to pretend to be his sister, in order that Pharaoh would not kill Abram. Marriage requires a mutual trust. Not only should the wife have faith in her husband, but the wife should always show that she is an honest woman who will not lead her husband astray. None of us can be perfectly trustworthy individuals. Eve and Sarai certainly were not, but we can pray that God would help us to be genuine women who people can depend on.
There is much more to discuss about the topic of femininity, our roots as women, and gender roles, but this will be all for today. If you enjoyed this study and want more like it on the topic of femininity, please let me know. I hope that you enjoyed studying these passages as much as I have over the past few days.
May God bless you, and as always, may your coffee be strong.
In Christ’s love,