15. The Wonder of Gender (2)

‘Life Workings’ Meditations No.15: The Wonder of Gender (2)

Gen 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

These studies should not be necessary but my careful reading of the whole Bible in detail over the years tells me that even the people of God get it wrong. It is clearly true multiple times of Israel in the Old Testament and there are various times in the New Testament that involved believers. As you read, watch out for these times of ‘falling short’ and getting it wrong.

Perhaps we should be honest and say it tends to be when we are put under stress by difficult circumstances that we miss the mark and are less than we would lie to talk about afterwards! I have witnessed it in even great men of God so those of us lesser mortals should not be surprised. I mentioned New Testament teaching at the end of the previous study so let’s take the obvious, if not sometimes contentious teaching of the apostle Paul.

I would always put men first even though Paul puts it the other way round. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph 5:25) Now I slipped this into Study No.8 on ‘Fathers’ but just in case you missed this vital teaching, here it is again. The Amplified version inserts after wives, seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love.” That is how the husband is to love the wife – you lay down your life for her!!! You see there is something vitally important behind this: God holds the husband accountable for the state of the marriage! That’s why Paul said, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” (v.22) Even as you are called to follow Jesus, when it comes to authority and getting the marriage straight, the buck stops with the man. Lady if you take the reins of your marriage God will hold YOU accountable for the marriage. Those He holds accountable, He disciplines, and it’s supposed to be the man, but it’s not a role of domination but of sharing, caring and harmony, the wisdom that each has contributing. Now women are under major attack from certain areas of modern western society (who also attack God’s design) and strangely it is the feminist movement that is having to defend ‘female privacy’ but may I suggest we, the church, ought to be protecting, blessing, and elevating our women, keeping them safe, free from abuse, exploitation & violence – and it should start in the home. Jesus elevated in their society the women who travelled with him. The church that truly observes Scripture will care for its women. This is not to be patronizing but protective and it should release them to safely grow and be fulfilled in who they are and what they do.

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