Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Ultimate Meaning...

...Of True Womanhood

In Nancy Leigh DeMoss's book, "Voices of the True Woman Movement", John Piper states his assumption that "wimpy theology makes wimpy women". What is a wimpy woman? John Piper goes on to say that "the opposite of a wimpy woman is not a brash, pushy, loud, controlling, sassy, uppity, arrogant" woman. The opposite of a wimpy woman is a woman who knows her Savior and stands for Him against all tides of the world. A woman who is not a wimpy woman is a woman who believes in Jesus Christ's saving grace and trusts Him with all of her heart... and, as a result, knows that there is a reason for every situation in her life - no matter how difficult - because she can trust her Savior.

"Wimpy theology simply does not give a woman a God that is big enough, strong enough, wise enough, and good enough to handle the realities of life in a way that magnifies the infinite worth of Jesus Christ." -John Piper

Wimply theology is placing the Almighty God in a box - not believing in His infinite power, His wisdom, or His greatness... or in His ultimate purpose for the world.

"God's ultimate purpose for the universe and for all of history and for your life is to display the glory of Christ in its highest expression, namely, in His dying to make a rebellious people His everlasting and supremely happy bride." -John Piper

Revelation 13:8 talks of, "...the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world."

So, before the foundation of the world it was the plan of God for Christ to be slain... so that we, as rebels of God, would become His Bride... and His glory would shine brightly.

So what does this have to do with womanhood? I am a woman and that was no mistake or incidental matter. God created me as a woman for a distinct purpose and unless I understand this I will never carry out God's purpose for me as a woman. Womanhood and manhood and their distinct differences were not an afterthought in the mind of God. Ephesians 5:31 and 32 says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church."

Ever since the creation of human beings, God created us as man and woman - male and female. These distinct areas - manhood and womanhood - are designed to bring glory to Christ. It is like a mirror, although dim, of Christ and the Church (His Bride). This is what marriage is all about. "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." (Ephesians 5:22-24)

This is not a slave relationship. True marriage is a dim reflection of Christ and His Bride, the Church. We as women should never look at our role as women as being degrading. We were created as women for a purpose and when we find out what true womanhood really is, we will come to appreciate this role and have a desire to joyfully carry it out to bring Jesus Christ glory.

As a single woman, I cannot magnify Christ in this same way (as married women can). Yet, there are ways in which single women can magnify Christ that married women cannot. John Piper lists three:

1) A life of Christ-exalting singleness bears witness that the family of God grows not by propagation through sexual intercourse, but by regeneration through faith in Christ.

As a single woman, I can care for the lonely and the needy and spend myself for the Gospel in a different way than I would be able to if I was married and had my own biological children to care for... because Christ has met my need, I have no reason to wallow in self-pity in my singleness.

2) A life of Christ-exalting singleness bears witness that relationships in Christ are more permanent, and more precious, than relationships in families.

Again, I can more fully give myself to creating the family of God because I do not have my own biological children to give myself to and expend my energy on. In this way, I can honor Christ in a unique way.

3) A life of Christ-exalting singleness bears witness that marriage is temporary, and finally gives way to the relationship to which it was pointing all along: Christ and the church.

If I embrace my single womanhood and am joyfully content with just walking with Christ, I will be a great witness to the world of God as my Husband... and me, as His Bride.

John Piper closes the chapter with, "So whether you marry or single, do not settle for a wimpy theology. It is beneath you. God is too great. Christ is too glorious. True womanhood is too strategic. Don't waste it. Your womanhood - your true womanhood - was made for the glory of Jesus Christ."

Created by the Lord as women for a divine purpose, we cannot settle for anything less. We were created as women for the glory of Christ. If we were all the same, we would never be able to reflect the great picture of God as the Husband and us - the Church - as His Bride. We would never be able to bring glory to Christ in this way or have it bear witness to a watching world. I am a woman for a distinct purpose... and whether I marry or remain single, this life is all about bringing glory to the Lord Jesus Christ and what He has done for me on the Cross... He has bought me at a price and I am not my own. The Church - His rebel Bride - was bought at a high price, with the precious blood of Jesus.

We cannot take this lightly. May I live out the calling of true womanhood that the Lord has purposed for me.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."
-1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Big Dream...?

While in Haiti, the Lord spoke to my heart in many ways. One day, He taught me something through a Haitian boy around my age who approached me the last day of Vacation Bible School. He told me about how his little brother had been going to Bible School and then went on to tell me of his Big Dream to one day go through seminary and become a pastor. He did not know how his Big Dream would come true because he does not have the money to make it happen... And yet this Big Dream was cultivated in his heart. The way he told me, "You see, I have a Big Dream to one day be a pastor" was with such conviction and passion that I knew he meant it. I knew that this Dream was rooted in his heart. I know that one day, with God's Provision, he would love to see this Dream through.

I was excited for him. I told him that his Dream was a great one... And then, he asked me a question that jolted me to the core. It is a question that has rocked my world. He asked me, simply and naturally, "So, what is your Big Dream?"

Looking back, I am not quite sure what I did at the moment he asked me that question. I am not sure what my face reflected when he asked me that and, although I cannot remember, I would not be surprised if I had asked him to repeat what he had just said. Although I have thought a lot about this question before, no one had really ever asked me it pointedly and on-the-spot like that. I had no time to think about what I should say because I certainly had not planned to answer a question like this at Vacation Bible School.

I searched my mind for something to say and I stuttered a reply, "I am not sure yet."

He looked at me with the most surprised expression and said, "You do not know?"

I was standing there sweating in the little white church building, with Haitian children swarming all around me, yelling and talking and singing and running - with our only light being the light from the bright Haitian sun streaming through the open windows and doors of the concrete building. I looked around me at the children, I looked above me on the small podium at my dad and my brother and the others on my Team and I reflected on the day of teaching the children of Jesus Christ being our only sure Foundation... all while I felt the sweet warmth of the little baby who had fallen asleep in my arms... and I looked back at this sincere Haitian boy and I said the first words that came to my mind and tumbled out of my mouth: "Something like this."

Although I do not yet know for sure what exactly it is that the Lord wants for my future (and the Lord has placed many dreams deep in this heart of mine), I sit here and wonder if that boy is praying for me - because the Lord has been showing me a few things about what His Big Dream may be for me. That boy did ask for my name and I know that the Lord is not limited by miles or by culture and I know that prayer is something that can unify us all... It brings an excitement to my heart to think of the people I have met in Haiti who have what they call their "Big Dream" to do great things for God.

And yet, they have no resources. They have no money, no savings, no retirement fund. Retirement is not even an option in the minds of these particular Haitians. All they want to do is serve their God with their lives, no matter how hard, no matter what little they have... They do not even know where their next meal is coming from, let alone the money they may need to pursue what it is the Lord has placed on their heart. They just trust the Lord... because if the Lord asks them to do something for His Kingdom, then He must provide.

What about me? It brings me back to the question that the Haitian boy asked me: "What is your Big Dream?" I echo Dr. Jerry Falwell: What would I attempt to do if I knew I could not fail?

If nothing stood in my way - such as a lack of finances, people and their negativity, discouragement from the Enemy, and all other obstacles - what would I do with my life for the Lord and for His Kingdom?

The truth is, nothing stands in my way but my own self - because if the Lord asks me to do something for Him, then there must be a way to do it. I may not see it, but I see the Hand of the One who asks me and I know that I can trust Him. That makes all the difference and that means everything.

The boy and his little brother

So, what is your "Big Dream"? What comes to your mind right away when that question is asked? It is something we must think hard about. We must never be afraid to Dream for His Kingdom... Big things will never happen if we put the Almighty God in a box.

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
-Ephesians 3:20-21

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Many of you may have heard of Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Revive Our Hearts or maybe the True Woman Movement. I was one of many who asked for a copy of her book, "Voices of the True Woman Movement" so that I could write about it on my blog. As a young woman seeking to be the woman that the Lord asks me to be, I believe that a huge part of my Journey is learning about what it really means to be a woman of God. These posts are going to be a result of what I learn from the book... but more than that, of my seeking the Lord on who He asks me to be as a woman of the Lord. So, if you are a woman... please read, follow along, and post your comments!

Before I begin, I want to make it clear that when I talk of "the voice of God" I am not talking of an audible voice that tells us which way to turn or what option we should choose in a decision. I am talking of the inner convictions of the Holy Spirit. When we are transformed by Christ, so are our mind and our thoughts... our inner convictions. Everything that we need to know was already written down for us in God's Word. God reveals to us through His Word what is right... and also, what it means to be a woman of the Lord.

Introduction to "Voices of the True Woman Movement"

Many things call out for our attention as women. They tell us how to be beautiful, how to be satisfied, how to be fulfilled, how to live a wonderful life of beauty and wonder. They tell us we are "strong and beautiful", that we deserve to indulge ourselves in selfish pleasures once in a while, and frankly, that "Life is all about YOU!" These voices lead us to a dead-end. They leave us there lost, confused, and more unfulfilled than where we began.

And yet there is a voice calling out among these other voices. A voice that is so often gone unheard. A voice that is so often overlooked. A voice that is so often drowned out by the thousands of other seductive voices calling out for our attention every day. It is the Voice of Truth. His voice is not seductive. His voice is not selfish. His voice is not filled with lies that will lead us to a dead end and leave us there lost, confused, and more unfulfilled than where we began.

"The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic."
-Psalm 29:4

It is the voice of the LORD who tells us how we are to live as true women of God. He leads us in a life of selflessness, of finding true fulfillment in Him (the only place where true fulfillment exists), and in a life that reflects the beauty of the Lord Himself.

In the words of Elisabeth Elliot, "In order to learn what it means to be a woman, we must start with the One who made her."

What kinds of things call out for your attention in everyday life that distract you from hearing His voice? How can you instead drown out the thousands of other voices so that you will hear His voice, the only voice that is true?