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

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