God created men and women to have different roles. God first created Adam and gave him the responsibility to work in the garden, and God created Eve to be a help mate for Adam. In order to fulfill his responsibilities in the garden, Adam needed help and God gave that responsibility to Eve. If Adam was to achieve his God given objectives in life, he needed the help of his mate.
In the creation of Eve, we can see that God set forth his plan for the role of women. God’s plan was for Eve to be at Adam’s side – from having offspring to being Adam’s partner and counterpart in carrying out his God given duties. Eve was the needed part of Adam (Genesis 2:18) – making him complete in agreeing with him mentally, physically and spiritually. She was not made as an inferior being in any degree, but with a different yet equally important role and purpose in life.
1 Corinthians 14:40 says ‘All things should be done decently and in order’. We know that God is a God of order and we can see this from the very beginning in Genesis when He establishes the family, setting out its organisation. So, we know that any organisation must have the roles of the members clearly defined to be able to function and the Bible has done that for us since the beginning in Genesis.
However, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought sin into the world, this led to the problem of men and women not accepting or fulfilling their God given roles. Eve in a way overthrew Adam’s responsibility in leadership and listened to Satan’s lies instead of God and her husband. She took the fruit and gave it also to her husband who stood down from this leadership position that God had given him, and he also ate from the fruit – thus bringing the entire human race into sin.
Sin degraded the man’s and women’s roles… leading them into pride, which was the very thing that caused Lucifer himself to fall. We can see that so clearly in this day and age. Women fighting for fair treatment has done some good, as they have been treated badly historically and have had less value in society than men. However, the feminism movement at its core has tried to define womanhood on its own terms. It is no longer about having equal rights to men, but it is redefining womanhood all together according to man’s and women’s terms rather than how God defines womanhood. Christian women must stick to God’s design for our lives.
Now we know that there is a certain way and order that God has placed within a family and in the church, but that doesn’t mean that God would want women to sit on the side lines and watch while men do all the work. God wants women to use initiative; He wants women to encourage others, to serve and to be there for other sisters in the church. We are all members of one body and we should share in each other’s burdens and trials; and rejoice in one other’s triumphs.
The wife of Moses, Zipporah, showed great initiative. Moses was about to be put to death by God because God had told Moses to go back to Egypt to save the Israelites from the Egyptians. Circumcision was an essential part of religious practise in the Old Testament and Moses knew this, yet he had not circumcised his sons. Zipporah’s quick thinking at that time saved Moses’s life. Exodus 4:24 – ‘And it came to pass on the way at the encampment, that the LORD met him and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said ‘surely you are a husband of blood to me!’ So, He let him go’. Zipporah wisely intervened by circumcising his sons and therefore saving his life, so he could fulfill his mission to lead God’s people out of Egypt. Before Moses could deliver the Israelites, he had to learn a lesson of obedience himself, and God used his wife to do this.
God uses many women in the life of Moses to save his life – first his mother, then his sister, then Pharaoh’s daughter, and now his wife Zipporah. We learn from Zipporah that where there is something in our life that is not aligned with God’s word or commandments – we should be quick to change it. Although she was following the lead of her husband, she did not hold back from fixing something that was against God’s law. God wants women to be discerning. He wants women to know what is written in his word and to apply that to their lives and live in obedience.
Another example of a wonderful lady in the Old Testament is found in the book of Esther. God had a great plan for Esther and used her to save all the Jews – God’s people. We all know the story of Esther, When the King issued a deadly decree under the influence of Haman against the Jewish people, Esther’s uncle Mordecai urged her to use all her influence to change the king’s decree. But Esther humbly requested that all the Jews in Shushan should gather for three days of fasting and prayer, demonstrating her belief that only God could save her and her people. Esther 4:15: ‘Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: Go gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!’.
Esther did not depend on her own ability to change the King’s mind, but she immediately turned to God in fasting and in prayer, seeking His face and guidance before making any moves. She was a great example to Mordecai and to all the Jews! Not only that but she was so courageous. It was against the law to enter the inner court to the King if you had not been called. Anyone who entered the King’s courts without approval would be put to death. After fasting and praying, Esther had the courage to go against this law – and God gave her favour in the eyes of the King – and he approved her.
When the King allowed Esther to speak, he told her in Esther 5:3: ‘What do you wish Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you up to half the kingdom’. The most powerful man in the most important kingdom of its time offered Esther to name anything that she wanted. Esther did not use this opportunity to rush and ask the King to change his decree or to tell the King about Haman’s evil schemes in front of those who were there in the court – but she WAITED … and instead she invited the King to a banquet before making her request. Even after the first banquet Esther did not present her request before the King. Perhaps she was scared to tell the King she was a Jew. Perhaps she knew the King often made quick decisions without thought …. But maybe she was simply following God’s leading, making sure she did everything in God’s timing. She then invited the King to a second banquet and that’s when she told the King her request.
If you read the story of Esther, before the second banquet the King had a sleepless night and it was during that night that he learned about a courageous act from a Jew. He realised that he had not rewarded the Jew for an act of bravery… this could’ve softened the king’s heart. If Esther was quick to make her request before the king during that first entrance she made at the court, maybe the King would not have accepted it nor done anything about it. But she had patience and she waited for the right time – she waited for God to guide her. And God used so many events that didn’t make any sense to carnal minds at the time, for His glory.
We learn from Esther to seek the LORD in all that we do and never rely on our own strengths or abilities. We learn patience and prayer because those who pray in accordance with God’s will, shall receive an answer at the right time. God calls us to be women of great faith and to follow his guidance instead of relying on our own understanding – and Esther was a great example of all those things.
Yes, God has a pattern that He wants us to follow. The apostle Paul reminds us in Corinthians that the man was created first and is the head of a woman, but no one should look at women as an inferior being because this is not a matter of equality, but it is a matter of having order in creation and glorifying God. We shouldn’t forget that the Bible also says in Galatians 3:28 ‘there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus’.
God first made Adam and he placed him as Eve’s head. But also, Eve was made for Adam. It certainly does not mean that she was created for his possession or object of pleasure. The bible commands men to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and died for it. 1st Corinthians 11:11-12 says ‘neither is man independent of woman… even so man also comes through woman’. In other words, we are equal in the eyes of God. This world tells us that it’s old fashioned to submit and to follow in the leadership of men because it doesn’t understand God’s design and what that order symbolises and means.
The world teaches us that we have the right to have what we want when it comes to our sexuality, our identity, our beauty, our value, our worth – whatever we say goes – rather than saying ‘ok hold up, what does God’s word say? Now I’m going to align my life and my womanhood according to His truth’. Feminism is creating this idea that in order to be equal with men, we need to be the same as men – But God designed us to be women and it’s a beautiful thing – and we need to stick to His design and embrace our beautiful, feminine differences. God has used women in amazing ways in the Bible, and He can use women the same way today. We need to be obedient to His word and respect His order in creation, believing that He designed us to be unique.
Dear sister, do not allow this world to control your mind in how you ought to live out your womanhood. God created women to be beautiful and unique in their own way. God created men and women to be equally valuable yet purposely different. May we all embrace the quick thinking of Zipporah when it comes to obeying God’s commands, and the courage of Esther. May we learn how to live the same way and to apply God’s word to our lives as women. You will live satisfied, fulfilled, filled with hope and encouraged when you live in the truth of the gospel and live your life according to God’s word and God’s design for your womanhood.