Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once proclaimed that the ultimate measure of a person is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Ladies, we are facing a time of great challenge and controversy in our world today when many people —Christians and non-Christians alike —are rejecting God’s standards for living.
For each woman—whether you are married or single, a young woman or a senior saint—you have a vital role to play in God’s plan. It is ever more important that we own our God-created identity, not redefine, reinvent, or reimagine it. Despite what our nation or any particular worldview may say, we must remember three key truths.
You are the created, not the Creator.
You are not an accident, nor just some random fluke of some evolutionary process. You have a Creator. He formed you in your mother’s womb. That very fact should have significant implications for each of us on a daily basis.
Think about it this way, if you were putting together a bookshelf from Target or Ikea, I hope you would follow the directions provided by the manufacturer (I am still haunted by one failed attempt to go my own way with a Target bookshelf a few years ago!). In the same way, we have a Maker who has given us instructions for how we live life. He says our identity and worth is not grounded in how we look, our marital status, our socio-economic bracket, or even how many likes we get on Facebook or Instagram.
The truth is that we are all sinners. I am and so are you. Our “sin lists” may look different, but Christ died for you and for me. Because of that, you and I and any person who accepts Christ can have a restored relationship with God. That is what our identity should be founded upon.
Your sexuality isn’t ultimately about you.
Our society is in a state of gender neutrality and confusion. My head spins and my heart grieves when I think about how people choose to identify themselves in regards to their sexuality. Facebook alone gives you over fifty “other” choices for gender options other than male or female and will even let you fill in the blank if your “identity” isn’t listed. We have really made a mess of God’s design and have made it so complicated!
God created men and women as distinct, yet complementary beings (Gen. 1:27, 2:18). While both girls and guys are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), God had a specific purpose in mind when He created Eve—she was to be a “helper” for Adam (Gen. 2:18, 20). Being a helper does not mean that Eve was inferior to Adam in any way, but she was distinct from him. Men and women need each other, and this truth about the importance of community was part of God’s plan from the beginning of creation (Gen. 2:18).
Why would God create two distinct sexes anyway? One reason is that the way a husband and wife interact with each other should be a picture of the way God interacts with the church (Eph. 5:32). Christian marriages are to be a witness to lost people about the way Christ (pictured through husbands) loves the church (pictured through wives)! Our sexuality was designed to portray/proclaim the very heart and character of God. Even single women portray God’s glory by embracing their design as a woman (distinct from man), rather than caving to cultural pressure to define themselves.
You are called to be a living witness of the goodness God’s plan.
Probably one of my favorite authors of all time is Jane Austen. In her book Mansfield Park, Austen remarks, “It will, I believe, be everywhere found, that as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation.”
If we could expand that sentiment to include all Christians and not just clergy, I think it is a chilling reminder of our call to be salt and light. I am afraid the reason so many people are rejecting God’s plan is that far too many who claim the name of Christ live lives that mock or discount His plan. Does the way you live life point others to Christ? Are you kind even when you disagree with others? Do you share God’s love with respect, knowing that every person is created in the image of God?
We have a great opportunity to share the love of God because of what is happening in our country. We can stand for truth, but we must do so in a way that honors Christ. We must be bold for truth yet kind to those who disagree. We must have courage in the face of opposition and compassion for those who do not yet see the truth of God’s plan. The way in which we witness can have an impact on whether or not people want to listen to us.
In Westminster Abbey in London, there is a monument to the English abolitionist William Wilberforce that says many great things about his accomplishments. However, my favorite line from the tribute says, “In an age and country fertile in great and good men, he was among the foremost of those who fixed the character of their times; because to high and various talents, to warm benevolence, and to universal candor, he added the abiding eloquence of a Christian life.”
Sisters, be women of God who help fix the character of our times. Portray the abiding eloquence of a truly Christian life. As you live day by day, though we may be tempted to wring our hands because of the direction of the culture, we must not lose heart! God is still on His throne. Our mission has not changed. Our call in these times is to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).
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