In the beginning, God created heavens and earth. From the emptiness and darkness, God began a process of differentiation between darkness and light, earth and sea, water above and below the atmosphere, living and non-living, birds, fish, animals, and between all things and man. Then, God made a higher differentiation in man who was created in God’s own image as man and female. God separated from man the female and stood her beside man.
The highest differentiation of the image of God is woman. She is separated from man to stand beside man so that the image of God on earth can now best be seen in marriage as male and female again become “one.” The highest expression of the image of God on earth is the seen in the greatest oneness of man and woman in marriage.
The Primary Covenant
“Permanent selectivity” marks marriage. Remember, that any attack on marriage is an attack on the image of God in man! No wonder hell works so hard to destroy this covenant! To mar marriage is to mar culture, society, children, and family. To mangle marriage is to defeat God’s highest revelation of man.
Immediately God separated woman and brought her to stand beside man, He also clarified that man is not angelic, for no angel shares this beauty and wonder, the mystery of spiritual oneness known only through this covenant. No angel experiences the joining of permanent selectivity united by God to establish God’s image on earth, God’s purpose for man, God’s strategy for rearing children, and God’s building blocks for culture.
The Portrait of Beauty
In this way, we can see the Creator’s celebration of women: God only says “it is good” when female is distinct from male and brought back to stand beside male in covenantal relationship of spiritual, personal, and physical oneness. In Scripture, this is also the best way to understand the Mystery of Christ and His ecclesia.
God bestowed upon woman the beauty of humanity that is not matched by the male. Women are beautiful! Scripture celebrates the beauty of women but calls upon women to maintain a certain mystery about this beauty, a modesty that makes this beauty available more in private than in public. Beauty is difficult to hide and should not be utilized as the main definer of a woman’s value or character.
Women are alluring but their allure is designed for their husbands, not for trips to the mall, glossy magazine pages, TV screens, and street walking. Women do great injustice to their beauty by dragging it along the ground appealing to the worst of man instead of the highest of man.
A Position of Protection
Throughout history women have not always enjoyed the fullest expression of this celebration, for various reasons; but without the proper constraints and conclusions of God’s purpose, the fact that males are stronger than females can lead to women becoming objects, slaves, and “a necessary evil.” Some cultures have produced such horrible treatment of women that we now cringe at their treatment.
While male being stronger than female seems to be an opportunity for women to be taken advantage of, the truth is that God positioned woman beside man’s strength so she would be protected by him. The Creator’s position for women offers her protection when her relationship with man is consistent with God’s design.
Of course, God’s design has been shattered and forgotten in many cultures throughout the world and history, leaving women subject to cruelty and objectification. However, God’s celebration of women was to place them in a position of protection beside a stronger man, not to subject them to a place of slavery but to celebrate them.
The Precious Power
Peter speaks of this positioning: “Husbands, live with your wives with conscious understanding that she is a weaker in some ways you are stronger; you are equal heirs of the grace of life. Honor her and take delight in her.” The weakness or inferior aspect of women mentioned here or not mental, moral, or spiritual. It is a comparative physical limitation and in some senses emotional. The previous verses make it clear that Peter understands that wives have a positional response to their husbands based upon God’s created order that includes submission to their husband’s role in the home and society.
Nothing in this verse or any other verse of Scripture limits a woman’s ability to realize personal success as a woman. Nothing in the Bible limits woman in achieving financial prosperity. In fact, the virtuous woman of Proverbs is an diligent business woman dealing in clothing, real estate, and other market-driven enterprises. Nothing in the Bible makes women non-leaders. In fact, the Bible celebrates many women leaders whose leadership, courage, and wisdom saved cities, nations, and lives, whose leadership turned history as God used them as women in their generations.
None of this precludes the Creator’s celebration of women as positioned to receive protection from their husbands and to be honored by all men. It is difficult to understand a lower low than men taking advantage of women’s weaknesses. Paul talks about silly women being led astray by men whose purpose is to take advantage of them; women who lack a voice of protection or fail to hear a voice of protection that would shield them from men with improper motivations, for example. In particular, the Bible speaks of God’s concerns for widows who have no protections, particularly in cultures and times of history when being widowed might leave a woman with little hope for another husband.
The point is that God celebrates women by positioning them to be treated with honor and respect, and this is a Christian value that should be continued in the ecclesia throughout history! Young men should learn to treat girls with respect, their mothers with respect, and deal with women differently than men. Forget all the silliness you have heard from those who seek to make men and women equal in this sense; and those women who insist upon being treated as if they are men forfeit the best position the Creator has given to them at their own hurt.
Hey, get a clue. Women are more apt to deal with crisis with tears than men, to talk about what they feel than men, to problem-solve with a different set of priorities in mind than men. They should! They are women! It requires a conscious understanding that they are weaker in strategic ways, and to live with this vulnerability in mind.
The Profound Value