Lately, Emalee has struggled reading the Bible. She has struggled with ideas in Genesis, such as the idea that man was created before the woman. The has struggled with the idea that woman was created out of the man and to be the man’s help. She worries that God does not value women as much as he values men.
I can’t completely assay her fears, but I could say that I Corinthians 11:7 says, For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. I don’t think that being the “glory of the man” is a bad break. It sounds like a place of value to me. She seemed okay with that for now, but I know that it won’t be long until the questions and struggle are back.
Because of that I wanted to quickly jot down three things that a woman can do that a man can not do. I got these from one of the When We Understand the Text podcasts, but I can’t actually remember which one right now. If I can, I’ll link the specific podcast.
First, a woman can be a mother. She can carry a child and give birth. She can nurture a child and have the primary role in her life of carrying out the day-to-day raising of the child. As a mother, I have the joy of being with my children every day, of influencing their lives and of helping to educate them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. It’s a big responsibility and privilege. It’s not something I take lightly, and as I mother my children, I find myself raising the parents of my grandchildren, affecting hopeful generations far into the future.
The second thing a woman can do that a man cannot is to show humility and submissiveness. Although a man, of course, shows submission to the Lord, only a woman is given the distinct role of submitting to her very own husband. Coming under a flawed human’s leadership places you in a role of humility and has you occasionally taking a backseat on decisions made in issues that are important to you. I work on this, and I struggle continually with my pride and my need to be right, and I don’t always submit to my husband’s leadership with grace. However, the practice is good for me, and it gives me the practice I need to make it ever more easier to submit to the Lord.
The third thing that I can do that a man cannot do is to be a mentor to another woman. I also have the opportunities to receive guidance and advice from another female mentor. Titus 2:3-5 tells me that my responsibility is to give and receive guidance in these areas:
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
I can only pray that I am a good mentor and that I receive advice from the other ladies that have much advice to give me well. The woman’s world is very different from the men’s world and so much depends on relationship in a woman’s life. Seeing that my special abilities are all connected to relationship is something that truly thrills me, and I hope that as my daughter grows and matures it will be a place of happiness to her instead of a place where she compares herself negatively to a man.