Sisters In Faith
Sisters In Faith
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
Proverbs 31:25 & 26
Created In His Image: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Women struggle in many ways; and in that struggle, we seek some comfort and guidance. Sometimes that guidance is in the form of books, or podcasts, or blogs. But there is always the question of who can we trust to share scriptural truths? When considering what kind of author is best for Christian women to read behind, I considered the greatest author of all time. God.
Everything we need to know, God gave us in His word. How to be daughters, sisters, friends, mothers, wives. What God expects of us and what we can expect from Him. How we can build the greatest relationship of all time. Whose opinions we should care about and whose we should discard. Right down to finding ourselves when we don’t even know who we are anymore – it’s all there if we seek it.
I know we can trust God’s word. I know the author personally and I know He will never lead us in the wrong direction. Which led me to ask myself what direction we should go in our ladies Bible study group and what the purpose of our meetings should be. Being a note taker, I made a list that I think the Lord would approve of. It may not be an exhaustive list, but it is a start.
- To encourage each other in a Godly manner.
- To give encouragement to one another as we navigate life as daughters, sisters, mothers, girlfriends, wives, and best friends.
- To navigate the daily stresses of life in a way that reflects Christ.
- To discern what God’s will is for women in general and individually.
- To be the woman God wants us to be instead of the woman the world tells us to be.
- The role of godly women in “church”.
- The role of godly women in the home.
- The role of godly women in society.
- How women in the Bible glorify God.
- What can we learn from women in the Bible? From their mistakes? From their victories? From their stalemates?
- Ultimately – for us to see the woman God sees.
Where do we begin?
I pondered where we should begin for a long time. My husband had an order of books come in and I do get excited by books. As I was going through his new books, one of them caught my eye because it was about women in the bible. It is a book meant for pastors and counselors, not really good for a group book or bible study, but the author began with Eve. I thought why not begin at the beginning; not exactly with Eve’s life – but with the creation of womankind. Scripture tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made so why not start with the day womankind was made?
When God created man and woman, He had a purpose and a standard. In my experience many women struggle with trying to measure up to a standard established by the world around them. The world tells us some things about ourselves that does not agree with God’s word and God’s purpose. The world tells us what we should look like. It tells us what we should be offended by. It tells us what we should like to eat and what music we should like. The world tells us what we should believe. The world around us shapes our perspective of who we are and who we should be even when we think we are rejecting the world’s view. I need to point out that the “world” doesn’t just mean that big name that is responsible for putting pictures on our television screens, social media, and news outlets. It includes the people around us and, are you ready for this? – ourselves.
Our perspective of ourselves leads to problems that we sometimes don’t recognize. Depression, anxiety, obsession, jealousy, anger, resentment, excessive spending, doubt and fear. All of that comes out of seeing ourselves through our own eyes or the eyes of the world. However, we can change our perspective.
What is our perspective of ourselves? What do we see in ourselves? What does God see? I believe that the creation of the first woman – Eve – can change our perspective on ourselves.
In Genesis, God created everything. In chapter 1 verses 3-25, God spoke everything into existence. But in verse 26-27 God made man AND woman in His own image.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:26-27 KJV
In chapter 2 verse 7, details about Adam’s creation are given. The bible says God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. GOD BREATHED!
You see, God didn’t form the animals and plants in His own image or with His own hands. He spoke them into existence. God formed Adam with His own hands and breathed into him the breath of life. That is incredible! The human race was born of God’s own breath.
In verse 18 of chapter 2 of Genesis, the bible says, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” God called everything in creation good. But here God said, my creation is not complete yet because there is another part to come. (Adam needed a help meet. We will get to that next time!)
God made woman, Eve, in verses 21&22 (Ch. 2). God formed Eve with His own hands by taking a rib from Adam. That in itself is pretty amazing! God opened up Adam’s body to perform the first transplant and from one human to another. Eve was made from man – who was created in God’s image. In God’s image. God made Eve and God made all of us. We are all descendants from the first man and first woman that God made in HIS OWN IMAGE. Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well (KJV).”
From that verse, we should see ourselves as a magnificent creation of God. But more often than not, we see ourselves as a failure to our families, not beautiful enough for our spouses, not attractive enough for the world, not successful enough; the list goes on – and – on. How do you see yourself?
As I said earlier, the world around us plays a big part in how we see ourselves. We look in the mirror and compare ourselves to other people that we consider beautiful. I hope I’m not stepping on any toes, but women affect the way other women view themselves. (In our meeting, we all agreed that the most criticism and seeds of doubt we’ve ever received came not from men, but from other women.) Mothers affect their daughter’s view. Friends affect other friends. Television, magazines, social media, social events – they all affect our perspective on who we should be and what we should look like.
We live in a “rate me” world. Most people who post pictures of themselves on social media want to see how they are rated or show off what they have done. They want to see how many likes they can get. How many followers they can get, but they fail to realize that their worth is not in being rated by the world.
We are constantly judged and judging. Too skinny – too fat. Our eyes are the wrong color. Our hair is the wrong color. Our skin is too dark. Our skin is too light. We need to get a tan. Our lips are too full, not full enough. Our waist is the wrong size. Our hips are the wrong size. Our chest is too small or too big. Our nose is too pointed or too wide. Our chins aren’t perfectly shaped. We don’t move gracefully enough. I could keep going with the list of things we judge about ourselves. The point? The endless chatter in our minds prevents us from seeing the woman that God sees.
How many of us look in the mirror and see all the things we wish we could change instead of all the wonder God created? It distracts us from our purpose – from God’s purpose. It affects our self-esteem. We value our worth on what other people think about us – strangers who don’t even know us…hmm. We worry about being attractive enough for our husbands and boyfriends. That’s a discussion for another night, but I will mention that most men – really – don’t – care as much as we think they do if we are a size 2 or a size 22. Men are not quite as shallow as the magazines and television lead us to believe. Not saying shallow men don’t exist. Because they do. But that is a topic we will discuss in the future.
I’m not saying we should be vain and focus on having high self-esteem, but we diminish our own self-worth by comparing ourselves to others instead of just being who God made us to be. Just – be – who – God – made – us – to – be. We forget that God created us: fearfully and wonderfully in His image! If we are created by God, in God’s image, and He is perfect, shouldn’t we value our own worth based off of God’s view?
Scripture does not tell us what the perfect woman looks like. As a matter of fact, scripture doesn’t give a physical description of women outside of Song of Solomon and even then, the descriptions are vague enough to be to the readers discretion. God formed every skin cell, every nerve ending, every pigment, and every muscle in our bodies according to His schematics. He textured our hair. He shaped our bones. But we get so distracted with being the person the world wants to see that we forget to shine as the person God designed us to be.
I said that women affect other women’s view of themselves. We have a tendency to say things that have a lasting effect on others. I remember as a kid thinking that various women that I knew were pretty. I would see them without their makeup but when it was time to go somewhere they would spend hours “putting on their faces.” I especially remember one lady always saying, “We’ll go after I hide all this ugly.” Over time I began to question what pretty even was. Here I thought she was a lovely person but through her words, quite unintentionally of course, she was telling me that my view of beauty was wrong. That we need to hide behind cosmetics in order to be presentable to the world.
Side note here! I am in no way saying that we should not care about our health or that we shouldn’t fix our hair. If you like to wear makeup, that is great. I think some self-expression is good. I don’t think God wants us to mar his creation by looking like we rolled out of a dumpster. By all means take time to dress for the day ahead.
But what about how the Lord sees us? Does scripture lie when it says we are fearfully and wonderfully made by a divine creator who most assuredly knows better than we do what and who we should be? Comparing ourselves to other women diminishes our self-worth. We can’t be someone else. We need to be who God created us to be. When we focus on being what the world says we should be, we say to the Lord that His creation is not good enough. We may not realize it, but we are saying, “Hey God! You did it wrong.”
Who is the woman God sees?
God sees His creation. He sees a sinner redeemed through the blood of His Son. He sees a vessel that can be used for His glory. God sees someone that He loves. Ultimately, it is our heart that God sees and what we have in it. Are we filling our heart with things of God or things of this world? Isaiah 62:4 says that the Lord delights in His children. When we make God’s desires our desires, He delights in us, in His creation. He knows all our mistakes, all our sins, all our faults, yet HE delights in us because we are His.
How can we begin to see the woman that God sees?
First, we need to focus on the fact that we are God’s creation. Like Eve, we are each made individually. We have to shut out the chatter of the world. Next, we need to be thankful, grateful for all the ways God made us as individuals – different and amazing. We need to look in the mirror and be grateful that God loved us enough to give His Son for us. Stop living in the past and see the redeemed woman God loves. Compare ourselves to God’s word, not man’s word.
Today, we are not all that we should be; but we can move toward who God wants us to be. I leave you to ponder, what can we do to be the woman God wants us to be and not the woman the world wants us to be?
Next time we meet, we are going to continue with the creation of Eve. There are some beautiful things there to learn and apply that we don’t always think of.