These days you hear a lot about people’s right and about women’s rights in particular.
I haven’t been all around the world, but because our world seems to be shrinking due to technology I have heard about different lifestyles in the world. I was curious about the subject of women’s rights so I did what we do today and began to google information. I live in a country of freedom for women so the discoveries I found disturbed me. I was disgusted by the torment that women and girls face around the world and I am sure even in my own city (though it isn’t legal here, it does not mean that it is not happening.) It made me sick to my stomach and was hard to digest. The horrific torture and living conditions boggled my mind.
We, as followers of Christ, choose to believe that both genders are of value to the Lord and equal, though definitely wired differently. The way the different genders respond to situations, as in “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” by John Gray have been studied for years. Very different genders and yet both created in the image of the Lord.
What happened since creation that would make men in some cultures, even in the Old Testament Biblical times believe that they were somehow superior to women? Why have women often been treated as second class citizens throughout the world?
God created Adam first and then created Eve as his companion, but they were both created in God’s image. Each had a part in their relationship that brought unity. But because of sin both were turned away from the Garden of Eden so that they wouldn’t eat of the tree of life and live forever in their sins.
The Lord told Adam that he would now have to till the ground (or work hard) for his food instead of the luxuries that the garden provided. And he told Eve that giving birth would be painful but that she would still desire her husband (some versions state that she would desire to control him) and YET he would have rule over her.
“He said to the woman, “I will increase your pain and your labor when you give birth to children. Yet, you will long for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 (GWT)
How interesting. This confusion (striving to find our place in the family setting or as an individual) happened from the beginning. So it has been a struggle since the beginning of time…women desiring a man to love them, a man desiring to be in control, and the woman desperately fighting for that control, as well.
I often wonder what life was like in the garden before “the fall” took place. Did they get along famously? Was God part of their daily relationship? There wasn’t any arguing over bills, over household chores, over child rearing. It was a place of peace and unity.
Then, BOOM, one day they found themselves in a selfish world where individuals had lost the intimate relationship with the Creator. They eventually lost the ability to recognize their place in a “family” sphere.
You can understand the confusion that was created in our world, in different societies and in different households because both men and women had lost their sense of identity, their relationship with their creator and with each other. You can understand why some societies began to think that men were more dominant and why woman– to this day –are struggling to become free to be who they initially were intended to be.
You can understand why women have fought so vehemently for their voices to be heard, for their lives to be of value in a society that no longer valued them. All they desired was to fill that place of emptiness that the curse brought into their lives. You can understand why feminism vibrated in our country and why women have cried from deep inside their most inward parts to become the person God intended them to be, though they may not have a clue that is what they are doing.
Both genders have gone on a power hunger adventure, searching for acceptance, to fill a gap, to complete the void that was created through the curse at the Garden of Eden.
Now we have a world where both men and women scream for authority, for power, for acceptance. Both genders are fighting for their place in this world–striving to be heard they become louder, more forceful and more empty.
People have lost their identity, the identity that was theirs since the earth began when the Lord created both male and female in his image. Things have become so many more shades of gray as individuals try to forge through the confusion by themselves for an identity that was lost many eons ago. Fighting to find acceptance they have tried many avenues of identity that have led to an identity crisis. People don’t even know what gender they are and struggle by changing their appearance or try to find it by uniting with those of the same-sex or by searching for it through several different sexual experiences or are simply lost in the confusion.
But God desires that each person find freedom to be the person they were originally created to be. That is why God sent his son, Jesus, to die for our sins. He missed the relationship he originally had with his creation. He desires to walk with us once more. He wants us to understand that through HIM we can find our true identity. Through a personal relationship with Jesus we can have the peace (piece) of identity we crave; we can return to that intimate relationship with him and in turn share it with others.
The Lord has always honored women though men have not been as kind. Throughout the New Testament you hear stories of women that followed Jesus’ teachings. They followed him to the cross and were there when he had risen. And today many women still preach the gospel of hope to other women who may still be stuck in an identity crisis.
Lisa Bevere, a Christian author and speaker, shared how the catacombs in Rome were being excavated and mosaics of women preachers were being revealed. She explained how she felt the Holy Spirit speaking to her regarding those mosaic women and that they represented the women of today, This is what she said:
“You begin to tell the women that God is excavating their life; that he is chasing away the rubble. And when you lift up your eyes you’re going to see this beautiful mosaic out of all the broken pieces of your life. And you’re going to find out that you’ve been preaching with your life all along. You are one of those women.”
I want to encourage you in this hour, in the hour when people are searching for who they are, in the hour when there is the biggest identity crisis in our country– hear this: God created you. He created you in HIS image.
The word is clear. If you REALLY want to find yourself, you must first it give up (the way you thought it should be) and give it to Jesus. Then and only then will you really find yourself, because you will be found in Christ.
“If you cling to your life you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Matthew 10:39 (NLT)