[ See also Gospel Masculinity by Felipe Assis. ]
With all of the discussion and the debate about masculinity and what God Intends for men, I can not help but point out the obvious: most of them are written by men, for men, and there is far less by and for women.
When I think of my daughters and Their friends, of me and mine, I long for us to grasp what God Intended When woman was created. I long for us to bring a gospel-redeemed femininity to our relationships, our work place, our communities and our churches.
Because we are created male and female in the image of God this topic cuts to the core of who we are. Could we extrapolate That even our gender defines us more than our family of origin? More than our culture? More than our personality? I do not know.
But i know that the evil one was quite brilliant to attack our gender During the fall and to continue to do so today. No wonder this is a battle. So here are a few points to Consider:
1. Broader femininity Gospel and culture is bigger than or roles.
Which The culture we live in our roles as obviously Impacts Both men and women. But This does not need to define us nor Imply That this is what God Intended. Remember, the gospel transcends culture.
It would be preposterous to define femininity as by what we do as it would be to define an Entire person by Their current job. When we limit femininity to a role, or marriage: such as mothering, we confine it to our status. That's absurd. Does that mean we can not Reflect God's image if we aren't married? When we define our roles and femininity by our culture we run great Risks. We fall on the side of Either erasing gender differences, or focusing too narrowly on Those differences.
On the one hand we try to hide When the Differences or 'do it like a man', the very gift and essence of who we are is not offered. Everyone loses. But if we focus too narrowly on staying in a prescribed role May we limit the wild ways May God be calling us to join in his redemption.
Two. "Adequate / Rescuer"
So how does God himself defines our gender differences? In Genesis God When He uses a phrase Describing woman. However, the Hebrew word used in Genesis 2 ezer , you've been so grossly misinterpreted in English that I've wrestled with what words to use. My friend and fellow blogger Felipe Assis have Suggested the phrase "adequate rescuer, of of" which comes much closer to the Hebrew than other translations I've heard.
Ezer rescuer or the same word is used in other passages of scripture for God coming to our rescue. God saves. God rescues. God comes to our aid. It's the same word God uses to describe woman. Describing woman as rescuer, God uses the adjective "suitable" or "adequate."
Does this blow your mind? But wait, This Is not all.
Three. What does this Have to Do With the Gospel?
femininity At the core of the gospel story lies! There is a Redeemer who has come on our Behalf and rescued us. As I look to Christ as my rescuer adequate, I in turn can bring suitable or adequate saving rescue as God designed me to bring to the many spheres of my world. Our temptation will be to fall to one side or the other of being an adequate rescuer. On the one hand we fall into the belief That we aren't adequate for the task. That we do not have what it Takes. That it's not our place. You know what I mean. We diminish who we are and think we can safely hide behind the cloak of conservatism. Have you ever hid With the excuse That your husband does not want you to do something? Or maybe if you're single you think you will not be heard "in a man's world" and keep silent.
On the other side of the fence, May we ride to the rescue our bulldozers plowing everything and everyone in our path. We Come With our guns blazing feeling it's our duty to put people in Their place in the name of justice. It's not suitable and its not rescue.
In Both of the above scenarios the focus is on us.
Instead, what if our focus turned to who Jesus was and is our rescuer adequate? What if, as We Looked for Jesus's rescue on our Behalf, we offered Preferred Preferred this image of the Godhead to our world?
This, my friends, is gospel femininity.