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Genesis 2:18-25 – Biblical Womanhood and Manhood
I think this subject is important enough to have a few messages on it. The first 2 weeks we will be covering the roles of man and woman that God initiated right from the outset here in Genesis. In the two messages after that we will go into more details about the biblical roles of man and woman and ask questions like: is there equality in our roles? What, if any, are the differences in the roles? How have the roles been distorted? What about the big “SUBMISSION debate?
We live in a culture that is derogating and redefining marriage and the roles of men and women. Where it’s not necessary to have a man and woman for marriage, woman and woman will do, man and man will do. Ideas which have even come down from the highest offices in our land. From that, in our culture, all the way down to marriages in the church between a man and a woman where men are shirking their responsibility for leadership in their homes and where women are taking charge because men are, quite frankly wimps who are running after more money, chasing after their careers, lusting after women, either in person or on the computer, or even just playing video games. It’s a weakness! Biblical manhood compromised in a way that affects the ENTIRE family.
As Elizabeth Elliot once reflected: “Throughout the millennia of human history, up until the past two decades or so, people took for granted that the differences between men and women were so obvious as to need no comment. They accepted the way things were. But our easy assumptions have been assailed and confused, we have lost our bearings in a fog of rhetoric about something called equality, so that I find myself in the uncomfortable position of having to belabor to educated people what was once perfectly obvious to the simplest peasant.”
As a result of our rebellion against a biblical understanding of gender, we have a warped view of sexuality. In our culture pornography is rampant, and women are looked upon as objects for sexual gratification and exploitation. In other cultures where baby girls are aborted and left to die because they are not seen as important as boys. We desperately need a biblical view of men and women.
So, we will be covering how our view of Biblical manhood and womanhood affects many areas in our lives. It affects:
- Our understanding of God.
- Our understanding of the Gospel.
- How we proclaim the glory and Gospel of Christ unto the ends of the earth.
- How we express our sexuality (masculinity and femininity). People tell us those expressions are made up, that there is no real differences other than the obvious physical differences.
- How we love our spouses.
- How we thrive as singles.
- How we train our children. What does it mean to train up our sons and daughters? Is there a difference, or is it the same?
There are 3 foundational truths that God has woven into the fabric of creation which we will be covering in these next 2 messages on Roles.
TRUTH #1 - (Gen. 1:26-31) - Both man and woman are created in the image of God and God declares that everything is very good. Genesis 5:1-2 also says: “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female He created them, and He blessed them and named them man when they were created.”
God created men and women with equal dignity! Equally valuable to God. Equally important. Equally in the image of God. Equal dignity before God and each other! Any conversation on man and woman must start here and hold fast here. From the very beginning of scripture no one is superior or inferior to anyone else. From the very beginning the Bible is undercutting any culture, any relationship where man treats woman as inferior or vice versa.
- God created men and women with equal dignity.
- We all resemble God. (Created in His image).
- We all represent God.
- We all have the capacity to relate to God.
We all have a personal responsibility before God. We are all responsible for how we live for God. The very first thing God does after He creates us in His image is to give us the command to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. A command, which, by the way, requires both male and female. This command cannot be carried out by male alone or female alone. There is no fruitful multiplication unless you have man and woman together. So, in the very design of creation God gave them a responsibility which involves both.
There is no male or female superiority! It is never right to belittle a woman or a man. This is why in 1 Peter 3:7 it tells husbands to honor their wives, and if you don’t honor your wife, God will not honor or listen to your prayers. This from a culture who saw woman as secondhand citizens.
TRUTH #2 - (Gen. 2:4-9, 15-25) - God created men and women with different roles. Men and women complement one another. And this truth is being denied and disregarded in our day, twisted into all kinds of ideas that are not the design of God, and ultimately are being ignored in the name of cultural progress or political correctness.
In Genesis 1 we are told how God sovereignly created all things out of nothing and put them together in an orderly way so that everything serves man.
Now, in Genesis 2, Moses goes into greater detail about the sixth day of creation. And as you come to the end of the chapter, we realize that one of the reasons he did this is to say something very important about the relationship of man and woman. It calls for the question: how are manhood and womanhood different?
One of the reasons I think this is a good question (that is, God’s intention for manhood and womanhood before sin) is that in the New Testament Jesus and Paul, when they use the Old Testament to answer questions about how man and woman should relate to each other, they go back to what things were supposed to be like before the fall.
They don’t take the messed up relationships of Genesis 3 and make them the norm. They always come back to Genesis 2 and talk about how it should have been from the beginning.
The first thing chapter 2 makes clear is that man was created first, and then, after some intervening events woman was created. In 1 Timothy 2:13 the apostle Paul simply says, “Adam was formed first, then Eve.” Why did God create man and woman in this way? Why didn’t He just create them both at the same time out of the same dirt? Wouldn't that have made things a whole lot easier? Wouldn’t that have established their equality of personhood much more clearly?
The answer is that he had already established that beyond all doubt in Genesis 1:27 where it says that both were created in his image.
Join us next week when we will continue with what the Gospel says about the “Roles” of man and woman.