This week, the perfect woman will have center stage in my Sunday school class. And no - it's not that annoying woman in Proverbs 31.
Eve was the very first woman and was created perfectly and placed in a perfect environment. She and Adam were the only couple in the history of the world to enter marriage with absolutely no baggage.
She still messed up.
I find it really interesting that throughout the Bible, it never says EVE caused sin to enter the world even though she was the first one to take a bit of fruit (it's just a myth it was an apple, btw). Instead, Scripture lays the blame squarely on Adam's shoulders.
But my Sunday school lesson isn't about Adam - it's about Eve. So, what can we learn from Eve, seeing as she was the perfect prototype of us all?
Eve is the Hebrew word Chavvah and it means life or living. Since Eve was the first woman, and generally women are responsible for having children, it sort of makes sense that her name means life.
What's ironic is that her actions brought death, but I'm getting ahead of myself - that is a future post. I want to concentrate on God's perfect design in this post.
The first thing we can learn from Eve is what God has in mind when he created woman. Throughout history, women's roles have changed - sometimes for the better and sometimes not. Even today, in various parts of the world, just being a woman is dangerous. It makes you more vulnerable to violence and death - sad but true.
During some eras, women were considered mentally weak. At one time, women were not taught math or science because it was felt by those in the know (i.e. men) that their poor little brains couldn't handle it. At other times, women were considered evil just by nature of being a woman. We can thank Eve for that one since, the theory went, the she not only ate the fruit but tempted her man into following her!
In our own culture, there is a lot of confusion over what it means to be a woman - are you strong and in charge or are you supposed to be girly and weak?
In Genesis 1, God created the entire world and everything in it, including man and woman. Then it says in verse 31, "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good." In other words, woman as He had made her, was not just good, but very good.
If you back up a couple verses to verses 26-29, we get an idea of what God actually intended when He made humans. It says He created them in His image.
DISCLAIMER - this is my own theory and not based on Biblical fact. There - you have been warned.
I believe that since men and women are so different, and it says they were both created in God's image, that part of the beauty of a man and woman becoming one flesh through marriage is that it gives us a complete picture of God. In other words, man demonstrates some of the image of God and woman demonstrates other parts of His image. Together, they make a whole picture of God's image. But again, this is just my own theory.
So, back to the topic on hand, if you read these verses, we can make a list of what God said about woman and what He commanded her to do. Of course, He was also saying this to Adam, but I'm concentrating on Eve here. :)
God made woman in the Trinity's image. Notice it says, "make them in Our image."
God created woman to rule the natural world, which included the other living things in it.
God blessed the woman.
God told her to be fruitful and multiply.
God told her to fill the earth (which is slightly different than multiplying as it implies spreading out over the entire globe.
God told her to subdue the earth.
God told her to rule over the whole earth.
I don't know about you, but when I look at what God intended when He created woman, I'm sort of psyched. Not only do I not have to feel like an afterthought in the creation process, but if I am assured of God's purpose and plan in making women, His purposeful role for me and His delight in me as His creation, I can be relieved of trying to prove anything.
Now, I've never been the type to lament my limitations as a woman or wish I was a man (well, to be totally honest, that thought DID cross my mind a few times during childbirth), but there is a subtle, yet unspoken pressure for many women to prove they are "as good as a man."
When I look at this account though, that whole issue is moot. I don't have to prove I'm as good as a man because God created woman in HIS image, and HE said His creation was very good just the way He created her. I can rest in the knowledge that I was created on purpose, just as man was created on purpose. We aren't supposed to be in competition with each other to see who is "better."
I find that idea refreshing, don't you? You can rest assured that God created YOU and not only that but He delights in you just as you are. Now there's a comforting thought!
~ Blessings, Bronte