If you’re anything like me, you have an opinion on a lot of things. And you’re not afraid to express it. In the flesh you’ll jump in with unsolicited commentary and in the Spirit you’ll regret some of what you said.
I grew up—or attempted to—during the heyday of the “drugs, sex, rock ‘n’ roll” generation. I resisted it for as long as I could before I wondered why I was still holding out or holding onto any kind of innocence. I believed in God but didn’t know His Son.
My generation saw the ushering in of the “Ms.” women, better known as the decline and fall of real womanhood. Don’t get me wrong here. If you’re a woman doing the same work as a man as well as or better than a man, you deserve to be paid accordingly. If in your family, you have to work outside your home and put in as many or more hours than your husband, work together to manage your household chores. If you feel called to engage a job or service in a predominantly man’s field of endeavor, go fulfill your call.
But through all these trials and decisions, never ever forget who God made you to be . . . “But for Adam, no suitable helper was found.” (Gen. 2:20) Many women cannot accept their God-given roles, as if it’s degrading to be a “suitable helper” to the man God has for them. God saw the need, and he filled it with the perfect complement, the one who could meet the loneliness, the one who could inspire the desire to lead, to be responsible, to love emotionally, physically, and spiritually, the one who could maximize who he was made to be. Only a woman made just for him could fill that incredible order.
The woman was made from a man indicating she would always be a part of him, and he would always be attached to her. He would be responsible for this one who owned a piece of him. It was a perfect combination.
Enter the temptation to “do it my way” under the beguiling influence of “female reasoning and logic” and insert the male inertia of not wanting to take responsibility for direct disobedience, and the fatal flaw of sin entered a perfect world setting off the ticking time bomb of utter depravity and eventual destruction.
How generous of God to allow a very young virgin woman named Mary to bear the child who would redeem this fallen mess of humanity. He could’ve done it multiple ways—far more creatively than I could ever imagine—and eliminated the use of a female in the process. This young female was strong in her faith and absolute in her worship of God Almighty. Read Mary’s declaration after her encounter with the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:46-55). Humble obedience. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)
Mary would be required to follow her husband to a strange town to have her baby, to a foreign country to protect her son, to return to a new city to start life over again. And she would do it. Because it was her call to do so. She fulfilled her God-given role. Her faith and her obedience allowed her to live the most important role of all women in the Bible. She was allowed to carry and bear the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Never again. Once for all. But the female gender was redeemed by being obedient, first to God, then to her husband. Was it easy? I highly doubt it. How many of you women could pack in the middle of the night to leave for a foreign country where you wouldn’t know a soul and couldn’t even speak the language because your husband woke up with a start after hearing from an angel. Not many of us would be too willing, perhaps arguing it was bad pizza. Life was not ordinary for this family. Because God was directly and actively involved. Someone had to lead. Someone had to follow. Mary followed.
Ladies, this isn’t my idea. I’m a strong-willed, independent woman, and my husband gives me a lot of freedom. He respects me spiritually and often seeks my thoughts, even my advice. But when it comes time for the heavy-hitting decision making, he knows it’s ultimately his responsibility to make them because one day he will stand before Jesus Christ and give an account for his manhood. We women will do the same for our womanhood. Do you really want to stand before the Lord and testify that you acted like Eve when you should have acted like Mary?
Every home is different. Every household has its own order. This Christmas I would just suggest to you women who profess to honor Christ, to take inventory of your willingness to obey the One who made the rules, set the tone, gave you life, who adores you, and treasures you, and desires to guide you through the wicked world with His steadying, encouraging, loving hand. He knows you best, and He knows what’s best for you. May we all say along with Mary, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
Father, it’s been a long and difficult journey for this woman, as you know. But I’m ever more willing with each hour that passes in my life to obey, to seek your face, to be your servant. There is no better place to be. Help me to be the one you want to be. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.