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Made in God’s Image & Healing Marriage

Made in God’s Image & Healing Marriage

Below is a very important video on honoring men, women and the union between them and how when we do we experience healing and restoration in our lives on many levels. This is very relevant to all of us.


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Women and Men: Church and Christ: Part IV

Women and Men: Church and Christ

Part IV

 

This is the fourth and final section. I hope you have found this article insightful and helpful to understanding your own relationships with God and others.

Drawing a parallel between the physical and spiritual, we can better understand the negative effects we experience when we aren’t in a right relationship with God. In each illustration above we can replace women with church and men with false images and see the outcome. Like the oppressive or passive woman, when the church replaces the role of Christ in individual lives or when the church has a negative influence, then souls are bound instead of free. There is one Good Shepherd, Teacher and Father. (John 10:14; Matt 23:8,9) We should be depending on Him for our spiritual nourishment, protection and growth.  It isn’t the church’s role. The confusion of roles becomes manifested in weak and afflicted souls. The church is to support, encourage, and remind us to depend on Christ not a man-made system. Like women emulating men, people often look to the church system to provide where it shouldn’t. We need to get back to who is who.

On the other hand, like the domineering or disengaged man, when God is perceived as either a wrathful tyrant or a passive leader, the false image robs us of freedom. We will live either in an unholy fear that paralyzes us from engaging with God or we become our personal dictator unyielding to His authority. In both scenarios we forfeit abundant life. We all come to God with warped images of Him. He understands our condition and surrounds us with tools to know the truth; His creation, His Word, and His Spirit. It is our part to diligently seek Him as He is. Believing a lie is just as bad as not believing.

Helping each other understand our roles is critical to a healthy person, physically and spiritually. When we live as God created us everyone benefits. We are to live as we are called and we each have our part. We can’t control others and we are responsible only for our actions in relationship with one another and with God, but we can seek and share the truth in love. There is much to understand about how we relate to God and thus to one another. He has provided ample material to learn from if we will look with spiritual minds and hearts.


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Women and Men: Equality is Not Sameness: Part III

Women and Men: Equality is Not Sameness

Part III

This is the third part of the essay I wrote with one more section to go. . . hope you are enjoying it . .

When people either abuse or neglect their respective roles, the ripple effect is vast and extends to future generations. Many men and women have fallen prey to power distortions and exploitation. The Women’s Liberation movement was born out of good intentions. But like many movements that start out in the right direction it went sideways. Understandably, it has left women trying to live at the helm. A man’s strength is honored in many societies and the woman’s is overlooked and suppressed. This oppression causes an over reaction in women.  To survive, some women try to fill man’s position; others have given up altogether and become passive. Many men have disengaged from the fact that women serve as a compass that they can’t accurately steer their ship without. Women are harming themselves by marginalizing the roles they were created to fulfill, and men are neglecting to act for the benefit of those under their care. In their blindness, both shatter the necessary function of women to the destruction of everyone’s wellbeing.

On the flip side, there has been a movement in recent years to make men more like women; to be sensitive, in touch with their emotions and to confide intimately in others. Although well intended, the direction of this trend is eroding the power of men as leaders. It is stealing the strength of many and creating weak captains who are unable to lead. They don’t protect, take responsibility, provide or act with the authority they have been given. Women complain that these men aren’t being leaders but they, the influencers, are sending mixed messages; be like us but be a man. In response to these messages, the man shuts down, lets her have her way, escapes to his haven of sports or work and all suffer. (Proverbs 21:19)

The underscoring lie is that equality is sameness. Equality means having comparable value, not being identical. In fulfilling our respective positions, we increase each other’s value. In neglecting them, we devalue everyone. Whether in the workplace, at home, in families, or in organizations, the power women and men possess needs to be recognized and honored.  Their powers are at work regardless of whether they are acknowledged. If they are suppressed or abused they negatively impact everyone. Men and women were created to work side by side as a team. Both are given what they have to serve the other.  Blinded by the world’s philosophies and dogmatic religions, they have lost sight of who they are. They need to find their way back for their survival.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Women and Men: Influencers & Leaders: Part II

Women and Men: Influencers and Leaders

Part II

Continuing on with my thoughts on women and men, below is the next part of the article I wrote. I jump right into women being influencers and men being leaders at their core (it doesn’t mean women can’t lead and men can’t influence, but it is how they do those things). If you take time to really mediate on this I think you will see what I am saying .  . . I believe it is important to seek out and understand the strengths that we were made with because then we can honor one another instead of overpower or abuse.

One core dynamic between women and men is in the complementary powers of influence and leadership. Women are influencers, representing the church. The men are leaders, representing Christ. We influence Christ’s heart toward us and others through respect and honoring His leadership. We depend on His leadership for the benefit of our lives.

Though marriage is the exemplar of this dynamic, these two qualities of influence and leadership underscore all aspects of life. Whether single, married or widowed, a woman’s power is in her influence and a man’s power is in his leadership. These attributes speak not so much to what we do but how we do it. They are the underlying force energizing our actions. Men influence and women lead, but how they carry out those roles is what makes them different and compliment one another, not create discord.

Among other traits, a woman manifests the qualities of beauty, compassion, sensitivity, and intuitiveness.  She possesses these attributes to accomplish her role of influencing the actions of others for good. Influence involves the ability to produce an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command. Just about every woman in the Bible was an influencer to a leader; Eve to Adam, Ruth to Boaz, Esther to King Ahasuerus, Sarah to Abraham, Herodias to Herod, Rebecca to Jacob, Rachel to Jacob, Delilah and Samson, and Pilate’s wife to Pilate. These women modeled both the negative and positive outcomes of this role.  Remaining behind the scenes, their influence on history is astounding; they were the progenitors of significant events.  Influencers hold a powerful position, and women are accountable for the ability that has been given them. How a woman fulfills her role will determine whether she will be a positive or negative influence in the lives of others. In lacking understanding of her role, abusing or suppressing it, she will create mayhem. It is her responsibility to learn from God about her role and trust His working in her to execute it with confidence and humility. In a similar fashion, the church influences the body of Christ.

A man represents the qualities of strength, protection, passion, provision and authority. All these attributes enable him to lead others. Christ set the perfect example.  God put us under His care. (John 17:9) Representing the head, men have been given others to care for, whether those “others” are families, businesses, or nations. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Joseph, Jesus, and the Apostles are a few examples of leaders who provided, protected, and loved those they were responsible for. Follow a proficient leader and there will be provision, protection, organization, vision, and growth.  Leaders set the course, steer the ship and take command. The goal of their leadership is to benefit others. Their authority isn’t a dictatorship; it is a stewardship to those whom they lead. Being at the helm is a tremendous responsibility and requires courage and humility. (Mark 10:43) In a similar manner, Christ, as our leader, is our preeminent example.

As leaders, it is critical for men to see the situation from a fuller perspective and here is where oneness between man, the leader, and woman, the influencer, comes into play. Men bear the responsibility for the ones they lead. God has placed men at the helm and if they are negligent all will suffer. Using keen discernment, men profit when they take heed of the influencers whose role it is to help them. God gave women different strengths that benefit men. They see, feel, and experience what men don’t.  The combined wisdom and insight produces a better result. Alone all suffer, together all prevail. God created them to work together not in isolation.


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Women and Men: Who’s Who

Women and Men: Who’s Who

Part I

Understanding the woman-man dynamic as God intended is a passion of mine. I have been exploring this topic for some time and I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts I wrote about it awhile ago. This blog is the first of four.

Nations, cultures, societies, and individuals are in a quandary over the ill-defined and uncertain roles of men and women.  In attempts to figure out who is who, the roles are becoming more entangled; men trying to be like women, women trying to be like men, men suppressing women, and women dominating men. What a conundrum we’ve created of God’s design; a design perfectly constructed to teach us about Him and His relationship with us. Through a lack of understanding His plan, thinking we know best, or a resistance to submit to a higher order, we have birthed chaos in our attitudes about the sexes. The devastating result is broken families, dysfunctional children, staggering divorce rates, unrealistic expectations, emotional abuse, and shattered souls.

The secret to understanding our intended roles is to focus on the Designer’s higher purpose; to teach us about Him. The Apostle Paul instructed us to be spiritually minded, not carnally minded. By narrowly focusing on the physical aspects, we miss the deeper enduring truth. The physical things, like genders and the roles we play, will pass away.  (Matthew 22:30) They are important but they are only a tool to teach and to direct our attention to the bigger picture. The big picture of the roles of men and women is that they are a model to educate us about our reciprocal relationship with God. If we lose sight of this bigger picture we lose sight of the truth.

Like two puzzle pieces, individual, harmonious, and complementary, woman was created to fit with man as we fit with Christ. Men represent Christ, the head. Women represent the church, the body, and together they are one. Ephesians 5:30-32 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Physically and emotionally women and men complete each other, and spiritually we are complete with God.

Observing how men and women relate to one another and the outcome of those interactions serves as a metaphor to teach us how we should relate to Christ. Witnessing the pain from separation, domination, suppression, and abuse between the genders signifies the damage done to our spirits if our relationship with God is askew. Dissention between men and women hurts because it is connected to the spiritual truth, our relation to God. Conversely, understanding what creates unity between a man and a woman points to what produces oneness with God.

The culture is confusing how we see ourselves as men and women. My desire is explore and learn God’s design for men and women in today’s world and we can’t examine one gender without looking at both because they work together. My goal is to learn more about God and His ways and to honor each other and Him by living in His truth.