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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: 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.