Topic: Godly Womanhood Scripture: Genesis 1:27-28
women, God, Adam, church, role, Eve, Paul, man, Satan, created, lies, godly woman, helper, serve, special, Genesis, suitable helper, home, wife, listen
Table of Contents
Dr. Pat Ennis is a former director of home economics of The Masters University tells of a student who came into her office. Here's what she said: A student came to my office and said, "Dr. Ennis, may I talk with you?" "Surely," I replied and invited her to have a seat in one of the rocking chairs. I moved from my desk chair and sat in the rocker opposite hers. Classes were well underway for this semester, and this young woman was enrolled in the first of the character classes in the home economics department, which had as its biblical core, Proverbs 31:10-31; and 1 Peter 3:1-7. As a professor, I was pleased with her attentiveness, promptness with assignments, and excellent work. I was therefore surprised when she stated, I'm dropping your class and I need for you to sign this form. Knowing her academic performance I probed for the reason. Unable to make eye contact with me, she softly responded, "I really liked the class, but well, I'm not sure that I have an obligation to embrace what was written hundreds of years ago." Her speed increased and she hastily finished, "and besides, even if it's true, I'm not sure that I want to be so virtuous." I sadly accepted the forum and sign my name. As she turned to leave, I extended an invitation for her to return to chat at another time, she did not respond.
Tonight, we're going to look at godly womanhood. And this really here is an introduction into godly womanhood. And then as we continue with events after this, we're going to get into more details about the roles of a godly woman, and what does God say are the roles for a godly woman.
I closed my office door and with a breaking heart, approach the throne of grace. Dear father, I prayed. I just witnessed another young woman succumb to Satan's age-old lie, that surely you didn't really mean that she is to take your word, literally. Please protect her father and create in her a desire to become a godly woman.
Sadly, many Christian women in our day would say the same thing. I'm not sure that I have an obligation to embrace what was written hundreds of years ago. And I'm not so sure that I want to be so virtuous. And they're believing Satan's lie that God doesn't really mean what He says in His Word. And yet God in His Word has called women to a high and virtuous calling. A high and virtuous calling, one that is special, one that is unique, one that is lovely.
To be a godly woman is a supreme, an honorable thing in God's eyes. And I would hope and pray that you would desire to be a godly woman. And I know you do. And what I want to do is encourage you and help you to understand what God says about being a godly woman. But in order to understand what it means to be a godly woman and what God's will is for women, we have to go all the way back to the beginning. Because it all starts at the beginning. It's where it all started. Not at the beginning of when churches began to ordain women. Not at the beginning of the feminist movement, not at the beginning of American church history, not even at the beginning of the church. It goes way back further than that. It all started back in the Garden of Eden, all the way back in the garden. It started when Satan came in to destroy God's perfect design that He had established for mankind. It started when one woman listened to the lie of Satan when out from under her husband's authority and led the entire human race into sin.
That was when God's perfect design for man and woman came under attack. And throughout all of human history, Satan has continued to attack God's perfect design for both man and for woman. Why does he want to attack this? Why is Satan after God's perfect design? Because he can't take God on personally. If he tries to take God on personally, he will lose every time. Because God is more powerful than Satan is. And he knows that. So, what does he do? He goes after God's creation. He goes after you and I, because his goal is to get us to turn on God and join him in his attack on God. That's his goal. That's his objective. And, and he's done a really good job of that. A really good job.
And one of the greatest ways that Satan has attacked God is by challenging the unique ways that God has made man and woman. God has created man a specific way, with a specific role in the family, in the church and in society. God has created woman a specific way, with a specific role in the family, and in the church, and in society.
And tonight, I want us to see how God has specifically created woman so that you might better understand how to be a godly woman, and what God says about this. So, let's begin with how God created man and woman you'll see on the back of your card there, you'll see an outline.
Our first point here tonight in our outline is God's Glorious Design, God's Glorious Design. In order to know how Satan has attacked God's design, we first need to know what God established at the beginning. What was it that God established? How did God create man and woman? If you have your Bibles, I would encourage you to open to Genesis chapter 1. Genesis, chapter 1. This is the beginning of it all. This is how God originally established man and woman. And we've got to go back and see what it was that God established at the beginning, in Genesis chapter 1 and look at what it says in verse 27.
"God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28)
Now notice, first of all, that it says that "God created man in His own image" there in verse 27. That word "man" there in the Hebrew is the word Adam. Adam is how we would spell it in English, Adam. Sounds like Adam. That's where he got his name from Adam. But this here is not specifically talking about Adam. That Hebrew word there is not specifically talking about him, but it refers to mankind.
He's talking about mankind there -- both man and woman -- which is then qualified in the next phrase, "in the image of God, He made him, male and female, He created them." Do you see that there? Male and female He created them. That is, God created both male and female in His image, we are created in His image, which is even what He says up in verse 26. He says, "Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let them rule. Again, referring to both male and female, let "them" do this. So, women, you have been made in God's image, you are made in God's image, you are image bearers of the Creator. That's how God has designed you. And He created you to bear His image in creation.
Now, as we see in chapter 1, verses 27 through 28, that that is the account of day six of creation. You're reading through the accounts there you come across and you see that at the end of verse 23. It says, "a fifth day." And then beginning of verse 24, it's the sixth day then of creation. Then we come over to chapter 2 of Genesis, Genesis chapter 2, and God gives us the details then of what happened on that sixth day when He created man and woman. Genesis chapter 2. Look at what it says in Genesis chapter 2 in verse 7. “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." (Gen 2:7)
Now, as I said earlier, the word "man" was a word that meant mankind. But here in this verse in chapter 2, verse 7: "the LORD God formed the man of the dust of the ground," (Gen 2:7) that there is again the word “Ha-adam” in Hebrew, but it also has an article in front of it in the Hebrew language, which means it's specifically referring to "the" man, meaning Adam. That's who he's talking about there. Adam. “God formed Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” So, there you have Adam, the first man created of the dust of the ground. And there's Adam all alone. It's Adam with a bunch of animals. He's all alone.
God then plants a garden in Eden, and he puts Adam there in the garden to go and work the ground. That was his job. God gave him a duty. In fact, God gave Adam two specific responsibilities, and one command. Two responsibilities and one command. His first responsibility is in verse 15. His responsibility there was to cultivate and keep the garden says in verse 15, "Then the LORD God took the man" (that is Adam) "and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it." (Gen 2:15) It was his job, that was his responsibility, that's his duty there...to take care of the garden.
But then he had a second responsibility in verses 19 and 20, where he was to name the animals. That was his job there, in verse 19, "Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to" (Adam) "the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him." (Gen 2:19-20)
He had a duty to name all the animals. And he did that. And he has dominion over God's creation, as God has given it to him. His job was to cultivate the ground to work in the garden. And he just got done naming the animals. And so, he's got dominion there.
But God also gave Adam a command, found in verses 16 and 17 of chapter 2. He says, don't eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Gen 2:16-17) And if you do, you will, what? Die. Right? That's the promise. If you eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you are going to die. So, basically, God says to Adam, this man that's there that he's just created, have dominion over my creation, and obey Me. Pretty simple, right? Simple Life for Adam. It's really not that hard. Just work the ground, take care of these animals here, and obey me.
But look at what God says in verse 18. He says, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." (Gen 2:18) After naming all of the animals, he still does not have a helper suitable for him. So God causes Adam to go to sleep. And he took one of his ribs from his side and closed up the flesh at that place. And verse 22, says, and "The LORD God fashioned into a woman, the rib which he had taken from the man and brought her to the man." (Gen 2:22)
Now the man is no longer alone. He now has a helper, who is suitable for him, a suitable helper. None of the animals would do. He didn't have his dogs around (man's best friend), he was alone. None of them would do. So God said I'm going to make a suitable helper for you. God made the woman, because Adam needed someone special. He needed someone special. He needed someone who was like him, that would be suitable for him.
When commentator says the point of the narrative is that there was no helper who corresponded to man among the animals. A special act of creation of the woman, listen to this was necessary. It was necessary for the man. God said, it's not good that he's alone. He needs a suitable helper. And so it was God who acted. And God had a special act of creation, as He made the woman.
But notice in chapter 2 in verse 7, what it says there about Adam. It says that God "formed" Adam. God formed him. The Hebrew word there is "yatsar", which has the idea of a potter forming something with clay. That is, God took from the dust of the ground and formed Adam out of it, as a potter would do with clay. But notice, God didn't do that with the woman. God did not do that with the woman. In verse 22, it says that "God fashioned" the woman. He didn't "form" the woman, He "fashioned" the woman. That Hebrew word there is, "banah", it's a different Hebrew word. "Banah" -and it means to build or construct -- that is Eve was custom-built for Adam. Custom-built for him. God fashioned Eve specifically for Adam to be his helper. That was the glorious design of God. Glorious design, magnificent design.
There they are -- the first man and the first woman excited about life, being together, a suitable helper now for this man who needed one. There they are, this this glorious design. Adam was created first and then he was created for Adam.
Paul even reiterates this in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, listen to what he says there. "For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man. For indeed, man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake." Eve was specially-made as a helper for Adam. That was her unique role, a unique and special and lovely role. It's an amazing role that God gave to Eve -- to the woman.
What does it mean for her to be a helper? Wayne Grudem says this, "Eve was created to complement or complete Adam in many ways. It does not mean that she would be the same as Adam in every way, or that their roles would be exactly the same, or that their authority would be equal. It just means that she would complement him in exactly the ways that God intended." She complements Adam. As Adam's helper, God designed the woman to be the helper of man. And listen, he needed someone to compliment him. Your husbands need someone to complement them. Men need women to complement us, because it wasn't good for him to be alone. And so, God created Eve, God created the woman to do just that. She is the perfect completion of man. She, as one pastor has said, is tailor-made for the man. Tailor-made for him. She is spiritually equal to Him.
They are both spiritually equal, but she has been given been given different roles from God as man's helper. She is God's special creation for man. You are God's special creation. And since she is created special by God, with their special role as a woman, what Satan wants to do is to come in and sew lies among women and tell them that they are "not" special. That's what the world is after. That's what Satan is doing with the world right now, coming in and lying to women, and telling you, you are not special in the roles that God has created for you. That's his lie. He's done that. And he's done that well.
And our culture has believed his lies, instead of seeing that God's glorious design is what is best for both man and woman. It's what is best. Satan has lied to women, and told them that they fulfill God's special role that He has for them --well, it's not good enough. They say things like that demeans women, or that suppresses women. But why would God create women and give them a role that is demeaning or suppressing? He wouldn't do that. He loves you. He cares for you, He wants the best for you. And He has created you for a unique and special role. It's not demeaning or suppressing in any way. In fact, when both men and women fulfill their God-given roles, as God has designed it, that is where they find the most satisfaction, and the most joy. You will find the most satisfaction and the most joy in your life, when you live according to the way that God has created you in the roles that God has given to you as a woman. That's when you'll find the most joy and the most satisfaction.
Now, I'm not saying it's going to be easy. It's not easy. Being a wife and a mother is not easy. It's hard work. Being a husband and a father is not easy. That role is hard work. But both men and women find their greatest fulfillment, when they do things according to God's plan. Always, according to God's glorious design. That's how God wants you to live. But listen, women, Satan doesn't want you, as women, to be satisfied in Christ. He doesn't want you to be satisfied. He wants you to be miserable, and he wants you to be disobedient to God. That's what he's after. That's his goal. That's his aim. That's his mission. And so he's instilled lies in our culture, for women to believe so that they would go against God's glorious design.
What are those lies? Well, that leads to our second point, Culture’s Corrupt Agenda, Culture’s Corrupt Agenda. Now the corruption of the roles of men and women are not something that is new. It's not a new thing. In fact, this was something that Paul had even addressed in his day. This was going on even in Paul's day. He had to address the church over these issues as well. There were feminist movements that were going on then as well. Listen to 1 Corinthians 14:33-35, "For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church." (1 Cor 14:33-35)
Because the women wanted to rise up and begin to take authority and begin to speak in the church. God said, No, it's not how I designed it. That's not my perfect design for you, women. And so, Paul had to address this with the church at Corinth and address the women there. Paul had to tell them that they were not to speak in the church service.
But he also addressed the church at Ephesus listen to 1 Timothy 2:11-14, "A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve." (1 Tim 2:11-13)
Do you see his argument there, where does he go? All the way back to the beginning. All the way back to creation, how God originally designed it. That's his whole argument. "For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. It was not Adam, who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression." (1 Tim 2:13-14)
She was the one who took and ate, and then she gave to her husband also. Paul is telling Timothy here, this pastor of the church of Ephesus, that women are not allowed to teach or exercise authority over a man. That is not their role. That is not how God created it. That's not God's glorious design. So he says, women are not to teach or exercise authority over a man, because it goes against the creation order of how God originally designed it, Adam was created first and then Eve.
This is God's plan. And this has been God's plan, all the way back from the beginning of time. All the way back on the sixth day, that's how God established it. That's how God created it. But over the past half century, the feminist movement has risen up and lied to women -- telling them that they are somehow less special or less important or inferior to men if they fulfill their God given roles. That's their lie. They've taught that women are suppressed if they seek if they seek to fulfill their roles that God has established for them.
And listen, what they want, or what they will tell you is they want equality. But even that's not the goal of the feminist movement. They don't want equality. They don't want to make men and women equal. Their ultimate goal is to erase all sexual distinctions. That's the goal of the feminist movement. So that you don't even have male or female anymore. You just have people. That's their goal. Which is why you can now have personal pronouns of "it, they and them" or whatever else you want to have as a personal pronoun, right? Because they're trying to get rid of this distinction of male and female. Why? Because that's God's perfect design. You see that? That's what they're after.
Peter Jones in his book, The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back, explains the goal of New Age feminism, and he says this. The road to the perfect, androgynous balance involves the destruction of the traditional male-female differentiation via sexual alternatives and New Age feminism." What is androgyny? It's the state of being neither specifically feminine or masculine. The Encyclopedia Britannica says this about androgyny. "The rise of feminism and the influence of the women's rights movements made certain aspects of androgynous behavior more socially attractive than in the past." Do you see that? That's what the culture is all about. That's what they're after. They want to erase male and female, that Satan's agenda. That's what Satan's after -- he wants to confuse the roles of men and women. What is Satan's lie? What does he want you to believe? He wants you to believe that God's glorious design is not the way things ought to be. You should be able to have any role that you want to have because the male female distinction and role differences are bad. That's the lie of the enemy. He doesn't want you to listen to God's Word.
And that was sadly what that college girl had succumbed to...believing the lies of the enemy. We have to fight against the corruption of our culture and the lies of the enemy. Right? We've got to fight against this. Because we want to stand upon God's Word and what God has established for women. We must stand up for God's truth. And what God says about being a godly woman. Because listen, God knows what is best for you. And He wants what is best for you. Satan doesn't want what is best for you. The culture doesn't want what is best for you. But God does, because He loves you and He cares for you. God wants you to be blessed, and God wants you to understand your purpose as a woman who is seeking after Him.
Which leads to our third and final point. Woman's Wonderful Purpose. Woman's Wonderful Purpose. What is God's purpose for women for godly womanhood? Well, God lays it out for us in His Word. I'm just going to go through a couple of these. And then as we go through the other events, as we move forward, we're going to get into these then in in more detail.
God has a special role a unique role for women, in the family, in the church, and in society. So, what is God's designed for women, as they seek to be godly women?
- First, he created you to be a wife. He created you to be a wife. He created Eve to be Adam's wife. That's why you continue on in chapter 2 right there, and what is God Institute? As soon as Eve shows up on the scene, he brings Eve to Adam and what does God institute then? Marriage. "A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife." (Gen 2:24) He institutes marriage there. God's created you to be a wife. Listen to Ephesians 5:22-24. "Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything." (Eph 5:22-24)
God has established the woman's role to be a wife to her husband. That was Eve's role for Adam, to be his wife, a suitable helper for him. And she wasn't just his helper, but she was a suitable helper for him. She complimented him, she completed him, she completed what was lacking in Adam. And that's why the homosexual movement is an attack on God's Word. Because a woman cannot complete a woman and a man cannot complete a man. God says no, only a woman can complete a man. Marriage is between one man and one woman. The only one that can complete a man is a woman, a wife. That's one of the roles that God has established for you as women.
- Second, God has created women to be mothers. God has created women to be mothers. Listen to Titus 2:4, "so that they may encourage the younger women to love their husbands to love their children." God has called women to bear and to love children. In fact, a direct consequence of the fall was pain and childbearing for Eve, right? That's the direct consequence for Eve. Genesis 3:16 says to the woman, He (God) said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bring forth children." (Gen 3:16) And when God said this to Eve, listen, she didn't even have any children yet. 'Childbearing? What are you talking about God?' That's your role, Eve...woman...your role is to bear children.
Paul elaborates on this in 1 Timothy 2:15, he says, "But women will be preserved through the burying of children if they continue, and faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint." (1 Tim 2:15)
What he's saying there, is that women will be preserved in the sense that they will get the stigma back when they raise godly children, as godly mothers. The stigma that was lost at the fall because Eve went and ate of the fruit, the forbidden fruit that she was not to eat of, she went and ate -- and so she has a bad stigma because she did it. She caused the human race to fall into sin. And there's a bad stigma there. But she will be saved from that, if she raises up godly children. That's what Paul's talking about there.
Why would he say that? Because he knows God has created women with a special and unique role of being a mother. It's a special, a special, special role.
Even us having four boys. It's always, "Hey mom", not "Hey, Dad". It's "Hey mom." All the time. They go to mom. She's got a special role, a special relationship, a special bond with her children. God has created that for women to be mothers.
- Third, God has created women with a special and unique role in the church. A special and unique role in the church. Not only are women raising up the next generation in the church, which in itself is a special role for women. Think about this...Mother's you are raising up the next generation in the church. You are raising up future pastors and elders of churches. That's a special role. Grandmothers. You have a part in that as well with your grandchildren, raising up the next generation of the church. It's a special and unique role.
God uses women also to serve the church
- Romans 16:1, Paul says "I commend you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the Church which is at Cenchrea." You also have a woman like Anna in Luke chapter 2, who served at the temple, night and day with fasting and prayers. She was a widow then, and she said I'm just going to spend the rest of my days at the temple and I'm going to serve at the temple, and she spent her nights and her days fasting and praying (Luke 2:36-38).
- You had Priscilla who assisted her husband Aquilla and in Acts chapter 18:26, it says “They took him” (that is Apollos) “aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:26) Priscilla was involved in teaching Apollos even -- so that Apollos could then be used by God to go into the church at Corinth and preach the gospel. God uses women in the church to serve in a mighty way, in an amazing way.
And although women are not permitted to hold leadership roles in the church, such as pastor/elder or deacon, God uses women to serve and to edify the body of Christ in many, many ways. I can tell you that I have been personally encouraged and edified by many women in the church. Women who have served alongside me in ministry. Women who have poured into our children...many faithful women who have poured the gospel the Word of God into our children. And our children know what they know, because of these faithful women in the church, who have taught them the Word of God. Women have a unique and special role in the church.
- Fourth, God has created women with a unique role of serving fellow Christians. Serving fellow Christians This would include serving the church at large or worldwide. There are many church organizations that are able to operate because of the faithfulness of women who are able to serve and give of their time. Lydia, think about Lydia who served Paul and his fellow missionaries on his second missionary journey in Acts chapter 16. Paul comes to preach the gospel in Philippi. And there's a group of women who are meeting by the river and Paul comes and preaches the gospel to them, and Lydia gets saved. God opens her heart, and Lydia (this woman) gets saved.
And it Acts 16:15, it says, "She urged us saying, if you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay, and she prevailed upon us." That is she kind of said, 'You guys are coming to my house, whether you like it or not, and I'm gonna be hospitable to you.' And what did they do? Okay, Lydia we'll go. And they went to Lydia's home. Lydia opened up her home to these missionaries. And Paul and the missionaries were there in Philippi, preaching the gospel, and then Paul and Silas get arrested and thrown in prison. God then caused an earthquake to happen. You know the story. Paul and Silas’chains fell off, they are freed, as they're leaving the jail the Philippian jailer is there with his sword ready to kill himself. Remember that? Ready to kill himself and they said "Stop. Don't do that." What does he say? "What must I do to be saved?" And they preach the gospel to the Philippian jailer and the Philippian jailer and his entire family gets saved.
Do you know what happened before Paul then left Philippi? Listen to Acts 16:40, "They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia." They went to Lydia's home. "And when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them, and departed." There was a church that was started in Lydia's home, a church that met there. And this woman received honor by showing hospitality to these missionaries, by opening her home up to them, and serving these fellow Christians who had just come into town. It's a special role, special role to serve fellow Christians. To serve even strangers, to be hospitable to them. And that was Lydia she was hospitable to them, and opened up her home and then a home church is started right there in her living room. Pretty amazing.
God has given women a unique, a unique and special role in the family, in the church and in society. And He wants you to know that the role that He has given you is a special and a lovely role. It's important for the family, the church, and for society. And it's important that you embrace these roles that God has given to you. Embrace them. Don't listen to the culture. Don't listen to the lies of Satan. But listen to God's Word, and embrace those, and seek and desire to be a godly woman, as God has called you to be in His Word.
God wants you to listen to His Word and obey His Word so that you would be a godly woman. Don't fall for the lies of Satan. Don't fall for his lies. But continue to grow in your knowledge of God's Word as it relates to being a godly woman. Because God's glorious design is what is best for you.
As you live according to that perfect plan, it's in that role that you will find your greatest purpose, your greatest satisfaction, and your greatest joy in life as you live according to God's Word.
In conclusion, I want to pray this prayer of Dr. Ennis, that she prayed for that day. And I want to pray this prayer for you and for all Christian women. We need to pray this prayer more often for women in the church. Will you bow with me as we pray this?
Dear Father, we have witnessed many women of our day succumb to Satan's age-old lie that surely You didn't really mean that women should take your word literally. Father, I pray that You would protect them, that You would protect our women. And then You would create in them a desire to become godly women. For Your glory, and Your glory alone we pray in Christ's name. Amen.