Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I am woman, hear me roar

Ladies this one is for you.

I remember when I was in 7th grade history and I complained to my teacher (male) that we didn’t study any of the great women of history. I was a bit of an opinionated gal back there in my younger years (ok so that hasn’t changed all that much since then) and I was persistent. Yep I was a good ol’ feminist junior high girl. You have to admit that is just a funny picture because exactly how feminist can you be at the tender age of 13?

My teacher finally relented and we did an entire unit on significant women of history. It was a great unit and I was excited that I had taken a stand for women’s rights. Really people, how sad was I? Now fast forward 13 years and I just happen to see my history teacher at the gym one day. I recognized him but I wasn’t sure he recognized me. That is until he handed me a Newsweek magazine with a picture of Hillary Clinton and the words ‘First Female President?’ emblazoned on the cover and suggested I would like that to read. I remember thinking how sad it was that of all the things he could remember about me (I loved his class by the way) the only thing that stuck in his mind so many years later was that I was such a persistent “woman’s right” proponent.

I remember wanting to run after him and say, “Wait you don’t understand, I’ve matured, I’m not that same girl anymore.” But I didn’t.

Why am I telling you this story you are asking yourself right about now. Well I thought about it after a conversation I had with some gals recently that got me thinking about the heart of a woman. And it wasn’t the good part of the heart of a woman it was that part that makes me cringe and yet the part that I know resides within me.

Recently in talking with a group of single gals the idea came up that women are sometimes irked by the order of creation. The simple fact is that some women don’t like that God made man and then made women. The comment was also made that some women are frustrated that God made women from man instead of creating her from dust like He did man.

I will admit I was dumbfounded by this second statement. I had contemplated the order of creation but to hear a heart frustrated that woman was made from man was new for me. And while I can understand the battle of this in a woman’s heart I am thankful that I have reconciled it within my own.

Now I don’t want to start a fight here. I really just want to share with you what God has shown me about man and woman from my study of Genesis.

God created man and woman. He states that obviously in the Bible. He creates man first, He states that also. And then he did the most wondrous thing in the world. He created a companion for Adam. Now I’m not in anyway saying that the creation of woman was better than the creation of man or vice versa. Man was first; man was God’s initial creation of a living being in His image. But God, in His infinite wisdom, saw that creating man to be alone was not the best thing. God in Himself is not alone. The Trinity is set up for communion, relationship, and companionship and I can only imagine that God wanted the same for man whom he loved.

How tender is the next part of the story. God brings all the animals before Adam to show him those who might be a sufficient helper and mate and none were found worthy. So God decided to create a companion for Adam from Adam. He knew exactly what Adam needed, someone that was similar but different, someone who was also in the image of God, who also would have the emotions, character, and all the things divine that God had put in His creation of man.

So God placed Adam in a deep sleep, and He took from His side. It is said by much smarter people than me that God did not take from Adam’s head so that his companion would rule over him, or from his feet that they would cower beneath his rule, but from his side, from right outside his heart, so that this companion would stand by his side, would be on equal footing in the eyes of the Lord, would be a companion not a servant. Then God presents his creation to Adam and lovingly shows him not only his need for a companion but God specific provision for that need.

Ladies, if you question the work of the Father, if you question His heart for you, just look at the care He took in creating you. Look at the specific need he saw that required your creation. God does not create for nothing. He saw that man needed a companion and He filled that need with us. What an honor, what a challenge, what a loving God that He realized that even with His presence man and woman still need the companionship of each other.

The following is an excerpt from my BSF notes. These few lines just touched my heart and made me feel so special to be a woman, so special to be a creation of the Father.

“ . . . . Adam discovers that no animal could respond to his own deepening need for human companionship. Therefore, the Lord’s third aim in bringing the animals to Adam was fulfilled, for Adam discovered a deep desire within himself for human companionship, to have another being like himself responding to his own human need. Again we see the personal involvement of the Lord with Adam. He manipulated circumstances in order to create the desire in Adam’s heart so that He could then give Adam his heart’s desire (See Psalm 37:4-5). In this way God also prepared the way that the woman who was to come should be received by Adam in an atmosphere of love because she represented the answer to all his awakened longings and desires.”

Now if there are ladies out there who still wrestle with the whole creation order, with the hierarchy that God has set forth I am open to talking. Discussion is a good thing. One thing I will ask is that you question God, really seek His wisdom in this.

For me it has become as simple as this: I trust God. I submit before Him. If he chooses to place man in authority over me then I cannot question His will and wisdom. If I trust God with my heart, if I trust Him to be good and right in all things, then I have to trust that this too is good and right. It is much easier to submit to male authority when you look toward the God you are submitting to at the same time.

I do want to hear your thoughts ladies. Guys if you have two cents you can throw them in too.


Blogger Stephanie said...

Katie, how brilliantly put! I am in the middle of reading the book, "Captivating", and let me tell you, if you really want to dig into the purpose and the heart of a woman, you NEED to read this book. The way she interpreted the creation of woman made me feel like a princess! To sum it up, she went into detail the actual creation, paralleling very much what you were saying Katie, but then also mentioned a very key component: We (women) were created last - but definitely not least! We are the icing on the cake, the crown of creation! God created us as the final touch, and then, AHA! It was GOOD!

Katie, I couldn't have said it better myself... and you know, it's good to remind ourselves of this, because thinking back to what I wrote about on my blog today, there IS a darker, more confusing side to being a woman. This is the part in which the world twisted God's perfect plan and created power struggles, doubt about creation, doubt about our purpose: and then we lose ourselves (women) in the midst of it all. We just have to remember, that as women, we ARE the crown, we are "daddy's little girls"! How amazing is that?

10/05/2005 1:22 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Thanks Stephanie.

One quick thing, I haven't read Captivating, heard some great things about it though, I'm not sure if I agree that we (women) were the crown of creation. That makes me think that woman is considered better than man because she was created last, as if something was missing in man. I tend to look at it as God saw that man in himself was not complete alone and woman completed him (and yes I know you are all thinking Jerry Maguire right here). So man and woman together are God's crowning glory, the creation of man (gender neutral) to be the physical representation of His glory in both the form of the woman and man. I may have misinterpreted what you were saying but wanted to clarify at least my thoughts.

And yes there is a darker side. That is the problem with sin, we get to read about the nature of woman that God intended but we have to live the nature of woman that sin infected. That makes life hard but makes me want all the more to know God's intentions for woman and for me.

Thanks Stephanie, you are ALWAYS good for great conversation and insight.

10/05/2005 1:32 PM  
Blogger steve said...

is this why my side hurts?

10/05/2005 2:18 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Steve - that made me laugh OUT LOUD and my door was wide open with classes going on right across the hall.


10/05/2005 2:27 PM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

Katie, you are amazing. My coworker and I talked about this just a few days ago... about how our moms raised us tall girls to walk proud with our shoulders back and to be strong, because our own fathers at times lacked strength. They did it "for our own good" but in so doing, my mom created in me a girl who refused to submit, even to her husband, for many years.

I was raised in a Christian home with Christian values, and I always considered myself a Christian. But it was only 4 or 5 years ago that I really changed... when God changed me. It was near the holiday season and I cried out to Him and he answered BIG TIME!

And after that, submitting as we are called to do has been possible for me, when before it was not in the least. BEFORE, I thought that I could not only do everything on my own without God, but also, without the help of my darling husband. I thought I had everything in control.

And somehow in the midst of my pigheadedness, God spoke to me and calmed the turmoil. Rob became the man he never was before, because I refused to let him, and I saw all that a loving relationship CAN be, with God as the head of our marriage.

And you are RIGHT ON TARGET with what you said about "It is much easier to submit to male authority when you look toward the God you are submitting to at the same time."

Amen, Sister! You rock!

10/05/2005 2:50 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Thanks Jayleigh, You rock. You're the one in a marriage, you're the one submitting everyday. You're my hero in that area. I can talk in "theory" but it's the women who daily submit to their husbands because of their love for them, their respect for them, and more because of their love for God who desreve ALL the praise.

10/05/2005 2:56 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

That was a great post, Katie. I avoid using the word 'equal' because of the present gender battle over how 'the same' we are. At the same time, companion and completer and friend give some sense of equality in how they describe a relationship.

For myself, I am not sure what it would mean in specific terms to say that men or women are better. For my comparison, I must look at those I know, and I can't figure out what might lead me to say that I am better than someone else.

I read faster than my wife.
I lift more.
I am more patient.
She does more.
She is way better in finances.
She is better at being with others.

Every time I think I have an edge over someone else, I think of something they have an edge over me with. Of course, that is only when I am THINKING, not always when I am speaking or acting.

The best pick-up line is inspired by Genesis:
"Excuse me, miss, but I think you have one of my ribs."

10/05/2005 3:01 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Katie: regarding women being the crown of creation: I do agree with you that "man and woman together are God's crowning glory". However, viewing women as being the final touch on this amazing creation, I think, is just a good way of comforting women; creating a sense of purpose and meaning for women in a world (even in the church) where we are being pushed, pulled, and dragged from every angle to be powerful... and wait... barefoot and submissive... or maybe just submissive... no wait... get what I'm saying? Then top that off with a good dose of (and many MANY women suffer here) abuse of many different forms, and voila! You have a VERY confused, hurt, desperate woman, seeking answers. Seeking heart. And therein lies the reasoning behind the "crown" theory in "Captivating". This is a means to a clearer understanding of just how much we mean to God. Get what I'm saying? Not that we're better than, or lower, somehow than men: just that we're precious in the sight of God: and that was simply an inspirational means of conveying that idea.

10/05/2005 3:04 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Eric you made it over.

OMW I'm not sure what i would do if a guy used that line on me. Laugh for sure.

Good points, I don't think (and there I go thinking) that anyone is supposed to be better than the other. We all need something that someone else has to offer. Gotta love that.

10/05/2005 3:05 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh my gosh! That IS the best pick-up line ever! lol!!!

10/05/2005 3:05 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Oh Stephanie I got it now. Sorry if I rabbit trailed on you and went off in a different direction.

We are precious to God. Oh so precious. And that is such a comforting thing for a woman's heart when this world beats it up so much.

You are precious my friend.

10/05/2005 3:07 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Ditto :)

No no, you didn't rabbit trail at all: I think I just may have missed the mark the first time around on completely explaining the idea.

10/05/2005 3:20 PM  
Blogger steve said...

lets talk about fried food

10/05/2005 3:44 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Mr. Sporre,

Are you trying to change the subject of my blog topic?


10/05/2005 3:47 PM  
Blogger steve said...

ok. just kidding. I am not getting envolved in the convo because I just like sitting on the outside and taking it all in. Both you and Steph hit some good topics today that I just enjoy watching you guys talk about.

I do have opinons of course but I think the world hears the man side of this all the dang time...

I love hearing the strong Christian woman side of it from you gals whos opinons I respect greatly

10/05/2005 3:47 PM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

Great points K-T, as always. Tommy mentioned the other day that it wasn't until the curse that he had to give instruction that the man was head over creation. Prior to that time it was understood. He also mentioned how he asked Teresa once if it really was hard to submit to her husband, and she said, "why do you think the Bible tells me 3 times?"

It can be a challenge sometimes, but it is also such a blessing. I like being the gentle, soft one.

Good thoughts, K-T. Good thoughts.

10/05/2005 3:52 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Well your opinions are always welcomed and appreciated. And the world doesn't always get to hear the opinions of good Christian men.

But you are always welcome to sit on the outskirts and just take it in.

Oh and ignore the comment on Stephanie's site then. Oops.

10/05/2005 3:52 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Okay, someone HAS to say it... AWWWW! Steve! That was really sweet!

Okay. I'm done. ;)

10/05/2005 3:53 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

my last comment was for steve

10/05/2005 3:54 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Ok Stephanie I'll add to your comment:

Steve your post from yesterday (with the poem) shows a GREAT male point of view on this general topic

10/05/2005 3:57 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

What about the "oops" comment on Stephanie's site? I must not have seen it yet...?

Amstaff- I'm with ya sister: I value softness and gentleness in women too. I can be kind of boistrous and goofy (but the boistrous part helps at least in my singing: I've been told God made me with a built-in microphone lol

... and so that's something I work on everyday. Being a bit more soft and submissive - not to be quiet and "shut up"... just... softer.

10/05/2005 3:57 PM  
Blogger Broken Messenger said...

Ladies, if you question the work of the Father, if you question His heart for you, just look at the care He took in creating you. Look at the specific need he saw that required your creation. God does not create for nothing. He saw that man needed a companion and He filled that need with us. What an honor, what a challenge, what a loving God that He realized that even with His presence man and woman still need the companionship of each other.
Amen! There's also a good reason why you guys are called the "better half" you know! Great post, thank you.


10/05/2005 10:27 PM  
Blogger Lia said...

Sorry I'm getting here late, but since I am, I haven't read all the comments first. I just wanted to put in my two cents:

First of all, if you read the story of Genesis VERY carefully, the original Adam was created both male and female. Hermaphrodite, if you like. Both male and female characteristics were incorporated. It was later, when Adam realized that it is not good to be alone that these characteristics were separated into two separate beings. So there's one for the order-of-creation argument. I don't know why the male half kept the name Adam, but truth to tell, the women got the more beautiful name. Adam means "Earth", whereas Eve's name means "Mother of Life". Score Two.

I'm not sure why defending women's rights has become proving feminine superiority, which is why I like the last paragraph of your post the best.

The thing I was trying to get across is that it's not that women were created second, as an afterthought - femininity was an integral part of creation, and we can be very proud of our role in creating and maintaining life, which is, after all, the point of creation.

10/06/2005 9:21 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Lia thanks for your comments.

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, but I disagree on the idea that man was created genderless or with both genders. I'm thinking you're referring to Gen 1:27 where is says "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." I take that verse as giving creation order of a distinct male then then a distinct female. The semi-colon denotes a new complete thought added on to the end, the idea that God created two. And then Genesis 2 shows a more detailed, personal story of the creation of man and then woman.

And I agree with you that women were not an afterthought. I love that God is all-knowing and time (as well as even creation) do not bind him. I can't even begin to understand how He can know all, all at once, but He can. So women were/are/will be (covering all the tenses there) on His thoughts at all times. What a great God we have.

10/06/2005 9:35 AM  
Blogger Lia said...

Katie - I'm not trying to be argumentative, and I'm not even arguing with your interpretation, since that's a very tricky verse, and I really presented it just to show another point of view, more than any other reason.
But I would like to take a stand that you can't argue points from punctuation in a translation! The Bible was not written in English - the semicolon was not placed there by God! (Although the semicolon is a "translation" of punctuation that IS present in the original text, so your point still stands ;-)

10/06/2005 10:13 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Thanks Lia, I don't want to be arguementative either. You make a good point about punctuation - that is a tricky subject there when looking at scripture.

Thank you for a different point of view. I do like to hear those and they make me think (as you have done today).

Haha, we both seem to be talking backwards and sideways on ourselves. But do know that I like the talking.

10/06/2005 10:26 AM  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

I know I am commenting on an old post. Today is my first visit here. Forgive me.

Your post made me think about how much people let the unobtrusive go unnoticed. Wives who are married to remarkable men frequently stay in the background. Their influence over things is not only hard to measure but hard to notice. Yet they may be the most important part of who this man is.

I sometimes think we need to stop and honor those women who did not do it alone. Accomplished women deserve praise but so do the wives of accomplished men. Their support and influence has changed the world just as much as the actions of the people who regularly get credit. I’m no saying these men were puppets with their wives pulling the strings. However, I am saying things would not get done but for their support.

Being a wife doesn’t get the esteem it deserves anymore. But God certainly sees it as a noble and admirable office. It is the epitome of Christian service. I learned how to serve both God and Man from my mother. Chances are, so did you.

To me Eve is a super-heroine. To bad we never learn the names of the people who have changed our world for the better from behind the scenes. Thank you for singing of unsung Heroines.

10/11/2005 11:16 AM  

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