Reading Directions

Mufasa – the name of my MacBook. Don’t laugh. He’s a major upgrade from Yoshi, my very unreliable Toshiba laptop, who had a tendency to crash when I was in the middle of typing important assignments. Since March of 2010, I haven’t looked back and I’m completely – with the exception of my Android phone – an Apple lover! I have committed myself to learn everything about the device and get the most out of my purchase. It has only taken me 3 years! Let me fill you in. See, I’m the type of person who gets a new gadget and just explores. My phone, my iPod, my computer, a watch. Sure, it comes with an instruction manual, but who reads that stuff? Like really? I don’t need a guide to tell me how to cut the device on and just explore, right? Over the past three years I have navigated my way through the world of Apple – from my iPod, iPod Touch and my MacBook. No instructions needed. So I thought. That is until I began discovering “new” features to my MacBook – 2 to 3 years after I had purchased it! For example:

  1. I wonder how I switch my Photobooth photos to not read backwards.
  2. I wonder how I can take screen shots.
  3. My computer won’t turn on – must get it fixed. Oh no! I don’t have AppleCare registered…even though I bought it.
  4. I wonder how I can do (X, Y, Z….1, 2, 3….)

I had so many questions. Some more serious than the others – like is it too late to register my AppleCare that I bought 2 years ago! But the hard part, the embarrassing moment of all was finding out that these questions – and many more – could have been answered had I read my instruction manual back in 2010! I realized I could have got the most out of my MacBook experience had I just read the instruction manual when I bought it. I could have bypassed the long wait to find my receipt at the University Bookstore, get AppleCare registered on my computer, then finally get it fixed for free – if I had just read the directions (carefully!) and properly had AppleCare registered 2 years prior to me needing it!

The designer or manufacturer of a product is the only one who knows why and how a product is made, how to put it together, and how it is supposed to work. That’s why they give us manuals – instruction guides – to help us use the device properly. Our lives are no different! God knows us best – He is our manufacturer! As we continue striving to live out biblical womanhood, only God can ultimately lead us to where we’re trying to go, but to get there, our steps must be properly ordered. We must read His instruction manual to discover how the manufacturer of our lives wants us to act in this world.

Each of our designs are truly unique. There is no cookie-cutter design for biblical womanhood. It’s not Ruth. It’s not Esther. It’s not the Proverbs 31 woman – Whoa! What a standard to live up to! It is simply you – however God designed you to be! The world will never know what that truly looks like if we try to find out who we are outside of Christ. There are many “manuals” out there that can tell you how to be a woman – some written by authors who base their ideas on the Word of God, some who base their ideas on the world, and even men who base their ideas off of….well, I’m not even sure, but acting like a lady and thinking like a man is not going to cut it. I am a woman! I want to think like one and not have that be something to look down upon! What does it mean to be purely woman? The world will never know what real biblical womanhood looks like if we continue to try to “find ourselves” – we have already been found in Christ! Now is the time to explore what that looks like!

Women of the Word:

For WOW this past week we began a study called True Woman 101 and discussed whether gender matters. We looked to our instruction manuals for clarity. Scripture outlines in Genesis 1:26-2:25 God’s design for male and female. In order to understand the differences we first had to sit back and ask, “What is our goal – purpose – in life?” The answer: to glorify God. The next question: How do gender roles do that? What is the bigger picture?

The Trinity! It is fascinating to think how the 3 in 1 are different, yet equal. Neither is more important than the other, but each of them submit and serve in various ways. Take Christ and the Father, such as, Christ – being equal with God the Father – submits himself to the will of the Father and, though he has headship over the Church, serves the Church in all humility (Philippians 2). In order to understand God’s design for manhood and womanhood, we must remove ourselves – our well-being, happiness, feelings – from the picture. It’s not about us – never has been! It is all a reflection of His glory. So in the context of the Church, those not called to the pulpit submit ourselves to leadership, but our pastors and elders are to serve us by upholding those things to which they are qualified (1 Timothy 3:1-7). We can’t live in community without our pastors shepherding and they cannot lead without the support from the rest of the body. In the context of marriage, wives submit to their husbands, but husbands love wives as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33; Philippians 2). They have to work together! Each of our relationships serve a purpose greater than ourselves. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit each work together – they are very equal, very different and very much in need of each other to make everything come together!

I don’t think this design for womanhood – biblical womanhood! – should be something that is frowned upon. If we remember how this design – male & female – is to reflect the relationship of Christ and the Church or, in non-romantic relationships, the Trinity, we should see the power in that! There’s nothing degrading about this design. There’s nothing oppressive or weak about the idea of a biblical woman! A friend of mine recently put it like this – If you were trying to move a table, but needed help doing so, would you call on someone weaker than you? Of course not! You’d get someone who is as strong, if not stronger, than you are. Likewise with a math problem – if you need help, you’re not going to ask someone who is less competent than you to help. You’d probably ask someone who is smarter than you! Not that I’m arguing that women are stronger and smarter than men….ok, maybe I am 🙂 Afterall, Adam being alone was the only time God said “This is not good”….then there was Eve – woman! (Woot, woot! Yay ladies!) Okay, I digress.

But the point is that whether it is in marriage or within the Church, the design for male and female is very distinct, very different, but still equal and dependent on each other in many ways. The only way we can gain a better understanding of this is by reading our instruction manual and taking advantage of the direct access we have with the manufacturer of our lives.

When we think about gender differences and God’s design for womanhood, we must look to God to get the best example. In Genesis 1:31 all of creation – including man and woman – are described as being “very good”. Do you believe that to be true? Have you wholeheartedly said “yes” to God’s design? What are your thoughts?

With love,

LC

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