Day 23: To Be A Woman

Read: Genesis 3:16

For years now, I have viewed being a woman as one of the hardest parts of my identity. I’ve felt shame in the fact that I’m physically weaker than males and a deep feeling that I must prove my value by being more than “just a female.” In the Christian circles I was raised in, there were certain expectations of women that I felt I didn’t meet. I wasn’t meek or particularly quiet. 

My goals in life were not limited to motherhood, and I wasn’t that motivated to get married. I wanted to be allowed to preach in churches, but I never saw women behind the pulpit, except for the occasional Mother’s Day sermon.

 Women throughout history have often been viewed as lesser than men, and people in the church have sometimes used Eve’s sin to justify their opinion that women are inferior. This mistaken use of Genesis 3 has always bothered me.

Eve was cursed in childbirth and in her relationship with her husband. Childbearing is one of the most painful and difficult experiences a woman can go through and is often used as an example of the strength of a woman. It’s hard to imagine that the pain from childbirth is part of the “curse” and was actually never intended.

The part of the curse speaking to a woman’s desire for her husband, has been misunderstood at times. It’s not a punishment for a wife to desire her husband, but the word for desire in this passage actually refers to her desire to control. The languages implies a power struggle between the two.

Scholars disagree over whether or not this means that the man’s role as a leader in the relationship is a result of the Fall, but one thing they all agree on is that abuse of power in that role is a sin. This is an earthly, sinful problem, and not God’s plan for us. It encourages me to know that we aren’t trapped for eternity in the sins of humanity.

If you are a woman, how do you feel about the way God has created you? As a man or woman, how do you live in light of the fall of mankind? Do you ever find that your view of personhood is distorted? Be thankful that we have all, male and female, been made new in Christ!

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