Divine Design: Beautiful Design (Week 7 / Day 1)

Beautiful!! Beautiful design

Author: Renee Heusinger

The Creator of beauty…

  • God commanded Aaron’s garments to be made for glory and beauty. Ex. 28:2
  • Absolom was known for his beauty-no blemish on him. 2 Sam. 14:25
  • We are to worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 1 Chron. 16:29
  • He garnished the house with precious stones for beauty. 2 Chr. 3:6
  • God tells Job to deck himself with majesty and excellency; and array himself with glory and beauty…then God would confess that Job could save himself. (So, God does the decking and arraying, but He values beauty.) Job 40:10,14
  • God desires our beauty. Ps 45:11
  • God’s beauty is upon us… Ps90:17
  • Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ps 96:6
  • Beware of being proud of your beauty. Ez 28:17
  • How great is his goodness and how great is his beauty! Zech 9:17
  • Beware: As the sun withers the grass and…the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. James 1:11

The lesson this week talks about the popularity of makeover shows, and how the success is related to having experts do the makeover. To make sure it gets the WOW effect requires knowledge and skill. God wants to give us a complete makeover; and, He is the only qualified expert to do the job. Look around at the beauty of his handiwork in creation. I think he can be trusted to have amazing results.

“God is in the restoration business,” says the author, “No matter how damaged our life (or ideas) … his power and love can restore our lives to its original design.” So, why do some of us shutter at the thought? A number of years ago, we remodeled our house. With our family having four girls, we decided to either move or add-on. After several years of researching and planning, we finally started the process – a bit uncertain of the trials of the process, but excited for the anticipated results. Like many projects, it took twice as long and cost more than we planned. It took many hours of tearing out, searching for the appropriate item, waiting on subcontractors, being patient to work step by step and not rush ahead. It took that four letter word – work, some by us and a lot by the experts. Every makeover starts the same though, a need or desire with a willingness to follow and wait on the experts.

God wants to restore our womanhood to the beauty he intended it to have. The restoration won’t be complete until we get to eternity, but each step gives us a closer look at the intended beauty of the outcome. As I look around my house now, I see areas that need some upkeep or updating. Do I regularly take the same look at my life? What preparations or changes do I still need to make to my life to take another step in the beautification process? DO I need to learn and get to know the expert more so I can trust his work in my life?

We have seen the devastating effects of trying to do the makeover ourselves (ch. 6), so let’s get ready to let God do His work in us. His resume is filled with accomplishments.

  •  Genesis 1-2
  • Job 38-41
  • Ezekiel 36:26-7
  • 2 Cor 5:16-20
  • Ephesians 4:20-5:2

Join the discussion:

Are you committed to having a makeover? Are you willing to obey “from the heart”? Will you let Him re-create you according to His divine design?

Trading Humility and Service for Individual Rights and Equality

Author: Renee Heusinger

Are you hungry for TRUTH? Have you bought into the feminist movement? Modern society’s belief that women should control every aspect of their lives reveals how much the feminist movement has molded our thinking. Women have exchanged humility and service for individual rights and equality. We often see our “variance” from God’s word as just that – a choice, instead of what it often is – sin. Bringing every thought captive means that we honestly and objectively step back and look at our ideas and life choices in light of Gods word.

In an article from the Desiring God blog, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield candidly talks about her lesbian lifestyle and how an old, seventeenth century theologian named John Owen helped her in her struggle with sexual sin. She stated, “Instead of liberty, my sexual sin was enslavement. This seventeenth century Puritan revealed to me how my lesbian desires and sensibilities were dead-end joy-killers.”

Although Rosaria’s article focuses on sexual sin, John Owen’s thoughts can be applied to any sin. The feminist movement promised “liberty” but women have been lead astray and have been enslaved. May it never be, come to God’s banquet table hungry for truth.

Please take a moment to read Rosaria’s article…

THE DEAD END OF SEXUAL SIN – Unbelievers don’t “struggle” with same sex attraction. I didn’t. My love for women came with nary a struggle at all. I had not always been a lesbian, but in my late 20s, I met my first lesbian lover. I was hooked and believed that I had found my real self. Sex with women was part of my life and identity, but it was not the only part — and not always the biggest part. I simply preferred everything about women: their company, their conversation, their companionship…

…MORE

 

Divine Design: A Taste For It (Week 6 / Day 5)

Author: Renee Heusinger

As a teenager, I was looking for excitement. Having been raised in the church, I was used to the “no dinking, no dancing, no swearing, no hanging around with those who do” rules of behavior. I was left thinking that Christianity was boring. The fun that was allowed often seemed childish, immature. So, I went on a quest for an exciting purpose in life: traveling, enjoying friends and whatever life would present me. As Ecclesiastes says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Men have been seeking the purpose of life forever. Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 2: 1-12:

I said in my heart, Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself. But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad, and of pleasure, What use is it? I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with winemy heart still guiding me with wisdomand how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.

So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

Seems we are still trying the same things to satisfy as Solomon: pleasure, laughter, wine, folly, work/success, earthly wealth, songs, sex, wisdom/knowledge, and immediate gratification. Not surprising that we as women are seeking our place in this grand scheme of finding pleasure and purpose. The feminism movement sought to answer the longing by being able to self-define, but just like Solomon found, “it is all vanity.” The sought after equalities and freedoms actually put us in bondage to a different master. God has created us with a sense of adventure, and a desire to be loved and useful. Perhaps though, the finding of this answer is not so much in what we DO, but how we THINK.

In our study, the authors describe our modern view of feminism in terms of what we are used to: a diet familiar to us. We are used to seeing it served up; how it tastes, its consistency and color, its texture, its flavor. We are used to swallowing it. The Bible’s food may not be so familiar and acceptable to us. It may even make you fearful. It may be distasteful, unfamiliar. I don’t eat bugs, but in many cultures, they are a delicacy. It is really all about what we THINK about it.

We can read Proverbs 7, 8, and 9, and agree that we want to choose wisdom. We want the substance of a real, satisfying meal eaten with people whom we share a genuine relationship, but often the facades make the choices more difficult. Which house is it?

What DO we know that God says women are to be like?

  • Titus 2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
  • I Peter 3: 1-12 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be externalthe braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wearbut let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
  • I Corinthians 11: 1-14 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife[a] is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife[b] who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.[c] 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.
  • I Timothy 1:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
  • I Corinthians 14: 34-35 The women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
  • 1 Timothy 2:9-15 Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godlinesswith good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve;
  • Philippians 4:3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
  • 2 Timothy 3:6-7 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
  • Proverbs 31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him. What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. The Woman Who Fears the Lord –  An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

NO doubt the Bible has many more, but these are some of the common passages about the conduct and attitude women are to have. What taste do they leave in your mouth? What stands out to you? Do the commands to submit and serve seem heavy, or do you focus on the promised blessings? “The Word of God not be reviled.” “Her husband may be won.” “Be precious in God’s sight.” “Obtain a blessing.” “Love life and see good days.” God watches over and commends you. Her husband protects her. She honors and is honored. She is an heir together of the grace of God. She is trustworthy, does good, and works hard, She is strong, wise, kind, prepared, is known, is generous, is entrepreneurial. She is praised! It is not a matter of what is written, but what you think about it.

The question the authors asked was, ”How do you need to adjust your attitude toward womanhood so that it matches his? Our verse this month was Romans 12:1-2 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers (or sisters), by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Replacing erroneous thinking with godly thinking comes only by meditating on God’’s Word. The scientific research that now supports the long time truths of Scripture only adds to the credibility of God’s Word. It is not what we Do, but what we THINK, that drives our actions and attitudes. We will never experience God’s adventure, love and purpose if we are filling our minds with worldly philosophies and values.

God used some trials and blessings in my life to show me that His way is more exciting and purposeful than anything the world has to offer. The external allures of fun, friends, things, education and success (whatever that looks like to each person) has nothing in comparison to the thrill of a relationship with the God who created the universe, humbled Himself and came to earth to redeem me for Himself and asks that I prepare myself as His bride, waiting for that glorious reunion It’s all about how you think about it!

Join the discussion:

How do you need to adjust your attitude toward womanhood so that it matches His?

Divine Design: The Dinner Party (Week 6 / Day 3 & 4)

 Author: Renee Heusinger

Do you love being invited to someone’s home for a meal? It makes me feel like someone cares about me. They are saying that they want to get to know me better; that they care enough to share their home, livelihood, and time. It takes planning, effort and a hospitable spirit. Although God tells us not to neglect it (Hebrews 13:16), too often it is an undone chore to invite people into your home. I love setting an attractive table with cloth napkins and food and conversation that invites those around the table to linger long. Two of my favorite passages of Scripture to meditate on are…

Revelation 19:6-9

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude,

like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!

For the Lord our God

the Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and exult

and give him the glory,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

and his Bride has made herself ready;

it was granted her to clothe herself

with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper

of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

 

Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples

a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,

of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.

And he will swallow up on this mountain

the covering that is cast over all peoples,

the veil that is spread over all nations.

He will swallow up death forever;

and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,

and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,

for the Lord has spoken.

It will be said on that day,

“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.

This is the Lord; we have waited for him;

let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

 

I can’t wait to see what that feast will be like. Not only will God have prepared the banquet, but we as believers will have prepared ourselves, as a bride prepares for her day. As creative as God was in creation, my imagination lights up considering what is being prepared.

Proverbs tells us of two ladies who are inviting people to their banquet. Which one will I choose to attend? Which one will you choose?

On days 3-4 in our study books, True Woman 101: Divine Design, compare Lady Wise and Lady Foolish -reflecting on Proverbs 8 and 9. Wisdom personified “cries, cries aloud” in public, well traveled places, trying to warn and persuade those who thoughtlessly do not consider, learn or understand how their short sighted decisions will effect them. Asking them to “hear and receive instruction”. In other words, have a teachable heart: humble, open, willing to put forth the effort to think through their choices, not giving in to the lure of obtaining things to satisfy. Wisdom requires daily watching and waiting. She plans, prepares, works and then invites her guests to come and eat the fruits of her labors.

Wisdom understands to not waste her time on scoffers and lovers of unrighteousness for they will not listen, learn or understand. The fool is proud, arrogant, imprudent, does not hate evil ways, has a perverse mouth and loves death.

Interestingly, they are compared as inviting their guests to a banquet. Amazing how important is the dinner table, from the setting to the food to the guests who come. Think about all the times the Bible uses the setting of a dinner for conveying important truths: Jacob and Esau prepare a meal before receiving their father’s blessing, Esther hosts a banquet, Jesus teaches his disciples at the Last Supper, the Prodigal’s father hosts a feast for his sons return, Jesus prepares a banquet for his bride, the church. Then, notice the planning and preparation it takes to be ready to serve. Wisdom makes the effort and thinks of the guests above the hosts comforts. Contrast that with the invitation to foolishness. She invites and promises a satisfying meal, but sits, is simple and knows nothing. She hasn’t listened or learned. She is described as clamorous. Instead of enticing with a clear menu, she seduces with “stolen water and bread eaten in secret”.

Even as Satan tempted Eve with promises of knowledge, wisdom, good food and beauty, so does the women’s movement promise a feast on a golden platter, but doesn’t deliver. Instead of a satisfying meal and good company, she displays a distasteful setting with philosophers grasping for truth. Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party” is a poor substitute for what God really has planned for those who follow Him. As the Time magazine article reported, women do desire to have a home and family with loving, intimate relationships. The article said that men still hold the top jobs (only 2% of the Fortune 500 bosses are women), but it is not because women don’t have the opportunity, but must choose between having a home and family or pursuing such time-consuming careers. It is not the image of a 1950’s ideal, which is pictured as being fulfilled by things-home filled with all the latest conveniences, worldly successful husband, and clean cut kids that is so attractive. It is the Biblical model of choosing to think, learn, understand, plan, purpose, prepare, work, speak with wisdom and grace and value eternal things rather than earthly riches that makes womanhood rewarding. What we think about our role as women in God’s plan is an important decision. It is a choice.

Join in the discussion:

The tables are set and the invitations are sent, whose feast of ideas will you swallow?

Divine Design: Girls Gone Wild Effect (Week 6 / Day 2)

Stock Photo Image ID: 698562 (Sean Carpenter)

Stock Photo Image ID: 698562 (Sean Carpenter)

Author: Renee Heusinger

In the movie Glory Road the white basketball players are learning to relate to the black players. One player explains, “When I say it’s bad, it really means that it’s good.” Perhaps popular lingo like this is reflecting the confusion of morals that we are experiencing today. As the feminists now laud their power through sexual control, behavior that is called “bad” or sinful is now seen as good. Women consider their ability to choose when and if they will have children, they can now control their lives to a great degree. Sadly, this has led to an anything goes mentality that has swept our nation.

We are tempted to point fingers at increasingly provocative dress, lack of parental control or influence, public school teaching that seeks to eliminate God, or Hollywood’s glorification of women’s freedoms. As we see in Proverbs 7, that although the consequence of behavior is more hidden and now the behavior is even socially acceptable, the sin and seduction are the same. Last meeting we watched the video “Wild Thing” and looked at some of the comparisons of Proverbs 7 from Bible times to our times. Proverbs 5:5-6 summarizes her choices as “she does not ponder the path of her life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.” She doesn’t know that it’s society, or her peers that will judge her actions and attitudes, but that of a holy, omniscient, omnipotent, gracious God.

Read Proverbs 7:4-23. When I am honest with myself, I may not be seducing a man into an affair, but I too often try to “win him” over to “my way.” Often it shows its ugly head in the simplest of things. For example, today we are headed out on a family trip. As we are approaching the exit to stop for breakfast, my husband says, “McDonald’s!” Without thinking I am voicing my thoughts: we have lots of time to kill before we pick up the rest of our crew at the airport, so why rush-.” Although I said McDonalds would be fine, there is no way my husband will go there after my comment. I am daily challenged to be aware – before I talk – of the many ways I sabotage his attempts to take the lead.

Balancing the desire for an adventure – which requires risk taking – with the desire for godliness, is not an impossible task. Actually, God’s ways usually hold plenty of adventure, when we are willing to obey and move out of our comfort zone. There is nothing more exciting than being a part of someone’s decision to follow Christ, or to listen to someone share about his or her love and passion for Christ. Being good is NOT boring, as the world would have us to believe. Marriage God’s way, seeking to honor and serve the other is an adventure. A husband wants his wife to be an angel in the kitchen and a devil in the bedroom.   – Beneth Peters Jones.

Those who choose the wild way are often left with stories of hurt, loneliness, guilt, and emptiness. God promises joy, purpose, love, and grace. Contrary to popular culture, being bad is not good.

Join in the discussion:

  1. What ways are you expressing your “wildness”?
  2. What adventures have you lived that have disproved the world’s philosophy that good is boring?

Divine Design: Girls Rule – Boys Drool (Week 6/Day 1)

Author: Renee Heusinger

The chapter “Hear Me Roar” has much that challenges our thinking. Some may easily recognize the issues that feminism has raised, others may question that anything is amiss. I had a conversation this week with a mom whose last child is a senior. She started telling me about her ideas of what to do next in life. Trying to find a job that would interest her and make her feel like a valuable part of society was her goal, but not her desire. Being close to that stage, I understand that pull. I shared with her a vision of Titus 2:3-5 that “older women are called to mentor younger women, teaching them…” Often our first response as an empty nester though is to get a job outside the home-somehow the idea of “just keeping the home for your husband and ministering or volunteering” isn’t using your potential or satisfying. From where does that thinking come? Are we not fulfilling our purpose or “reaching our potential” if we are a “stay-at-home-mom.” Is it wrong to desire to work outside the home? Maybe we need to “renew” our thinking. As we are meditating on Romans 12:1-2 this week, let’s focus on “renewing our minds”.

Romans 12:1-2

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.Albert Einstein

Now, the question is: “whose thinking is right?” Or “is the idea of women’s equality wrong?” Taking the Bible as our ultimate authority on life, directs us as to where we need to look to check our thinking.

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.Thomas Jefferson

Our actions tell what we value and believe, because actions start with thinking. How important it is to “guard our thoughts.”

2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

 —”Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” You sow an act, you reap a habit (acts repeated constitute habits); you sow a habit, you reap a character; you sow a character, you reap a destiny. Let them, he said, cultivate habits of industry, application, and order, and they might rely upon it, with God’s blessing, they would succeed in life. -Mr. Wiseman

James 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.-Mark Twain

The feminism movement is no longer a movement, but an accepted idea in our culture and even in our church culture. Many of our goals, decisions and reactions have been molded by this philosophy. Think about your life. Did you consider getting married right after high school? Do you consider having a career a “must” to be a “fulfilled” woman? What exactly is feminism and has it affected me? Some of us have ideas of bold, loud, assertive women. Some think about pro-choice activists. Maybe, it’s just a push for equal rights and equal pay?

As taken from our study book: Divine Design, the feminism movement is a secular philosophical theory, a doctrine, a system of principles and ideas. (p. 140) …it’s the idea that women should be in control of their lives and afforded dignity, respect and equality. It is a subtle (& sometimes not so subtle) distortion of how we approach male-female relationships. It proposes that men are the cause of women’s problems and pain. And, women have the right, power, and knowledge to rectify those problems. Thus began a women-centered analysis that has integrated into virtually every area of life.

As a cause, the National Organization for Women (NOW) stimulated feminism to action in 1968 when they proclaimed that women would find their happiness and fulfillment when they defined their own identity. A political movement and protests followed and were so successful that not only do songs proclaim the “I Am Woman” motto, but girls today don’t even question the “don’t mess with me” attitude that has permeated our society since.

Think about the things that make us angry: the “clicks” that set us off. “Why do I do the dishes while he sits and watches TV?” “Why do women change their names?” “Why are most CEO’s men?” The feminist cause ignites as the realization that “male privilege is responsible for women’s misery.” Thankfully, as we look at Genesis’ recounting of God’s plan for the sexes, it is to put the Gospel on display through our unique differences. “Sin is responsible for pitting man against woman.(p.142) At the heart of feminism is the sin of selfishness. Our flesh doesn’t like the idea of living a life “holy and sacrificial,” but that is what Jesus did for us and calls us to do for each other. Men and women each have their own areas of self-sacrifice to bring to the table. God said to Eve (and us) that her “desire will be to her husband.” Our natural bent is to nurture. Men may not like to feel the ultimate responsibility of providing for their family, but his natural bent is to lead. As we act out of love, each fulfilling God’s purpose in a unique way, the Gospel shines in the darkness of demanding my way, in my time and on my terms – Me, Me, Me.

Consider the “freedoms” that women’s liberation has brought, and then consider the “freedoms” we have in Christ.

Women’s lib freedoms:

  • Choice in reproduction, freedom to be promiscuous without the consequences
  • Choice to work outside the home, become highly educated, financially independent
  • Choice to view men as weak, inept

Freedom in Christ:

  • Security in Christ
    • …not in being financially or emotionally independent John 5:24 Hebrews 13:5
    • Resting and trusting in God instead of making it happen for myself.
    • “It’s a relationship of trust, intimacy and grace.Gayla Bahm
  • Being who God created you to be Gal. 5:1, II Cor. 3:17, John 8:32,36, Gal 5:13-14, II Tim 1:12
    • I know whom I have believed, Gal 2:20, I Cor 12:27
    • “The closer you get to God, the more freedom you experience to be the person He created you to be.”   Anne Daly
  • Joy in other-centeredness
    • JOY acrostic Jesus-Others-You Phil 2:7, 14-16
    • Created to have a “Radical other-centeredness” instead of self-centeredness (Genesis study-Ed Daly)
    • Vanity is living for yourself. (Ps. 119:37!, Eccl 2:11, 6:2)

Freedom in women’s lib and freedom in Christ is a contrast of striving verses peace, fighting for rights versus joy in serving. The challenge that we face is to look at our thoughts and beliefs and honestly and openly compare them to Scripture – to God’s plan for us. Then, be willing to act accordingly on them.

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Romans 14:5

Join in the discussion:

Thinking back to the consequences of the fall- discussion

  1. Explain what is legitimate about the feminist claim that “patriarchy” is responsible for the unhappiness of women?                                                                                            
  2. How does putting the blame on “male-rule” subtly undermine the Bible’s teaching on God’s design for men and women? I Cor 11:3 Christ submitted himself to the Father for the joy to come; our lack of submission destroys the picture of Christ and the church and our joy. 

Read more:

When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey

Women in the Workforce: Female Power

In preparation for our next discussion, you can watch this twenty-minute conversation between authors Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Mary Kassian, and their friends as they discuss how to find true fulfillment and joy—in God’s design for us as women.

Week 6 Video: Hear Me Roar

Divine Design: Total Makeover

Author: Sonya Nelsen

How are you doing on your Divine Design study? We are in Week Seven, actually month seven since we are taking a month for each week.  I will admit I was not sure if I really wanted to do another study on “women.”  I have done so many over the years and didn’t know if I had it in me but Ladies – this study is sweet!  I find myself falling in love with my Savior more and more as I study His word about who I am as a woman.  Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh Demoss have a knack in relating God’s truth to me in a personal way and in current culture terms.  Their use of “design” terms caters directly to my bent toward fashion, art, and design.  Note: a little unknown fact about me – one of my college degrees is in Fashion Merchandising.

This week’s theme is TOTAL MAKEOVER.  Have you seen those shows or videos of someone receiving a total makeover?  They are amazing aren’t they.  Do you need a makeover?  As I approached age 50 I began a difficult journey in my life and frankly am still on that journey but making great strides.  I had spent 22 years raising my girls (with my husband).  Being a mom was a big part of my identity.  I had a difficult time turning 40 but 50 was almost unbearable.  I didn’t want to be “old” and I looked at my life through the eyes of our culture: I had gained weight over the years, I was tired of coloring my gray hair, my kids were grown and out of the house (empty nest) and we had moved to a new community (no friends or family).

My recent makeover craze has been trying to figure out how to let my over dyed, fragile hair return to it’s natural color which is now “gray.”  And, how do I do that without feeling “old.”  There are oodles of videos out there documenting how others have taken the plunge.  Some women (with medium to long length hair) have taken the long road.  They patiently let the gray grow out over a 18 to 24 month time period.  To my surprise, some women have completely shaved their heads and started fresh.  Yikes!  I’m 6 months into the 18 to 24 month transition for medium length hair.  I initially chose this route because I like my long hair but now I’m not fond of the color line.  What to do?

This study has brought me back to the creation story and the true meaning of womanhood.  I love how the study book states…”He (Christ) is the ultimate makeover artist.  He enables us to reclaim the beauty of who God created us to be.  He’s the expert on manhood and womanhood…and…the gospel of Christ redeems (rescues, saves, and makes over) true womanhood from the ugliness of sin.”

As my hair transitions from brown to gray I realize how Christ has redeemed me from a life of lies (colored hair) to one of truth (natural colored hair).  The one difference is that I am redeemed instantly by God’s grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).  I don’t have to wait through a 18 to 24 months transition.  We become a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come (2 Corinthians 5:17). Thank you Jesus!

Ladies…

The Lord wants you to trust Him.  He’ll give you a dramatic makeover and transform your womanhood into a thing of beauty.  The “before” and “after” pictures will be amazing, because Jesus Christ will turn your “ho-hum” into a “Wow!”  — and the “new woman” will bear a striking resemblance to Him!   (pg 163)

Are you ready for a “makeover” by Christ?