Estimated reading time: 5 minutes:-)
I read a quote about the role of a Christian woman recently and it got me thinking. It talked about how woman was pulled from Adam’s rib and how significant that origin story is.
It made me wonder:
What is it about the rib that can help me understand my identity as not just a child of God, but as a woman of God? And what is it about the rib that can help me understand what my relationship with my future husband should look like?
I journaled about it a few days ago, so here’s what I wrote:
The rib sits on the inside.
It nestles under the heart, to be loved.
It gives man structure, shape—like the beams in a well-built house.
It tucks right under the arm to be sheltered, and yet cannot be broken very easily.
It doesn’t lead the body alone, but works with the body in leading forward. It doesn’t usurp what isn’t hers, but aids man’s body in overseeing what is both theirs.
It protects what is most precious to the man, his heart and lungs to breathe and love and live. Yet she herself is protected by her posture in man’s life, and the mutual care and protection they exchange.
The rib is a beautiful piece of the body, intricately balanced and designed with the natural geometry of flowers, of mountains, of ferns.
When man’s body moves and breathes around her, she remains steadfast and strong, anchoring man’s life.
She grows as man grows. And she wraps around man’s body in an embrace that cradles his very essence, the very things that make him a treasured man of God.
The rib is strong and steadfast and beautiful and loyal and protective and yet—
God looked at Adam, and looked at his ribs, and knew those ribs wouldn’t suffice. He looked at those ribs and saw the potential for something far greater, far more necessary, far more beautiful. He looked at those ribs and knew woman was better.
I think we’ve lost sight of what it means to be a woman. The world has forgotten that we were created by the same God who crafted the oceans and most intricate corals, prairie fields and sweeping tundras. The world has forgotten that neither one of us, man nor woman, was created to live in total independence, free from fellowship and community. The world has trampled over women and cast them in the dirt. But that same world has also put them on a pedestal far higher than they were intended to be placed.
I’m tired of people assuming I’m less and being shocked when I’m not. Shutting me down because of a cherry-picked verse from 2 Timothy. I shouldn’t be a shocker. I’m not too emotional, or too consumed with beautiful things. I am a woman of God, designed to be the way I am by the God of the universe.
But I’m also tired of the world telling women they deserve the world, when in reality, each and every one of us deserves nothing. We deserve eternal separation from God because of how sinful we are, not everything this world has to offer. But by the grace of God, through Jesus, we are saved. And the world convinces women they’re better, they’re smarter, they’re more worthy, they don’t need to be saved.
Why is it that womanhood has been cast so low and yet raised so high? What happened to us being pulled from man’s rib, right beside him, equal with him and yet complimentary, protecting and yet protected?
I think this is what it means to be a woman of God:
I am designed to do hard things. I’m stronger than steel and difficult to break—and yet it is Christ that gives me strength.
I build others up in the name of Christ, and I, through the strength of Christ, give structure and stability to those around me.
I anchor others to the things most vital—the gospel, and Jesus Christ—and I am a force to be reckoned with.
But I am also designed to embrace. To protect. To fiercely defend the heart of not only my future husband, but everyone I meet.
I am designed to cradle, to comfort.
I need the body, and the body needs me.
I direct the posture of those around me—the physical posture but also the heart posture towards God—and I know when I fall to my knees, other men and women will follow.
I am a woman of God. So there you go:-)
Proverbs 31:25-30 ~ “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 happy; her husband too, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceitful, and beauty is in vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”