I can remember as a young girl wishing I’d been born a boy. Boys didn’t have to wear dresses. Boys got to play with cool toys. It was acceptable for boys to be a little louder, a little more active, a little more aggressive. Boys could play any sport they wanted. Boys could grow up and have any career they wanted. Growing up thinking that, it’s no wonder I kind of began to feel like women were second class citizens. When puberty hit I hated the changes in my body and was embarrassed that instead growing muscular and lean, I was growing rounder.
Growing up in a Christian home, God’s word was a part of my life. There too, I often found women appeared to be less important. They had a particular place and were expected to stay there. Through the years that ideology didn’t change much and I’m sure shaped the world into which I was born.
Anyone that knew me as a youth will surely remember I was not the most graceful, quiet or feminine girl. I was a tomboy. I liked being rough. I loved climbing trees. I’d rather play with the boys. I’m sure many boys never even thought of me as a girl as I strove to prove I was just as tough, just as good and just as worthy of a person despite my being female.
To this day, I struggle with overcoming the thought I am inferior because I am a woman. Sadly, as my daughters have grown into women, I have seen them struggle to overcome this mindset of the world that women are less. Women can’t.
In Genesis 1:26-27, the sixth day of creation, you find this;
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
How many times have I read this with the mind that man = male? Look at verse 27. Man here doesn’t mean male, it means mankind. The last part is the defining part. God created him (mankind) MALE and FEMALE he created them.
God created the creatures of the earth in both male and female form because the two together complete the creation of that particular species. And so, it is also true of mankind. The male and female of each species compliments one another. We are all an extension of God and while there are some differences between the male and female, we are created in God’s image. He is the body, we are the extremities. One gender is the right hand the other is the left, or one gender is the hands the other is the feet. The places where one gender is weaker, the other is stronger, and vice-versa.
In Genesis 2, the Bible gets a little more detailed about the actual creation process. As God created each thing he finished by saying, “and it was good”. In Genesis 2:15 it says,
15 Then the Lord God took THE man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
(Note is says THE man – because here the reference is to the male)
Down in verse 18, the Bible goes on to say,
18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
Comparable to him. Not less than, not under him, but comparable.
The definition of comparable is this:
1. (of a person or thing) able to be likened to another; similar.”flaked stone and bone tools comparable to Neanderthal man’s tools”synonyms:similar, close, near, approximate, akin, equivalent, commensurate, proportional, proportionate; More
- of equivalent quality; worthy of comparison.
So woman was created comparable or equal to man. Equal in worth, value, and importance to God.
In the first part of chapter 18 God says, “It is not good for man (the male) to be alone”. This is because the completeness of mankind requires both the male and female. Together male and female complete the species. One can not continue to exist without the other.
Yes, there are standard characteristics to each gender. Males are generally physically stronger. Females generally are more nurturing. Males tend to be hairier. Females tend to be more vocal. Males are visual. Females are emotional. These are general characteristics but not absolutes. Occasionally, a female is exceptionally physically strong. Some males are very nurturing.
These are not bad things. These differences are what make mankind complete with both the male and female together. We are the accelerator and brakes for one another. When we think we can’t, the other gender is there to provide the strength, emotional or physical, to say, yes you can. When we plod full steam ahead, but we shouldn’t, the other gender is there to put on the brakes. Our differences help us be well rounded and complete when we come together.
We are two sides to the same coin. To serve the purpose of mankind there must be both male and female. God didn’t create males and then think “Hey, they need a pet or something to take care”. He created a comparable helpmate. He created males and females in his image, each gender having different qualities of himself.
So with this study in mind, I stand taller today. I know despite what the world has pigeon-holed women to be, I am just as much a purposeful creation of my God. I am not an afterthought. I celebrate being the flip side of the coin. I know my heavenly Father created us, both male and female, to complete His image in mankind.