What We Were Designed For: A Portrait of Eve, Intro
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
“Rather than asking, ‘What should a woman do – what is her role?’ it would be far more helpful to ask, ‘What is a woman – what is her design?’ and ‘Why did God place Woman in our midst?'” (From Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge)
Today is International Women’s Day, and how appropriate for it to be for today we embark on a journey to understanding womanhood as God intended, embracing life as a redeemed Eve! But in order to fully understand ourselves and our purpose and womanhood, we must first take a journey into Scripture and unveil the story of the first woman, and that would be Eve.
As Christian women, I feel we have this particularly hard. God never promises an easy life when we walk with Him, but sometimes I think, “Come on, God, give me a break!” You all know what I’m talking about:
the days when you are so exhausted by all the weights of the world that you just want to crawl back in bed and stay there all day
the days when your monthly takes you by surprise and of course, comes at the most inopportune time
the days when you struggle with self-confidence when you gaze into the mirror and realize you still haven’t shed those 5 pounds you wanted
the days when your husband ignores you, when your friends forget to call, when your boyfriend is pressuring you to go farther than you want to, when a stranger eyes you up and down lasciviously, or when the guy who sits in the back of your class or works in the cubicle next to yours makes a quip about women that hurts your feelings
How about the days when you feel like God is so far away and you have no idea how to find Him or if you want to find Him?
We all have those days! I’ve had many of those days recently, in fact. But the worst thing to do is to give up, give in, hide out, run away, or explode on everyone and everything. I can tell you this: We were not designed for pain or pleasure at our expense. We were not designed to be lonely and miserable. We were not designed to be workaholics. We were not designed to be ignored, overlooked, pressured, ogled, made fun of, embarrassed, put down, etc. God is there, like the Father in the story of the prodigal son, running to you with outstretched arms of love, desiring to make you His daughter, His bride.
Then what were we designed for? What is a woman?
John and Stasi Eldredge suggest that in order to understand creation, we must think of a work of art. God beautifully created the world from nothing. The canvas begins blank and black – darkness. First, God speaks light into the darkness – radiant and pure. Then He forms land, separating the waters into one place, separating earth from the heavens. He begins to add color and shape with plants and birds and fish. “Creation ascends in beauty” (Eldredge). God astonishingly creates a man in his own image – a man the Scriptures calls Adam. But God isn’t finished. He notices something is not right. Something is missing, or rather someone. That someone is Woman, Eve!
“She is the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God, Woman. In one last flourish creation comes to a finish not with Adam, but with Eve. She is the Master’s finishing touch” (Eldredge).
Eve isn’t an afterthought. God didn’t forget about her. Sometimes I wonder if God was waiting long enough for Adam to notice something missing, for Adam to long for someone of his own. Sometimes I wonder if God was waiting to take a deep breath before He put all His effort, His beauty, mystery, allure, and vulnerability into the crown of creation – Woman.
“She is God’s final touch…she fills a place in the world nothing and no one else can fill. Step to a window, ladies, if you can. Look out across the earth and say to yourselves, ‘The whole, vast world is incomplete without me. Creation reached its zenith in me” (Eldredge).
Powerful, right? Not at all like we normally think of ourselves, right? Sometimes need a little perspective.
When you’re feeling unwanted and unloved, overlooked and ignored, overworked and underappreciated, frustrated and confused, broken and lost, remember God created you to be a beautiful and sexy, meaningful and purposeful, and whole lady!
When you are taken advantage of, kicked down, pushed out, pressured in, feeling down and overwhelmed, remember there is a God out there who loves you and knows you and created to be a reflection of His glory and beauty!
When the world is out there telling you that you are defined by a role, by your job or lack thereof, by a relationship, by your husband or children or family, by your feminine figure, by what you do, by what you don’t do – remember you are defined by God, designed by God, given purpose through God, and are the finishing masterpiece of creation, and without you, the world is incomplete!