Been feeling a little guilty about not posting the next chapter's discussion of "Voices of the True Woman Movement-A Call to the Counter-Revolution".
But I was in TX for a week and I'm still recovering! I'm recovering my laundry room, which is still quite full of clothes, sheets, towels, and pillow needing washing. I'm recovering my kitchen which is sporting foods I didn't buy or cook and totally depleted of things I actually know how to cook. I'm recovering my usually well organized refrigerator because nothing is where it usually is, which makes making a grocery list a bit of a challenge! (That being said, may I say that I am so grateful for my future son-in-law, who caused the chaos in my refrigerator, but who did it by cooking my hubby really good food while I was MIA.) I'm recovering my email account which was hacked into and has now represented me as a Cialis/Viagra distributor to people all over the world. (Great second income for a Pastor's wife!) LOL! But today, I am recovering my schedule by getting back on track with the True Woman posting because I absolutely hate to not keep my word!
This chapter was written by John Piper, a man with whom I vary on several points of doctrine, but also whom I highly respect, read and listen to. The premise of this chapter is "Wimpy theology makes wimpy women." HOW TRUE!
What is wimpy? People who back down on what they believe or what they practice for the sake of not offending others. People who by doing this place their own interests, or their church mortgages-any Pastors guilty of this say "ouch" and "I repent!",- above the interests of those whom they have an influence over for the gospel. People who are "fair weather" Christians. While things are going well, they are "praisin the Lord", but when difficult times come, they fall into the pit of despair and wonder where God is, as if they deserve an easy life. (Please, give me chapter and verse for this!). People who are ruled and run by their flesh and carnal desires and who confuse what is spirit and what is flesh in their own lives, mostly because they are not people of the Word and prayer or one of these two are out of balance in their lives.
Wimpy theology makes God small and impudent in the eyes of carnal believers and the eyes of the world! I believe it is a much more serious thing in God's eyes than what we want to believe because it basically translates as unbelief, which ties the hands of God to work in the lives of believers and is something God abhors! Hasn't He already done enough to prove Himself??????????????
Brother Piper presented the idea that the reason for creation is to "display the glory of God in His highest expression, namely His Son's death to make a sinful people His supremely happy bride" (paraphrase). And that if God knew what was going to happen to Adam and Eve before He created them, then He meant for it to happen in order to display to all the world the glory of His grace. This put mankind at the center of God's ultimate purpose. He uses manhood and womanhood to explain and display His divine grace and as a model of His relationship with mankind.
I've tried to reason all this out in my mind, but just can't seem to wrap my mind completely around it. I'm not as deep a thinker as Pastor Piper, and I doubt that I will ever understand the deeper theologies of scripture. What mother of four really has the time to study that much? I'm just trying to hold things together here where my feet actually touch the planet.
I really liked the distinctions he made between marriage and singleness, which I am going to list because they are just so good.
Marriage is to display the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His church. Men represent Christ and headship. Women represent the church and submission. The purpose of marriage is to display the difference. This is very encouraging to me. To know my place and what I'm to do there is exciting and adds purpose to my life. I don't mind that I've been placed in a position of submission. It's where God, in His perfect love and dealings with my soul, has placed me for my complete fulfillment and joy. Who would men have headship over if there were no women? See how perfectly we fall into the perfect plan of God? So rather than balk that I'm not on top of the perceived totem pole, (a totally worldly perception) I'm just gonna run with what I've been given and try to glorify God in everything I do!
I really loved this statement and wish that most young men and women would get it!
MARRIAGE IS A BEAUTIFUL THING, BUT IT IS NOT THE MAIN THING!
I once owned a shirt that said "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." Our culture is so couple, love, and sex oriented, but as us older people can testify, the grass is often greener on the other side of the fence, love is more about giving than receiving and can be experienced in an equally fulfilling way married or single, and sex is not forever, so don't get caught in that trap because you are going to be SORELY disappointed! Believe me when we all get to heaven, we won't even be married to that person that we just had to have! If that's hard for you to ponder then you need to spend some serious time on your knees getting the main thing in the main place of your heart! I have always told young people deeply desiring marriage that they are not ready for marriage until they can be content without it and willing to not have it-ever! Desiring marriage so deeply means that you are desiring things that you think you will get from it that you are currently lacking. But I submit that "The Lord is my Shepherd, I SHALL NOT WANT! In order to enter into a successful marriage relationship, you must not be needing, you must be full and ready to give. Trust me, I learned this the hard way and almost lost my marriage in the process! Yes, marriage will provide some of your carnal needs and desires, but it's only because that is the avenue that God has chosen to provide them. If you are not married, He will provide them in some other way, but you will be just as satisfied. I find it kind of humorous that in scripture the Bible talks about marrying if you can't control your lusts otherwise. And then it turns right around and says that women who are married find it more difficult because they are trying to please the Lord and their husbands. I wish women would think about the position that they are putting themselves in before they marry and count the cost. I know that there are many, many times when I wish that I could sit a little longer to study or pray, but things that my husband needs, or my children need-that are my responsibility-cut into that desire. I would also probably be much more involved in ministry if I didn't have a home and children to maintain. So we ALL must learn to bloom where we're planted, even if someone else's garden looks better!
Singleness 1) shows that the family of God grows not by propagation or sexual intercourse, but by regeneration in Christ! Beautiful! 2) It bears witness that our relationship in Christ is more permanent then familial relationships. Like I said earlier, that man will not be yours forever! He should already have a higher love on earth, but surely will in heaven. Can we deal with this ladies??? 3) Marriage is temporary, but gives way to the relationship it was pointing to all the time.
The one thought that came to my mind in reading this chapter about "women" is that this is chapter about Christians. Wimpy theology will make wimpy men as well! There is no difference in my mind. This could have been shared just as easily, without altering, with men. This is a message "the church" needs to hear!
Reading this chapter plus some things I observed and experienced during my week in TX has given me a new, refreshed resolve to go after what is REAL in Christianity.