Genesis 2:1 - 23
MSG - 1 Heaven and Earth were finished, down to the last detail. 2 By the seventh day God had finished his work. On the seventh day he rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day. He made it a Holy Day Because on that day he rested from his work, all the creating God had done. This is the story of how it all started, of Heaven and Earth when they were created.
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While the reason God made Eve was as the counterpart/helper of man, it is important to remember that God had known He was going to create Eve before He even created time. In fact, His eternal plan of salvation (sending Christ, etc) was already set. Men and women both would be involved in this (Abraham, Mary, etc). Unlike the animals who were created in pairs, God waited to create Eve. There were several reasons for this that scripture details: to put the responsibilities of leadership on Adam (Gen 2:15-17, Gen 3:8-9, Gen 3:17-19), for him to realize that Eve was a part of him (Gen 2:20-23), for Adam to realize the necessity of him having a partner (Gen 2:19-25), and to set the first example of a son (Adam) leaving the care of his father and mother to instead take a wife and run his own household (Gen 2:24). Gen 1:26-28 summarizes the creation of mankind: "Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”" Here we see that both women and men were made to be part of the same plan of stewarding the earth. The chief duty/purpose of both men and women is found in Ecc 12:13 "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind." This is more specific in John 6:29: "Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." There are many duties beyond partnership in marriage [of which not every woman needs to be married or seek it, which is another topic on its own]. Hoping in God & Praying, for example (I Tim 5:5). It is important to remember that physical marriage is merely a type/shadow of Christ's relationship with the church. (II Cor 11:2) As such, any physical duty of marriage (submission, love, partnership, support, conjugal rights, etc) are also types and shadows for the eternal (submission to God, loving God, fellowship, ministry, a personal relationship with Christ, etc). Throughout scripture, there have been women contributed and were commended, or who participated in the eternal plan, who were daughters, widows, or otherwise unmarried: (Luke 2:36-38, Mark 12:41-44, Gen 38:6-30, 1 Kings 17:7-24, Acts 21:7-9, Luke 1:36-55, Josh 2, Heb 11:31, 1 Tim 5:16, etc) These are cases of mothers, sisters, women hoping in God, women testifying to Christ, women hosting churches, women taking care of other women, etc. Most striking, perhaps, is the case of Mary who, while still a virgin, became the mother of Christ. There are also many mentions of married women with activities in addition to being a wife, and of women who considered God's will highest priority: (Judges 4:4-10, Acts 18:2-3, Prov 31:10-31, I Samuel 25:10-44, Ex 1:15-21, Acts 16:13-15, Rom 16:3-7, etc) There is even a case of one woman, who though she 'helped' her husband, is wildly considered the most wicked woman who ever lived. (1 Kings 21:1-29) Jezebel did not fear the Lord. While being a wife is a wonderful thing, God made physical marriage for the sake of mankind. It is a shadow, looking forward to eternity with Christ. We will not be married when we are resurrected and given eternal bodies (Luke 20:34-38). Earthly marriage only reflects our highest purpose of believing on Christ and becoming part of His church. Praying, witnessing, edifying other believers, giving, hoping, loving, industry, prophesying, worshiping, ministering, testifying to Christ, etc - these are all duties (and blessings) for both men and women.
"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord" (Col 3:18) Obeying your husband is obeying God. "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is Head of the Church. Therefore just as the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything" (Eph 5:22-24). The Biblical submission expected from the wife is more than respect; it is reverence. It is more than compliance; it is obedience. The true spirituality of a wife is measured by her attitude of submission manifested in her acts of obedience to the husband. This "hidden person of the heart" of the woman is "very precious in the sight of God" (1 Pet 3:4). "For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands" (v5). Any other outward adornment, be it hairstyle, jewellery, white saree or ministry, is false (v3). When you call on the "Lord" you become Abraham's son (Rom 4:16); when you call your husband "Lord" you are Sarah's daughter (1 Pet 3:6). If the wife becomes the first believer in the family, her responsibility concerning the salvation of her family is doubled. The behaviour and conduct of the wife should not become a mental block for the husband when he considers the claims of the Gospel. He must not become bored by his wife's "preaching." Apostle Peter stresses the "practice" of religion before unconverted husbands. Chastity alone will not suffice. It must be "accompanied by fear" which means reverence and obedience (1 Pet 3:1,2). The Bible gives the wife no room for selective obedience. She is called to be subject to her husband in "everything" (Eph 5:24). She has no excuse except when she is asked to do or be a part of what is outrightly unlawful and unscriptural. When a wife truly loves her husband, obedience becomes easy (Jn 14:15; 1 Jn 5:3). God's Word simultaneously points out the responsibilities of husbands also. The husbands are commanded to love their wives (Eph 5:25; Col 3:18). This love is a selfless and selfgiving love. The husband's love should command obedience rather than demand it! Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow; Grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife, And to life's day the glorious unknown morrow That dawns upon eternal love and life! (The only hymn of Dorothy B. Gurney, 1858-1932)
The Proverbs 31 woman was a helpmeet to her husband, but she was also a business woman, an effective administrator for her servants, running an industry. She is lauded as an example for all women. Her purposes benefited her husband and children, but served purposes beyond that as well. She was assertive, and took initiative, was shrewd in business; generous to those who worked for her.
Yes, I believe there is a destiny for women separate from men. If it were not so, then Adam would not have given Eve a name distinct from his own. Adam as a type is destined (physically speaking) to return to the ground (Gen 3:19). Woman isn't similarly destined, but does suffer from increased child birth and being ruled over by her husband until Adam (as a type) isn't living. This distinction led to Adam giving his wife a new name, Eve, because she was the mother of all living (Gen 3:21). Adam, or the physical male, will be dying off before the resurrection, which occurs after the Great White Throne Judgment. The resurrection body for those then living on earth will be based only on the female body (two X chromosomes, for example) - however, there will be no reproductive aspect to the resurrection body since the body will be like that of the angels (Matt 22:30). Angels can manifest physical bodies if needed (Gen 19:1). I understand that many will find this difficult to believe, but even now we can see the progress women have made in social status since ancient times as they continue to further participate in many aspects of society rather than concentrating on child bearing. This trend will be continuing on even after the second coming of Christ.
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