Hey ladies…well I am certainly behind the ball on this one as I meant to share the recap for Week 1 of our True Woman 101 study on Thursday…and of course, I totally forgot to record the live discussion we had together as a group. Alas…I am so glad you decided to take this 8 week Bible study together with us through True Woman 101: Divine Design by Nancy Leigh Demoss and Mary Kassian. It has been a rich study and I highly recommend it! (Yes, it’s not too late to join in or get a few friends of your own together to study this resource!)
If you haven’t checked out the panel discussion video, please watch this fun discussion for week 1:
Or watch it here.
Here is the review of Week 1 and some of the questions and passages of Scripture that we looked out! Please feel free to share any thoughts you have in the comments!
Review: This week, we read about how gender matters because manhood and womanhood exist to glorify God and put the gospel of Jesus Christ on display. Day 1 described how we were made uniquely in the image of God, stamped with His likeness, in order to display His glory. When God created male and female, He had the dynamic of His own relationship in mind – unity, communion, sacrificial leadership, and willing submission. Day 2 & 3: We learned that God designed these relationships to tell His story – we were designed to picture the relationship of God to Christ, and Christ to his church. We are part the core/center of His magnificent plan – the very cross of Christ! Day 4 & 5 cultivated the idea that our womanhood has eternal worth and significance because of this mission and purpose to put God on display. We have a choice to fully embrace the beauty of our position right now.
Let’s start by looking at a few passages of Scripture mentioned in the study. Feel free to read them yourself and think about the discussion questions here:
Genesis 1:26-27 – Who is speaking here and to whom? God to the Trinity.
Why did He create two different sexes and not just one? To emphasize the importance of communion and unity. Relationship is essential for life and godliness. Also, to show how we need one another to fully display God’s glory and thus it is important that we work together to display the beauty of the Godhead – mutual self-denial and sacrifice. Keeps us humble rather than self-sufficient.
Isaiah 43:6-7 – For what purpose were we created as sons and daughters? To glorify God. It’s not about us. It’s all about Him!
What are some ways you think that human beings can image/reflect the glory of God? We have consciousness/understanding, we enjoy relationship/friendship/communion with others, we can communicate, express emotions, pursue sanctification (the ability to display character), and possess authority (to have dominion to rule over all creation).
Psalms 8:4-6 – How does this verse describe our position?
Out of all of God’s creation He chose you, He chose me, to display His glory. He called us out with honor and dignity to mirror, reflect, display, and represent His unique design and attributes to all other creatures. Literally, just slightly lower than “being gods” ourselves. Being created in His image gives us enormous dignity, privilege, and worth.
How does this truth speak to the chronic feelings of unworthiness/inferiority and other struggles you experience as a woman? It puts them to shame! They have no place. We have beauty and value incalculable.
How does God feel about you? He’s mindful of you.
What are some of the places you try to find your self-worth? I try to find my worth/value in completing/slaving over to-do list, seeking approval from others through the number of responses I receive on each blog post, insecurity in my lack of college education and wanting to prove my intelligence in a piece of paper.
What should my response be to these struggles of self-worth? The truth is that we don’t need a greater sense of “self-worth”. What we desperately need is a greater sense of His worth. We need to dig deep in meditating on God – His awesomeness, majesty, goodness, etc. And remember that He has stamped this image on us. We are made in His likeness and we are fully loved and approved by Him.
Eph 5:23, 30-32/1 Cor 11:3 – How does this speak to the specific roles assigned to male & female individually? God has designed manhood to walk in servant hearted leadership to meet the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of His wife, just as Christ came to serve and lay down His life for His church (Mark 10:44-45). But the church was created to reflect the responsiveness, grace, and beauty of the bride He redeemed. And marriage was created to reflect the covenant union between Christ and His bride.
In Tim Keller’s book, The Meaning for Marriage, I love how he describes another facet of this by showing how the male & female relationship can also reflect the relationship of God the Father to God the Son. God the Father planned and led in the orchestration of the plan of salvation. We see that Christ images the willing submission, responsiveness, grace, and beauty in obedience to the Father by coming to earth, laying aside His glory, and dying for His church. This role can be beautifully reflected in the wife to her husband as she willingly, freely, submits and responds to his leadership. She can chose to fully embrace it and glorify God in the process. In this way, both male and female have a “Jesus role” to play.
Just like the Trinity, husband and wife are equal in dignity and value but they have different roles. When these roles are embraced, there is peace, harmony, and God is displayed and glorified. When we rebel and try to imitate each other and take on a different role assignment, we ultimately mock God’s plan, we cause disunity, frustration, and ultimately will be fruitless for His Kingdom. We lose out on the sweet communion God designed.
John Piper says in his sermon on The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood (a fascinating sermon that I strongly recommend):
Masculinity and femininity, manhood and womanhood, belong at the center of God’s ultimate purpose. Manhood and womanhood are not an afterthought of creation. They’re not an afterthought of the cross. They’re not peripheral to the design of what is being said when Jesus dies to magnify the grace of God. They’re right there at the center at Calvary. It’s staggering. Oh how I pray that you women would be done with small thoughts about God’s design for womanhood.
- Does gender matter or are we free to define it as we wish?
- What did God hope to accomplish with His design of gender?
- How is it possible that the two sexes are different and yet equal?
- How important is it that woman understand God’s design for womanhood? Why?
- Do you feel that God’s design is “very good”? Explain.
- Have you wholeheartedly said “Yes” to God’s plan? Is there any part of your heart that you are holding back?
Next week: Read week 2 – Snips & Snails. I want to encourage you again to really delve into the Scripture passages in the side panels of the book. Look up cross references, read commentary, and meditate upon them, and come back to share your insight!
Lastly, I just wanted to encourage you all to take advantage of the resources available online for the study. Visit True Woman 101 for week by week additional supplemental materials – sermons and articles applicable to the topic.
Further Article & Audio Inspiration for Week 1: