Wow…we finished Week 2 of our Bible study on True Woman: Divine Design this past week and it has been fantastic and so refreshing to renew and challenge our view of biblical womanhood and what it means to live it out according to God’s design. We were able to record our week 2 discussion for you all…it took us awhile to figure out how to get it uploaded and all, but here it is at last.
Here’s the link to our live discussion from my home to yours: True Woman: Week 2 Audio Discussion. It is about an hour in length. With babies and lovely pauses, it is the real deal.
Here is the panel discussion on Week 2. These weekly panels are so fun to watch and add a great additional resource to the study! You can view all the panels at True Woman 101.
If you cannot view the video, click here.
REVIEW: In Week 2, the focus of our study turns briefly to the intentionality through which God created manhood. God created men to image the relationship of Christ to the church. At the core of manhood, we see that taking initiative, working to provide for others, being a protector and provider, as well as exercising godly leadership are at the core of what it means to be a man. Man’s role is not about exalting man. Authority is not about rights; it’s about responsibility.
Genesis 2:4-8: What does this passage imply about the creation of man? It reveals that God was very intentional in the way He made man as a potter shapes a piece of clay. It exemplifies the magnificence of our Creator in that he fashioned a complex human being out of dirt. Man was created with a unique connection to the ground. Man’s spirit came directly from the breath of God. We see that man’s complete existence came about independent of any contribution on his part. He was intentionally designed by another.
It is interesting to note that Adam was created outside the garden and then God created the Garden of Eden as a home for Adam (v. 8). It was his domain to rule and care for. A specific place of delight shielded from danger. Genesis 2:24 seems to imply that God intentionally set the man up in his own place to be the head of a new home. The man’s responsibility to “leave”, “hold fast”, and launch a new family unit indicates that taking initiative is at the core of what it means to be a man.
In what way does the responsibility of man to take initiative mirror what Jesus does for the church?
Christ initiated the restoration in His relationship with His bride. He bore the weight and pain of sin and death for the good of His people. Christ left the comfort of His heavenly home and came down to earth to adopt, embrace, and cleave to us as His bride. He promised to never leave or forsake us but paid the greatest price to make us His own. God calls men to leave their former life and fully embrace the responsibility of loving and caring for his own family.
Genesis 2:5-7, 15; 3:17-19, 23 – What do we see as man’s unique responsibility primarily? Man was created first and given the specific assignment to work the ground and tend to the management of the garden before the woman was even created. The consequence of sin for man was that work would become more difficult and he was sent out of the garden to work the field. This shows that male was created with a unique responsibility to work to provide for the family, and the female was created with a unique responsibility to nest and to nurture family relationships. Men were physically designed with greater muscle and manpower for hard labor which implies a specific purpose.
In Genesis 2:15, men was called to “keep” the garden, which means “to be in charge of”. It means to guard, protect, look after. It involves attending to and protecting the persons and property under one’s charge. God created man to be a protector.
Ephesians 5:28-29: What do you think it means for a man to provide for (nourish) his wife? To nourish is to feed and make grow. It suggests providing what is necessary for another to bloom and flourish. It’s not limited to bringing home the bacon, but also to support, sustain, and supply the spiritual needs of those under his care. He is the primary breadwinner, he is to wash his wife and children with the teaching of Scriptures.
What do you think it means for a man to protect (cherish) his wife?
To cherish is to keep or guard carefully, to hold dear, to treat with kindness and care. Literally means “to make warm”. It could include showing tender protection for, guarding emotionally and against lies or errors, showing tender love and compassion.
In what way does the responsibility of man to selflessly provide for others mirror what Jesus does for the church?
Jesus selflessly laid down his life to provide salvation for His bride. He thought not of himself, but humbled himself, and thought only of us.
In what ways does the responsibility of man to defend and protect mirror what Jesus does for the church?
Jesus is faithfully making intercession for us before the Father. He is our Advocate and defender against the attack of the enemy.
Genesis 2:18-20 – What happened after God gave instructions to the man? What purpose do you think this exercise of naming the animals served? The Lord wanted the male to learn how to exercise authority in a godly manner. It was a training exercise because to name something is to exercise authority over it. Exercising godly authority is at the core of what it means to be a man. It also awakened him to become aware of his need and lack of a suitable mate. Perhaps he wanted the man to feel the longing intensely – to love and want a soul mate with the same sort of passion that Christ felt for His future bride.
Genesis 2:20-22 – Read the passage and the quote below, what imagery did Augustine see in the creation of the woman from the side of man?
“Christ fulfilled what had been signified in Adam: for when Adam was asleep, a rib was drawn from him and Eve was created; so also while the Lord slept on the Cross, His side was transfixed with a spear…whence the Church was born. For the Church the Lord’s Bride was, created from His side, as Eve was created from the side of Adam. - Augustine
There has been much confusion in our day and age about the meaning of manhood and womanhood. As Pastor John Piper shares:
“Confusion over the meaning of sexual personhood today is epidemic. The consequence of this confusion is not free and happy harmony among gender free persons relating on the basis of abstract competencies. The consequences rather is more divorce, more homosexuality, more sexual abuse, more promiscuity, more social awkwardness, and more emotional distress and suicide that come with the loss of God-given identity.”
God created man with a unique responsibility to lead, provide, and protect. This does not mean that man gets to be king of the castle, or to assume a more favorable position than woman. But it does mean that leadership, provision, protection, and responsible initiative are central and indispensable to what God created man to be.
John Piper summarizes: “At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for, and protect women in ways appropriate to a man’s differing relationships.”
I would love to hear your thoughts…What are some of the ways in which we as women undermine manhood? How can we affirm and encourage men to be men?