We live in a culture where there is much confusion regarding the sexes. What makes a man a man and a woman a woman? Are the two interchangeable? Likewise, motherhood itself is something culturally detested, with an increased push for stay-at-home husbands and fathers (contrary to Titus 2:5 and Eph. 5:28-29 where husbands are instructed to “feed” and “keep warm”) and worldwide abortions already well over 13 million for 2022 alone.
If we take a trip back to the creation account, we see that God creates man in His image (Gen. 1:26). However, although He uses the word “man” (a singular noun), he is using this to speak of the plural “them,” seen later on in this same verse. Who is the “them”? Genesis 1:27 - “male and female He created them.” Man is made in the image of God, with worth, dignity, and value. Though male and female are both of equal value and worth, there is a distinction between male and female that God Himself made and later called very good (1:31). The two are not interchangeable. There is a reason that men (on average) have 1,000% more testosterone. We are hard-wired to be the sex that God created us to be. Though our society has created a differentiation between gender and sex, disconnecting the outside and the inside, Scripture instructs us that the difference between male and female goes far deeper than outward physical appearance.
This difference is seen in God’s ordering of things before and after the fall. Before the fall, the man is vested with leadership and given specific commands from the Lord (Gen. 2:15-20). The man is cut for the sake of the woman (2:21) and she is formed to be a needed, important helper for the man (Gen. 2:20-24. The Hebrew word used for “helper” is often used of God’s help toward us). Following the fall, continuity with this pattern is seen as God goes first to the man, showing his leadership responsibility (3:9), and indicates that he is to be the provider of bread (3:17-19). The woman, however, is told that she will experience the pain of the fallen world in a unique activity - childbearing (3:16).
Women are designed and tasked by God to do something distinct and superlative - to create and give birth to new human beings. This is something that men are unable to do!
Scripture consistently upholds the goodness of children. Psalm 127:3-5 tells us that children are a gift from the Lord. In fact, having many children is a glorious thing (v.5). In a culture where children are seen as a burden, abortions are rising, and births are decreasing, Christians are to glory in the gift of many children, as the Lord sovereignly allows (Gen. 30:6).
This calling of motherhood continues on into the raising of children, where children are to be nurtured and instructed (Prov. 6:20). Mothers have a special privilege of instructing their children in a Christian worldview, with regular opportunities to do so (Prov. 31:1-9, 26). We could draw from numerous biblical and historical examples to show the tremendous impact that a godly, nurturing mother can have on her children and those whom they impact (2 Tim. 1:5, for example).
Mother’s Day is a remnant in our secular society of these Christian principles. Though our culture has much confusion over what it means to be male and female, the Bible puts forth a captivating vision of God’s original design for male and female. Let us as Christians rejoice in this, upholding the goodness and beauty of motherhood.
Excellent truth on gender and roles. There is no grayness to the scriptures as pertains to who we are and what our roles are. I’d guess many so called professing Christians might even take umbrage to these thoughts as it is counter to our culture.
I appreciate the reflection on and reminder of God's good and wise design for woman. His high calling for woman is certainly under assault by those who suppress this truth as well as those who've crept into the church unnoticed. Thank you for repeating the sounding joy of Christ's good news not just for the joy of woman but for the joy of the world. When woman and mothers embrace God's high calling, godly men and women are raised and disciples are multiplied.
Good words Pastor Cory! It is both important and refreshing to see these things articulated and valued by the church in our culture where these vital truths are routinely undermined.
Knowing that it is hard to cover all situations in one short article, I would only add that Scripture also affirms the goodness of remaining unmarried for those who have this gift/calling, and also that there are women who, through no fault of their own, are unable to conceive children (due to infertility issues that they, or their husband may have) although they very much want to.
In such cases, these woman need to be be given a biblical understanding that they most certainly have a vital God-given purpose, as a woman, apart from being able to conceive, give birth, and be a mother to biological children of her own.