** Update from November 2015** It’s funny looking back a on old post, wondering if its still relevant. I believe the issue of our identity and purpose is a timeless one. Occasionally we need to revisit this part of our lives. We need to check how our experiences have shaped, even distorted our perspective on who we are and what we’re here for. Just reading through this post has inspired me to dig deep again. Now when I think about identity and purpose I’m reminded that if we want to know who we are, we need to have a secure understanding of whose we are… I guess that’ll be another blog post! In the meantime, enjoy the throwback x
When God looked down from heaven and made a woman, what on earth was He thinking? It’s a clumsy, playful question, but it’s one I’ve pondered for months now, because it’s also an important question. If we want to live healthy, whole and effective lives, surely its vital to know God’s design specification for us, our God infused identity?
Society communicates its own designs for our identity .Some of its messages inspire; others insult! Combine that with conflicting ideas about womanhood within Christian circles, and sometimes we’re caught between confusion and frustration!
What is our identity? It’s such a fundamental question, about not just what we do in life, but essentially, how to be. And whilst generations of debate about women will not be resolved in one blog post, here’s my first thought.
Made in God’s Image and Likeness
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings 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, [a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created human beings in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them
(Gen 1: 26-27 TNIV)
Somewhere along the line in church history, people began to adopt the belief that men were made in God’s image, whilst women were made completely or partly in men’s image. As a result, it became acceptable, perhaps even spiritual to believe that women were secondary to men, inferior in some way. That characteristics traditionally understood to be feminine (expressing emotion etc) were more fleshly, earthy. Yet the Bible itself never says that. Male and female are made in God’s image and likeness. Both male and female and reflect something of his nature and characteristics, just like we reflect something of our parents in our looks and personalities.
This is good news for us women; we are not an afterthought; we’re designed from the very heart of God. To be made in the image and likeness of God says something powerful about our potential! We have the potential to reflect His attitudes and priorities in our lives. We have the potential to walk in His power and authority. We may not know it, think it or feel it, but we’re His children, it’s in our spiritual DNA. Potentially the fruit of the spirit is ours; the power of the Holy Spirit is ours because God’s life flows through us.
Your parents may have said you won’t make it, your teachers, friends, exes, and work colleagues may have written you off. But they don’t have to have the last word on your life. The first word has already defined you; you are made in the image of God.
(There’s so much more to say about this, but I’ve already reached my world limit. Another post is on its way.)