Model for Life
A woman affects
the culture for generations to come by trusting
her identity as a
helper, daughter of Eve,
holy one, and heir.
Genesis 2:18; 3:16, 20;
1 Peter 1:14-16
"Male and female are the
two eyes of the human race.
Both are needed for proper perspective" (Mary Wood-Allen, M.D.).
God created male and female to be different right down to the "cellular and molecular level. It means we're different across all of our organs, from our brains to our hearts, our lungs, our joints" (Paula Johnson, cardiologist).
Male and female are not interchangeable,
One is not less,
the other is not more.
Manhood and womanhood are vocations unique in the ways they love God and serve their neighbor.
Titus 2: A Model for Life
The experiment failed. It failed miserably. The cruelty of the experiment was that many of us didn't know we were participants. Some of us bear deep scars from the experiment. Others are confused about their identity. Daughters and granddaughters, sons and grandsons are more vulnerable because of the experiment. All of society was affected--in one way or another.
The experiment was identified by some as the "girlhood project." During the 1960s and 70s, boys were boys, but girls were an "experiment." What does this mean? It means that many in the modern feminist crowd desired that girls become more like boys.With that goal in mind, dresses were out and jeans were in. Ballet and dance were out, soccer and wrestling were in. Modesty was out, "sexy" was in. Homemaking skills were out, climbing the corporate ladder was in.
The competition was on! Being "equal," we were told, meant being "the same." Comprehensive sex education beginning as early as kindergarten brought boys and girls together so that they might at the same time and in the same way encounter new things about themselves. Everything became coed: college dorms, naval ships, and even public restrooms.
But something stood in the way of complete "equality." Only a woman can become pregnant. Abortion became necessary to enable a woman's body to become more like a man's. The U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade appeared to accomplish this feat. With legalized abortion, women were declared sexually, reproductively, and responsibility-free.
Girls may think themselves more free, but I believe they are less secure, happy and content. The experiment placed girls at greater risk of being exploited or abused by men with no sense of chivalry or protectiveness toward women. I invite you to come to your own conclusions by answering these questions:
If boys will be boys and girls will be boys, then what?
What will become of civilization without the "helper," bearer of life, and maker of the home?
Who will be the "pillar" of the "palace" (Psalm 144:12)?
What will become of marriage and the family?
What will the consequences be for generations to come?
Perhaps it's true that "girls can do whatever boys can do." The question is, should they?
God did not say that He created male and female to be the same. He said that He created them at different times, in different ways, and for different purposes (Genesis 2:7, 15-17, 18-22). God did not say that men and women can live their lives any way they please. There are consequences of every choice we make. "I set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God" (Deuteronomy 30:19).
God is the God of order, not chaos. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11). But where do we learn about God's design, order, and good plan for our lives?
In the first two chapters of Genesis we learn what it means to be human--male or female, what our relationship is to God and to one another, and how we are to live. Eve doubted God and believed Satan's lie. She "was deceived and became a transgressor" (1 Timothy 2:14). Adam failed to step between the liar and his beloved. He was unengaged. The world changed. Relationships changed... between creature and Creator, and between male and female. We all suffer the consequences of Adam and Eve's sin. And Satan is pleased. He knows that in chaos and sin, human life is alienated from God and vulnerable to all manner of evil.
Thanks be to God that He did not throw up His hands. He did not say, "I'm finished with My creation!" God's plan for our salvation was out of this world! He sent His only begotten Son--true God and true Man--to take the punishment for the sins of the world. Jesus Christ went to the cross, died, and rose again with victory over Satan and the curse of death. He ascended back to heaven where He sits at the Father's right hand and speaks on our behalf. Jesus will return again on Judgment Day. Until then, we are called to live as the compatibly different men and women God made us to be.
The model of mentoring and instruction given us in Titus 2 is gender-specific. God's Word through St. Paul speaks to men and women separately. Older men should mentor younger men; older women should mentor younger women. Titus 2:2 and 6-8 speaks to men. Verses 3-5 of chapter 2 are to women:
Tell older women to live their lives in a way that shows they are dedicated to God. Tell them not to be gossips or addicted to alcohol, but to be examples of virtue. In this way they will teach young women to show love to their husbands and children, to use good judgment, and to be morally pure. Also, tell them to teach young women to be homemakers, to be kind, and to place themselves under their husband's authority. Then no one can speak evil of God's Word.
These words from God to women may be despised even by Christians; however, they are in accord with God's design. Women are typically more verbal than men. Women nurture relationships. When we drink too much wine, we can have a problem with our tongue and hurt relationships. Women make the house a home where husband, children, and neighbors are welcomed after a long day out in the world. Willingly placing herself under the authority of her husband may seem demeaning, but it reflects the very nature of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Three are equal, but with different roles. There is headship in this orderly structure, and there is submission. The same is true with male and female. When chaos threatens, God's order brings peace and leads to hope.
Think back to Genesis 2. Why did Satan approach the woman? Wayne Grudem and John Piper write, "We think that Satan's main target was not Eve's peculiar gullibility (if she had such), but rather Adam's headship as the one ordained by God to be responsible for the life of the garden. Satan's subtlety is that he knew the created order God had ordained for the good of the family and he deliberately defied it by ignoring the man and taking up his dealings with the woman. Satan put her in the position of spokesman, leader, and defender. At that moment both the man and the woman slipped from their innocence and let themselves be drawn into a pattern of relating that to this day has proved destructive."
(50 Questions About Manhood and Womanhood, Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.)
Satan asked Eve one question: "Did God really say... ?" Today, he comes to the daughters of Eve with the same question. Too often, we respond like Eve by adding words of our own to what God said.
The model of Titus 2 leads out of chaos to a future of hope. Chaos results when we allow ourselves to be influenced by ideas of the world such as evolution, sexual identity, self-gratification, abortion, cohabitation, same-sex "marriage," and rejection of the role of wife, mother and homemaker. But there is hope! There is always hope in Jesus Christ who has already forgiven us. Satan wants us to despair of all hope, but the mercies of the Lord are new every morning!
Titus 2 explains the promise of God's blessings to those who use this model in their families and communities:
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Titus 3:11-14, ESV).
Family Life in a Sexualized Culture:
What's A Parent To Do?