A bluegrass band played in the background as people nibbled on apple pie and sipped lemonade. My friend Chizzy and her petite little pre-schooler, Ru, were by my side as we watched runners in the afternoon church health event pound past us. Our lazy conversation meandered with nowhere in particular to go. Then, Ru joined in.
“Mommy, I’m a girl,” declared Ru proudly.
“Yes, Ru. God chose for you to be a girl and it’s great to be a girl,” said Chizzy calmly.
Later, I asked Chizzy about that little sidebar conversation. She told me that she has chosen to declare truth about gender over her three girls. This includes the simple act of frequently telling them: “God chose for you to be a girl and it’s great to be a girl.” I think it’s fantastic. Here are three reasons that you need to be telling your daughter that it’s great to be a girl.
God created gender to reflect his image.
I have my grandma Barker’s in-turned pointer fingers and my dad’s blue-green eyes. I know where I have come from. I look like them. When God created maleness and femaleness, he was creating something that would display “his image.” (Genesis 1:27) He wanted humanity to understand whose we are, so he planted a “selfie” of himself in us.
The book of Romans teaches us that disregarding God’s definitions for manhood and womanhood is a rebellious refusal to glorify him and an attempt to hide who he is and whose we are. Pastor John Piper puts it this way:
“God’s divine nature is revealed in the physical, material universe. So much so that verse 20 says, “So they are without excuse” when they “exchange the glory of God for the glory of the creature” (verse 23).
Erasing gender is a rebellious refusal to glorify God. That is the greatest sin of gender distortion.
The world’s messages about womanhood are fickle, at best.
Not that many women actually attended bra-burnings in the 1960’s, but many applauded it as a statement against male leadership and dominance. But now Fifty Shades of Grey comes along and words like “master”, “submission”, and “obedience” are sexy again.
Those same garment-flaming women fought against putting women and their brains into tidy stereotypical boxes, bringing them equal pay and opportunity. “You’ve come a long way, baby,” advertisements praised. Today Bruce Jenner says his brain is more female than male, and introduces his female persona in a cleavage-boosting corset and says he loves girl’s nights where his friends come over and do their nails. No one seems to be seeing the contradiction. They’re too busy praising.
But sometimes the message we find in our churches is also confusing. That is probably a separate blog post for another day, but it has to be said. Sometimes we add to God’s Word or disregard it in our modern church movement.
I want my daughters and grand-daughters to have a consistent, biblical message of what it means to be a woman. One message we can begin with is this: “it’s good to be a girl.”
In Genesis 1, after God created everything he declared, “It is good.” That means he takes pleasure in it and finds it to be just as he planned. He declared that over gender. One thing that is sure is this: God created us to be female and it is good!
God’s messages about womanhood are wonderful.
The Bible affirms women in a way that is radically unique considering the misogynistic time in which it was written. For example, women and men together mirror the image of God. Women and men together are co-regents together. Woman are not to sit passively on the sidelines, they are a part of God’s vital command to rule, subdue, and manage the earth.
It is true that God created woman to be a helper to man, and some fear that is the stuff repression is made of, but nothing could be further from the truth. Even in this, there is beauty. The word “helper” was assigned to the first woman in Genesis 2:18. God chose to call Eve a helper. In the original Hebrew language, He called her an ezer kenedgo for Adam. The word ezer means “helper” and the word kenedgo means “to accompany.” We see that God created the first woman with the intention that she would accompany man in order to help him.
Ready for the beauty?
Only two references in the Bible point to a woman’s being an ezer, a helper. All the rest describe Someone else in that role. God is called our ezer multiple times in the Old Testament. Here’s just a sweet taste:
“There is none like God,…who rides through the heavens to your help [ezer].”
Yes, God’s messages about womanhood are wonderful.
Dannah Gresh is the founder of True Girl (formerly Secret Keeper Girl), a ministry that brings moms and daughters closer to each other and closer to Jesus. True Girl provides connection experiences through books, online Bible studies, and live events. You can learn more about her at dannahgresh.com.
[i] John Piper, “Genitalia Are Not Destiny,” Published June 2, 2014 online at http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/genitalia-are-not-destiny-but-are-they-design