And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
We’ve come to the last part of our series on womanhood. And today is interesting because we are finally addressing the prevailing worldview for some societies, that which is man is superior to woman.
So do I think this is true? Yes and no. Depends where, who, and how, man can truly be superior to woman. Just the same, woman can also be superior to man. It is all contextual. We have no one-size-fits-all answer for this.
Not Hierarchy but Partnership
But generally, as a sex, as a gender, are we women really weaker, inferior, of lesser and lower value? No, absolutely not. Even in the creation of Eve, that was very clear. That when God created woman, it was not about hierarchy between two kinds of people, but a beautiful partnership to reflect the full glory of God.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Notice that dominion was not reserved for man alone, but God said “Let them.” Remember, all these creatures and land and waters were already called into existence with Adam when Eve came, yet God saw the first man was not enough to rule them all. God saw the man surely needed help, and so created someone suitable to aid him, Eve. The message is quite obvious, for all our strengths and shortcomings as man and woman, God made it so that one cannot do without the other.
Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. (1 Corinthians 11:11-12)
Not First but Last
Billing (or the appearance of names on a film’s rolling credits) can be an issue amongst stars when making movies. Whoever is billed first, signifies importance. But so is the last to appear. When there are two very important stars in one film, seen as equal in weight and value by the production, one usually appears as first and the other is announced last of all. It was so with Eve. While man was reserved to keep the pride of being first, Eve was last and serves as the finale, the crowning glory of all God’s creation, especially humanity.
For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. (1 Corinthians 11:7)
Moreover, both starting and finishing points are important when it comes to the plans of God; for each end is to reflect the true nature of Jesus Christ, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:13)
Not only Different, but also the Same
But are we different than men? Let me answer that with a resounding YES!!! We get monthly periods, we get pregnant, we birth kids, our progesterones count more, while our testosterones, less. Physiologically speaking, we are just so different from men, period. Yet let me throw this question out into the world: does different mean wrong? I don’t think so. Because I think different just means different.
I think that at the onset of God’s creation of the world, God was even sending us this message of uniqueness and diversity. While Adam was made out of dust, He chose to make Eve out of man. Man and woman were clearly made out of two different raw materials. So man and woman were probably never meant to be completely the same! And surely, by making woman different, God wasn’t making something less or wrong, but one purposefully distinct and complimentary to His other creations. God could have created more Adams and more animals, but He chose to create a woman, according to His purposes and will for the world. Moreover, our fingerprints tell us we aren’t only unlike each other as men and women, but in so many other ways. Some introverts, some extroverts; some body smart, some word smart; some musically inclined, some a genius with numbers — the list goes on and on!
But focusing on our differences can sometimes blur the fact that man and woman share the gift of humanity. God, after all, took Eve from Adam’s rib, signifying that through our differences, we share deep and foundational qualities of being human, which Adam himself saw, “Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:23)
Yes we really are different, but God also made it sure that we are the same. Man and woman cannot help it, even through our stark dissimilarities, looking simply in the eyes of the other we see a being much like us — skin, bones, mind, heart, soul, spirit, a creation and value of God. Is it not that we share so much more than we think, if only we’d really get around it?
- Of the three points mentioned above, which do you consider to be something like “Oh, I’ve never seen it that way!” Why?
- Were you ever guilty of thinking men were higher than women, or men are first and women are only second, or that we are no different from men?
- In what ways are men different from women? In what ways are men the same with women?