Hello and welcome again to WEEK 3, I can’t believe we are already half way into the series. Apologies for not being able to post a blog on Monday, today’s blog compensates for the blog that was meant to be posted on Monday.
We’ve discussed a lot on biblical womanhood, perhaps some would even argue that with very little in depth mention on manhood.In the past, we have discussed that as women God has placed us under the special authority of our fathers or any other older male figures we have looking after us as a picture of how our father in heaven looks after us. And because of this we ought not to despise authority but rather honour it. In addition we also mentioned that in church, women ought to sit quietly in submission to the pastors and elder’s as well as honour their authority as the shepherd’s God has placed over us.
But today let’s twist the plot a bit, we will be exploring how women ought to respond to manhood. Our interactions and relationships vary according to the dynamics of every relationship so it’s hard to have a one shoe fits all approach, but I believe the word of God is relevant in every aspect of life.
I would like for us to explore more of how women pursuing biblical womanhood ought to conduct themselves around other men that are not their family nor pastors. We ought to conduct ourselves in a way that still honours our father and upholds our standards as Christians. Because of how complex the world is, our relationships are not always black and white. For example; the bible says men were created to be leaders and women to submit and to be helpmeet, if a woman is the headmistress of a school, it gives her certain authority over men, like wise a female traffic attendant has some authority over male drivers, so does a nurse and her patients. How then is one meant to act if they are placed in situations similar to these unique scenarios?
I would like to distinguish the types of relationships women have with men in two categories that are based on John Piper’s definition of mature femininity; “at the heart of Mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman’s differing relationships.” (What’s the difference? p.22). Therefore I would like to categorize the men we encounter into two; “worthy men” and “Unworthy men”. One may ask who is a worthy man and an unworthy man. I would like to distinguish the two by saying; a worthy man, is one who has displayed maturity and carries themselves in a Christ like manner as they honor the role of leadership and strength that God has given them. An unworthy man on the other hand, is one that does not understand nor live up to the standard that God created for him as a result his view of men, women and how they are to be treated in society is flawed.
A common misconception is that one begins pursuing biblical womanhood or manhood once they get married, but this is not true at all. That is why I find it necessary for us to look at how we interact with our unique relationships with men in a way that does not compromise our womanhood. I would like to also mention that the extremity of how a man will lead, provide for and protect his wife is different from how he would a sister in the church or a colleague. Likewise, a woman will not affirm, respect and nurture strength and leadership from any other man as she would her husband.
On that note I would like to give some guidance on how to treat worthy men and unworthy men;
• By conducting ourselves in a manner that Christ has called us to, we directly and indirectly advocate the complementary view of men and women that the bible displays that encourages worthy men to likewise act in a manner in which God has called them. Similarly, we don’t change being Christlike just because we are surrounded by men who do not understand biblical femininity, thus even when surrounded by unworthy men we are still Christ like in our behavior.
• When we are around worthy men, we are naturally glad to receive their leadership. We don’t attempt to reverse the roles God has put in place and we experience the freedom that comes with honouring his God given strengths. Unworthy men on the other hand do not often live up to their God given role of leadership but rather become passive, although this hinders our natural expression of femininity we do not change our stripes because of the immaturity we are surrounded by.
• We help the worthy men in our lives by strengthening and encouraging their acts of biblical manhood, these insights have the potential; of making the man stronger and wiser. On the other hand, our faithfulness to the role that God gave us as women should challenge other men who we encounter to pursue their God given roles.
I would like to conclude by quoting a passage from the bible that is very helpful in how we ought to conduct ourselves in our varying relationships with Men. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 “Do not rebuke an older man harshly but rather exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers and younger women as sisters with absolute purity.” What if we were to treat older men in our lives as fathers; giving them the authority, honour and respect that is due to them. And younger men as our brother, encouraging and challenging them to grow in their faith by how we carry ourselves? Wouldn’t that save us a whole lot of drama and complicated friendships? Similarly, treating older women as mother; taking advantage of every opportunity to learn from and lastly younger women as sister; teaching and equipping them with the skills they need to succeed as Godly women.
*My friend Gareth also wrote a post on womanhood and manhood, you can check it out here: https://athisfeet1042.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/two-books-and-a-conversation/