Men and Women of Faith
In our present society, the topic of gender is hugely relevant. Sadly, it is a topic surrounded by much confusion. For example, a recent glossary purportedly documents at least 85 distinct gender identities. Over-and-against such contemporary ideologies, God’s Word comes crashing down. God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen 1:27). While such a “binary” statement may strike the modern ear as offensive, we affirm that these two God-given genders are intended as a blessing for us.
This month, I've been considering our contemporary lack of appreciation for femininity. Two marvelous Christian women appeared in the Epistle appointed for October 6 where Paul writes, I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well (2 Tim 1:5). On October 25, the Church additionally commemorates more faithful women of the New Testament: Dorcas, Lydia, and Tabitha. Uniting all these ladies was their quiet devotion to the Lord’s work and His people.
Consider J.K. Wilhelm Loehe’s comments on the blessing of these women:
One can say that in Christianity the extraordinary has become ordinary, but also the ordinary has become extraordinary, usual unusual, the common uncommon, that what all do has been transformed into priestly work and to a sacrifice that is offered to the most high God…. [T]he Lord Jesus was followed by a number of women whose names have come down to us. Kings are forgotten, emperors have fallen into the dust and there is no one to remember them; the names of these women, however, are still being mentioned. There are only a few things we know about them, and what is said seems insignificant to us. They made offerings to the Son of Man from what they had …provided such little services, as he deserved before all others. But because the common has become uncommon, thus these names are written in the Book of books.
The great news is that such women are not only an elite group remembered from the Church’s past; rather, the Lord has raised up countless millions throughout Christendom! Indeed wherever the Gospel of Christ’s forgiveness has been proclaimed, women have been inspired to adorn themselves with good works (1 Tim 2:9-10).
We rejoice in our unique callings as men and women and our shared identity in Christ. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled (Tit 2:2-6).