Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Ideal Christian Woman: Part 3

By Wendy Alsup @http://theresurgence.com

In Her Body and Life, She Seeks to Reflect the Image of God
We've established that the Ideal Christian Woman is honest about her sin and finds her identity in Jesus Christ. She understands that His punishment on the cross bought her peace, healing, and restoration, and she meditates regularly on the benefits His death has purchased for her. As the prophet Isaiah said, "By His wounds, we are healed." Christ's death on the cross and the forgiveness and cleansing we have through Him enable us on to part 3 of this series: we restore and reflect the image of God in our body and life.

The first woman was created to reflect the image of God. In particular, she was created to be a helper (Hebrew ezer, Genesis 2:18). In Hebrew, this word means to help, nourish, sustain, or strengthen and is used most often in the Old Testament of God Himself. Consider its use in Deuteronomy 33:29:

Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword…

Here, God Himself is called our helper, our ezer, the same word used of the first woman in Gen. 2:18. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is also called our Helper, Counselor, and Comforter (depending on which translation of the Bible you use--these are all translations of the Holy Spirit's role of paraklete, or one who comes alongside in aid.) God is our Help. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. And we were created to reflect this awesome attribute of God. When we understand God's role on this issue, it puts this in perspective. God, Almighty Sovereign Lord of the Universe, is our helper and we, as women, are created in His image.

So let's consider God's example on this issue of Help. Do you see yourself exhibiting God's characteristics or the contrasting ones? In Exodus 18:4, God our help defends (in contrast to attacking or ignoring the fight altogether). In Psalm 10:14 God our help sees and cares for the oppressed (rather than being indifferent and unconcerned). In Psalm 20:2 and 33:20, God our Help supports, shields and protects (rather than leaving unprotected and defenseless). In Psalms 70:5, God our Help delivers from distress (rather than causing distress). In Psalm 72:12-14, God our Help rescues the poor, weak, and needy (rather than ignoring the poor and needy). And in Psalm 86:17, God our Help comforts (rather than causing discomfort or avoiding altogether). God's example reveals a high and worthy calling for women as helpers suitable to their male counterparts. We are called to show compassion, to support, defend and protect those in our care, to deliver from distress and to comfort. We are called to be conduits of God's grace in our families and churches. We are called to be like God Himself – see Matthew 10:25 (KJV):

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord…

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