Sunday, May 01, 2016

Designed A Woman, With Purpose, It Would Seem

I'm a follower of Christ, one who ascribes to the Scriptures as relevant and absolute truth; I believe also in God His Father, the Creator of heaven and of earth and of all things in the heavens and on the earth.

That would include me -- myself. And that includes you.

When I was probably about eight years old I learned the whole of Psalm 100 and have loved it ever since. What profound and absolutely imperative truth for a successful life!

Listen, we spend millions of dollars on books, fortune tellers, and TV shows trying to discover how to live a successful life. Here it is -- FREE! 

Psalm 100 tells us, "Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture." 

And that's it. That's the bottom line, folks: 
He made us, and NOT we ourselves!!! He -- HE -- He is God. KNOW that, People!!!

Recently I learned a new word:
teleology- the belief that purpose and design are apparent in nature; the study of the evidences of design or purpose in nature

A simple principle derived from that definition and employed by scientists is that design predicts function. 

That newly learned word and principle got me thinking about Psalm 100. The owner's manual, scripture, tells me that God made you and me. He was the manufacturer; He made us.

Therefore, we can know that we are His design - not happenstance, but an intentional creation with design and purpose.

Male and female, imago dei. While alike in more ways than not, there are some significant and highly complementary differences.

No offense to any guy readers, but I'm going to explore the female design. I am a woman. I'm concerned first and foremost with how and why He made womankind as He did. But stick around. This affects you, too.

How do we differ from men?

Firstly, a woman has a womb. The peculiar design and function of a womb reveals purpose: to conceive, protect, nurture, and bring forth life. This is the sole purpose of a womb. The Hebrew word for womb is racham, meaning compassion or mercy. It's root is translated "protection from harm". God was most certainly intentional in His design.

A woman has breasts with which she nurtures and comforts her babes. Consider this image from Isaiah 66:10-13:
“Be glad along with Jerusalem, all you who love her.
    Be filled with joy because of her.
Take great delight in her,
    all you who mourn over her.

You will nurse at her comforting breasts.

    And you will be satisfied.
You will drink until you are full.
    And you will delight in her rich and plentiful supply.”
 The Lord continues,
“I will cause peace to flow over her like a river.
    I will make the wealth of nations sweep over her like a flooding stream.
You will nurse and be carried in her arms.
    You will play on her lap.

As a mother comforts her child,

    I will comfort you.

    You will find comfort in Jerusalem.”

Women have wombs; healthy, "egg producing with monthly cycle" wombs.
Women have breasts; lactating, milk producing breasts.

Women, by design it seems (His design no less), were purposed to bring forth life, nurture life, and comfort and protect those He's given to us. If we go with His design, that is.

(Pause. Knit brows together. Tilt head to one side. Breath deeply. Shake head slowly.)
"But surely not," you say, "not routinely, certainly. There must be a mistake. That or you must be kidding.
"Maybe once or twice (a baby that is.) Okay, three times. But definitely not as often as His pesky design would allow. We have more important tasks. This is the 21st century and we know that women have intelligence, talents, abilities. We women can earn money, degrees, pedigree and status.
"But wait a minute. Those of us in the church - we know better than that. We know the shallowness of such thinking."

(Relax - I'm just being cheeky!)

But still, let's be careful here and take this slow. Let's be sure to understand that there is significant ministry to be accomplished beyond giving birth and nursing babies. There are souls to save, believers to disciple, congregations to lead in song, women to teach. There is much to do and we are important and needed. Right?

Hmmm...I'm left with questions. Lots of questions.

Is His design faulty, outdated and irrelevant, terribly in need of tweaking? And how has that tweaking worked out -- what's come of our efforts to neuter women, to "opt out" of the design on a regular basis? How are we faring, we modern day "free from our womb design" women?

And if all is well (now is not the time to get into the long list of things I think may have gone awry), is there reason to give us pause as we consider His design in earnest, to seek to discover our function based on design? Is there possibly a clue here?

How shall we then live, if indeed a functioning healthy womb is His particular plan and purpose? Shall we spend the majority of our fertile married years avoiding the very thing we were made for? Does this seem like His most cherished plan? Is it most honoring to Him? Is it evidence of our trust in His design, or does it cue a belief that He might have made a mistake and left us stuck with an irrelevant dysfunction?

Is there possibly a significant reason for His design? Could there be some importance in raising multiple children that I in my smallness cannot comprehend?

I leave you with these questions and more. We all must, or at least should, wrestle through them, and wrestle them through. And I feel that my service at this time, dear reader, is to inspire you to such wrestling. I cannot answer these questions as they specifically apply to you. I submit that the Holy Spirit is well able to do that.

Wrestle, dear one. Seek Him for His answers to you. Find faith through His word. And live valiantly. Someday I will share my story with you. Of this I can assure you, He will meet you with answers and faith to walk out those answers if you ask.