Sunday, March 16, 2014

Learning to be the Woman God Wants to Me to be: a Study in Definitions

It is absolutely amazing how what we believe a word means can be exactly incorrect when you look it up in a dictionary. Sometimes, it even depends on which dictionary you are using to look up words—there are slight differences depending on who published the dictionary. Then when you add in Bible study tools, definitions may change a tad as well.

Take the word “quiet” for example. To most people quiet means to not talk, to be silent. To the dictionary app on my iPhone, quiet means “with little or no activity or no agitation; of the sun characterized by a low level of surface phenomena like sunspots.
To the New Oxford American Dictionary: “(of a person) tranquil and reserved by nature; not brash or forceful;”
The definition one of the Bible apps on my phone gave the word quiet was a little different and so much more powerful. "Restrained in speech, manner, etc; Peaceful, peaceable; not showy or obtrusive; tranquil."

What I want to do with this study is go through some of the qualities that a woman of God should possess and define them. I know what I think the word means, but I'm going to look them up in dictionaries study them against a concordance and see the meanings behind them. I'm excited for this study.
Here is a list of words I'm planning to work with. (More may be added later)
Chaste Conversation
Gentle and Quiet Spirit
Honorable Conduct


Willing to work

Provides for the house



Worthy of being praised

Fears the Lord


Words seasoned with Salt

Women in Genesis 1 and 2

The Creation of the world and all it contains is something we all are familiar with. We know that it took 6 days for our Creator to make this amazing planet and everything it contains.  
We read through the chapter and finally on verse 27 there is a brief mention of a woman(ish)

Genesis  1:27 
"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;
    male and female He created them."

At this point we just know God created a male and a female. We have to wait until Genesis 2:18 to find out more. .. we find out the we as women are created to be a helpmate for our husbands. (Yes, I realize that as an unmarried woman I don't quite understand all this entails, but this does lay the foundation for my existence). 
If we keep reading in Genesis 2, one of my favorite verses in the Bible comes into play. I recently had an epiphany of sorts when reading Genesis 2:22,
          "And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

When I read this verse for the umpteenth time, I finally saw a parallel to wedding today. In my mind I saw God walking Eve down an aisle to her future husband. I saw Eve in the daughter role and God not just as her Heavenly Father, but as her Daddy walking his precious daughter to the man who would end up taking care of her for the rest of her life. And what a POWERFUL image to be in my head. Basically Genesis 2:22 is the first wedding in the world. The following verses (Genesis 2:23-24) are about the relationship Adam and his wife (still unnamed in the text) are to have. Once we marry, we Leave our parents and CLEAVE to our husbands. (Cleave meaning to Cling to and to hold fast). 

Looking at Genesis 2 this time I have a better appreciation for the relationship God established between a husband and a wife. As a kid reading the beginnings of Genesis, I was always more interested in the animals and the stars. The creation of the marriage relationship was not important. Now that I'm getting older and thinking more and more about marriage and a family, this chapter has become significantly more important. In my opinion, the creation of marriage is one of His most important creations. As many people have told me in my life "marriage is finding the person who helps you get to heaven and will meet you there." And with the foundation of the world, God set up the perfect relationship-- a husband and a wife.