To the Exiled Women,
Perhaps you, as a woman, far more than men, have been exiled from this post-modern American culture. There are just too many mixed messages, too many people and interests and activities and causes pulling you in differing directions.
Who are you supposed to be? A sexpot? A doormat of a housewife? A baby-making machine? A strong independent? A CEO? A man?
Can you have it all? The sultry body, a happy husband, vigorous fertility, self-reliance, power, and a penis? It seems unlikely, but some are trying. And there are those who will not be satisfied until this is all crammed down your throat and you say "thank you".
I will not say that you face any new problems in our epoch. Women have faced challenges from the beginning. But the expelling force of exile is centered where it needs to be, for the devils always know where to strike first.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) For six days He called into existence things that did not exist. (Romans 4:17) He ordered them with great care, creating concepts and landscapes (light, time, sky, sea, and land), and filling them with concrete creatures to give them order (sun, moon, stars, birds, fish, animals). God saw all that He had made, and it was good.
And last of all He created Man. Up to this point there is an ascending glory to the things that God creates. Light and dark are simple. Birds and fish are more complex, but not as wondrous as the lion or ape. And God crowns it all off with Man. Man, too, was good.
Only Man, of all that is created, is in the image and likeness of God. Only Man has dominion and blessing from the Creator. (Genesis 1:26-28)
And then it happens: "Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone..." (Genesis 2:18)
Did you catch that madame? God said that His creation, which He repeatedly labels as "good" was "not good". And why was that? Because the man was alone. He had no "helper fit for him."
The last thing that God creates is the crown jewel of His creation. It is the woman. It is Eve. It is you.
The word "helper" has gotten a bad rap over the centuries. The term has become synonymous with "assistant", "flunky", or "peon". That is not, however, what God means when He blesses Adam with Eve.
Listen to the Psalmist in Psalm 54:4. "Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life."
God is a "helper". But He is certainly not a peon or a flunky. He upholds life. The woman is much more akin to this. She upholds the life of the man. In fact her name even reflects this. She is named "Eve" because she will be the mother of all the living. (Genesis 3:20)
Eve is the life-giver. She is the helper. She is the essential element missing from the creation. Of all the God has made, she is the highest good.
And that explains a lot about what happens between her and the serpent.
The serpent was crafty. He was smart, and he knew where to strike first, not at the weakest link, but at the most precious.
That devil won't waste his time with the man. Adam is not as valuable. He is second rank. It is the crown jewel of God's creation that is in the serpent's sights.
If the summit is taken the mountain goes with it. If the woman succumbs to temptation then the entire creation will follow suit.
The woman was not weaker than the man. Eve was not less than Adam. She was more. And she still is.
The fall into sin means that no human being, woman or man, can stand righteous before God in and of themselves. But that does not mean that we have none of the dignity that was ours from the beginning. Men are still created in God's image. Women are still the crown jewel of creation.
There is more hope than that, however. You do not need to live your life lamenting the loss of your original virtue, for Jesus Christ has come to restore it.
The promise of the resurrection is that what is dead will be made alive again. Jesus suffered the cross and conquered death to restore us to the image that God created us in: His. On the last day you shall be resurrected, not as some generic "it", but as a full bodied woman, shining in feminine glory.
That glory is yours now by faith in the Son of God. It is visible only to the eyes of faith, but it is there. And the blessing of God is that, sometimes, by the power of His Spirit, that future glory peaks through and shines for the world to see.
Who are you? What shall you be? Be a woman. The problem with society is not that too much is expected of you. It is that too little is seen of your elemental beauty.
Womanhood is not a curse. It is the highest blessing that God bestows on His creation. May we all be filled with awe and wonder when we behold the nobility of Eve.
A Fellow Exile
To Men in Exile