Twelve Extraordinary Women: Preface

I have been struggling in studying the Bible. I usually have plenty of excuses (like the new baby or too tired following my pre-schooler) and I bet most Christians would agree with this. But lately, I’ve found myself fully immersed in stress that I started having dandruff, great hair loss, headaches and I even stress-eat.

Really there’s nothing that I can do with my current situation but READ. I know it is impossible to attend Bible studies now so I found myself studying on my own. I started looking for books that was left untouched in our cabinet (because I am not a big fan of reading). I found my go-to book, the book that lead me in understanding my role as woman even if I’ve only read the first chapter (haha). This time, I told myself that I’m going to finish this book and work out a reflection as I go along.

So here it is…

Twelve Extraordinary Women By John MacArthur

Why do we need to study a woman’s role as God’s creation?

Whenever my husband and I fight I always look for who to blame. Then I figured maybe I wasn’t the wife God had shaped me into—that maybe I had a wrong concept in my mind or maybe I lack in understanding of what my roles are as a partner.

As you know I am not a big fan of separations, although I have quite a background, I believe a family breaks because the husband and the wife are not aware of the roles they need to play. And in this study I would like to focus on a woman’s role and maybe (cross fingers) Mr. S will be inspired to write about the twelve extraordinary men.

It is a revolutionary concept when people, most especially men, to belittle women. Looking back in the Philippine history, specifically during the reign of the Japanese, Filipino women suffered greatly. But the scripture most of the time go out of the way to ennoble our roles in the society particularly those who showed godly examples.

Women in the bible played important roles. Wives as respected partners to their husbands and not merely slaves. So it is wrong to think that you are JUST a wife, that you don’t have a say on your family. On Genesis 1:27; 5:1-2 women, like men, are both created in God’s own image. Although created fair, men and women have different roles.

In fact, Jesus himself gives women great honor — especially those who feel like they are the worthy.

How are we different?

Women are the “weaker vessels”. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do what men can. Admit it, we need a man’s support and protection. We love that! We are also unique because we play a vital role in childbearing and nurturing little ones.

Women are to be in full submission. We are to respect men. No excuses. I know that this is the hardest role ever because I myself struggled with submission. A tip though: never make a decision (small or big) without his permission. I personally think it’s selfish to put your husband on the side when making decisions just so you think it will make you happy.

Remember this: happy wife = happy life = sad household = children neglected. Why not try: happy husband and wife = happy life, forever.

On the other hand, men are the leaders just as Christ is the head of the church. Husbands are to love their wives SACRIFICIALLY, as Christ loves the church — even, if necessary, at the cost of their own lives (Ephesians 5:25-31). Yep, that heavy. So I guess it isn’t really fair when you enslave your husbands because we blame them of the pain during childbirth and beyond because I can see in flesh that it is not easy being the breadwinner.

What are our roles as wives?

We are wife first before daughter, sister and MOTHER. You cannot fulfill your other roles if as a wife you come to neglect your duties.

We are the crown of our husbands. God made a woman out of a man for a man. If Adam was made out of refined dust, Eve was double-refined. Therefore, God made women perfectly. We give glory to our husbands as we give glory to our mighty creator.

We are wise counselors to our husbands. We all know we have this instinct that don’t fail. We are very detailed therefore we see even through the eye of a needle. In Proverbs, wisdom is personified as a woman.

We are our husband’s spiritual counterpart. In some household, like mine, women are the first to accept Christ. Although it has been a custom for the man to rule, a wife who prays gives wisdom through his ruling.

We are to be feminine. Modern feminist as we all know would usually imply that women should have the same rights as men and has devalued and defamed the natural meaning of femininity. As a result, women are being sent to wars and are into grueling physical labor that are once reserved for men, thus, encouraged to talk and act like a man. Although we see such situation as heroic, wouldn’t it be nice if the wives stay and be the heroes in their own home?

The human race might have so many opinions regarding how a woman should be, but the Scripture honors women and we are to seek honor in a uniquely feminine way. As what the apostle Peter have said that a true feminine beauty is not about external adornment, “arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel”. Real beauty is about “the hidden person of the heart . . . the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

When emperor Constantine was converted, he had a whole new legal status for women. Marriage was legally seen as PARTNERSHIP rather than a virtual state of servitude for the wife. I see it as: the husband and wife work together, side by side.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on the whole Bible said, “That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”

All these are reflected in the lives of the women I will soon discuss. We will get to know how God shaped them and what made them extraordinary.

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