Several years ago I read the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge of Ransomed Heart Ministries. In Captivating, John and Stasi retell the creation of man and woman (Adam and Eve), weaving together an amazing tale of adventure, purpose, and significance.
Too often the church has depicted the women of God as helpless and insignificant—merely silent extras in a blockbuster film. But, the Eldredges pull out verses from the bible that illustrate just how helpful and significant and leading is God’s female creation.
I was excited to have old thinking dispelled in each chapter—old thinking about Christian women being subjugated.
Captivating not only changed my mind about how God sees His female creation and what His Word really says about women, this book changed my mind about the purpose and worth and value that God has given to me in His Son Jesus as a woman and adopted daughter.
Romans 8:15 (NLT) says, “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now, we call him, Abba, Father.”
One of the verses that the Eldredges draw from takes us to the beginning—before the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
In the first chapter of Genesis we see Abba Father’s supremacy as Creator of all creation. The might and miraculousness of Him is demonstrated in every wonderful detail described verse by verse, and at the end of each day of creation God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:1-31).
In the second chapter of Genesis, which focuses on the creation of Adam and Eve, we see the intimacy of our Abba Father. There is all the intimate intention and purpose and significance of man and woman being described in these verses. Verse 7, the creation of man, moves me deeply with all the imagery that comes to mind.
Genesis 2:7 (NASB) says, “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
The imagery that came to mind as I read this verse, this time around, were scenes from different films in which one of the main characters, a beloved character, is being resuscitated with CPR.
The loved one is breathing into their mouth in between pumps, believing for that character to live. Then the gasp of air comes—eyelids springing open—and joyful tears and loving embraces follow.
I don’t think I ever realized just how deeply ingrained the will to live has been imprinted on the walls of my heart because those scenes move me deeply, every time.
I dare to imagine the moment that Father God breathed into the nostrils of man, breathed HIS breath of life into him—and man gasped and opened his eyes and was alive. How tender and loving and beautiful and amazing and intimate that moment must have been—our heavenly Father giving life to His first son.
God could have stopped right there, creating man, but He didn’t. Creation was not complete with the man alone. Genesis 2:18 (NASB) tells us that God didn’t think it was good for the man to be alone—so He made him a helper suitable for him.
Basically, God, Creator of all creation in whom there is only good, said that creating the man alone was not good enough. What?
God’s goodness is not quantifiable the way we measure things in natural thinking as humans. So then, what can we infer from this verse? Could it be that God’s miraculous stint of creation was not complete without the creation of woman?
I absolutely love the way Stasi Eldredge answers this question in Captivating:
Given the way creation unfolds, how it builds to ever higher and higher works of art, can there be any doubt that Eve is the crown of creation? Not an afterthought. Not a nice addition like an ornament on a tree. She is God’s final touch, his piece de resistance. She fills a place in the world nothing and no one else can fill. Step to a window, ladies, if you can. Better still, find some place with a view. Look out across the earth and say to yourselves, “The whole, vast world is incomplete without me. Creation reached its zenith in me.”
So there is God our Father, just having breathed His life into Adam, and He is like, “Ummm, yea, not finished yet. Got to add my finishing touch here. I am gonna create a woman.” This was an elaborate, intimate, time involved, thoughtful, and precise moment too—creating woman.
Genesis 2:21-24 describes how God performed the surgery on Adam to create from his very bones a helper suitable for him, and gave her an extra rib to replace the one he had taken from Adam to create her.
Adam gets it too—what a miraculous gift God gave him in Eve. He recognizes that she is a part of him, recognizes their oneness, and his responsibility to care for her.
For some of us women, perhaps more profoundly than others and in different seasons, we remember that we have something that men need, that belonged to them at creation—it was once a part of them.
How much more in Christ Jesus, who has reset the fall of man, do the daughters of God serve a need and share in just as epic and adventurous a purpose?
Sisters in Christ, we are needed. We are co-heirs in Christ Jesus. We are bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh now. We are one with God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son.
Beloved daughters of God, we have a role in the Body that no one can fill but us. We have a unique voice in Christ, and a unique adventure to be had us in Him.
A couple of years ago, starting her sixth grade year at Heard County Middle School, my niece Gillyan made the cut for the school wrestling team.
I was so excited for and proud of her.
She wanted to try a sport that was completely outside what was expected of her usual interest in cheer squad or the softball team (both of which she enjoyed for years). Gillyan wanted to venture into new territory and Heard County Middle School gave her the opportunity. In doing so, the coaches acknowledged that her potential was just as great as the male students who tried out for the team.
Gillyan reminded me of a film I had watched as a young girl about a teenage girl who wanted to try out for the high school football team. The film, based on a true story, was called Quarterback Princess and Helen Hunt played the part of Tami Maida.
Maida’s story involved far more resistance than Gillyan’s, but Maida persisted for an opportunity to try out for the team until someone finally said yes. Both my niece and Maida remind me of the true story God tells about His female creation and about His daughters in Christ.
It is a story wrought with fearlessness and a burning desire to be helpful, to be a part of the adventure—and each of us, beloved sisters, is a unique expression of this story.
We do have a leading role, sisters—without doubt, we are principle characters in God’s miraculous story. But, somewhere along the way, fear stifled us and blurred our vision to see how significant we truly are.
There is a quote about fear from Captivating that spoke directly to my heart:
Fear is a wet blanket that smothers the fiery passion God deposited in your heart when he formed you. Fear freezes us into inaction. Frozen ideas, frozen souls, frozen bodies can’t move, can’t dream, can’t risk, can’t love, and can’t live. Fear chains us.
Let us allow the love of God to melt away any fragments of fearfulness we are experiencing and break away those chains, beloveds. Let us allow Abba’s love for us melt away any doubts about our worth and value in Christ, our importance and significance in the Body, and His plans for US.
For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).
Women, and all my sisters in Christ, we were intentionally created by God the Father.
I am a woman, and I am a woman of God. I was adopted into Abba’s family by believing on Jesus. I am His child. I am His daughter, and I was worth His Son’s body being broken and His blood being shed in order to finalize the adoption process. The whole, vast world is incomplete without me. Creation reached its zenith in me.
To God be the glory now, and forevermore!