Are men and women equal? Are men and women created equally? What does it mean to be created as a woman and a man? These questions have affected the arc of human history and development of society for quite some time. Our culture seems deeply invested in finding answers to these questions about womanhood. Why though?
For Christian families, there’s an overwhelming importance upon understanding the roles of female and male. However, our culture emphasizes different aspects of these roles from Christianity. In the Christian context, the origin point for this conversation lies at the beginning: the creation of woman and man.
Our culture often focuses on the importance of women through yearly events such as International Women’s Day or Women’s History Month. Yet these celebrations rarely focus on the inherent, original, and biblical worth within womanhood or the creation of woman.
Understanding the need and ability to affirm a young girl’s identity requires an investigation of how women were originally created. From there, we can adequately share, emphasize, and celebrate womanhood with young girls.
The Creation of Woman in the Beginning
Within most discussions involving topics like gender and equality, people reference the opening chapters of Genesis. In the span of a few verses, God creates everything, including humanity. Yet, there’s often limited emphasis upon a collection of details involving the creation of woman.
Genesis 1:26 provides the immediate and complete answer for the question as to the source of our identity. This verse says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…’” From the initial design, God created humanity in His image. But it doesn’t stop there.
In the next chapter, God realizes that something is missing with His creation. Out of everything that He made only one thing was not good. One inconsistency with God’s perfect design. One piece of creation was missing.
Genesis 2:18 says, “Then the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” After the first man had worked in the Garden of Eden for a short time, God quickly proclaims that something is not good with His creation. What is His solution?
In God’s sight, the creation of woman solved every problem that had ever existed at this point in history . To God, woman was the answer to what was not good with creation. The foundational reasoning for the creation of woman is to complete that which was incomplete. To be the answer and solution for the problem. The creation of woman fixed what was not good with creation.
Before humanity’s fall and disobedience to God, this inherent problem required the creation of woman. Woman is the completion of God’s perfect design and creation.
The Inarguable Worth of the Creation of Woman
As one of Europe’s most treasured sites, the Sistine Chapel attracts millions of visitors every year. Containing a variety of thematically resonant and important depictions of episodes from the Bible, the Sistine Chapel’s frescoes illustrate the biblical creation narrative.
Standing in the middle of the Sistine Chapel, one immediately sees the central image on the chapel’s ceiling. Perhaps the most famous religious image from Italian sculptor and artist Michelangelo, The Creation of Adam, rests at the center of the creation narrative.
It’s a curious depiction. Reverent and piercing. But there a couple details with relevant implications for the creation of woman and the importance of womanhood.
The main focus is often Adam and the Lord’s connection in the center of the image. However, it’s the female figure underneath God’s left arm that deserves a little bit more attention.
This female figure represents Eve. As Eve looks longingly at Adam, God maintains constant connection with Eve. Even though God creates Adam in this moment, Eve remains closer to God. God’s left arm draped over Eve’s shoulders communicates protection over the first woman. God breathes life into the man, but He comforts and maintains connection with the woman.
Even in the midst of God’s creation of the first man, the subtle emphasis upon the importance of womanhood exists. Following Eve’s creation, the introduction of sin and disobedience immediately marred the relationship between God and His creation. From that moment onward, sin tainted the purity within the creation of woman and man. This impact continues to ripple throughout our culture even today.
Women of the Bible
Culture’s View of Womanhood
Womanhood tends to come under attack in a variety of ways. Culture suggests that women are inadequate and inferior compared to men. Perpetuated in a number of areas of life, sexism and misogyny can lead to devastating outcomes for young girls.
However, Christianity proclaims a strikingly different conclusion about the value of women. It’s a conclusion that melds with the echoes from Michelangelo’s painting and the early verses of Genesis.
In the ancient Hebrew language, the word describing Eve translates as “ezer” or “helper” in English. More than an assistant or general helper, this idea mirrors the way God describes Himself throughout the Bible. The description of “helper” conveys equality or superiority, never inferiority. Rather than creating woman to serve or help the man, God created woman to serve with the man. This truth echoes throughout human history even if our current culture doesn’t always seem to support it.
Focus on the Family’s Director of Global Family Formations Studies, Glenn T. Stanton, writes and speaks on topics involving the effects of LGBT and feminism upon the institution of the family. In reference to creation of woman and defense of womanhood, Stanton said, “There is no feminist thought that says anything more profound than Christianity.”
In Stanton’s view, Christianity consistently doubles down on the emphasis and significance of the woman. And this isn’t simply a biblical studies trick invented by professors and scholars. It’s a conclusion created by God Himself.
How the Birth of Christ Affirms Womanhood
There’s no better illustration of Stanton’s statement regarding Christianity’s profound proclamation of womanhood than the birth of Jesus Christ.
Matthew and Luke’s Gospels sublimely capture the miraculous essence of the Virgin Mary’s birth of Christ with subtle and radical details. Yet, it’s God’s seemingly simple decision to entrust the birth of the Messiah to a relatively normal young girl that contains profound implications for womanhood.
All of creation and human history lead up to this moment. Jesus’ birth serves as the culmination of numerous prophecies, promises, and covenants. Yet, in the moment, God chooses to fully trust His only Son to the most precious thing He created: a woman.
More specifically, God trusted the processes of pregnancy and birth to begin the tangible salvation of humanity. It’s through a woman and the unique features and gifts that God decides to usher in the Savior of the world. There is nothing more equally loving and revolutionary than for the Lord to entrust His entire plan and only Son to a human woman whom He created.
What Does This Mean for Your Daughter?
Instilling a proper and biblical framework for womanhood in our daughters is an important task for parents. In your role as a mother or father, you hold the key to communicating the importance of the creation of woman.
Women create and shape our culture. From Eve as the initial and first creation of woman to Mary’s role as mother to the Savior of the world, God’s value for womanhood stretches throughout generations and cultures. The beauty of God’s design and creation of woman is that you can pass these values to your daughter as she continues to discover her own identity.
Image of God
Remember the first verse about the creation of woman in the Bible? The image of God isn’t only confined to men. In fact, in God’s admission that it was not good for man to be alone, woman represents the completion of perfection.
This is the purest example of God’s image. A woman completing God’s design.
Emphasize this important reality for your daughter. In moments where she questions her worth and purpose, remind your daughter that God created her in His image with the greatest purpose He could invent.
Celebrate Her Unique Gifts
God created your daughter with a unique set of talents, gifts, and interests. As your daughter discovers these for herself, be there right beside her. Encourage and support her as she develops her God-given gifts.
Create lasting memories around the celebration of your daughter’s gifts. Whether it’s a choir concert, sports championship, or art competition, celebrate your daughter’s accomplishments. Look for areas of your daughter’s life where you can celebrate her relationships with friends and family too. Focus on moments where she serves, leads, and encourages others. Point these out and draw a connection between her actions and the way God created her.
Keep Learning about Womanhood
Curiosity fosters deep connection and interests for a lifetime. Encouraging your daughter to learn more is critical to reinforcing a positive and biblical perspective on womanhood. Surround your daughter with female voices that you trust. As parents, you can guide your daughter as she matures through each age and stage of life.
With discernment, expose your daughter to important women from the Bible and human history. Normalize discussions about impactful women within your own personal upbringing and life. Don’t forget to ask questions about your daughter’s perspective on womanhood and her role as a female in our society.
Final Thoughts on the Creation of Woman
It’s a somewhat futile task to capture the essence of womanhood with words. In some respects, womanhood is ineffable. And that’s okay.
Womanhood simply is what it is. Our feelings and thoughts confirm this reality. When a woman walks into a room, everyone notices a shift. Men straighten up. Manners reappear. Suddenly, everything has changed.
God created women for an innumerable number of reasons. However, woman’s original purpose remains its most potent. God designed woman to correct that which was not good. This is the core of the female identity even today. As you raise your daughters, remember God’s original design in the first creation of woman. There is no need to make women more like men. To do so is to communicate that woman is less valuable God declared. She is good. She is the perfector and completer of that which is not good. In this way, she reflects our Savior, the perfection completion, Jesus.