WOMAN AND MOTHERHOOD, BY KIANG P LEE

THE ROSE, SYMBOL OF ETERNAL LOVE OF MOTHERS (Wiki Commons)

Greetings Friends! We have just celebrated Mother’s day. What does the day mean to most people? What does the Bible say about woman and motherhood? The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. This is not (directly) related to the many traditional celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have existed throughout the world over thousands of years. Although the nature of the holiday seems as if it had its roots in prehistoric times, students of folklore have claimed to find the source in ancient spring festivals to the mother goddess, particularly to the worship of Cybele. However, in some countries motherhood is still synonymous with older traditions. The U.S.-derived modern version of Mother’s Day has been criticized for having become too commercialized. Founder Jarvis herself regretted this commercialism and expressed views on how that was never her intention. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day)

However, in Biblical teaching and tradition, do mothers, motherhood, and maternal bonds, have any significance? The answer is a resounding yes! What was God’s idea of woman and motherhood? In the Book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul was inspired to write, “Husbands, go all out in your Love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the Church—a Love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s Love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness” (read Eph.5:25-32).

Yellow Rose (Wiki Commons)

Here, we see that womanhood and motherhood is compared to the “Church.” Her husband is Jesus Christ. Who and what is the church? The church is made up of people from all walks of life who have turned and received Jesus as their Savior, and therefore espoused spiritually. So, the Church represents all of humanity, for the scripture states, “For God so Loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16-17) The Church is the representation of mankind. Therefore, womanhood and motherhood is a picture of humanity. Many today deride womanhood and motherhood in ignorance and without forethought fail to realize they are in truth denigrating humanity, because with God mankind and womanhood are synonymous.

Paul said to the Corinthian Church, “For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God Himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one Husband—Christ” (2 Cor.11:2). That makes it abundantly clear that womanhood is the representation of humanity (Church) as a whole. To the Ephesian Christians, Paul spoke of God’s activity in human life, “Husbands, Love your wives, just as Christ Loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Eph.5:25-27). Because of this, the stated position of womanhood and motherhood sits at the top echelon of human society with the position of fathers and fatherhood. The scriptural admonition to fathers is crystal clear, “As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one” (Eph.5:31-33).

Purple Rose (Wiki Commons)

In God’s plan, when humanity has been saved through Jesus, the wedding ceremony between Christ and His bride (Church/humanity) will take place, as recorded in the book of Revelation, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him the glory. For the marriage of the Lamb (Jesus) has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear” (Rev.19:7-8). The statement, “His bride has made herself ready,” reveals the stated objective of the Father to present to His Son a woman who is a “radiant church (wife), without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” Eph.5:27). And like any good and responsible father would, God the Father presents the most amazing, spectacular, and awe-inspiring wedding gift to His Son and His holy bride the Church: the spectacular jewel city of New Jerusalem coming out from heaven. More wonderfully, God gives a new heaven and a new earth on which the new gleaming city of Jerusalem descending from heaven to rest upon, “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”  for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Rev.21:1-5). New Jerusalem will become the abode of the Christ and His bride (Church/humanity) for eternity.

What an eye-opening and amazing revelation of womanhood and motherhood from our Great God and Father in heaven. We are all part of the greater humanity of earth, and to live our destiny as humans we are called upon to freely choose and receive Jesus Christ to keep our ties to this earth and the New Jerusalem. The Bible calls the Church or New Jerusalem, the Mother of us all, for she is our spiritual Mother especially to new converts who are spiritual children in the faith. (Gal.4:26, NASB)

Pink Rose (Wiki Commons)

So, we see the purpose and role of the female gender in creation. In God’s perspective, the woman is the picture of and synonymous with humanity. How did God create Eve, the first woman and mother of humanity? We read how it all happened from the book of Genesis. After creating Adam, “God said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” God put the Man into a deep sleep. As he slept, He removed one of his ribs and replaced it with flesh. God then used the rib that He had taken from the man to make woman and presented her to the Man. The Man said, “Finally! Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! Name her Woman for she was made from Man.” Therefore, a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh” (Gen.2:18, 21-24).

Eve was not created separate individually like Adam was, instead, Eve was taken out of Adam’s side. She was part of the human species through the original creation of humanity through Adam. Adam said, “Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, and name her Woman, for she was made from Man.” Adam’s words were prophetic for humanity and human destiny. It speaks of the perpetuation and preservation of the human species upon this earth physically through Adam, and eternally through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the second Adam who brings eternal salvation to humanity. The first Adam had fallen at the hands of the enemy by eating the forbidden fruit in Eden. (1 Cor.15:45; Gen.3:1-24) Paul was inspired to write, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit” (1 Cor.15:45). Through Jesus, mankind will be made one with God in the power of the Spirit and live eternally upon the new earth in the Kingdom of God.

Adam did not become a living being on his own, but was the first and only human created individually. The woman was taken out of man and the human species followed through them as one created being, not two. Hence, the Bible says clearly, “Male and female created He them, and blessed them and called their name Adam in the day when they were created” (Gen.5:2, KJV). The Creator said they were “one flesh” just as they were given one name, “Adam.” They were of one substance like the Father, Son, and Spirit are of one substance in the Triune God. (Gen.2:18, 21-24; 5:2; 1:26-27). It was only after the fall of Adam that the woman was called by the name “Eve” (Gen.3:20).

Their rebellion and sin had altered their makeup in God’s divine likeness – sin had caused this separation so they were no longer united as one. Their divorce from God revealed their spiritual ‘nakedness’ (Gen.3:7) Thus, when God clothed them, He did so in animal skin as a prophetic symbol of Jesus’ mediation as the sacrificial lamb who will cover the nakedness of humanity and uniting humanity to God as one. (Gen.3:21) Human genealogy can be traced back to a single human – Adam, the first human. (Luk.3:23-38) Likewise, mankind’s spiritual/eternal genealogy can be traced back to one Person, Jesus, the second “Immanuel” human. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:22-23) When God took upon Himself our humanity through His Son, Jesus Christ, He united mankind (woman) with God forming one being. (John 3:16-17)

Jesus was given His messianic name, “Immanuel,” meaning, “God with us,” or “oneness with God.” (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23). Jesus, the second Adam, ended the human separation from God through the rebellion and fall of the first Adam, by reuniting humanity back with God through His ‘Immanuel humanity.’ Thus, we know there were only two human creations. The first human creation was through Adam, made from the soil of the earth, and fell at the hands of the devil’s temptation, or the ‘Adamic human.’ And the second human creation came through Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, through divine birth and creation from God the Father, or the ‘Immanuel human.’ (You may read more about Jesus’ New Humanity at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718). Mankind becomes united to Jesus and made one with the Triune God* through the Spirit upon receiving Jesus as Savior. (Gal.2:20; John 17:22-23, NLT)

The Scriptures reveal the preeminence of Jesus in His ‘Immanuel humanity’ as it concerns humanity (Church), and the destiny of the human species, saying, “God raised Him from death and set Him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from His rule… At the center of all this, Christ rules the Church. The Church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the Church. The Church is Christ’s body, in which He speaks and acts, by which He fills everything with His presence” (Eph.1:20-23, The Message). Hence, to interface this eternal truth with humanity today, Paul addressed husbands accordingly, “In this same way, husbands ought to Love their wives as their own bodies. He who Loves his wife Loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the Church—for we are members of His body” (Eph.5:28-30). Husbands must “Love their wives as their own bodies” because she is not separate from him, but literally and spiritually one with him, as the creation of Eve informs us in the passage we read earlier. (Gen.2:18, 21-24).

White Rose (Wiki Commons)

Paul speaks of this life of oneness in being with and in Jesus when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who Loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Gal.2:20; also John 17:22-23, NLT). This is the process of rebirth in the Spirit Jesus spoke of through John’s Gospel. (John 3:5-8) Paul further speaks of what the activity of faith does to humans, “But whoever unites himself/herself (belief/faith) with the Lord is one with Him in Spirit” (1 Cor.6:17, italics mine). Paul encouraged the Ephesian Church saying, “It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life” (Eph.1:13-14, The Message).   

Such is the divine perspective of womanhood and motherhood and the lofty ideals given it in Scripture in relation to its eternal relevance to upholding humanity’s place in God’s scheme of things in the wonderful future He holds out for mankind.

It is woefully unfortunate that the world’s view of the female gender has been grossly misrepresented through the lens of Hollywood and other popular media with its various rendition that’s made to appeal to the baser human instinct that’s totally at variance with the divine perspective. Hollywood’s portrayal of women is shallow and vain.

However, God is in the process of beautifying the woman (humanity/church) who will marry His Son, “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people: He will beautify the meek with salvation” (Prov. 149:4). Meekness, among other virtuous characteristics, is a beauty that’s internal, not external. At present, the Church (woman/humanity) is betrothed to Jesus. The apostle Peter has more to add about the beauty of the woman Christ will marry, “Wives…your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear” (1 Pet.3:1, 3-6). This does not forbid a woman from making herself presentable, but rather any natural and proper outward beauty is supposed to convey the inner divine beauty which God created woman (humanity) to become for marriage with His Son, Jesus the Christ. 

Orange Rose1.jpg
Orange Rose By Fcb981 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 (Wiki Commons)

With what we have covered from the Bible about the female gender, let us hold women and motherhood in the highest esteem as God our Father would have us do, realizing that the female gender is the reflection of our own human reality, and more so our awesome destiny upon earth and for all eternity into the future.  

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Blessing:

Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”* as a Bulamanriver.**  Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

 Kiang
(Your Servant In Christ)                                                                                                                  

* Triune Life: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. It’s foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because it is the nature of God. Love is both a noun and a verb. We are called Love because we live by Love as God’s own children. It means a life lived according to the image and likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27) It means as children of God we live the 3-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Being of God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life man lives in himself under the influence of the devil. It means God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lives and walks in you. Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune God, who took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune Life” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit in us. The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book outlets. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel around the world.

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All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

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