I agreed to participate in a chapter by chapter review of the book, Voices if the True Woman Movement, compiled by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It is to be completed by September. I agreed earlier this summer, knowing I had all summer to get it done, and it is a rather short book so no problem, right?!?. Yikes! Here it is August 3 and I am just getting through chapter one. Double Yikes!!
It has been quite a number of years since I wrote a book report. But here goes my first attempt.
Chapter one was written by Dr. John Piper. It is his goal to present the ultimate meaning of true womanhood. He defines the meaning of true womanhood as “a distinctive calling of God to display the glory of His Son in ways that would not be displayed if there were no womanhood.” Sounds kind of simple and I appreciate that. It is just another way of stating that my aim in life should be to glorify God. This is God’s plan for every believer, male or female. Yet in God’s plan He designed for women to do this in a way that is unique, through their femininity! That make me feel kind of special.
I also appreciated the fact that in this chapter womanhood, and femininity is distinct from manhood and masculinity. I thought this was important because in our present culture the lines are constantly being blurred. You cannot blur God’s design in creating men distinctly and women distinctly. That leaves no room for homosexuality accept that men and women do choose that for their lifestyle.
One other thing I appreciated was that womanhood was defined by each woman’s role, married or single. How I as a married woman will glorify God looks different in many ways than for a single woman. I am going to do that by keeping my marriage vows and loving my husband which displays in a small way the covenant keeping love of Christ for the church. It also involves that word dreaded by so many women, submission! Dr. Piper gives two definitions that are quite helpful, headship and submission.
Headship:the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.
Submission:the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.
The emphasis in both of these definitions is the “divine calling” This is God’s plan and design.
There were also a couple of things I did not appreciate about the chapter. First, Dr. Piper begins this chapter with an assumption, wimpy theology produces wimpy women. He follows this with several examples of women, who in very difficult circumstances of life, even martyrdom, refused to think of themselves and to deny Christ. They were glad to be counted “worthy enough” to suffer or to die for Christ. “Wimpy” is meant to portray the woman who is not surrendered to Christ and does not view her life circumstances, with their difficulty and suffering, as being opportunities to display God’s glory. I understand and agree. But I guess I just did not like the word “wimpy”. That word pictures for me someone who is geeky, mousy, who is odd and does not fit in. The rub then, is that I think the true wimpy woman appears as successful, in control, savvy and well-put together, even desirable. But not at all as the word implies, wimpy. I would have used a different word is all.
Secondly, I read and re-read the paragraph on pages 19-20 where Dr. Piper says, “God’s ultimate purpose in creating the world and choosing to let it become the sin-wracked world that it is, is so that the greatness of the glory of Christ could be put on display at Calvary where He bought His rebellious bride at the cost of His life.” A couple of things just bother me with that sentence. Again I think I understand his point, and I may be wrong in this… but I believe God’s purpose in creating the world was because God desired to have a relationship with one of His creations, mankind. He did not “choose” to let it become sin-wracked, but He did allow man’s sinful choices to take their affect and for the consequences of sin to be played out. I agree God designed salvation’s plan before the creation of the world, knowing that man would sin and break the relationship God desired to have with us. And so Jesus, in fulfillment of that plan, came to reconcile us to God. II Corinthians 5:18 says, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ…” verse 19 says…”that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself…”and verse 21, “ He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” So I guess what I am trying to say is that God’s purpose in creating the world was to have a personal relationship with us, available only through His son, Jesus.
In conclusion, I think I can agree with Dr. Piper’s purpose for true womanhood, to glorify Christ in my distinct call; first as His child and secondly as a woman. I look forward to reading how that will play out in the rest of the book. See you for chapter two shortly!