- Cornel Warren
Scriptures & the Role of Women
Updated: May 13, 2021
"Come on, kids! If we don't leave right now, we are going to be late!" I called to my two elementary-aged children. Mondays are always a challenge, especially if we had one or two late nights over the weekend. Most days we listen to children's stories as we drive to school. Today was different. I spent a little extra time committing my day to the Lord this morning. The post-covid burnout got me off track, but I decided that today was the day! Calling, here I come! A few minutes later, I was driving to school with my children and my 5 ye
ar old son asked, "mom, did Jesus have a wife?"
My brain started running at a 100 miles an hour because I wanted to make sure my answer was biblical but still accessible to their young minds. I wanted to explore the topic and teach a lesson with care because sometimes speculation can spiral into blasphemy. I want my kids to think deeply but I also want them to rely on me for answers at their young ages. I am making disciples after all. I started off simply by explaining that the Church will one day be Jesus' bride but today Jesus is still waiting for us. God is preparing us to be Jesus' wife as a group.
As I am sure you can imagine, that got a little confusing. So the conversation pivoted to a discussion of our rightful place in God's family. I decided to take a step back. I explained that God is the Father and that Jesus is His son. The Bible says we should call no one on Earth father, because there is one father, our heavenly Father and we are all his children.
Naturally, the question came from the back: "what about our dad? We have him as a father!"
I was able to describe to the children that the Lord, when He made the Earth come into being, painted pictures into each part of creation.
God lovingly designed each little detail of the world to show us a piece of His character and identity. If you go into creation and look at the leaf you will discover something about how God works. And just like that, God made the family unit to paint a living, breathing picture of how He lives in relationship with us. God's picture teaches us that we fit into a special place. Just as God is the Father, each family has a father who takes care of them and loves them. The father is married to the mother who is the helper and who does a lot of the work for the family. The father of the family relies on her just like our heavenly Father relies on the Holy Spirit, the helper He sent into the world to take care of his children. God assigned the wife, the Church, the Spirit to move men's hearts, to minister to the miserable and the marginalized.
Then there is the Son, the Father's pride and joy. God's only begotten brings Him abundant pleasure. The children make the family proud and bring joy to the father and the mother. The book of Proverbs spends a tremendous amount of time teaching children how to behave honorably. "A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother." Proverbs 10:1.
We, as God's children have the power to grieve the Spirit or to bring joy to our Father. What an incomprehensible privilege that God would give us a way to affect Him!
When we think about our daily life we have to remember that we are actors in a play that God wrote. He is our director with a vision for a beautiful story that unfolds and brings blessing to each of the players. When we play our role well, we bring to life to God's perfect plan.
But when we try to reimagine the roles, God's play doesn't work anymore. Not only are we bringing difficulty to ourselves and our families, we are actually dishonoring God, telling Him that His perfect plan is not good enough for us. Imagine if an actor came to the director with constant feedback about a role they were to play. "I know that Jack was supposed to fall in love with Rose in the Titanic, but he is really more interested in becoming a musician and so he is not going to pursue art. Maybe you can find someone else to fall in love with Rose."
"I know Maximus was supposed to die as a Gladiator, but I'm going to play him as a farmer because I don't like being a gladiator."
The truth is, we are already cast and on set filming the Great Performance. Our lines have been given us and our blocking has been worked out and while the cameras are rolling, we keep trying to add in our own flair instead of following the script. As Americans, we are uniquely inclined to blaze our own trail rather than setting our wishes aside in order to be a part of a whole. But in His brilliance, God designed a scenario we will each encounter where we have no choice but to belong to something that transcends us: a family. We are born into something bigger than ourselves. The imagery of the family unit teaches us on multiple levels.
When we play our roles in a honorable way, we bring glory to God our Father.