27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
What an honor and privilege it is to be created in the very image of God. But what does that really mean? Does God have bad breath, snort when he laughs or have a receding hairline?
The Hebrew root of the Latin phrase for image of God—imago Dei—means image, shadow or likeness of God. You are a snapshot or reflection of God. In all of creation God chose to reflect godlike characteristics through us. Our imago Dei is the path to our greatest fulfillment. You will feel the greatest pleasure and wholeness when who God made you to be is fully developed and expressed.
Lets take time to explore the godlike characteristics found in mankind. God being neither man nor women reveals himself best through the harmonic relationships that men and women experience. But men and women are so different, and relationships are so hard. Take some time to list commonly found characteristics in men and women. Start with the negatives and move to the positives.
I’m sure you found many similarities, but the vast majority revealed some sobering differences.
A Personal Observation
The men in my life have taught me the importance of integrity, respect, and hard work. Without their influence I would not understand the strength found in the scripture, “let your yes be yes and your no be no.”
The women in my life have helped me to understand God’s kind, tender, affection for me. They have helped me to see that there is a gentler approach to life.
Today lets focus on the attributes of God that we find more prominently in women.
God is comforting
God is like a mother who comforts her child
As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 66:13)
God is mindful of needs
God is like a woman who would never forget her nursing child
Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. (Isaiah 49:15)
God is protective of the defenseless
God is like a mother eagle hovering over her young
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, (Deuteronomy 32:11)
God is willing to die for those he loves
God experiences the fury of a mother bear robbed of her cubs
I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs; I will tear open their breast, and there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild beast would rip them open. (Hosea 13:8)
Jesus longs to protect those he love
Jesus longed for the people of Jerusalem
Like a mother hen longs to gather her chicks under her wings O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! (Luke 13:34)
Knowing what the scripture says and living it out is a struggle. Let’s be honest. Is knowing the scripture enough to make the difference?
It's Never Enough
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Ladies: What would free you to live as a reflection of the character of God?
Men: How could you serve the women in your life to help them reflect the character of God?
All: How can we as a Church better equip women to reflect the character of God?