Thursday, April 21, 2011

"wimpy theology makes wimpy women"

I love what this photo captures. It is earthy and real, yet incredibly radiant! It shows the joyful heart of Christ through a young woman wholly devoted to her LORD! There is a divine glow to this kind of womanhood, and Miss Kate is filled with it.

I was reflecting on womanhood earlier this afternoon and I recalled a sermon that John Piper had preached on this topic. I remembered his bold assumption that wimpy theology makes wimpy women. This is an ancient truth! True, Biblical womanhood has always been under attack since the creation of mankind. However, in our modern day, it is being stripped of its strength even by the Christian industry, which is probably the saddest and most frustrating reality of all! This stripping is very subtle, but it's present and powerful because it is causing women to draw their eyes more to themselves (their needs, wants, "self-esteem" messages, etc) than to the glory of God, His purpose for the universe, history, and our lives.
John Piper began his message with some powerful examples of women committed not to self, but to the glory of their King. I just included my favorite passages from this sermon, but I would encourage all to read/listen to the full thing from the link that I posted below. I think he does a wonderful job at drawing all of this out from Scripture in his sermon notes.

Marie Durant

The opposite of a wimpy woman is not a brash, pushy, loud, controlling, sassy, uppity, arrogant Amazon. The opposite of a wimpy woman is 14-year-old Marie Durant, a French Christian in the 17th century who was arrested for being a Protestant and told she could be released if she said one phrase: “I abjure.” Instead, wrote on the wall of her cell, “Resist,” and stayed there 38 years until she died, doing just that (Karl Olsson, Passion, [New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1963], 116–117).

Gladys and Esther Staines

The opposite of a wimpy woman is Gladys Staines who in 1999, after serving with her husband Graham in India for three decades learned that he and their two sons, Phillip (10) and Timothy (6), had been set on fire and burned alive by the very people they had served for 34 years, said, “I have only one message for the people of India. I’m not bitter. Neither am I angry. Let us burn hatred and spread the flame of Christ’s love.”

The opposite of a wimpy woman is her 13-year-old daughter Esther (rightly named!) who said, when asked how she felt about her father’s murder, “I praise the Lord that He found my father worthy to die for Him.”

Krista and Vicki

The opposite of a wimpy woman is Krista and Vicki who between them have had over 65 surgeries because of so-called birth defects, Apert Syndrome and Hypertelorism, and who testify today through huge challenges, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”; and this: “Even though my life has been difficult, I know that God loves me and created me just the way I am. He has taught me to persevere and to trust Him more than anything.”

Joni Eareckson Tada

The opposite of a wimpy woman is Joni Eareckson Tada who has spent the last 41 years in a wheel chair, and prays, “Oh, thank you, thank you for this wheel chair! By tasting hell in this life, I’ve been driven to think seriously about what faces me in the next. This paralysis is my greatest mercy” (Christianity Today, January, 2004, 50).


The opposite of a wimpy woman is Suzie who lost her husband four years ago at age 59, found breast cancer three months later, then lost her mom and writes, “Now I see that I have been crying for the wrong kind of help. I now see, that my worst suffering is my sin—my sin of self-centeredness and self-pity. . . . I know that with His grace, his lovingkindess, and his merciful help, my thoughts can be reformed and my life conformed to be more like His Son.”

Wimpy theology makes wimpy women. That’s my assumption that I bring to this evening. Wimpy theology simply does not give a woman a God that is big enough, strong enough, wise enough, and good enough to handle the realities of life in away that magnifies the infinite worth of Jesus Christ. Wimpy theology is plagued by woman-centeredness and man-centeredness. Wimpy theology doesn’t have the granite foundation of God’s sovereignty or the solid steel structure of a great God-centered purpose for all things.

God’s ultimate purpose for the universe and for all of history and for your life is to display the glory of Christ in its highest expression, namely, in his dying to make a rebellious people his everlasting and supremely happy bride.

God has created man as male and female because there are aspects of Christ’s glory which would not be known if they were not reflected in the complementary differences of manhood and womanhood. Therefore, true womanhood is a distinctive calling of God to display the glory of his Son in ways that would not be displayed if there were no womanhood.

Married womanhood has its unique potential for magnifying Christ that single womanhood does not have. Single womanhood has its unique potential for magnifying Christ which married womanhood does not have.

So whether you marry or remain single, do not settle for a wimpy theology. It is beneath you. God is too great. Christ is too glorious. True womanhood is too strategic. Don’t waste it. Your womanhood—your true womanhood—was made for the glory of Jesus Christ.

Excerpts from The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood