Fertile Femininity and the Impotent Feminist (1 Timothy 2:9–15)

Femininity is under attack and there is too little masculinity to protect it. Feminists are the ones who are actually anti-women, desiring to erase that which is particularly and gloriously feminine in women by trying to make them men. Part of the genius of their ploy is neutering men so as to eliminate any resistance. “Make the men women and we can make the women men.” It is serpentine—both crafty and destructive. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman… .”

Gender, sexuality, manhood, and womanhood are where the battle lines are drawn for our times. Bruce Ware captures this well,

Today… the primary areas in which Christianity is pressured to conform are on issues of gender and sexuality. Postmoderns and ethical relativists care little about doctrinal truth claims; these seem to them innocuous, archaic, and irrelevant to life. What they do care about, and care with a vengeance, is whether their feminist agenda and sexual perversions are tolerated, endorsed and expanded in an increasingly neo-pagan landscape. Because this is what they care most about, it is precisely here that Christianity is most vulnerable. To lose the battle here is to subject the Church to increasing layers of departure from biblical faith. And surely, it will not be long until ethical departures (the Church yielding to feminist pressures for women’s ordination, for example) will yield even more central doctrinal departures (questioning whether Scripture’s inherent patriarchy renders it fundamentally untrustworthy, for example). I find it instructive that when Paul warns about departures from the faith in the latter days, he lists ethical compromises and the searing of the conscience as the prelude to a full-scale doctrinal apostasy (1 Tim 4:1-5).

This means that when we come to a text like 1 Timothy 2:9–15 we mustn’t cringe in embarrassment; we must glory and rejoice. We must remember that the joy of the Lord is our strength, and, that a glorying in Biblical manhood and womanhood is a rejoicing in the Lord. This joy isn’t one that we must fain or force. Femininity is a glorious, beautiful, graceful, and strong thing, and when a woman embraces it, she outshines the world’s perversions the way the sun outshines a lightning bug.

Imagine coming up to a group of builders using hammers to drive screws and screwdrivers to drive nails. “No. You’ve got it backwards. That isn’t using them according to design.” The foolish builders say that design, function, purpose, and roles are relative and to be determined by self. Using a hammer for a screwdriver opens the door to using a wrecking ball for a hammer, and then it won’t be long before the house comes crashing down. When men are men, and women are women, it is then that they are most glorious because it is then that they are most godlike, functioning according to design, imaging forth the Designer.

Femininity is a powerful and glorious thing; something in which women are far superior to men. In a unique way that men are not able to, Christian women get to model for all humanity the grace, beauty, and glory of the submissive quietness of Christ’s bride. Submission and obedience don’t kill, they give life. When Adam and Eve rebelled and did what they wanted this house came down, and it came down because Adam didn’t step up and protect Eve’s femininity; he sat in his recliner, did nothing, and ate the food that he let her eat, and that he let her bring to him (Genesis 3:6). Freedom is a fish in water; a man under God. Under authority, man flourishes. When a godly woman is under a godly man under our gracious God, she is a glorious living parable of this truth.

This kind of beauty is attractive and powerful. It makes men want to be men. It will produce men who will bleed for such beauty, and, like our Savior, bleed to beautify it.

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