In early May we think about our mothers. This year, with the load most mother’s carry being realized more clearly than ever as daycares, schools and even most grandparents are cancelled; perhaps we can see the value of women, of moms, of those women who have ‘mothered’ us as never before. I’m grateful for Elyse and Eric and their deep look into the value of women summarized in this title, “Worthy.” I hope these words will encourage you today as deeply loved by Him and always worthy. — Barbara
My husband, Phil, and I have been married for nearly 46 years. And that, as I like to say, proves that there is a God.
In the last few decades, Phil and I have learned to navigate through years of (mostly) empty nesting. We’ve settled down into a life of shared interests and enjoyments. At the heart of our mutual experience and journey, is our local church. But church isn’t all we share. There are certain television programs we both enjoy. In fact, there are particular shows that there’s never any question about. We’ve got the DVR set to record them because we know that once we’re cozily ensconced in our recliners, we’ll both want to see the latest additions. And one of the programs we watch religiously is Antiques Roadshow.
If you’re an AR aficionado like we are, then you’re familiar with that magical moment when the appraiser gingerly handles what looks to your untrained eye like a piece of worthless canvas and points out the all-important signature. And all of a sudden, something that had dubious value becomes a lost masterpiece worth a king’s ransom. It’s about that time when I turn to Phil and ask, “Don’t you have one of those in the garage?”…and of course he never does. What we learn in every episode is that it’s the reputation, the recognized worth of the artist’s name, that confers value on his work of art, his creation.
Now, let’s briefly turn our attention on Genesis 1:27 (CSB),
So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female.
What that verse tells us is that when God made man, meaning “mankind” or “humanity,” he made us all in his image. He created them to image or reflect him. He created them to be his visible representatives on earth who together would rule his creation. Both men and women were created to reign over and subdue the earth so that his wisdom, genius, and goodness would be known, yes, by all people, but also by all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavens (Ephesians 3:10). Men and women were created to prove a point: God is glorious. And he’s so awesome that it takes both genders to proclaim it. Without the help that the woman was created to bring to the man, the man would be unable to adequately demonstrate the greatness of God. Women have value for one simple reason, they have been imprinted with the image of the most valuable being in the universe and they were created to show him off.
In the same way that it wouldn’t make any sense to say, “I think Van Gogh is a great artist, but I think his paintings are worthless,” it would be ridiculous to say, “I’m sure God is glorious, but I’m not convinced that this half of his creation, women, have any value.” That would seem silly. Of course, I doubt that anyone would actually say women are worthless, but I wonder if we don’t implicitly imply it when we treat women with less regard than we treat men, when we objectify, commodify, ignore, denigrate, or question whether they are needed, whether their voices should be heard or heeded.
Of course, I believe that God has called me, as Phil’s wife, to willingly seek to stand by him, as his equal and to strive to promote his welfare and flourishing in every way I can so that together our lives confirm this statement, “God is glorious.” No matter what we’re facing, whether it’s a family crisis or just a choice about what to watch on TV, I’m his necessary ally. I’m the “helper” that the Lord says he needs (Genesis 2:18).
As Phil and I have lived out our lives and callings, I’ve been blessed by the fact that he has deeply valued me. I’ve never felt that he thought less of me because I was a woman, and because of that I have flourished in God’s call on my life. I wish that every woman would have known the love I’ve known from him.
But I know they haven’t. It’s because of this sad truth that I want to spread the message of a woman’s worth wherever I can. Here’s the bottom line: Women have worth because they have been fashioned in the image of the Worthy God. Christian women have worth because they have been clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. They bear his image…or getting back to our analogy, his signature.
So, the next time you begin to wonder if your life has any value, or if anyone tells you that you’re worthless, stop and think: He says that I have value and that he loves me because I am like him. And that…more than anything else means that whatever he calls you to do today is not meaningless. We’re here to show him off. And he will use us for his glory.
Elyse Fitzpatrick is a nationally sought-after speaker and author, speaking at the Gospel Coalition’s conference and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s Revive Our Hearts. She holds a certificate in biblical counseling and has an MA in biblical counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. She has authored 23 books and lives in California with her husband, Phil. Learn more at www.elysefitzpatrick.com.
Eric Schumacher is a pastor, songwriter, and author whose work has been featured by the Gospel Coalition and elsewhere. He has a BA in communications and an MDiv from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Eric and his wife, Jenny, have five children and live in Iowa. Learn more at www.emschumacher.com.