Made in His Image
God created us in His image. We know this fact, but oftentimes we miss all the implications of it. For one thing, God is amazing. Therefore, we are amazing. We should not suffer from low self-esteem or comparisons if we are made in God’s image, because He is perfect and His handiwork is perfect.
Being made in Christ’s image also means we have attributes of the Almighty in us, and you better believe those are all good traits.
One thing that is sometimes lost in that, though, is that each of us has different personalities and different attributes of God. There are some qualities, of course, that God has given all humans, but He purposely gives different types of people different qualities and characteristics of His.
The Marriage Relationship
The biggest difference that we can see is probably found in men and women. So much research has been done and so much has been said, both funny and serious, about the differences between men and women. Most of us know the basics, but those differences aren’t just something humorous to laugh at. God gives us those differences for a reason. They have a purpose.
We were made to compliment each other with the different parts or concepts of God that we carry in us. We as Christians are meant to represent God to the world. Since we have different attributes of God, one way we can represent a complete picture of God is by coming together. When man and woman marry, they become one flesh. In this way, a Christian marriage has the unique and privileged opportunity of giving the world a tangible example of the relationship between God and the church.
In a marriage, the man is to love his wife as Christ loves the church, and the woman is to respect and adore her husband as the church is to respect and adore Christ.
If a married couple allows God to work through their lives, they can demonstrate this powerful relationship to a dysfunctional world that’s hurting. A Godly husband shows a small piece of what God’s tremendous, unconditional love for us looks like. A Godly wife shows a small piece of what our respect and admiration for God should look like.
Another way we demonstrate God to the world with the unique attributes He’s given us is in the way we parent our kids. Since God is our ultimate father and mother, having qualities of both, we reveal Him by the way we love and protect our children.
God has made mothers and fathers uniquely different, and both roles are special and important. A father desires to be a good provider for his family and to protect them. A mother desires for her children to feel loved and nurtured.
Let’s focus on the mother for a moment. Although fathers can be compassionate and loving too, God made those attributes more emphasized in mothers. Mothers have such a special gift. Not only can mothers nurture their children, show them unconditional love, extend compassion, and sense and fill their needs, but they also have the ability and privilege to carry these children into the world in the first place.
Mary is the best example of this miracle and privilege. It wasn’t man’s seed that brought Jesus into this world. It was the Holy Spirit and a woman. A simple, everyday woman like Mary had the greatest privilege of carrying and nurturing the Savior until he was ready to be birthed into our world.
Women today also have the privilege of bringing life into the world, and what’s so precious is the love and nurturing a mother feels towards her child through the pregnancy and afterwards. During the pregnancy, a mother does everything she can to protect her child. She sometimes gives up things she previously enjoyed; she’s uncomfortable; she’s cautious and careful. Her utmost concern is the welfare of that child.
Then after the child is born and the mother sees it face to face, a new joy and love is born with it, and the love the mother felt before grows exponentially.
Our Job as Christians
Although this is a privilege given to women, all Christians have the honor and task of carrying the seed of God. The Holy Spirit lives in each of us. God’s truth, His presence, and the life He gives us are ours to carry and nurture.
Christ wants to come into the world in a new way, in a way that will bring joy and new life. But He must be carried through us. It’s up to us to be the life-giving vessels just as women are for their children. Then, just as a woman feels immense joy at the birth of her child, we will feel immense joy when Christ’s glory is fully shown through us.