Created In His Image Day 4: Our Purpose
“A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30b, ESV).
Purpose: a word that can overwhelm anyone pretty easily. And most often it’s because we’re asking the question, What is my purpose?
If you’re expecting to find the perfect answer to that question in this post, you might want to look elsewhere. But with God’s help, we’ll look together in His Word to try to understand more of our purpose as women—the purpose He gave us.
More than anything, we must remember this: our most important purpose is knowing the Lord Jesus. He said, “This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). I pray we are all striving toward that end every day.
But God also made men and women uniquely, giving each specific roles. These are not a contradiction to our main purpose (knowing Him), but a part of it. God gave these roles at creation, and they are underscored throughout all of Scripture.
The first thing we can learn about our role as women is that we were created to be helpers: “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18).
The word “helper” in Hebrew means exactly what you would guess: someone who is a help or an aid. When paired with the word “fit” (or “suitable,” as another translation puts it), it can be understood that Eve, the first woman, was made to be a helper according to the opposite of what Adam was (Clark et al., 86). In other words, she was made to be exactly complementary to Adam.
Although many people often immediately think of “helper” as a subservient role, that is not at all what God intended. In fact, this word is used several times in the Bible to describe God. Psalm 115 says: “O Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield … You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield” (9,11).
We were created as a part of the whole picture in creation. Our purpose is no less important than God’s purpose for men because it is just as necessary.
Another part of our purpose as women is to bring about life. As a part of establishing the roles of the first man and woman, God instituted marriage. Within that context, He commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply.
The physical design God gave women also speaks to this. God’s design is so complete that He ensured that our purpose was not separate from our physical design, but a part of it. He created our bodies to be able to produce physical life, and this is His desire for us.
But God knew, even at creation, that not every woman would be capable of having children. Does that mean His design is flawed or that it doesn’t apply to all women? Of course not!
Every woman can produce life in some way—having children is not the only way to do that. Every woman can nurture young children in some capacity, whether it is in her family, at her church, or in her local community. Every woman can find a younger woman who needs encouragement in her relationship with the Lord. Every woman can cultivate relationships with people in her life and point them to Christ. Every woman can share the gospel.
These things bring about life in a spiritual sense, and that matters very much to God.
God does, however, give many women their own children. Or sometimes, He even calls people to adopt them. Adopting children, raising them, and showing them God’s love in a way they may never have experienced is also a way of embracing God’s purpose for us. The same is true for biological children. The point is this: however God gives us children, it is His design for us to nurture and raise them.
Managing our households and working diligently in them is yet another part of God’s purpose for us as women. That may mean that your only job is being a mother and taking care of your home, or it may mean that you are able to have another job as well. The needs of each family are unique—God knows this—but if we are living according to His design, our priority should always be our family and home.
Let’s take the time to read several portions of Scripture that explain these truths to us:
“So I would have the younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander” (1 Timothy 5:14). (Note: Paul is giving specific instructions regarding young women who are widows, but he wrote this assuming/claiming God’s design for all women.)
“Older women… are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God might not be reviled” (Titus 2:3-5).
Finally, we’ll look at the example of a woman wholly embraced God’s design:
“She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household…
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet…
She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant…
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all’” (Proverbs 31).
She cared for her husband and children, provided for her household, worked, was not idle or lazy, managed her money and possessions, extended her care to people in need… This was a woman living according to God’s design!
There is so much more than could be said, but I hope this brought encouragement or understanding to you, even in a small way. These truths apply to every single woman because God’s design is perfect and sufficient. Let’s not get so caught up in what our culture pushes us to be that we lose sight of who God designed us to be. Let’s trust His good design and seek to live it out so, as Jesus said, we can know Him and the One whom He sent.
“Modern Chic, Meet Biblical Womanhood.” Girl Defined, by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird, Baker Books, a Division of Baker Publishing Group, 2016, p. 86.