Sunday, 17 November 2013

The deception of women

It’s often said “educate a man, and you educate an individual, but educate a woman and you educate a nation.” The importance of women and girls cannot be emphasized enough. 

In the Bible, the nation of Israel was frequently warned not to marry women from the surrounding pagan nations. This was because of the power of influence women typically have. Failure to heed that advice often resulted in husbands and children being led astray. We see examples of that in the lives of King Solomon and King Ahab and their children, who were led astray by their foreign wives.

Have you ever wondered why women are often abused and treated as objects instead of as persons?
We always hear stories of women being trafficked and forced into prostitution, and other forms of modern day slavery.  We rarely hear of men treated this way. Why are women so prone to this? I don’t think its only because women are weak, I think it is much more than that. I think that if a woman is abused, she is broken, and if she is broken, she will abuse and break others too and so continue the vicious cycle.

In Genesis chapter 3, we see the devil hard at work trying to deceive Eve, and in Revelation chapter 12, we also find him as the dragon chasing the Woman and her Seed to destroy them. Why is he so bent on the woman? 

Because he knows if he can get/destroy a woman, he can get/destroy her husband and her children! And so he uses different ways to accomplish his plans of destruction. One of them is abuse and mistreatment, another very common way is deception. This was his tactic with Eve in the Garden of Eden. And he still uses deception to attack women to this day. Perhaps if we look at how Eve got deceived, we might learn how to avoid the same mistakes she made and thus protect our family and legacy.

The devil disguised himself as a friend: The devil didn’t come in his true form, she would not have fallen for that. He came in the form of one of her friends, the snake. You must remember that Adam and Eve were keepers of the Garden and knew all the animals and the animals knew them too. I have no doubt that she must have interacted very well with each of them including the snake. And so she listened to the snake (who was actually the devil) when he make suggestions contrary to what she had been told. Today many women listen to many so called ‘friends’ who tell them things contrary to what God tells them. These friends will come in the form of the media, feminists, society, and their peers. but their message is the same: forget what God said to you, that is so old school!

She did not know the difference between wants and needs: In the Garden, they had everything they could ever possibly need. They had food, water, a loving relationship with God, they had themselves, they had a job of tending the garden. They had it all! But when the devil suggested knowledge as a greater need to have, she quickly agreed. She didn’t need knowledge, it was not necessary, not when it was going to be in disobedience to God. But so great was her desire for a want, that she was willing to sacrifice the source of her needs to get it. I wonder how many of us sacrifice the needful for a fleeting moment of getting our wants met. We place more emphasis on wants instead of needs and so spend our time and energy chasing things that are useless while ignoring the true things that matter. Your integrity, your husband, your children, your faith, are examples of things that are needful. Do not let wealth, ego, career, fashion, vanity and other wants, take more prominence.

There are no consequences to actions: When the snake asked Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, she told him what the consequences were going to be to her. But he laughed off her fears and told her nothing was going to happen. But as we know, he was lying, there are always consequences to our acts of disobedience. Another reason why he may laughed was because there were no consequences for him. It was easy for him to convince her to break the rules because she was the one who would get into trouble.  When non-Christians tell us to stop being prudish and do what they are doing, remember they are not the ones who will have their consciences in disarray. Just because lots of people are breaking God’s rules does not mean that Christians should do likewise. Remember they have no reason to obey God, they have rejected God. But as people who call themselves Christians, we have a duty to follow God’s rules or there will be consequences. There are always consequences for our acts of disobedience. But thank God for His mercies and grace!

Flee the appearance of evil: Eve had a good heart and didn't want to disobey God, but she made the mistake of reasoning with the snake (the devil). As she spent time talking to him and listening to him, she began to notice the fruit. The Bible said in Genesis 3:6 "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye,..."
She had never noticed the fruit until that moment. And it was because she lingered around it. Many people find themselves doing things they would never have imagined doing before. They never planned for it to happen, but because they lingered around, reasoning it out, trying to justify why and why not, they fell into temptation. Listen you can never outsmart the devil, he has been doing his stuff for years! Don't make excuses or think you are strong, please flee. Avoid books, blogs, music, even people who are 'appearances' of evil. 

A desire to be like God (or others): The devil finally convinced Eve to eat the fruit because it would make her as wise as God. I wonder why this woman who was created as a perfect helper to Adam felt she needed to be like God or anyone for that matter. The Bible says she was formed from one of the ribs of Adam. She was not made from the soil like him, but from an already finished product. While Adam was raw and rugged like the earth he was formed from, she was perfect and refined. She was the queen of Eden, she didn’t need to be anyone else, there was no one like her, she was perfect. But somehow she forgot her uniqueness and wanted to be like others. She suddenly felt her self-esteem would be improved if she acted or knew as much as God.

I don’t know why she felt that way, but I can speculate a bit. Perhaps as the last person to be created she felt somehow inferior? Perhaps Adam told her what to do around the Garden (not because he thought of her as inferior but because he was there before her) and maybe she resented that? We may never know. But isn’t that how many of us feel sometimes? We compare ourselves with others and want what others have, forgetting that we are unique and special. We see many women today who want to be like men, who feel their worth and value can only be achieved if they are like others. And so they compromise and stress themselves all in a bit to fit in or be like others. It’s just an unnecessary and futile exercise. You are perfect in your looks, or your accomplishments or temperament. You don’t have to be like anyone, be proud of who God made you to be, because God is proud of you. When He formed you, He was pleased at what He had made. He looked at you and smiled with pleasure and pride. Why would you feel differently about yourself?

I believe women are in a strategic position to use their God-given strengths to do
amazing exploits in this generation and the ones to come. Women can create and also destroy. So great is our power that the devil is afraid of us. He will do anything to prevent us from knowing this. He will use men, religion and even the governments to deceive us, abuse us and rob us of our self-esteem. Because he knows that when we know who we truly are, he will not have the upper hand again in our families, in our societies and in our world.

And so I urge you, remember who you are and whose you are. You are special, you are unique, you are the embodiment of strengths and courage. You are amazing in everyway! No matter what people may say, you are amazing! How do I know that? Well because God says so! We were created last, but do you know what that means? It means God took his time to create us. He knew He was going to rest on the seventh day, so He took his time to make sure every detail about us was perfect. 

Sisters you are perfect! Do you know Adam has one rib missing? Adam was not complete until Eve came along. But Eve? Oh she is so perfect, she didn’t even need Adam to complete her. Protect and love her, yes. But complete her? No, she was already complete.

Do not look for something to complete you sisters; not job, or career, a man, children, beauty, etc. you are already complete and perfect. You don’t need anything else to validate you. God has already validated you, you have His stamp of approval, pleasure and pride on you. Don’t waste your precious time chasing worthless things that sap your energy. Invest your energy in things that matter, things that will help you fulfil your God-given destinies.

May God help us become all we were made for. Amen and amen.

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