The Gospel Through A Woman’s Eyes
I bought a book because I had seen someone tweet about it. Without investing the time to gather actual information, I saw a headline and decided to act (how modern of me). Two clicks and two days (thank you Amazon Prime!) later, I was sitting down to read my new book.
It didn’t take long to realize I was not the target audience for this book. The book’s examples were about heart-to-heart talks with girlfriends. It continually used female pronouns to refer to the reader, and it included a lot of crying…a lot of crying.
Before you string me up for being a chauvinist, allow me to elaborate. Once I realized this was a book targeted at a woman’s heart and experience, I was actually even more excited to read it. It would be good for me.
The book was highlighted as being Gospel-centered, and I certainly found it to be so. The challenges to my personal pride and worldview were greatly helped in light of God’s sovereignty, goodness and strength.
As I read this book from a female perspective intended to relate to the heart of a woman, I was encouraged by the appeal to theology, application and emotion as a three-stranded cord.
As I walked through the final chapters, however, I began to ponder a certain question: do women see the Gospel through a different lens than men; and if so, are there elements of the Gospel I may not be fully experiencing or enjoying?
Let me be clear (I know I’m walking on hot stones here), I rejoice with Paul in his inclusive exaltation of a Gospel that transcends race, social status and gender (Gal. 3:28). The fact that God created man in His image (male and female He created them – Gen. 1:27) tells us much about God Himself as well as His care for the complementary, yet equal, relationship between the two genders.
But it also makes me realize something. Painting with a broad brush, there are distinctive aspects of the male or female experience that help us absorb the world in unique ways. Just look at the marketing and discussion emphasis for any upcoming men’s or women’s conferences. There are differences. They are on purpose, and they are not bad.
I see the Gospel through a man’s eyes. There is nothing I can do about it, and I don’t believe it is a deficiency (just as I don’t believe it is a deficiency to view the Gospel from a female point of view).
There obviously are not two different Gospels, but one unified Gospel. There are, however, different aspects about me as a person (nationality, background, sex, etc.) that create a unique paradigm that may be somewhat different from another’s paradigm as we both observe objective truth.
This is one reason why we as the church need each other. We need people of different strengths and experiences to speak into our lives.
Also, men in the church need women in the church. We need to value their experiences and viewpoints.
So let me ask you a question, men. When was the last time you sat down with your wife (sister/mom/aunt) and asked her what the most precious thing about the Gospel is to her? Would you both answer that question in the same way? Why or why not?
To me as a man, a large part of my love for the Gospel stems from a responsive call to stand and fight – to defend – to hold the line – to be in awe of God the Warrior who crushes the head of the serpent and gets the girl in the end – his bride, the Church.
Men’s books and devotionals I have read bear this out. There is a fire ignited in the chest of a man of God to follow God into battle as the Scotts followed William Wallace – face paint and all (kilt optional).
To me, the Gospel is a challenge to acknowledge Kingship and Lordship. Sanctification is a fight to put to death the old man of self. Endurance in Christ is like a marathoner with blistered feet who dies falling over the finish line (insert man-grunts).
But I admit, I do struggle with some of the passages about being Jesus’ bride in Revelation, surrounded by virgins as the bridegroom returns to establish his home. The more romantic aspects of Hosea and Song of Solomon are understood on a logical level, but I perceive there is an intimacy and degree of joy that may be more fully understood and embraced by my sisters in Christ.
Obviously these are somewhat generalized observations. Individual men and women find themselves at varying degrees on these scales, and glory to God for that diversity!
But I want to ask my sisters in Christ a question – and pardon any degree of ignorance from which this stems:
What are the most compelling aspects of the Gospel to you as a woman?
I would love to hear your perspective as a comment to this post or in any other available and appropriate means. I believe we can appreciate another’s biblical viewpoint of something we hold dear even if we can’t fully understand it experientially.
I want to fully know and enjoy the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I want to stand with you and point at our great and glorious Savior. And if we can help open each other’s eyes to greater beauties (even if only nuanced aspects) of the Gospel, then glory to God for the diversity and beauty in His church!