Men are From Earth and Women Are Too

If you think you come from Mars or Venus, I’m sorry to have to tell you that you are as earth-bound as they come. You are as human as human can be. Youz aint been nowheres else and youz aint goin’ nowheres else.

Men are from “Earth”. And Women are from …. “Earth”. It’s as simple as that.

space man

In fact, to be technically correct, Men are from Earth and Women are from Men! The account of creation given in the Bible informs us that man was made from the dust of the earth and woman was made from flesh taken from the man’s side.

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

“And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, he made into a woman, and brought her to the man.” Genesis 2:22

So, while men and women are different (and the French say “Oui, Oui! Viva la difference!”) they are from the same stock and have all too much in common.

So, let’s not get too excited about aggrandizing the peculiarities of men and women, as if those differences have celestial significance. There are some very earthy things about men and women, and the differences between them are very earthy too.

Earthlings

Earthlings are pretty undesirable creatures. Without wanting to run you down, it can be good to see yourself for who you really are. I’d like to show you some of the things that make earthlings “un-special”.

We are undesirable when compared with God, our Maker. The human heart is full of evil thoughts and intentions. Wealth, provision and education do not save humans from degradation. While we may improve our society and living standards, the ugly issues of hatred, prejudice, vengeance, jealousy, violence, resentment, unforgiveness, selfishness, pride, contempt, intolerance, lust, and the like, still spring from the human heart.

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” Matthew 15:18-20

So, while earthlings try to elevate themselves socially, politically, economically and academically they are brought down by the desperately wicked things in their human heart.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

Battle of the Sexes

When old professor Higgins said, “Why can’t a woman be like a man?” he was putting womankind down. And that taunting of one by the other has been a long-standing theme. The “can’t live without ’em and can’t live with ’em” frustration has been celebrated in literature, song and movies.

Terms such as male chauvinism, militant feminism, the superior sex and mere male, reflect something of the sweeping presence of the battle of the sexes.

Even the Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus discussions tend to reflect a pursuit of personal value, to fortify against the sexual put-down that many people confront.

In the face of the “We’re better than you” arguments, allow me to repeat that “earthlings are pretty undesirable creatures”. It is not that men are cretans and women have higher moral value. Nor is it that “it’s a man’s world and women must accept their place”. Both men and women are deeply flawed creatures, significantly limited and eternally doomed.

What is Man?

On two occasions King David wrote in his psalms the question, “What is man that God should pay him any attention?” David acknowledged that humanity has no endearing quality when compared with God.

What is man, that you are mindful of him? And the son of man, that you visit him?” Psalm 8:4

“LORD, what is man, that you take knowledge of him! Or the son of man, that you make account of him!” Psalm 144:3

Humankind is not some wonderful creature, whether male or female. In fact, every human is “undone”, useless, worthless, and hopeless. Man does not have the capacity to save himself, and every man has become totally overpowered by sin. No man or woman is righteous. In our humanness (our flesh) there is nothing of any value.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” Romans 3:10

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for despite my intentions I cannot do the good I want to do.” Romans 7:18

Flawed Relationships

What kind of relationships do flawed people create? They create flawed relationships. Earthlings do not do anything well. And that is just as true for our relationships. Our evil heart reacts to others. Our selfish desires impose on others. Our human weakness fails others.

Wives easily fall into contending with their husbands, like a continually dripping tap. Men easily fall into stubborn resistance. Games such as “No Speaks”, or outbursts and arguments are quickly learned and readily made part of human interaction. Psychologists invent terms such as “co-dependency” and “dysfunctional” to describe the flawed relationships humans create.

Pouting, sulking, manipulating, arguing, rejecting, stonewalling, contending, abusing and neglecting are just some of the typical flaws we see in interpersonal relationships. We even have domestic abuse and violence to further testify to human ability to create flawed relationships.

Hope For Humans

Despite the desperate limitations of earthlings, there is great hope for humans. Millions of homes around the world are largely free from the flaws I have pointed to. This is not because the humans are superior, but because they have drawn upon a superior source.

When hopeless humans call upon the eternal God they are empowered to rise above their own depravity and enjoy the glorious liberty of being a child of God.

Our starting point is that we are hopeless and undone. So then we humble ourselves before God and call on His grace. God then forgives us and creates new life within us. Our “born again” spirit now brings God’s grace, wisdom, fruit and power into our weak and failing lives. As we follow God’s instructions, under His lordship over our lives, our hearts are renewed and our lives transformed.

There is abundant hope for humans. It is not on Venus, or on the earth. It comes from heaven, where our Saviour is seated at the right hand of God, ready to give us salvation, forgiveness and new life.

From Earth to Heaven

Men and Women are from Earth, but they don’t have to stay there. We can’t draw on resources from Mars or Venus, but we can draw on eternal blessings and miracle power from Heaven. When we do that we become children of the God of Heaven. Then, when we have completed this earth-bound journey we will go from here to heaven.

Meanwhile we can bring a little of heaven to earth, in our homes and relationships. But that involves us making a connection with Almighty God in Heaven, through faith in Jesus Christ, His Son, as our Saviour and Lord. And in doing that, there is amazing hope for humans, not only in this life, but in the life to come.

Equality of Men and Women

A question I get asked around the world is how women can be expected to be under the authority of their husband when the Bible says that men and women are equal. This is an important question and one that I have an answer for.

The Problem

The Bible clearly teaches that women are made to take a different role on the earth than that of the man. Yet today’s egalitarian and feminist motivations resist that Biblical position. Then there is the Bible text which teaches that men and women are equal before God.

How do we reconcile those seemingly contradictory Biblical positions? How can a woman be expected to take a place different to the man while the Bible says there is no difference between the man and the woman?

The Woman in a Different Place to Man

The Bible repeatedly reveals that men and women are different, in both the Old and New Testaments. Men and Women are different in their creation – Adam from the dust of the earth and Eve from the side of the man. They are also different in their purpose – Adam to be in the image of God and Eve to be as a helper for her husband. When God cursed the man and woman after the fall He gave unique and distinct punishments to the woman to the man.

In the New Testament we find that wives are asked to behave toward their husbands differently to the way husbands are asked to behave toward their wives. Instructions are given to the men to pray with uplifted hands and the women are given instructions about their beauty. Men and women are treated differently in both the old and new testaments.

God’s Hierarchy

I often refer to the authority hierarchy which God gives us through the Apostle Paul, in 1Corinthians 11:3. There we see that the man and woman are put in a completely separate place under God’s authority.

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Apostle Paul, 1Corinthians 11:3

On the strength of this hierarchy and the other Bible texts about women a case has been made throughout church history for a different role for women in the church to that of men. That is still a hot issue today.

The Equality Issue

Apart from feminist notions and demands for equality the Bible gives a proof text to support the idea of equality between men and women.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

Some people have been taught, on the strength of Galatians 3:28, that all distinctions between men and women have been done away with in Christ. A Christian woman should be allowed to do all that a Christian man would be allowed to do.

So how to do we reconcile the distinction between these two competing truths? Women have a different place to men, yet women are equal. How can that be?

The Setting

The simple answer to this dilemma is in the setting these two seemingly competitive truths refer to. In Paul’s statement about the equality of men and women he also mentions other things which are now equal in Christ. He mentions Jews and Greeks and slaves and freemen. Slaves and freemen are equal in Christ, yet when a slave becomes a Christian he or she is still a slave. When a Greek becomes a Christian he or she is still a Greek.

Before the throne of God Greeks and Jews are equal in Christ. Yet in the setting on earth the Greek is under Greek customs and government and the Jew is under Jewish customs and government.

Standing before the throne of God a slave and a freeman have the same rights to enter into relationship with God and to expect God’s grace and power on their behalf. But in the earthly setting the slave must get up each day and do the will of his master/employer.

So there are two settings in which our personal reality is worked out. Those settings are the setting of heaven and the setting of our earthly circumstances. We can be one thing in one of those settings and yet have a different set of constraints in the other

The Setting for Women

Women operate in two settings. On earth they are created to be a very effective part of their husband’s world. They are created as helpers and put in a place under the care and authority of the husband. That is their earthly setting.

In Christ, however, before the throne of God, a woman has the same rights to God’s forgiveness, grace and blessing as any man could hope to have. Before God’s throne there is no difference between a man and a woman. They are equal and indistinguishable. That is the great elevation of womanhood that comes through the ministry of Jesus Christ.

Equality is God’s Gift to Women

God gives women equality that they are often denied in homes and cultures. While women have responsibilities for which they are accountable before God, they also have full and undiluted personal status before God’s throne. The prayers of a woman are as valid in God’s ears as the prayers of any man.

Positionally, before God’s throne, women enjoy wonderful liberty and equality. Functionally, in the various roles they are given on earth, each woman has a place to take and a part to play that is under the authority of her husband.