From Eve to Woman

Our identity is no longer that of a sinner but of a liberated person who is on a progressive journey transforming from glory to glory.

Recently, my friend was asking me if she will be able to announce the name of her child, which has no reflection of herself, with joy. And I always wondered if I should change my last name after getting married. These kinds of questions may not seem that relevant to many but they matter to a few, therefore need to be addressed. And to look for answers outside the church is easier, but what about those who want it inside?

In this century, you will be more welcomed as a feminist than as someone who believes in the Lord and also the rights of men and women. I can at least say being a Christian and a woman has put my identity on the radar a number of times, not only before others but also by myself. Questions like “Is leaving the faith necessary to embrace my being as a woman?”, “How can I worship a gendered Lord?”, “If being a woman is a cardinal sin, then why were we made?”, “Am I always to be blamed for the fall in the garden of Eden?”, “Will I have to choose between faith and feminism?”, “Why is it that women have to submit?”, etc. I think these are significant questions as they, somewhere along the way, help one find space in the community and carve one’s identity.

A few months back, I was trying to understand submission. When sin distorted our relationship with the Lord, it also damaged our relationship with one another. Man, who was created to live in dependence, now fought to be independent. It made man use oppressive means to make the next person submit. Man got enticed and later lured to use the power and authority that he had to abuse others leading to manipulation and suppression. But, as Romano Guardini (a German catholic Priest) said, “We have to learn to use power without losing our humanity.” Is this feasible for man?

Indeed, it is possible in the New Covenant as Christ has liberated us from the Law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Our identity is no longer that of a sinner but of a liberated person who is on a progressive journey transforming from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). The greatest picture of submission is seen on the cross, and Peter notes it like this:

He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1 Peter 2:22-25 (ESV)

He submits to man’s skewed ideas of submission so that we can live in liberation. The spirit of error still follows the old route of submission, but the Church does not have to have to conform to the pattern of the world. By adding anything to the liberty that we have received in Christ is perverting the gospel.

One thing that we can learn from the life of Jesus is that submission was the result of the security He had in Trinity. This security led Him to wash the feet of His disciples (John 13:3-5). And this was a breakthrough for me as I realized the source from where I draw from is important for me to understand submission. Since I am secure and content in my relationship with the Lord, I can submit. But why is it that wives are expected to submit to their husbands? Is he going to be my source? I remember one night when I was telling the Lord I can be submissive to my husband in love, but I can’t be submissive to someone who is not smarter than me. I am sure He was laughing at my clauses, but that night the Spirit revealed something beautiful to me about the relationship between a man and a woman. If you are forcefully made to submit to someone in a relationship, then it is not submission, but oppression. Learning to submit takes time and it is built on trust and intimacy. And for me, I realized, before I build it with a man, I have to build it with the Lord.

“What a girl! You don’t trust the Lord enough, but want this to be built with time?” The truth is I haven’t figured out God and I believe that He is limitless. Therefore, I am ready to be like Peter who says, “Lord you know all things; You know that I love you.” (John 21.17)

Coming back to the questions about changing one’s last name after marriage, parental identity, faith, and feminism. Patriarchy has exploited both men and women and feminism though at work, couldn’t eradicate the wrongdoings. But its efforts have to be appreciated. The problem arises when the church looks at feminism as its enemy and not oppression. This is true for many of the struggles that we go through where we are fighting the wrong enemies. For instance, we are still fighting sin, while the last enemy that the Church has to destroy is death (1 Corinthians 15:26).

We get clarity on a lot of mysteries regarding identity in the Garden of Eden when we look at the same through Christ-conscious lens. Years ago, when I heard from my pastor that the most romantic lines are mentioned in Genesis 2:23, I was taken aback. I always thought Song of Solomon was most romantic. Besides, for me, the verse didn’t fit well in the category of “romance”. It says,

Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Genesis 2:23 (ESV)

This is said to be most romantic words as it does not have the stain of sin. But after the sin, he called her Eve, because she was the mother of all living beings (Genesis 3.20). There is a major shift that we can observe here in the identity. Before sin, it was entwined in the relationship that man and woman had, while after sin it was dependent on what she could do. “The sin” is separation or independence from the Lord. This led mankind to be dependent on themselves and miss the ultimate source and root of their life. Men and women who are meant to complement each other and fight the corrupted system and restore humanity together, are now fighting against each other.

It is not about my last name, my child’s name, my man being smarter than me, being blamed for what happened in the garden of Eden, or choosing either feminism or faith, but about looking at all things from a Christ-conscious lens.

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (MSG)

Knowing our enemies and our weapons are important if we want to enjoy the victory. I am not talking about winning but enjoying victory because, after the completed work of Christ, we are no longer fighting for victory but fighting from victory to demolish the corruptive culture which is against the nature of Christ. To live in this victory, we need to have a firm understanding of who we are in Christ. When we are secure about our identity in Christ, submission flows out of it. Therefore, in the process of becoming Woman, I am drawing from the Lord, crushing everything that separates me from Him and redefining submission from a place of intimacy and trust. I must admit, in a Christ-centred relationship, it is not only a wife’s duty but comes to both husband and wife, as their union is no longer a forced partnership. Instead, it is a mutual commitment to love and respect where they complement each other and resonate with the original design in which we were created. Though this seems easier said than done, know this, that we are His masterpiece created for good works (Ephesians 2.10). Let us be confident in the work He is doing in our lives. Furthermore, no matter how many times we think we have stumbled, He will never forsake us, but as a loving Father, He is waiting for us to return so that He can embrace us and we can party with Him (Luke 15).

Photo by Hean Prinsloo on Unsplash

1 response to "From Eve to Woman"

    Christy says:

    Beautiful ❣️

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