Images are reflections, and that’s what we were crafted to be—reflections of God here on earth. We were created to be bear His image and reveal His heart by pointing others to Him—mirrors displaying His character to the world. Join me as we talk about our newest study as it relates to our role as women.
Transcribed version of the podcast is below
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Ephesians 1:13-14
Resources Mentioned in Podcast
- MomStrong International
- Scripture Writing Challenge
- Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
- Lee’s Summit Conference
Scripture Mentioned in Podcast
- Genesis 1:26
- Genesis 1:27
- Colossians 3:10
- Ephesians 4:24
- Ephesians 1:13-14
- Genesis 2:18
- Psalm 33:20
Join us at MomStrong International for our newest Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the podcast. I am so glad you guys have joined me for the first day of our July study. We are going to be studying the idea that God has a role for us to play and a part of that can be found in the fruit of the Spirit. We’re going to be talking about biblical womanhood as it relates to the fruit of the Spirit.
Stick around. I think you’re going to be encouraged.
Alright, so we’ve made it into July. This is episode number 787 by the way, I don’t think I said that in my intro. But I wanted to just encourage you, this is a fantastic time, right at the beginning of the month—please join us for the Bible Study. It’s roughly $8 a month. It’s a fantastic way for you to help support the ministry that is MomStrong International. And this is what helps us get the podcast out to you. So if you haven’t done that yet, you can join us at MomStrongInternational.com. Today’s verse at the Scripture Writing Challenge for Wednesday, July 3rd is found in Ephesians. Ephesians 1:13-14. So if you’re writing it out with me, this is what we are writing out today: And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
We have a lot to be thankful for. God has given us so much and He wants us to walk in right relationship with Him. Every once in awhile I’ll get comments or questions over at my podcast or sometimes on my Facebook page—or even on the forums at MomStrong International. And I hear this, sorrow I think. I’m hearing sorrow in some of God’s people because they have forgotten who they are. The Bible says we’ve been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit and this is the guarantee of our inheritance—and we’re going to acquire possession of it to the praise of His glorious name. You guys, we’re going to heaven! We’re just passing through. I wonder sometimes why we can’t stand up for what’s right and we can’t find our voice in the culture. And so often I think it’s because we’ve forgotten who we are.
We serve the Lord of lord’s. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors as if God were making His appeal through us. What an incredible opportunity God has given us to walk righteously with Him in the culture and to defend the faith and to talk to people about the joy of the Lord. I keep thinking about my interview with Pastor Phil Hopper from Abundant Life in Lee summit— which by the way, I’m going to be there on August 24th. So get that on your calendar, women of God. Bring your friends, bring your neighbors, bring your daughters and come on out. It will be a day that will change your life, I promise you. I’m super excited about that. That’s coming up on Saturday, August 24th.
But I keep thinking about Phil talking about how the enemy wants to hold us captive. Jesus said He came to set us free and the enemy comes to kill, and steal, and destroy, and to lie to us about who we are. And I want you to remember who you are. Men and women of God—You are who God says you are. You’re not who the culture says you are. You’re not defined by the news, or by somebody who’s being unkind to you, or by someone who’s told you that your belief in the Lord makes you weak. You are who God says you are. And that’s what we’re going to focus on for the month of July—talking about who God says we are, that our life is in Him. And this week, as we worked on the Bible study together, as the team worked on it—I have just been filled with this joy that comes from knowing that my life is His. It belongs to Him. I’m not my own. My life is not my own. My life belongs to Him. I am who God says I am.
And as women, I think in the culture right now—that can be particularly troubling because the world is really railing against what God says is right. And we’ve seen this over and over and over again. In Genesis 1 the Lord says, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). As the story of creation unfolds, we find ourselves witness to the beginning of a glorious pursuit, one that results in the Creator of the universe giving His life for His beloved creation.
So think about this with me, you guys, just for a minute. The Creator of the universe. Here’s the Creator— look around you. Everything that you see in the natural world, God has created. And He stops in the middle of an unfolding creation account and invites us in and gives us a glimpse of what He’s about to do in creating mankind. And Amazingly, He didn’t stop there. He answers the question that every soul asks as He tells us why. Yes, you see —God is going to place His masterpiece, the pinnacle of creation, His image on the earth, in a place without sin or suffering, in the form of male and female.
And this is what the enemy of our soul is railing against right now, right? This is what we’re hearing in the culture. You guys come against the things that defame and distort the truth of who God is and the truth of who you are and who God says you are. So as we read Genesis 1:27, the smoke begins to clear over one of the most asked questions of our existence: why am I here?
God is letting us know that we’re here, as children of God, to bear His image. And to reflect Him. We are a reflection of God. Images are reflections. And that’s what God has designed us to be—a reflection of Him here on the earth. We were created to bear His image and to reveal His heart by pointing others to Him—to display and mirror His character to the world. Now, do we do that beautifully all the time? No.
When people say they’re disillusioned with the church, I’m like—yeah, right, me too. Get in line. I’m disillusioned with myself, but I’m not here to follow myself. I’m here to follow Jesus. And when sin entered the world, right, it shattered our ability to be a perfect image-bear. And because of sin, our reflection of the Creator is no longer the crisp, clear reflection that God created it to be—but rather it’s been tarnished by sin. And so our hearts are broken and our purpose has been threatened except for one thing—God’s promise of Jesus. And every single one of you listening to this right now, you need this truth to go down deep. God, the creator of the universe, the one who spoke the world into being—Who loved you, chose you, created you, and redeemed you—is restoring His image in you, right? This is out of Colossians 3:10 and Ephesians 4:24. This is the heart of becoming more like Him.
It’s the heart of God to restore what sin took from us. God wants to make you new. Jesus said—I came that human to have life and have it to the full. So being created in the image of God means that we image God, we reflect Him. Our purpose then isn’t for ourselves. It’s for Him. It’s to bring Him glory. So being an image-bearer doesn’t mean that you’re not going to sin. It simply means that even on the days when we fall short, our longing is for the Lord. Our desire as an image-bearer of our Creator should be to please Him.
And so as we talk a little bit about this, and we talk about God’s design for male and female, and how we’ve messed it up, and how God wants us to reflect His glory in the bodies that He has given us—I hope that it brings you joy. As we start this study, you’re going to see that we’re in Ephesians 1:13-14. And it says— In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. [Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB]
So this is the same verse we read earlier, only in the NIV. And I think, as we study this, and we learn to apply God’s Word to our lives—I want us to be thinking: Lord, help me personalize this in my life. Help me remember who You say that I am, who you have made me to be.
I love that God’s heart for us is to reflect Him and to reflect His heart. And we are born with a deep desire to belong, right? We come into the world with a need to find our purpose. And our worth as human beings is tied to our sense of purpose. If we don’t know where our worth comes from, if we don’t understand that we are image-bearers of God, and that He loves us, and He’s made us on purpose with a purpose—then we can never truly feel like we belong. That’s why I’m always saying that the answer to the sin that we’re seeing in the world today isn’t psychiatry. It’s Jesus. It’s Jesus. And in these moments when we’re doubting and we’re struggling, we need to be grounded in the truth. Elisabeth Elliot says the correct question is not “Who are we?” but rather “Whose are we?”
And if you’ve never read her book, Let me be a woman : notes to my daughter on the meaning of womanhood, I just wanna encourage you—it’s an old book but it’s fantastic. I’ll link back to it in the show notes today. You can get it from Amazon. And the Bible teaches us who we are from the very beginning, right? So the biggest questions that are being asked in the culture, the Lord of the universe answers in His Word. So In Genesis 1 the Lord says, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness”. And then we begin to untwist, to see the unfolding plan and purpose for us as male and female—as representations of God’s creative ability here on the earth.
So God’s given us everything that we have to reflect Him. He is splendid. He’s majestic. He is beautiful and gracious, wise, and powerful. He is omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful). He is omnipresent (meaning He is everywhere). And yet when a truth of Scripture rubs us the wrong way, or offends our freedoms, we suddenly come up with creative ways to manhandle the Scripture and justify our actions. Right? Emotional reasoning–situational ethics–is one of the greatest dangers that face us as believers today, and deciding where we will walk inside or outside God’s framework of biblical manhood and biblical womanhood is an excellent example of current emotional reasoning, rather than being faithful to walk inside His framework regardless of how we feel about it.
And this is the answer to the transgender movement, right? I read a blog post from a woman the other day who’s 10 year old daughter came to her and said she had decided she was a lesbian. 10 years old!! And the mom was like—I just love my daughter. I’m so proud of her. I want to support her. So she took her daughter to Target and got her a pride shirt. She got herself a shirt that said—I’m the proud mama of a proud lesbian. And my heart was breaking. This is not the framework that God designed for us and we will never find satisfaction in going outside of how God has designed us to be. So this month as we continue in our study of the fruit of the Spirit, we are going to focus on joy, faithfulness, and gentleness. And a true joy—is why we’re talking about image-bears. True joy, biblical joy, comes from knowing that things are good, that all is well between the Lord and myself. And when that is in regard to our role as a woman, to feminism, it’s a joy that sprung from embracing every nuance that is womanhood, in all its beautiful strength.
So these women who claim to represent feminism today, and they do it with such vitriol and such hatred, and hatred of men. And somehow to be a woman—that means we disregard men. It’s ridiculous. It’s not God’s heart. Who can fight their maker in His design and be filled with joy at the same time? Nobody. And yet the world calls us and our daughters, shouting loudly in the streets, “Did God really say you are a woman? Are you really precious and uniquely gifted? Did He really mean to restrict you and steal your freedoms?” We can just hear the Devil whispering in our ears and we start to wonder, but the fruit of the Spirit of faithfulness and gentleness grows in us and we are strong to respond by embracing God’s perfect design in our womanhood. God is most definitely not calling us to be quiet about this.
You guys, being a woman, that does not mean that you’re not strong. Being a woman of strength is an attractive quality when we are inside of God’s boundaries. So we’re going to talk about those boundaries because when we’re inside the boundaries that God has set out for us, we can experience joy and freedom. And so this week we’re going to uncover the answer to whose we are, and what our Creator intended in His designing of beautiful womanhood. Images as I said earlier—are reflections. And that’s what we are crafted to be—reflections of God here on earth. We are created to bare his image, and to reveal His heart, and point others to Him. So we’re going to study that.
There’s something I want to point out. In the study every week I try to, kind of pick something out that I think is important for you to kind of chew on—something that God has given us, an instruction He’s given us that we’re struggling with in the culture. And the struggle that I want to give you, I want to kind of talk about today. It is this idea of being a help-meet. I hear women rail against it all the time. So let’s look at it for a second. Okay? Genesis 2:18. So we are talking about being image-bearers.
In Genesis 2:18, God notices that Adam is struggling and He says it’s not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable helper for him. Now, certain gifts are given from God for a specific need. And then there are things all of us as believers are called to when we become saved and step into right relationship with God. So one step further back from those two things is our original design. So whether we are believers or not, this is how we are created—no matter what the conversation we’re having, we need to establish the root of our design.
It’s foundational to what we believe. So when we read Genesis 1 to 3 , we see that Adam is naming the animals and that as God looks around and he sees something in Adam, he notices there was no helper that was suitable for Adam. Adam has all these animals around him. God brought the animals to him and whatever Adam called him, that was their name, right? He watches and He sees that there is no suitable mate for him. And God creates a woman out of his rib and—talk about a dream come true, right? Adam wakes up to a beautiful woman next to him and she is called Eve. And from the first intention of women’s design, she was made as a support—a gift to meet a need. And so this helper that was given to Adam was God’s good design, right?
So God makes it pronounced when He says it’s not good for man to be alone. And His solution is to make a suitable helper. Now I think sometimes in the culture, you know, we go: helper, what a rotten role that is. All we are is the person who comes along to clean up after the guy and do his dishes and all that stuff. No, these are two words in the Bible.
If you’ll download this study, I don’t have time to go into it today, but I’m going to break these down for you—what helper means and what the word suitable means. It’s so important because we see it not just in the creation account, but in other places in the Bible and the words are used all over the place. The word ezer, which is this idea of a helper for Adam is also used in Psalm 33:20 in this verse—why does our soul not wait for the Lord? Then the answer: He is our help in our shield.
God is saying—I am your help! Just like women—you are help. What will we do, women, without the Lord? And it’s an incredible way to represent God as image-bears. Bing a help is so much more than ironing a shirt, cleaning up dishes, or cleaning a toilet, or wiping noses, or changing diapers. It’s a life that’s being poured out for the sake of the gospel—to become like Jesus. And that should be our greatest desire. And so this idea that we should be men or that we should feel bad because God said—no, he’s made a helper. What an amazing role for us.
Elizabeth Elliot brought some clarity on the topic when she said— We are called to be women. The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman. For I have accepted God’s idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that I am and all that He wants me to be.
Again, that’s from Let Me Be A Woman. I’ll link back to it in the show notes today. So what does this mean for me as a believer? How can my heart, my attitude, be birthed from joy, gentleness, faithfulness? Well, it comes as we study the Word of God and we say—Father, I want to walk how you want me to walk. Something I have observed over the years is that women are born responders, right? God placed Eve in the garden in response to Adam’s need for a companion. Jesus was the ultimate born responder. He was born in response to seeing our need for a sacrifice for forgiveness of our sin. And as we think about our role as being a responder, as coming in to be a helper, it should fill us with joy.
Lord, thank you that you have made me a woman. Thank you father, that you have placed me on this earth, on purpose, with a purpose. And even when we’re tired and even when I don’t feel like doing the thing you’ve asked me to be, and even when I’m frustrated that I’m a woman—Lord, help me to embrace who you say that I am and to show my children what it means to walk in that knowledge of who I am. It is a beautiful, precious, wonderful gift.
And God has given men a different role than women. And we are made to work with each other to bring glory to God. As I’ve said over and over—I’m going to end the podcast with it today—we are made to bring glory to God. Our lives should be dedicated to bringing glory to God and not to saying—how can I get what I want and what can I do to go outside of the plan that God has for me. But rather to say—Lord, I need you. Thank you for making me a woman. Help me not to be the woman that the world says I am, but to be the woman rather that God wants me to be.
So hope you guys are encouraged. You can dig a whole lot deeper with me in this study at MomStrongInternational.com. This is a great time to join us for the whole month of July. We are going to be studying the fruits of the Spirit as it relates to biblical womanhood. I want to thank you guys for leaving reviews for the podcast. It really does matter. Every review that you leave over there, we read and I thought it’d be fun today to end the podcast by reading a review that I read recently and I was so—you guys, I’m so encouraged every single time. Somebody from our staff, they’ll send me, you know, they’ll send me a review or a comment that somebody has left over there and it really does encourage the whole team.
So there’s a bunch of us over here that are getting this podcast out to you every week. My friend Marlene, she does the transcript. Melissa helps schedule the guests on the podcast and keeps me from forgetting what I’m doing. Kay Orr helps with sponsorships at the podcast. My husband—obviously the engineer. There’s a whole lot of people that are going into getting this out here and we really appreciate you guys taking the time to leave reviews. It really matters to us. The last one that I read said this:
Wow, thank you so much for today’s episode! The interview was so eye-opening for me. We’re just venturing into our homeschool journey; our oldest is five and we’ve decided to homeschool.
So, thank you guys for taking the time to leave a review. Another, another mom said:
Hi Heidi, I so enjoy your podcast. I am 25 & have a five-month-old and listening to your podcast helps me feel confident that I have the tools, teachers, and resources available to help me through raising her to be a godly young woman. Though I feel it is going to be treacherous in on the cultural climate, I know God will be with me. Thank you so much for addressing the hard questions and sticking your neck out for the cause of Christ.
You are very welcome. Thank you for leaving reviews. It encourages and blesses us and we hope this podcast is a blessing to you as well. I’ve enjoyed having you guys here today and I hope the podcast was a blessing to you. Come back on Friday—I’ve got a special guest and you will not want to miss it. Have a great day everybody, and I’ll see you back here on Friday.
Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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