My boys and I (husband included) went to Montana last week for some R&R (running and reading).....rest and relaxation are simply not realistic with a 2 year old and 5 year old. As part of my bookbag, I had John MacArthur's latest book Twelve Extraordinary Women. My husband had ordered it (possibly hoping it would kick-start an oh so ordinary woman). I was so excited with the preface and introduction that my heart was licking up the words like mountain goats enjoy road-salt. John's reminders of God's perspective of women was good news for me, especially because the value of a woman had nothing to do with her "self-worth", her "self-image", her "profession", her "beauty", etc. Enjoy the following excerpts:
One of the unique features of the Bible is the way it exalts women. Far from ever demeaning or belittling women, Scripture often seems to go out of the way to pay homage to them, to ennoble their roles in society and family, to acknowlege the importance of their influence, and to exalt the virtues of women who were particularly godly examples......
(then he goes on to discuss the plight of women throughout history...how they have been regarded as possessions, lesser citizens, mistreated and such)
Even when secular movements have arisen claiming to be concerned with women's rights, their efforts have generally been detrimental to the status of women. (his case in point: radical feminism)
The whole message of feminist egalitarianism is that there is really nothing extraordinary about women. That is certainly not the message of Scripture. As we have seen, Scripture honors women as women, and it encourages them to seek honor in a uniquely feminine way (Prov.31:10-30). Scripture never discounts the female intellect, downplays the talents and abilities of women, or discourages the right use of women's spiritual gifts. But whenever the Bible expressly talks about the marks of an excellent woman, the stress is always on feminine virtue. The most significant woment in Scripture were influential not because of their careers, but because of their character. The message these women collectively give is not about "gender equality"; it's about true feminine excellence.
Then in discussing the women he chose to include in the book,
all these women ultimately became extraordinary not because of any natural qualities of their own, but because the one true God whom they worshiped is great, mighty, glorious, and awesome, and He refined them like silver. He redeemed them through the work of an extraordinary Savior - His own divine Son - and conformed them to His image (Rom 8:29). In other words, the gracious work of God in their lives made each one of these women truly extraordinary.
John MacArthur ends the preface with an exhortation that our lives can also be extraordinary by the grace of God and that is my prayer for you!