Women Protected, Women Known, and Women Loved. These are the values that women can find security in through Christ. God protects women, he knows them completely, and he loves them fully.
In March, the lovely Fellows women of Impact 360 had the opportunity to go to Woodlands Camp in Cleveland, Georgia for a three-day retreat. We spent time in fellowship learning about the biblical view of womanhood. Far too often in society today, women are taught they are either less than men and created to serve them, or that they are better than men and should rise above them. In reality, women need men just as much as men need women.
We had several sessions during the retreat when we worked through what it means to be made in the image of God and how he protects, knows, and loves us. Our primary identity is imago dei; both men and women were created in the image of God. Our second identity as women is ezer kenegdo, meaning “helper.” Genesis 2:18 says, “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper [ezer kenegdo] for him.’” This helper is not a servant meant to bow down to man’s every need, but a helper who is a source of strength and a rescuer (ezer) who corresponds to man (kenegdo). It was not good for Adam to be alone, so God created Eve. Women were created to be men’s helpers. Ezer is also used to describe God in the Old Testament in reference to him being the rescuer of Israel. Men and women were created equal in essence, dignity, and worth. Holding a right view of womanhood corresponds to these things.
Other sessions focused on working through specific expressions of womanhood that have been distorted. We processed how women react when they feel unprotected, unknown, and unloved. We can rest assured knowing that wholeness comes from seeing God as he is. Having the right view of God helps women feel complete protection and love from our God who knows us fully.
During the retreat, we learned to be healthy, dependent women who need both God and other people. Humans were created to have relationships with others. We were able to walk through and process how to have healthy and godly relationships with both men and women. To restore something means to “bring back to the original design, and to bring back that which has been lost.” We uncovered what it looks like for women to be restored when they are protected, known, and loved.
Our retreat was full of wisdom and encouragement. Only through the work of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit can womanhood be restored. With the help of an amazing panel of staff members, the Fellows participated in a Q&A time. Each member of the panel was from a different walk of life (single and married) and answered the wide variety of questions we had. We were able to hear biblical and graceful answers to our personal questions. It all leads back to having a right understanding of who God is and what his plan is for us. It was refreshing to be involved in vulnerable conversations about biblical womanhood as well as have fun activities full of laughter with our closest friends. It was encouraging to spend time away from campus and the distractions of life to spend time with other women of the faith and learn more about God’s design and view of us.