May 28, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.”—1 Corinthians 11:7–12 (NIV)
If you read the last devo from Friday, then you already know that this passage in 1 Corinthians can be controversial at times. Nonetheless, there’s an important truth to be found in it! From the last devo, we established the way we worship matters because worship encompasses our entire lives. All our other actions are representative of whether we’re truly worshiping God or not.
Because the Corinthian men and women were both acting disrespectfully and dishonorably towards one another and God, Paul specifically turns to address how God should be worshiped in the relationship between men and women. He starts by explaining that God created men to be in a role of authority in their relationship with women, yet in this role he should sacrifice, love, protect, and provide for women. Paul is not saying that women are inferior to men and don’t have the same faith or potential for spiritual maturity because this is not what God says! It’s clear throughout Scripture that women have a vital role to play in God’s story and some of our best models of people who followed after God wholeheartedly come from women.
Paul uses the word, “Nevertheless,” in verse 11 to transition into a reminder that men and women need one another. He says, “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.” You see, the Lord made both men and women because they were in need of each other. The uniqueness of both our natures resemble unique parts of who God is. For this reason, we need to have men and women worshiping in unison. The body of Christ cannot be made up of solely one over the other, yet we live in a very broken world. Everyone has likely experienced the stain of sin and darkness in a relationship before. God’s design is not perfectly followed, yet that must not cause us to forget that our God is worthy of worship because He’s our victorious and holy Redeemer! When we worship Him, we submit to His Word and allow Him to radically change our hearts and our minds.
Men, Jesus can cultivate in you what it takes to be a man of spiritual authority and humble leadership. He’ll grow within you courage and wisdom to sacrificially serve and love the women in your life by providing for them and guiding them. You must surrender to God first, though, and commit to the Spirit’s transformative process.
Women, Jesus can cultivate in you a gentle spirit and a strong heart. He’ll grow within you boldness and grace to also serve and love the men in your life by submitting to them and unashamedly speaking truth to them. You must also surrender to God first and commit to the Spirit’s transformative process.
I hope we can all walk into our day knowing we each have unique roles to play in God’s story. We have individual gifts from the Holy Spirit. We have distinct roles embedded in our nature as men and women. We have a unified calling as followers of Christ, and we have unchangeable and incomparable worth as redeemed children of God. As we seek to worship God in all we do and say, I hope we can remember that He is faithful, good, strong, and trustworthy; thus, we can worship Him by submitting to His design for our relationships!
Pause: Do you struggle with seeing God’s design as good? If so, ask yourself why. Consider where God wants to bring redemption to your relational trauma and help you grow in being a courageous and obedient man or woman in Christ.
Practice: Set aside time to write in a journal today. You can even type in notes on your phone. Simply write to God about your thoughts after reading today’s Scripture. Ask Him to expose any areas in your heart that are holding onto lies or bad experiences instead of exchanging them for His truth, His redemption, and His rebuilding.
Pray: God, You are my perfect Father! Thank You for never failing me. Thank You for resembling how both men and women should live in the way You lived on earth. You sacrificed Yourself, You humbled Yourself, and You rooted Yourself. I want to do that for You, but also for the people around me. I want to worship You in my obedience and surrender. I love You Lord. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.