I’m fascinated by how often we allow sweeping generalizations to satisfy us. One area we often use them is in comparing the sexes. How often do we hear the statements of the ilk, “Women are more relational,” and “Men need time in their caves”? I know I’ve been guilty of believing and saying the first one. I heard the second one in a sermon yesterday; however, I’m not a great believer in it as I think the cave notion for men is often a form of escape. Positive, yes. But not always.
A Relational God
The more I read the Word and especially spend time in Genesis understanding the ramifications of the Fall I’m amazed how relational God is. The mystery of the trinity in its most basic form is relational: 3-in-1. And how God walked in the garden communing with Adam and Eve is such a wonderful picture to imagine.
Being created in His image; He breathed His life force into us (Genesis 2:7) and so we all were made relational beings.
Men are often silent. How often, ladies, is the simple question to your hubby at the end of the day, “How was you day, dear?” answered with “Fine”? I know I’ve used that response many times. And been brought to account the majority of times for using it. However, its only as I’ve grown older that I’ve been able to better understand the state of my feelings and be able to provide a better response.
I read recently that the word “male” in Hebrew is “zakar” and one of its meanings is “to remember.”
“It means first that we have something important to remember; second, it suggests we have a reason to remember.”1
Crabb goes on to state: “We are the remembering ones. We are created to remember the words of God and the works of God.”2
I think we’re all familiar with the notion that it was Adam who received the specific instruction from God not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The crafty enemy chose to tempt Eve, but Adam was “with her” and elected to do nothing. He chose to forget God’s instruction. He chose the passive option of silence.
Some commentators believe this was the beginning of man’s willingness to choose silence over remembering God.
The Lord’s Supper
Perhaps the most well known statement of remembrance in the Bible is when, on the night before He was crucified, Jesus institutes the Lord’s supper. On breaking the bread and sharing it with each of the disciples, He says “… do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19 NKJV)
We have a sacramental ceremony of remembrance. I love communion for this reason: I cannot not think about what Jesus did for us.
Fascinating how only hours after sharing such an intimate moment with Jesus, the disciples chose to forget and abandoned him, terrified that they too would meet the same fate.
Sinful choices are a choice to ‘not remember’ how much God loves us and is enough. Choosing to remember helps to resist temptation when it strikes. This is why I find memorization of Scripture so powerful; it helps me remember. It helps us to “walk in the Spirit” rather than choosing to “walk in the flesh.”
Knowledge empowers us
The more we know the Word, the greater understanding we gain of God, His mission and how we can participate. It also opens our eyes to “stuff” that we may have accepted as being “normal” and the way God made us when in fact it may be more a reflection of how we have evolved as humans.
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7 NKJV)
Further, look at the attribute that comes immediately after knowledge: self-control. Knowing God and His Word helps us to exercise self-control so we can resist temptation to sin.
Grace and peace, dear friends.
Notes: 1. The Silence of Adam. Dr Larry Crabb with Don Hudson and Al Andrews; Zondervan, 1995, pg 79. 2. Ibid, pg 81