Thursday, February 25, 2010

Following Jesus' Example First

I write a lot on this blog about how I desire to become more and more like Jesus, and that's truly what I want for my life.

I just read an interesting blog post from Practical Theology for Women, titled Equipping Women for Gospel-Centered Lives, and I came across something that I've never thought about before. As we pursue godly womanhood and desire to become more and more like Jesus, we have to ALWAYS put Jesus before us and nothing else. We can study about how other women have pursued Jesus and have walked down the road toward godly womanhood, but we have to remember that our end-goal is not to become those women, but to become like Jesus. Here's a quote from the blog that I was reading:
Day in and day out, I hear from woman after woman who doesn’t fit the mold, perhaps by her choice but more often by circumstances completely out of her control, who feels lost in our evangelical construct of what the godly woman looks like. The problem is that she was not taught clearly that the image in which she was created is God’s and the image to which she is now being conformed is Christ’s. She feels pressure to be like Ruth or the Proverbs 31 woman but not so much to be like Christ. But Scripture doesn’t give us that leeway. She was created in God's image and is being conformed back to Christ's. Period.
Obviously, if learning about the practices of those women and how their struggles and successes helped them become more like Jesus, than studying their lives is only healthy. But it's when we set our sights on becoming those women that we're going to get ourselves in trouble. The Proverbs 31 woman was a godly woman, but still sinful! Her works and disciplines are to be admired and something that we can strive to achieve, with Jesus' help. But we must ALWAYS remember that it's about Jesus. And whether or not our lives resembles attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman or Sarah or Esther at the end of our lives (seeking godliness should produce fruit similar to that in these women), as long as we pursue Jesus -- it will be His character and His grace that will shine through us to transform us into the women after God's own heart. If following the example of the Proverbs 31 woman helps us get there ... great. That's why her story was included in scripture. But that should be secondary to how we pursue a life like Jesus.

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