So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die
called to remember
(The following excerpts are taken from “Called To Remember,” a presentation and Bible study by Linda Bartlett.)
Eve was created to be a helper for Adam. This was part of God’s created order. Even in today’s sinful world, women glorify God every time they “help” men by showing their respect, raising the standard, calling them to accountability, connecting them to posterity, and encouraging them to remember God”s Word for life.
- God did not create Adam and Eve at the same time, in the same way, or for the same purpose. Contrary to what the world thinks, equal does not mean “the same.” It is cultural suicide to deny the powerful differences between men and women because it is those very differences that hold society together.
- God designed man to be strongly involved in his world and to bring order out of chaos. Man is called by God to be a leader, but with the heart of a servant. Woman was designed to bear life, nurture relationships, and be a companion for her husband. Man is called to protect life, provide for home and family, love his wife as much as Christ loves the Church, and engage the world.
- God wants men to remember His Story — from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation. God wants man to remember his connection to the Creator. God wants man to remember the instructions for life and the warnings against death. Throughout the Old Testament, God’s Story was passed from generation to generation; a Story that reminded sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of God’s work, His promise, and His faithfulness. God’s Story also explains the purpose of male and female.
- Dr. Larry Crabb writes, “Men are called to pass on something important to future generations: not just a passing on of history, but a passing on of the memory of God in our lives. It is the act of placing our present lives into a larger perspective.” (The Silence of Adam , Copyright 1995 by Lawrence J. Crabb, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI.) No man — or woman — really has an excuse because, from the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what He made (Romans 1:20). Yet over and over again, men have chosen to forget. And when they forget, it is easy to become passive, to withdraw, to refuse to enter into the chaos to do something — anything! — that is obedient to God’s will.
- When a man fails to remember God’s Word and pass it on, he misses a grand opportunity to defend against evil, bring order into chaos, and leave a legacy of hope. . . But, whenever a man confesses his sin and asks for forgiveness from Jesus Christ, God shows His mercy. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, sinful men are enabled to change. They are equipped for work which God has prepared for them to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
- When men remember God they make the world a safer place in which to live! Anyone who knows anything about prison ministry knows that aggressive, abusive, and addicted men can become unselfish, involved, and protective gentlemen when they are filled with the Spirit of God. The Heavenly Father calls men to try to be more like Him: involved, protective, unselfish, creative of boundaries, caring, and forgiving.
- Men who remember God’s Story can mentor strong sons and grandsons. They can encourage daughters to feel secure in their femininity and to trust their Heavenly Father. They can shine light in the darkness and bring hope to the hopeless. Remembering God’s Story doesn’t mean that a man will live life perfectly. If it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit, no man (or woman) would be able to do anything good! But, remembering God does mean that a man (or woman) will be equipped with wisdom, discernment, and a sense of justice. He will be motivated to show compassion and kindness. God says to a man: “I am your Maker and Redeemer. There is no good thing apart from Me. I am your strength and will be with you always.” God says: “My Truth never changes. I am the beginning and the end.” This is what men are called to remember. This is the legacy to pass from generation to generation.
The Bible study, Called to Remember by Linda Bartlett may be ordered fromwww.lutheransforlife.org It includes a leaders’ guide.
joseph and his rib
When a man remembers the Word of the Lord, he is equipped to protect vulnerable and fragile lives.
Joseph, a young man from the house of David, was probably like every other soon-to-be husband — nervous, but excited all the same. That is until his fiancee came to him with shocking news. Mary was pregnant, but Joseph was not the father. The world, as Joseph knew it, had collapsed around him. He felt betrayed, hurt, angry. Break the engagement and walk away from this woman, whispered his pride.
Everything had changed. Plans were ruined. Reputation was at stake. Uncharted territory lay ahead. At this precarious moment in his life, Joseph had nothing to hang on to… nothing, that is, except the Word of the Lord.
The Word gave Joseph courage. “Don’t be afraid!” It was the Word that showed Joseph how to be faithful. “Take Mary as your wife. She will give birth to a Son, and you will name Him Jesus” (Matthew 1:20-21).
Perhaps, in holding on to the Word, Joseph remembered the experience of another man named Adam. Perhaps, in a moment of truth, Joseph could picture Adam standing next to Eve, his wife. Perhaps, with wisdom only from the Holy Spirit, Joseph recognized the significance of Eve’s creation by God from man’s rib.
The rib is a strong bone, yet fragile. It supports and guards the heart and breath of man, yet can easily be fractured or even broken. Satan saw opportunity to attack the very order of God’s creation. He ignored man and struck the “rib.” Not holding on to her Sword, the Word of God, Eve (the “rib”) was more vulnerable. She was deceived, doubted God, and sinned. Adam was “with” Eve in sin. He failed to use God’s Word and cover his rib. When both husband and wife ran to hide, it was to the man that the Lord spoke. It was Adam who was held accountable.
Perhaps, with discernment only from God, Joseph understood that he must not repeat the sin of his ancestor and do to his rib what Adam had done to his.
Perhaps, in remembering what Adam had failed to do, Joseph chose not to repeat the sin of his forefather by leaving his rib. Let the village talk! Adjust carefully-made plans! Trust the Lord! Although it meant leaving his zone of comfort, Joseph did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him to do. He covered his rib by taking Mary as his wife. And when Mary’s child was born, Joseph named Him Jesus.
God wanted Joseph to make a difference — a difference that would impact the world. But such a difference could be made only by being faithful. Such faithfulness required that Joseph leave all that was familiar and put his life and the life of Mary into the hands of God.
Today when a young man pressures his girlfriend to have sex, he is leaving her physically, emotionally and spiritually vulnerable. He has failed to lead her out of harm’s way. When a man does not promise to love, cherish and cover a woman with his name, but simply share living quarters and a bed, he is placing her at risk. When a man fathers a child but does not accept the privilege and responsibility of being a daddy, he is leaving both mother and child uncovered and vulnerable to the world.
But, when a man remembers God and His call to leadership, he is able to make a difference. A young man who guards his girlfriend’s virtue makes a difference. A husband who remains true to his wife makes a difference. A man who understands the privilege of fatherhood and accepts his responsibility as a daddy makes a difference. Men of faithfulness have a grand opportunity to defend against chaos and leave a legacy of hope.
Convenience told Joseph to walk away from Mary. Self-defense told Joseph to think of number one. Pride told Joseph to hide. But God told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife.
Joseph did what the angel of the Lord commanded. He covered Mary, his rib, and the unborn Child whose heart beat under her own. And after the Baby was born in the most humble of circumstances, Joseph name the Child Jesus. Through all the frightening days ahead, Joseph remembered the Word of the Lord. And the Lord did not forget Joseph. When danger was near, the angel of the Lord warned Joseph. When uncertainty abounded, the angel of the Lord directed Joseph.
It’s true that life wasn’t ever the same for Joseph. It certainly wasn’t what he had planned. But Joseph remembered the Word of the Lord. And, in doing so, he received courage to do what was asked of him. Joseph was faithful to cover Mary, his rib. He raised her Son Jesus in a Godly home and accompanied Him to worship. Some 2000 years later, the boy who grew up to be a Man in the house of a carpenter is still changing lives.
Joseph made a difference.
Joseph and His Rib is available as a brochure from Lutherans for Life. Order Item #904T at www.lutheransforlife.org