I'm skipping a chapter, blog-wise, because they need to be combined. So the chapter before "Arousing Adam" is actually "A Beauty to Unveil", which I need to start this post with otherwise, I may ruin the message!
A Beauty to Unveil
Having taken our wounds to God for healing... knowing and focusing on having God answer the question of our hearts as women, "Am I lovely?", now we need to answer the question: What is our beauty to unveil?
Men's question is "Do I have what it takes?" Women's question is "Am I lovely?". It is fatal, devastating when men and women turn to each other to answer these questions, because the answers we get can be hurtful and false. We are human, and even between spouses we can disappoint each other. I can make Paul feel that he is a failure even though God says he's not. So it is crucial that we each take our question to God, and trust only His word for our answer.
And God answers "Yes!"
So now what is it that makes us beautiful? What does it mean for a woman to be beautiful in the image of the God who created her? And the best answer is: what does God's beauty accomplish in us?
God's beauty inspires us. It invites us - it calls us to sit in His presence, to worship Him. It brings us peace; we relax, we begin to believe again that "all will be well". We have hope.
So in essence, that's what true beauty in a woman does. Obviously it has nothing to do with make up and hair because these are just the outward things that a woman does to create beauty in the world. But a woman who is obsessive about her weight through eating disorders, who is compulsive about make up.... doesn't make everyone else at peace. She doesn't invite us. So she is not displaying the Lord's beauty in her.
Our beauty needs to come from a heart at rest. When in our hearts we are comfortable with who we are, and we are trusting in who He is, that peace in our hearts invites others to a relationship with us - where we can introduce them to Jesus! When we stop being demanding or desolate, we can have the personality that is comforting, nurturing, encouraging.... feminine! When we become feminine we bear the fruit of our Creator, we show His incarnate beauty in us!
Having said all this, as we all unveil our beauty - it wakes up Adam. Men have sinned through passivity or through aggression. Dominant women create passive men. Desolate women promote aggressive men (when what we really need is ASSERTIVE men!). But being who we are supposed to be in Christ creates a balance in the world and it stirs men to be who God created them to be.
Some single christian women have been taught that she is supposed to do NOTHING to get the attention of the man she may be interested in. And yet Ruth crawled under Boaz blanket while he was passed out drunk to create a deeper interest in him. There is nothing holy or culturally appropriate in Hebrew times about a woman sneaking in to a barn where a man is asleep and laying down next to him. That's why she left before sunrise, before anyone saw her! But there was nothing sexual about this either - they didn't have any kind of premarital sexual experience. What she did accomplish (with the advice of her God-fearing mother-in-law) is to inspire Boaz to be more than just a nice guy - to take up his role as the man in her family, her kingsman-redeemer, and propose! Doesn't that say something about femininity and arousing Adam to all the single women in the world? If they are careful, discerning, and still interested in a certain guy... there's nothing wrong with peaking his interest. And a woman who has had her questions answered by God's word, who knows who she is in Christ, doesn't have to be slutty or worldly to accomplish this.
How much more do we need to arouse the true Adam in our husbands! To love them, encourage, them, inspire them... and while their heart's answered has to be first answered by God and His word, we can definitely encourage them by saying, "yes! You have what it takes! I believe in you!" And, because they ARE our husbands, we also need to seduce them...
Let's start with sex...
The beauty of a woman is what arouses the strength of a man. He WANTS to play the man when a woman acts like that [she allures her man... in an act of stunning vulnerability she takes life's greatest risk - offering her unveiled beauty to him, opening herself up to him in every way]. You can't hold him back - He WANTS to come through...
Can you imagine what ti would be like if a young bride took the approach toward her new husband [on her wedding night] that so many woman take in the rest of their lives? Imagine her getting out her Daytimer and asking, "When would you like to have sex this week?" (the Efficient woman). Or commenting to her new husband, "I suppose you'll want to have sex tonight. Let's get it over with early - I have a lot to do in the morning." (the Busy woman). Or the more direct challenge, "That was a pretty poor performance. You wanna try it again?" (the Demanding woman).
A woman wants to feel beautiful. The strength of a good man makes her feel so. A man wants to feel strong. The beauty of a good woman makes him feel so. This principle plays out far beyond sex and marriage.
I love this passage because it's true. So often I hear woman bash on their husbands because they don't do the things they used to when they were dating... and then again these same woman have stopped trying to captivate their husbands the way THEY did when they were dating! We lost our spontaneity, our seduction, our romance and then wonder why we only see half the man sitting on the couch that we originally fell in love with. We are half the woman!
If we inspire our men - the ones that God bonded to us in sacred matrimony, they can be who God created them to be; assertive men, who stand up for what's wrong, who fight the battles they are supposed to fight (and I'm not talking about our physical war... how about the war against abortion? The war to protect the sanctity of marriage? How about the battles that Jesus tells us we can only fight "through prayer and fasting"? The battles against "the prince of the air, principalities of this world, and dark forces in heavenly realms"?). We need men to be come the intercessors for women and children that they are supposed to be. I need my husband to take authority over demonic forces that oppress me sometimes (called depression), to cast out sickness from my kids, to stick up for me when anyone (even if it's my mother) is treating me like crap and say, "I will not allow you to speak to my beloved wife that way!" I know I'm not the only christian woman who desires this from her husband!
And arousing the true Adam reaches far beyond our homes. What about our church, where we need real men the most? When women stop dominating all of the church agenda, men stand up and take their place in ministry (who would've thought!)... And so many churches don't experience this. Among friends, among church believers who are not married to each other, a woman can still offer her beauty (reminder: we're talking about a heart at rest, a nurturing and encouraging spirit instead of a condescending one) to a brother in Christ, and he in turn can offer her his strength. This is how the fatherless and the widows of the church were provided for! I know that while Paul has been gone, the men of my church have taken care of me - WITH NO INAPPROPRIATE AGENDA GOING ON - and they have done car shopping, mechanical work, and all the heavy lifting I cannot possibly do. They have offered me their strength the way a true man does. And it's because the women of our church are offering them their beauty; their compassion, their encouragement, and their prayers of support.