Mothers and Daughters
Mothers and daughters have a special relationship unlike any other relationship on earth. Daughters look to their mothers to learn how to be women and mothers. Mothers look to their daughters to share with them the joy of being a woman of God – and they also get to remember what it was like to be a daughter themselves.
To understand what it means to be a woman, we must see why and how God made her.
Genesis 1:27 teaches that God “created” man in His own image – “in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” The word “created” is the Hebrew word bara. It means “initiating something new.” God did a new thing when He Created humans. Male and female was not new because God had already Created animals, but the human being was a new thing in the universe. This “new thing” would be Created in the “image” of God.
Genesis 2 tells us more about the purpose God had when He created man and the woman. When God Created the man, He “formed” him out of the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life and man became a living being. Make a note of that fact – the man’s connection to the earth. The word “formed” is the Hebrew yasar. The idea is of fashioning something – giving something its form. When God Created the woman, He took a rib from man’s side and “made” a woman. The rib would have had flesh, bone and blood attached to it – with the life God had already breathed into the man. Make a note of that fact – the woman’s connection to the man. The Hebrew word for “made” is banah and translates as “built.” God “formed/fashioned” the man and “built” the woman.
Adam immediately knew the purpose of God’s Creation of the woman – “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of man.” Again, notice the physical connection woman has with man. Woman received her life from the man and would give life to new human beings.
We learn from the first chapter of Genesis that it was God’s plan the man and woman would rule and reign together in God’s “likeness” and each would have a special role in having dominion “over all the earth” and everything in it. They would do four basic things together:
1. Be fruitful (parah – “bear fruit, bear young”)
2. Multiply (rabah – “to become much or many, to increase”)
3. Fill the earth (male – “be abundant and overflowing, to fill as anything does a vacant space with its own bulk or abundance”)
4. Subdue it (radah – “to bring into subjection”)
Be fruitful – a baby girl has about seven million eggs in her ovaries when she’s about 20-weeks old in her mother’s womb and is born with about a million eggs. By the time she is a teenager, she will still have hundreds of thousands of eggs that she will carry with her into adulthood. Teenage boys and adult men produce millions of sperm every day and will continue to do that throughout their lives. Why did God make men and women so fruitful? Remember God’s original design – He Created man and woman as immortals. They would never die and never grow old. They would be able to have children forever. An immortal couple may have been able to produce millions of children. That’s fruitful!
Multiply – each immortal couple could be parents to hundreds of thousands or even millions of children and each of their children could marry and be a parent to hundreds of thousands or millions of children who could also marry and have hundreds of thousands or millions of children. That’s multiplication on a huge scale! The people population would quickly grow into the millions, billions and tens and hundreds of billions within several generations of the first man and woman.
Fill the earth – a population of billions and tens of billions and hundreds of billions of human beings would soon move across the face of the earth and fill it.
Subdue it – a population of billions of humans across the face of the earth would bring everything into subjection. The word “subjection” carries the idea of mastering it. God Created humans to master the earth – know it, understand it, rule it.
God first Creates space – then fills it. He Created man and woman to fill the earth with children, who would marry and have children, who would marry and have children, who would marry and have children, etc. It wouldn’t be long before they would “fill” and “rule” the earth. They would do it according to God’s process – formation followed by building.
The formation of a child begins when the father’s seed attaches to the woman’s seed and gives it “form”. People often say to children – “you look so much like your father.” That’s because children are “formed” by their fathers. Mother’s are thinking – “well, I’m the one who carried him/her for nine months!” That’s right! God “built” the woman so she could “build” the child. The building of children begins in the mother’s womb and continues through birth, growth through receiving mother’s milk, then mother’s guidance and counsel, until the child eventually becomes mature and can form or build children of their own. Through that amazing process of formation and building, the human race would multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.
Everything God does is for the purpose of “revealing” Himself to His Creation. Look at the heavens and the earth – God reveals Himself. Look at the birds in the air, the fish in the sea, and the animals on land – God reveals Himself. Look at man and woman – God reveals Himself. We would not have a full revelation of God without male and female. Both are necessary to knowing God. Man and woman came together as husband and wife and became “one flesh” – ehad baser – the completion of God’s Revelation and Purpose.
But something interfered with God’s plan for the human race – deception and disobedience entered the picture. How God dealt with that is important for us to understand, because it impacts our relationship in the family and in the Church.
Remember the man’s connection to the ground? God Created him from the dust of the earth. Here’s how men are impacted – “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-19) God gave man the responsibility of tending and guarding the garden. Because of his failure, working the land would become painful and difficult.
Remember the woman’s connection to the man? God Created her from the man. Here’s how women are impacted – “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16) The Hebrew for “sorrow” means “trouble” and the word “conception” means “pregnancy. To “bring forth children” means to “bring up children.” The woman would raise her children in “sorrow, pain, toil.” The picture God painted for the woman was a difficult one. The very thing she was “built” to do was going to bring her great pain and sorrow. The Hebrew words carry the idea of “grief.” Mothers often feel a grief with their children that men cannot understand.
God’s Creative purpose for the human race has not changed, but how men and women carry out their edict to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it has changed. Pain, sorrow, grief and death entered into the human experience.
Another thing that changed is the relationship a woman would have with her husband. “Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” The Hebrew word translated “desire” (tuqsah) means “a longing and affection drawn out toward a superior.” The word “rule” (masal) means “to have dominion over, govern, control, in charge.” That was the new reality for the woman. God temporarily removed co-rulership with the man from the woman, but He will give it back to her when she is immortal again at the resurrection. In this life, God has given women a “desire” for their husband. God has given men a protective “love” for their wife. When a man loves his wife as Christ Loves the Church and gave Himself for it, the woman receives the “desire” of her heart. When a woman submits to her husband as the Church is to love Christ, the man receives the “desire” of his heart. God meets the needs of the woman and the man through their relationship with God and each other.
So, with that as our background – what does it mean for mothers and daughters today? God gives us insight through the Apostle Paul and we’ll look at that in the next part of our study.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”