How Well Do You Really Know the Person You Love?

Feelings are subjective. They can be misleading as they wax and wane. So when we use the word love, it has to be based on content and a commitment. How well do you really know the person you love? Is it a true knowledge about them, or rather a projection of your own pleasures? One of the most meaningful ways to express your love is to actually learn about the person whom you’ve set your affection. What are their attributes, what pleases them, and what do they abhor?

What do we really know about God? Is God able to be known? Francis Schaeffer pointed out over and over in his books that God is able to be known truly, although not exhaustively. How does God communicate with us?

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past through the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds (Hebrews 1:1).

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16).

This is theology—learning and studying the God who first loved us. He knows us more than we know ourselves. God knows us with an intimate knowledge. Are we mere casual acquaintances?

God did not leave us in His creation to search for truth in some subjective way. He has revealed himself in Christ and recorded what he wants us to know—what we are responsible to know. Not only that, he has given us his Holy Spirit, and is transforming us into his very image. How can we be remiss to learn what this is?!

I recently wrote a reflection on women and theology. I passionately believe that women play a major role in showing the face of Christianity to the watching world and need to be better equipped with God’s truth in their own lives. Truth is truth and God is God, but there are some nuances in the women’s perspective and the men’s perspective. We have some differences in our experiences and roles with which God has placed us. This is why it’s all the more imperative to share and communicate.

Did you know that men share more when they are with women? In her book, The Friendships of Women, Dee Brestin noted that “Ladd Wheeler, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, found that women and men are both less lonely when they spend time with women. The data showed that whenever a woman was involved in interaction, both individuals disclosed more about themselves, and the interaction became distinctly more intimate.” This study only confirms what most of us already know to be true.  Women have a gift in intimate communication.

That is exactly what led me to be more serious in theological study. Since I am intuitive, emotional, and relational, I wanted my passions and gifts grounded in the truth. I am not saying that all women are emotional and all men are unrelational, but I am saying that we are not androgynous. Woman was made to compliment man, not to be his exact clone. Yes, women are humans too, but as I’ve referred to before, our roles are part of the story we share of our identity in Christ--we are walking stories. Our diversity reflects the beauty of God.

So I think it is great to have theology books and Bible studies geared specifically for women or men—as long as they are biblically solid. It is nice to learn with those who share similar experiences. And as I learn more about God, its wonderful to have a group of women to discuss its applications in our specific roles. I’d love to see more women learning theology together. Since many of us are good communicators, we need to make sure our theology is sharp. We also need to learn from godly men.

When I started this blog, I didn’t want to make it about women. But I am unashamedly a woman, so I write about my own experiences of the gospel interrupting the ordinary—my ordinary. Now being on the down-side of my thirties, I thought maybe a lot of younger mothers would read. To my surprise, I have a great bunch of men who are regulars here, and many of my readers are older than me. I think that its great to see the humility that my readers have to read from a simple housewife theologian. I also think that my readership shows the value of a woman’s voice in theological matters. And speaking of theological matters—theology matters!

Sometimes you get to know someone who you’ve been infatuated with, only to find out some disturbing qualities. They may not turn out to be who you thought they were. But it is the opposite in our love for God. I love Christ because he first loved me. And come to find out, the more I learn of him the more amazing qualities I uncover. I can never exhaust my learning of him, and my delight in Christ only grows as my knowledge of him increases. Conversely, the more I grow in Christ, the more sin I see in myself. Yet I am not left in despair. Christ’s love is a powerful love that bore my sin on a cross, enduring the father’s wrath. It is a love that he laid his life down for. And it is a love that gave me all of his own righteousness. Now he is lovingly transforming me to perfect holiness. This is Someone that is worth learning about. And you just can’t keep it to yourself.



 

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5 Comments

I just want to say a big

I just want to say a big THANK YOU! for being a voice in the fact that theology should matter to women and mean as much as it does for men. I hole heartedly agree with you and share your burden! Being in my early twenties I'm craving to see more women to actually care about it. It is such an encouragement to read all of your posts that are predominantly Christ exaulting and not ALL about girl related issue.

Great points guys. Doc B, you

Great points guys. Doc B, you know I'd be honored to have your daughter reading.
And Tim, I forget who said it now but it went something like, "For those who say 'I just love Jesus; I'm not into all that theology stuff..." The minute you ask, "Who is Jesus?" you are entering the realm of theology." Maybe Sproul?
Laura--I definitely don't like the separating in church on Sunday morning. My husband and I attend Sunday school together, worship, of course, as well as a nurture (small) group. My women's study is on Tuesday mornings. I love them all! And you are right in your cautions against stereotyping. But women are women and men are men, so we definitely reflect different facets of the "gem."

Great post. Re: The quote

Great post. Re: The quote from a Dee Brestin book on how men share more around women. My thoughts: A concern I have is that men and women so often seem separated in the church for Bible study or learning. Don't get me wrong here - there is a time/place for men's and women's ministry! But I seem to observe that men and women are separated almost ALL the time. I think this is a disadvantage and problem on several levels. Men and women each reflect the image of God differently, and we need each other to more completely understand God. I think we can end up with lopsided perspectives because we are seeing things only through a "feminine" or "masculine" viewpoint. Men need to hear women, and women need to hear men in order to grow spiritually. Together we image God. If that makes sense? But this can't happen if they are always separated from each other.

And also in reference to the study you quote - Besides men being more likely to share b/c of the influence/presence of women who tend to be more relational and nurturing, likewise I'd think the women can be helped by the more logical/analytical perspective of men.

However, we also need to remember that while men and women are indeed different that not every woman is pure nurture nor every man pure logic. There can be a spectrum and God has blessed each of us with different personalities and gifts. I'm a woman, but I definitely lean more towards the logic than nurture side.

There are so many good points

There are so many good points here, Aimee. I like how you bookend the article with these two lines:

So when we use the word love, it has to be based on content and a commitment.

and,

Christ’s love is a powerful love that bore my sin on a cross, enduring the father’s wrath. It is a love that he laid his life down for. And it is a love that gave me all of his own righteousness.

Seeing those two together makes me think that the content and commitment that make love real is the content and commitment in Christ's love.

I liked the reminder that theology matters, too. When I taught a theology/doctrine class a few months back I told the class they couldn't help doing theology because any time someone says "I believe in Jesus" or "God is great", any time someone asks "Would you pray for me" or "What hymn should we sing next", they are making a statement grounded in theology whether they know it or not. Besides, I think learning theology stuff is a hoot!

Tim

P.S. I have a new post up at Rachel Stone's place. I hope you get a chance to take a look: http://rachelmariestone.com/2012/05/16/a-judge-on-rushing-to-judgment/

Funny coincidence (that's

Funny coincidence (that's read providence to us reformed folks); on the way to school this morning, my daughter (age 13, 7th grader) asked me, "Dad, if I go to seminary, what could I do?"

I may have to start letting her read your blog. (c:

(And yes, I'm one of those old guys who read your blog daily! Though, I do skip a few posts that get too girly for me, ha ha.)