Volume. XIX, No. 12
Sunday, 19 September 2004

From the pastors heart: woman, mother, and . . .

All of us are familiar with the creation story in Genesis 1-2. God created light and darkness, and more and more every day. He created man on the sixth day, and His final creation was woman. Thus, woman was the culmination of the creation by God. She was the crown of His masterpiece. Adam knew the importance of Eve, and he named her Woman because she was taken out of man. The Bible tells us of woman from many interesting perspectives. One of them is that there was a special provision for women in the tabernacle of God. Exodus 38:8 says, “And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.” In fact, lookingglasses refer to mirrors. They were placed especially for women-folks in the tabernacle. How considerate God we are serving! Women have played a very important role in the worship (Exodus 15:20), and they made religious vows (Numbers 30:3-16). They consecrated precious jewels to build the tabernacle (Exodus 35:22). They were required to learn the law of Moses in Deuteronomy 31:12. Especially, if we read through the New Testament, we’ll notice that women were an integral part of Christian worship and ministries (Acts 1:14; 12:12-13; 1 Corinthians 11:5; 14:34; 1 Timothy 2:11).

1 Peter 3:1-7 speaks to us about a relationship between husband and wife. In particular, verse 7 says, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” Some people may misunderstand that wife/woman is weaker than husband/man in all areas, which is a grave misunderstanding of the verse. In addition to this mistake, they misunderstand verses 5 and 6. “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” They argue that woman must be in all subjection to man on every point. To understand the nature of Sarah’s subjection to Abraham, we need to return to the original source in the book of Genesis. Genesis 16:2b says, “Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.” After all, man listens to woman. Thus, Abraham took Hagar to bear a child. In verse 5, Sarai blamed Abraham for it, “My wrong is upon thee.” Abraham left the fate of Hagar in Sarai’s hands. Later, Sarah demanded him to chase Hagar and her son Ishmael away, and Abraham followed her demands in Genesis 21. Verse 11 says, “And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.” I cannot find a single hint that Abraham could raise a voice to express his view before Sarah. I wonder who was a weaker vessel in this relationship and who was in control. I am sure that some husbands are encouraged by Abraham’s example because they just have found that they are not alone.

Woman may be a weaker vessel than man in terms of physical strength. But, it does not mean that they are less brave or intelligent than man. In the last few months of Hitler’s life, he lived in a bunker, 50 feet underground. There were his personal staff and secretaries. He knew that his days were numbered. He asked all people in the bunker to leave. Here is a testimony from Traudi Junge. “The first to. . . break the silence was Eva Braun. Without faltering, she walked over to Hitler, took his hands in hers and smiled very sweetly. Gently, as if she were comforting a child, she said, ‘You know perfectly well that I’ll never leave you. Why are you asking me to go?’ . . . all others refused to leave. ‘When we answered no, he took our hands, pressed them tightly in gratitude and said, ‘If only our generals had been as brave as you’” (Cate Haste, Nazi Women, Channel 4 Books, 2001, 231). He knew the strength of women and used them for his purpose during the war, though he refused to recognize their intelligence. He once said, “The woman loves more deeply than the man. But in her, intellect plays no role. . . . In political questions, the woman, even if she is extremely intelligent, cannot separate reason from feeling” (Henry Picker, Hitler’s Table Talk, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1953, 124). Thus, he was not a friend of female suffrage. By now, our smart ladies have one more reason to hate him.

Woman finds her strength most in her motherhood. In fact, mothers are the most remarkable ones in all God’s creation. They are great influences on their children’s life, especially. I was stunned that a man like Hitler had such admirations for his mother. Many historians have said that he had never gotten over the grief of the loss of his mother. When his mother died of breast cancer, he was 18 years old. He refused the neighbors to come in and to remove her body. Instead he sat there for hours and hours by his mother’s bedside. Mothers are important for the future of our church, society, and country. They have precious privileges to mould their children’s character. It is my prayer that they will lead their children to live for God and to love Him. Women’s dedication to their families is notable both in the Bible and in our homes. Thus, we need godly and praying mothers for our homes. When we have godly mothers, we shall follow their influences. They are ever givers. When Jutta Rudiger heard about a proposal to set up woman’s battalions within the Nazi army, she opposed and said, “Women should give life and not take it. That’s why we were born.” I am not talking about whether women can or cannot be soldiers. There are brave female soldiers for whose service I am grateful. The quotation simply talks about a fundamental notion of motherhood. Women are life givers and often they lose their own life to give life.

I hope that so far I have been successful to describe the wonderful side of woman and her strength. Magda Goebbels was hailed as the icon of German mothers during the Nazi regime and was recognized as the Nazi ideal woman. When the end of Nazi days came near, she and her husband came to terms with life. However, what she could not come to terms with was, according to biographer Johannes Frank, “the future of the children. Certainly, reason tells me that I must not leave them, unprotected, to a future in which they, as our children, will be the victims of Jewish revenge. But when I watch them playing around I cannot bear the thought of killing them. That must be the most difficult thing of all to ask of a mother. When Hilde said, ‘Good night,’ to me she put her arm round my neck and whispered in my ear, ‘Is it so bad, Mutti, that you have to sigh so much?’ Of course they don’t know what the situation is. But they still sense it” (Nazi Women, 233). Well, she killed them all and killed herself later. A misguided mother/woman became a killer of her five children. We have wonderful and beautiful ladies in the church. They have excellent skills and talents. How they use their talents and skills for the Lord in their church and homes will make huge differences in their respective lives and our church ministries. Ladies/women/mothers, would you like to join the list of ladies in the Bible, who have given their whole beings to the Lord for His glory? “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10).

Lovingly, Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question No. 67: Which is the sixth commandment? The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.
Please pray for healing for Rev Peter Clements & Bro Surish Dharmalingam, Sisters Myung Ki, Nan van Buuren, Aranka Rejtoe, Irene Turner, Susan Varadi, & Angie Yuen, and many afflicted by viral illness. “ The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust;” (Ps 18:2a).

Please pray for protection of Bro Phannith & family, & the Christians in Paillin, Cambodia; for comfort of Bro Kosal’s family and guidance for Bro Map who escaped to Thailand from threats; our Missions Team’s preparation for Cambodia in January 2005; and for journey mercies for Dn & Mrs Ngie Joo Gong, Bro Hai Seng Lim (Adelaide), Sis Jasmin Chua (Melbourne & Adelaide), Bros Raphael Ng & Tae Yul Lee, Sisters Bernadette Lee and Minyen Chia (Warnambool), Mary Ting & Serene Wong (Adelaide).

Praise and thank God for journey mercies granted to Rev & Mrs Edward Paauwe (Melbourne), Dn & Mrs Ngie Joo Gong (Toronto), Mr & Mrs Ray Price (Europe), Sisters Julie Tan (Adelaide), Mary Ting (Sabah), and Rachel Volvricht (Adelaide); and all those who had travelled recently.

Congratulations & God’s blessings to Sharon BPC on her 33rd Anniversary Thanksgiving last Lord’s Day.

Materials for “Homosexuality and the Bible Seminar” will cost $13.00.

New term for BBK classes will commence from 3 October. Those who had completed their BBK classes and desire baptism/church membership, please see Ps Ki ASAP.

Hospitality Roster for Bro Hai Seng Lim: please fill in your name on the days that you can invite him for lunch or dinner.

Service Rosters for Oct-Dec - Please let Dn D’Mello know of your availability.

Looking Ahead: YAF & Teens’ Coffee Night: On Friday. Please invite your friends to attend. YAF members who can help, please be at the Stone Mansion by 7:00pm.

Looking Ahead: Vacation Bible School: 27 Sept-1 Oct. Speaker: Bro Hai Seng Lim. All children are welcome to attend.

Looking Ahead: Christmas Concert: Saturday, 11 December. Venue: Concordia College Chapel, Highgate.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041