CAPTIVATING - What It Means To Be A Woman Today
Women were the finale of creation. The most beautiful and complex of all creation - saved for last. A helper incomparable: equal in worth but unique in purpose. Adam was awestruck with the companion God handmade for Him. Her strengths were thoughtfully crafted by the God of the universe.
The bible has no shortage of inspiring role models’ women - one of the greatest heroines of the bible is Rebekah. Her story is a beautiful picture of what it means to live life as a woman of strength and dignity. Her physical beauty was striking but what made her worth a second glance, what made her captivating, was her character.
When Abraham sent his faithful servant Eleazar on a mission to find a wife for his son Isaac, it was Rebekah that caught his eye. Our current culture unknowingly elevates the philosophy of selfishness, ‘What’s in it for me?’, kindness and generosity are extended to only those who are deserving or those who can leverage us in return. The fact Rebekah drew water for Eleazer was impressive, but, it was when she went the extra mile and offered to water his camels too that Rebekah revealed herself as a woman of great selflessness and kindness. This wasn’t who she was pretending to be for personal gain, this is who she was.
The camels in our lives are the ones we may not automatically want to extend grace too. They represent the inconvenient, the unknown, the unkind and the undeserving. Jesus said, “If you love those that love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. But I say love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then you will truly be acting like children of God, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.”
Jesus is making a simple and yet difficult request of us saying, ‘Don’t let other people’s bad behaviour change the way you behave’. We are kind, hospitable and gracious, those traits aren’t negated when they are undeserved. Gracious, kind and generous is who we are. The kindness we show during the inconvenient and undeserved moments of today, are the actions that will unlock the great doors of opportunity for us tomorrow. It was the very same camels Rebekah watered that carried her to her destiny.
REBEKAH WAS CONNECTED: She was part of a family and her family helped her make the right decision about her future. This speaks to the importance of being part of a church community. Independence is a wonderful trait when it is coupled with humility. Independence paired with arrogance and pride can walk us into all sorts of unnecessary messes. Our world is messy because we have elevated independence over community. All of us can fall prey to bad ideas, especially when romance and emotion are involved, but the benefit of being a part of a church family is that even if you have a bad idea you’ll still be ok, because the people with the good ideas will protect you. Proverbs tells us, “A fool isolates himself and rebels against all wise counsel”.
REBEKAH WAS VIRTUOUS: She was born in Haran, a land known for its idol worship and pagan customs. And yet in the midst of the wickedness of her culture Rebekah was faithful to God. But please don’t think that this meant Rebekah was a dull, unimaginative, wallflower. She was spontaneous, spunky and adventurous. She had lengthy conversations with strangers, agreed to marry a man she had never met and then promptly relocated to a foreign land in order to do it! She was a woman who was engaged in the world around her while still maintaining her purity and innocence. The world is aggressive in its seduction for us to compromise – ‘you’re missing out’ this spirit rages! But don’t believe the devil’s lie that living life God’s way will rob you. A life with God at the centre means you get to enjoy the greatest adventures and the greatest thrills that life has to offer, and all without the unnecessary burden of regret and shame.
REBEKAHS NAME MEANS ‘CAPTIVATING’: And just like Eleazer, world is searching… earnestly looking, for real women to stand up and be counted. For women who stand firm in their true identity - not living as those who are ‘captive’ to the world’s counterfeit identity, but women who live devoted to the pattern of their divine design - women who are ‘captivating’.