Women in the Maker's Image

Identity Myopia

Men and women alike have a tendency to mistake their identities for something other than image bearers. It's a part of the fallen human condition, but men and women differ at times in those things they substitute for their identity. What are some of the temptations unique to women? To answer this question, Hannah Anderson joins Mark Mellinger to discuss the importance of seeing purpose in the details of your life through the eyes of an image bearer.

Mark Mellinger is the Indiana Public Affairs Director for Bott Radio Network and talk show host for 1090 Today, a radio program that showcases local ministries and encourages Christian living. Hannah Anderson is a freelance writer and the author of Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God's Image

Hannah defined identity myopia as a kind of nearsightedness. It happens when we take the details of our lives and define ourselves by them, which keeps us from seeing how they fit into God's metanarrative.  

What are you tempted to substitute as your identity (marriage, motherhood, beauty, etc.)? How does focusing on the details of life keep you from seeing the big picture of God's work in the world? How do they limit you when they become your identity?
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What would you say it means to find your identity as an image bearer? How does it help you understand who you are and what God intends for your life? Does it bring you comfort? If so, how?
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Hannah pointed out the ways in which marriage/motherhood affects the identities of women. Because many don't find themselves in these roles, they wonder whether or not they are qualified to image God. The truth is that all women are made in God's image, which means they have the opportunity to reflect Him in everything they do. Whether it has to do with a project at work, socializing with friends, or chores around the house, all of life is an occasion for imaging God to the world.

Are there ways in which your life today has not lived up to your expectations? If so, what are they (singleness, infertility, career, etc.)? How does your identity as an image bearer give you purpose and meaning in the midst of these? How does God's sovereignty help you to embrace them?
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Hannah singled out the struggle of beauty for many women. Are you satisfied with the way you look? If not, what are the reasons behind your discontentment? How might embracing the reality of God's diversity and sovereign creativity transform the way you see His beautiful design in your looks?
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Hannah also noted the tendency for women to believe falsely that the gospel is working to make them good women. In reality, the gospel does not speak first to womanhood, but being conformed to the image of Christ. Have you observed this confusion in your own life? In others? What effects does it have on the Christian life?
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In light of this discussion, are there ways in which you are currently confusing your identity? If so, what are they? What steps will you take in correcting this? Who could you invite into this process to walk alongside you?
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Living in a fallen world is no easy task. We are constantly tempted to make the details of our lives ultimate rather than living in light of our purpose as image bearers. The work of the gospel is not that of making perfect Christian women, but of transforming women to reflect the beauty of Christ. As your reflect on this discussion and its implications for your life, ask God to give you a greater perspective. Pray that He would help you to embrace the details of your life in light of His redeeming work worldwide. May you reflect the image of your Maker in all that you do.

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