Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Six Truths about a Woman's Identity in Christ
When our kids were little, our family would make the effort every year to visit the state fair. Armed with overpriced tickets and buckets of popcorn, we entered the fairgrounds with excitement. Walking through their rickety run-down gates was like stepping into a new dimension. My kids found delight with the tea-cup rides and the flying swings, while my husband enjoyed the funnel cakes. But for me, I found fascination with the funhouse of mirrors. I marveled at the thought that I could look so different in each life-sized reflection.
But even on the other side of the fairground gates, mirrors can reflect differently, according to their age, the lighting, or slant. The person you see in any given mirror may or may not be the real you.
When you look into a mirror, what do you see? In a world where identity has been twisted into a coil of dishonorable deception, it is hard for a woman to know who she really is. Our culture teaches us that the self, with all its ego and entitlement, is the only authority. Self determines the way we see our internal and external being. Self determines our passions and allegiances.
For any woman, this can be confusing as countless competing voices are shouting at us. Be thin and yet be comfortably indifferent. Be alluring, but also ungendered. Think for yourself without being oppressive. Be tolerant, but also aggressively militant. The messages of this world are a carousel of extreme incongruity, and it is easy for any woman to feel unsettled and even unstable. But for a woman who knows the Lord, Scripture gives a different mirror—in the perfect Light—giving us the eyes to see our true image in Jesus Christ. So, what image should we see?
1. A Daughter of God Sees the Blessings She Has in Christ
Those who believe in Jesus are in Christ, and this position provides us with gifts of blessing. Ephesians 1:3–14 mentions these spiritual blessings, like brushstrokes from the Lord, artistically painting the picture of our image in Him.
Those in Christ:
- have been chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4)
- have been predestined for adoption, and given the same love that a father bestows on his children (Eph. 1:5)
- have been redeemed and forgiven, even while dead in sin (Eph. 1:7)
- have obtained an extravagant inheritance, which is God’s gift of Himself to us (Eph. 1:11)
- have been given the gift of His Spirit, which seals us in Christ for eternity (Eph. 1:13, 14)
We must ask ourselves, “Do I really believe these blessings belong to me?” Once we see and believe the blessings that have been given to us, we can realize that none of these gifts come from our own effort. They are free blessings, free from cost and striving. But even more fascinating than the free gifts listed in Ephesians 1:3–14 is the fact that these blessings are not only given for us, but ultimately for Christ Himself.
2. A Daughter of God Sees the Purpose Behind God’s Blessings
Ephesians 1:6, 12, and 14 all give the same reason for God’s lavish display of affection towards us. He chooses, adopts, forgives, and redeems us for His own praise and glory. He gives us an inheritance and seals us with His spirit—all for His own praise and glory:
- It’s not so that we can be puffed up in self-esteem.
- It’s not so that we can feel safe and move on with our own agenda.
- It’s not so that we can think ourselves better than the “lost” girl at work.
- It’s not so that we can have license to do whatever feels good in the moment.
Christ’s blessings actually become who we are—they become our identity. And they are not only for us, but ultimately for His own praise and glory.
3. A Daughter of God Sees that Her Identity is in Christ
In a world where so many people feel the need to scream their identities from the rooftops, a daughter of the Lord recognizes that Christ’s spiritual blessings make her different. She recognizes that her identity is not about how she views herself. It is about not seeing herself at all (cf. Gal. 2:20). And when our eyes rightly see Jesus instead of our egos, we aren’t focusing on self anymore. So, how does this affect our daily living?
4. A Daughter of God Loves the Bride of Christ
Our identity defines our allegiance. When we are united to Christ, then we will link ourselves to His people, the bride of Christ (I John 4:7, 8) . In this age of hectic schedules, autonomy, and indifference, community with God’s people often seems inconvenient. But the more we dive into the joy of living life with God’s people, the more we will understand that we were created for this community. In His great wisdom, the Father knew that His radical act of changing our identity would need support, encouragement, and accountability to stand firm against the crush of culture and the struggle of life in this fallen world (Hebrews 10:24, 25).
5. A Daughter of God Loves God’s Word
I often tell my children, “Loving someone means understanding what’s important to them, and making that important to you, too.” If we say we believe in Jesus, then it’s our calling and delight to glorify Him and to enjoy Him forever (WSC, Q. 1). This means that we love what He loves, both His people and His Word. Loving the Word demands more than simple study; it demands that we meditate on it day and night, storing it into our minds and hearts (Psa. 1:2; 119:15, 16). It also means we become intentional doers of the Word, so that our path is His agenda, and not our own (James 1:22–25).
6. A Daughter of God Reflects Christ in Her Thoughts, Words, & Deeds
How does a woman reflect Christ? In the tough moments, our identity will be put to the test. Who will shine forth in the mirror? When people look at us and our works, will they see Jesus Christ, His love, His forgiveness, His righteousness, and His Spirit of compassion? So I ask: Do I reflect Christ…
- when the toddler spills a gallon of milk on the clean floors?
- when my teenager commits the same offense for the twentieth time?
- when I’m tempted to escape the troubles of life in an unhealthy way?
- when I’m slandered at work for something I didn’t do?
- when I’m offended by an oversight from my husband?
- when someone at church says something hurtful to me or my kids?
As Christian women, our value isn’t found from anything of this world. Our value is found in the person and work of Christ. This image only requires that we take our eyes off our own reflection to see Christ’s identity, as He clothes us in His righteousness, adorns us with His grace, and gives us the shoes of His peace. And girded in this truth, a daughter of the Lord can step off the carousel of cultural confusion and stand firm against the deception from the mirrors of this world.