New studies show that when families embrace God’s design for families as revealed in the Genesis Commission, entire communities can be changed. Specifically, the data points towards the transformative effect that happens when women are cherished and loved.
If you tell people that we inspire people to be good spouses and parents by teaching them about the Genesis Commission, most of them will say, “That’s nice. Good for you!”
But what they’re missing is just how powerful it is when men and women understand why they were created and what God intended for their marriages and families to be.
A functional family is not just a nice thought – it is the building block of society.
Take it away long enough, and the entire community falls apart in every other area… including its economy.
No where is this best demonstrated then in societies where the family ideal has been broken for centuries.
If you take a close look at the average family living in countries suffering high rates of extreme poverty, you’ll discover some common social maladies.
- Women are regarded as property rather than individuals made in the image of God.
- Girls are often denied education, leaving them illiterate and vulnerable.
- Children are neglected and viewed as a burden because of the economic pressure that comes with caring for them.
- Women’s earnings are controlled by the men in their households, who normally choose to spend it on their own interests rather than for the family.
- Women are often the victims of violence and sexual abuse.
Even the most vigorous efforts of governments and nonprofit institutions to lift people out of poverty will not work unless there is a change in the way men and women see themselves, their children, and their families.
According to a U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) report, the key to breaking the power of extreme poverty is to change the way women are viewed and treated within developing countries.
A nuanced understanding of the role gender plays in efforts to end extreme poverty can lead to better results; for women and girls themselves, their families, and their communities. When women’s productivity in areas such as agriculture increases, the benefits are amplified across families and generations. [Emphasis Added]
When women are loved and empowered, massive social change occurs. How?
The answer is probably close to what you would have guessed: Among many other things, women are more likely to spend the money they earn for the benefit of their family.
Evidence from a range of countries shows that relative to men, women spend more of the income they control in ways that benefit their children, improving nutrition, health and educational opportunities.
This reflects the beauty of the Proverbs 31 woman as seen by the author, who many Bible scholars believe to be Abraham writing of the virtues his late wife, Sarah.
“She selects wool and flax and her hands work willingly. She is like merchant ships, bringing her sustenance from afar. She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and portions for her servant girls.” Proverbs 31:13-15 (TLV)
Bottom line: When women are cherished and loved, the strength God placed in them goes to work and lifts the family out of poverty.
When men and women in extreme poverty embrace the Genesis Commission, both their family lives and the community are changed.
Perhaps the biggest change seen is in the men. When they see that their wives and daughters are made in the image of God, they begin to treat them with the love and respect that they deserve.
“God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.” – Genesis 1:27 (TLV)
And when men and women see that God has a plan to use their family to fill the earth with His image through childrearing, they begin to care for their children with joy.
In the light of the Genesis Commission, children are not a source of anguish – they’re a source of hope. They’re a promise that God is going to make the world a better place through them.
Inspiring men and women to embrace the Genesis Commission is more than a nice thought. It’s the key to changing communities, and ultimately, nations.