Woman For Man | CERC News | Christ Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC)

Woman For Man

22 Apr 2024

In March, CERC had its annual women’s event – Women Encouraging Women (WEW). This year’s topic, Women VS Men, involved understanding both sexes, how God designed man and woman, and how each has their unique complementarian role in serving the Lord. Thus, in line with this topic, it was the first time WEW invited a male speaker, Pr Robin Gan, to give the main talks for the women. The men in the church were also invited to listen in for the main talks and the ministry forum session. 

Over 1.5 days, the women gathered together to encourage, sing, learn, and love. From the chatting to the singing, the laughter, and even the listening, the vibrancy and supportiveness felt in a roomful of women are part of what makes women’s events like WEW so inspiring. Of course, there is more to a woman than just her energy. The posture of humility before God’s Word to learn about what it means to be a woman in service to the Lord is what makes her truly beautiful, and a huge part of that service involves her role as a helper to man. 

Deanna, Master of Ceremony (MC) for WEW (pictured below), opened Friday night with an introduction to the topic, “For as long as women and men have coexisted, there has always seemed to be some form of friction between them, whether it’s a relationship with a significant other, fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters or even bosses and staff. The Bible explains and helps us make sense of this enmity between men and women, from the very first book of the Bible. So women, over the next two days, let’s let Scripture inform us of the origins of the enmity, and let it instruct us on how we should navigate through it, as Christian women who seek to please the Lord.” 

Worshipping together in song
A game of Human Bingo to break the ice
Sharing reflections and discussing what it means to be a woman for man, a woman for God

The first night’s talk helped lay the foundations of God’s design for both men and women, using Genesis 1-2 to show how God created woman to help man in his God-given purposes, and landing on Ephesians 5. “Together, man and woman are made for service to God. The creation of man and woman is for God’s purposes…“this mystery is profound” [Ephesians 5:31-32] speaks volumes that marriage is just a shadow of reality. We will find at consummation that it is Christ and His church on view…therefore, we need to see what God has intended for the filling of the earth with His image.” explained Pr Robin. Examples of what the Bible calls ‘a beautiful woman’ were seen in Abigail (1 Sam 25) and the Proverbs 31 woman. Pr Robin pointed out, “See that Abigail is consistent with what the Bible calls a beautiful woman. It is consistent with God’s great plan…Only women can help men to serve God.” 

On Saturday morning, Deanna introduced Eunice Yong on stage to share her reflections on last night’s talk. Deanna too verbalised her sentiments on WEW, “One of my favourite parts of WEW is sharing my struggles with other Christian women, and hearing theirs, as we encourage one another to persevere through them. This has been a reality for me over the past few years in CERC, and I’m grateful to all my sisters who’ve made WEW a reality for me… and Eunice is one of them.” 

As part of her reflections, Eunice spoke about her frustrations and struggles with the men in her life, “When faced with conflict, we’re not just going to find 3 practical tips on how to handle it. We should start by asking “what is God’s design for men and women”… So, it was helpful that we went through the context of Genesis 1:27 and 2:4, to show how God has placed mankind at the pinnacle of creation to carry out His purposes in the world. Our role as men and women is God-centred, not centred on ourselves.” She also voiced her thoughts on how she could apply these truths in her life. “In ministry, for example, we should see that both men and women are ministry partners, renewed by the Holy Spirit for our cosmic roles as co-heirs with our brothers. So, we should always put the mission first, and put to death ungodly emotions or desires.”

Pr Robin (pictured above) continued to speak to the women throughout the morning as they looked at 1 Corinthians 11, a key text for understanding how men and women are to work together for God. In light of Genesis 1-2, and all the key passages the women looked at, “Woman For Man” would therefore be the answer to “Woman VS Man”. “In the end, men and women need each other…Our enemy is not each other – it is the enemies of God against His people,” explained Pr Robin. As he wrapped up the talks, he reiterated, “Man-in-God’s-image has always been men and women…Therefore, we need to work with each other [instead of fighting each other] so our vertical service to God is not hindered.” 

The practical way of living out Christianity as women belonging to God therefore, is learnt from the apostles, “The idea that captures the way we will be able to live out the huge concerns we have in being Christians is self-control [2 Peter 1:5-7, 1 Tim 2:8-10, 2:13-15]. This virtue captures the godliness of a woman who is not Eve-like [following and succumbing to her desires and emotions], but devoted to the Lord in either marriage or singleness.” In the end, Pr Robin urged both men and women to be disciplined and self-controlled in preparing themselves for God and service to Him, in light of who they are meant to be. For the women in particular, these virtues are to be exercised daily as Woman created to help Man serve God. 

After lunch, a total of 7 electives were offered, in line with the theme.

“Women VS Men in Dating and Marriage” with Elective Leader, Melissa Oui
“How to Understand Men” with Elective Leader, Jay Lyn Kek
“Women VS Men in Career and the Corporate World” with Elective Leader, Samantha Mea
“Women VS Men in Parenting” with Elective Leader, Jan Tan
“Women VS Men in Ministry” with Elective Leader, Lim Xin Le
“Women VS Men in Fashion” with Elective Leader, Fionna (right)
How to deal with daddy issues” with Elective Leaders, Winnie Lai (right) and Wong May Ling (left)
Participants at the “How to Understand Men” elective
Prayer to end the elective

As a conclusion to WEW 2024, a ministry forum between 6 men and women was held to discuss the differences between men and women in ministry. Pastor-in-training Vanessa Ong moderated the forum between Church Ministers’ Apprentices Woo Kae Sheng, Jonathan Chin, Winnie Lai, and elder Joel Lee together with his wife Su Anne. Despite all the differences between men and women, the way they communicate, and work, they also looked at the practical – what it takes to work well together towards the same goal and purpose of expanding God’s kingdom, and growing God’s people. 

As Vanessa Ong closed the forum, she prayed for all the women in church to live up to their calling according to God’s design: women for men, in service to God.  “…We will never have the power to love and serve without You, Your Son, Your Spirit’s work, and Your Scriptures that teach us who we are… So help us to be self-denying, and help us to be disciples of You in a way that pleases You and is fitting with Your high calling of us as people who will fill the earth with Your glory… Amen.”

Ministry forum (left to right): Vanessa Ong, Winnie Lai, Woo Kae Sheng, Joel Lee, Jonathan Chin, and Su Anne Lee