For all girls out there, this is something that I think must prick every one of us at some given point. At least, I know it pricked me. Questions like “Why can’t I do that?” “Do guys have a more important job?” “Are girls as valuable as boys?” “What can I do that boys can’t?” “Is femininity a handy cap?” niggled at my mind. Their condescending tone was wearing. They made me feel second-rate. I wondered if women were just an add-on, obviously necessary in some ways, yes, but just an add on. Was femininity inferior?
Dear girl, if you can in any way relate to this, there is hope! I also want to clarify that this is a lesson for you and me both. We are on this journey together. But I also want to push us further.
I want to start with a Bible verse that, had I read it with a seeking heart, would have cleared up every doubt in my mind many years ago.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 KJV)
Obviously, man and woman are both equal in God’s sight. One is no more important than the other. We are equally responsible before Him. My Mom likes to say “The ground is level at the foot of the cross.”
This verse holds a challenge as well. We girls are responsible before God in how we handle our femininity. Are we properly utilizing the talent He gave us (see Matthew 25:14-30)? What does our femininity entail?
To really know, we have to go back to the original making of the woman. Elizabeth Elliot explains it beautifully:
“The first woman was made specifically for the first man, a helper, to meet, to respond to, surrender to, and compliment him. God made her from the man, out of his very bone, and then He brought her to the man. When Adam named Eve, he accepted responsibility to “husband” her – to provide for her, to cherish her, to protect her. These two people together represent the image of God one of them in a special way the initiator, the other the responder. Neither the one nor the other was adequate alone to bear the divine image.”1
Our purpose, as God’s creation, is first to give Him the glory. The praise of His Name should be at the heart of our lives. He loved us enough to send His one and only Son for us – our life’s service is the least we can do. As His feminine creation, we are to be the helpers, the supporters, the nurturers. We are also called to be strong, firm, and valiant. In fact, the word for “virtuous” in Proverbs 31:10 could be translated as “valiant”, also used in reference to war-like strength and courage.
“…that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace” (Psalms 144:12 KJV)
“Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.” (Proverbs 31:25 KJV)
We are strong supports that uphold the building and lend beauty and grace to it. We are not wimpy decor, but strong, honorable, upholders of what is right. And what exactly do we uphold?
“…the unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit” (1 Corinthians 7:34 KJV)
We are to uphold the things of the Lord. We are created to support those men who carry the banner of God. We are to nurture the lives of those God has put around us. We are to further the kingdom of God.
Now, please understand that I am not defending or promoting a stereotype. The femininity that I envision is not at all typical of this world. It is estranged from the feminist dog-fight, and it overreaches the confines of the purely domestic woman.
The femininity I envision is…well, it is impossible for me. It comes only by the power and working of God. Biblical femininity is hung so perfectly on a life spent in the presence of God, that there are is no other way of defining it. Press into Christ and together we can catch the breath-taking vision of who we are to be.
Read these life-giving words from Leslie Ludy. They sum up everything I wish to tell you.
“Whatever your version of femininity has been up to this moment – God desires to offer you hope and a glorious future. Jesus Christ can take a life that has been bruised, rejected, or squandered and make it completely new. He can empower a weak and helpless life to rise up and conquer. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done or how far from Him you feel right now – He can transform you into a radiant, victorious, world-changing, set-apart young woman. No matter how worthless or ugly you feel, He longs to shape you into His stunning princess. It starts with one simple step of obediance – one simple decision to answer the sacred call He has upon your life…no matter what the cost.”2
1 Elliot, Elizabeth. "The Essence of Femininity: a Personal Perspective" Revive Our Hearts. Life Action Ministries, N.p. Web. Jan 14 2019. <https://www.reviveourhearts.com/articles/essence-femininity-personal-perspective/> 2 Ludy, Leslie. Set-Apart Femininity: God's Sacred Intent for Every Young Woman. Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2008. Print. 1 Elliot