She wasn't wearing any makeup, her hair was pulled in a wispy bun on top of her head, and there was nothing remarkable about her outfit. But her eyes glowed, her speech was filled with conviction and her smile was contagious. This is the description of a young woman I recently met. My brother had met her the day before at a Christian meeting and encouraged me to get to know her. "She's neat...you'll like her". And I did! A passionate Christian, a lovely personality, and a godly, modest young woman. A perfect example of femininity.
I wanted to encourage you by defying the world's definition and giving you a healthy biblical view on femininity.
Firstly, let's look at --
There's the slutty "Delilah" type, where women seduce men as prey and dress as objects instead of treasures. They dress to reveal instead of cover. They tear down instead of build up homes. This is the extreme. You can see this spirit played out more subtly, with young Christian women, who are addicted to romance novels, who dress border-line, who flirt and flaunt, and dwell in their imaginations.
The other is the feminist mindset, where men and "maleness" are disdained and held in contempt. The mentality that we are not only opposite, but superior, or at least "just as good" as men are. They are ashamed of any feminine "weakness".
There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in femininity. Practically speaking, feminine simply means "that which pertains to females". It can also mean soft, tender and delicate. But with these womanly character traits come many other virtues
In the bible we see that true feminine women are:
industrious (Provers 31 woman)
I have seen many young woman embrace tom boyish behavior because they are disgusted by "cutsie" silly girls. I want to encourage you that we don't need to become un-balanced and boyish as possible to escape this false femininity. In fact, we should be defying this ungodly notion and modeling true femininity to the world. We can educate, encourage and inspire other young women and prove we can choose more than worldly "femininity".
What does this look like practically?
Well, I want to assure you that there is nothing wrong with enjoying things like hiking, skiing, horse back riding, volley-ball, shooting and playing with your brothers. In fact, I believe it's healthy and godly to be well balanced. I do all these things! Girls were made to run and play just as boys were.
That being said, there is a beautiful role that young women are given. We are made to be nurturers. Keepers of our home. Queens. Helpers of men. God has equipped us -- our part is to practice using these tools. Not only are we to strive after strength physically, but emotionally and spiritually we must be strong, for as a woman you most likely will one day be given the task to meet your husband's needs, your childrens, and possibly your community or church family's. It requires godly strength to be selfless.
Our future is uncertain. We live in uncertain, precarious times. The world our men face is the same world we are placed in. We don't need to be soft-minded and leave the battle field to the men only. America was founded by godly strong men along with their godly strong wives beside them. Modern day woman dims in comparison to these women who gave up comfort to help conquer and nurture a new nation.
We are not opposite of men, we are definitely different, but not opposite. We are complimentary to men. We were made for them, because it was not good that they be alone. We are suited for man. We are to fill the earth and subdue it with our men. We aren't in a competition. We are not dominating men. We are not floozy. We are not Delilahs.
I'll never forget when my family visited a Mennonite community for a few Sunday's in a row. I was about 9 years old and made friends quickly with the other boys and girls. It was during that time I was introduced to the mindset that male and female are at war. We girls held the male species at arms length. It was then I learned the saying "Girls are from mars, to get more candy bars. Boys go to Jupiter, to get more stupider." (Brilliant, I know). We aren't from different worlds. Our differences are on purpose. What would the world be like if both men and woman shared the same strengths and weaknesses?
We are to be strong, polished beautiful cornerstones. (Psalm 144). Not just physically but in our heart as well. We are not only beneficiary to our home, but necessary...an essential part. We are to be actively engaged in our home. Where are our energies centered? Where are our strengths invested? Are we corner stones?
The Proverbs 31 woman did not learn virtuous womanhood the night before marriage. This was something she learned and practiced. We must also.
We already know what worldly girls look like. They are sassy. Brash, loud, wild. They are often immodest and either flirts or on the other extreme (haters of men).But Godly, feminine woman are sweet, yet strong. Meek, but confident. Modest, but adventurous. Christ in us will shine forth true femininity, and it will not diminish any adventure. There is nothing more adventurous than being a godly young woman in the 21st century.
We can either be selfish stereotypical modern day women, or we can be useful women equipped for the battle for His glory. Are we ready? Christ might ask us to go to a foreign country to serve Him. Or to be a Governor's wife. A farmer's daughter. Or scarier yet -- to radically serve Him in the "normal" home we are already in. Can we render ourselves useful? Can we learn, can we teach? We are one day going to be training up the next generation. Are we prepared? Are we educated? Can we formulate our own opinions? Do we read good books? Do we write good books? Are we studying? Are we ingenious, creative, entrepreneurial, selfless? Do we look for the needs of those around us? A godly feminine woman would.
We hold our future dream of our man to such a high standard. We want a godly masculine man. What standard do we hold ourselves? Are we a godly, feminine woman? The men God will require for this wicked day and age will require amazing, virtuous, feminine, woman. Are we willing?