At War with Pink Lace II
Yet another perspective on femininity
"Will you play with me?"
The question sounded more like an ultimatum.
"Abbie I have to go to work today..."
"Just play with me for a little bit and I won't bother you again -- I promise."
Her face now melted into a baby plea, and it smote me. I recognized it.
Abbie was desperate. Not so much for play -- she could have played by herself for hours without interruption. But for attention, interaction, quality camaraderie, love. Not that she could have voiced it herself, but I knew. Every little girl yearns for these things.
By the time we are three years old we innately understand we want to be cherished and beautiful and noticed. We dress up in princess clothes and we want Daddy to notice. We dance in mommy's bright red shoes and sing -- straining, waiting, for the compliment. You tell a little girls she is lovely and her entire countenance changes and her heart shines through her face -- she is thrilled.
But somewhere between three and twenty-three we no longer ask if we are lovely. We no longer ask for quality time. And yet we still yearn to be appreciated, noticed and loved, maybe even more desperately than four-year-old Abbie. But we have been ignored, unappreciated, put on rain-check, or used, and we stop asking. In fact we start to believe we aren't lovely, we aren't worth appreciation.
We hide under make-up. We try to prove ourselves through our efficiency or the one thing we're good at. Our shortcomings stare back in the mirror. And we wait for negative comments.
We want to be captivating, beautiful, mysterious, regal, strong, feminine. And instead we are convinced, if exposed, the world would find who we really are. Instead we see ourselves weak, ordinary, needy, and overweight.
And so we morph into one of two kinds of women.
We become domineering, commanding independent feminists who don't need anyone (especially men). We forsake tenderness and our inherent nurturing qualities for confidence and capability. We refuse to find ourselves vulnerable. We are addicted to indulgent activities. To saving money, shopping, cleaning, exercising, gossiping -- anything to occupy our emptiness. Taken to the extreme you find these women often characterized in fairy tales as the evil step-mother. But if we were honest, we could find this trait in even the meekest of us. We have been disappointed or hurt by past relationships. Wounded by the men in our lives, either by our father figures or romantic relationships. We won't be fooled again. We put up walls. We won't be duped or guilty of naivete ever again. We are now wise, practical, protected, in control and utterly cold. No-one can hurt us, no-one can love us.
Or we become the shy, desperate, mousey, needy woman. Heartbroken pitiful and unstable. We seek for sympathy. We are the geeks, the nerds, the romance novel readers. We are insecure and afraid. We think poorly of ourselves and it shows in our attitude, the way we dress and how we interact (if we do). We will watch others play volley-ball but we'd never dream of trying it ourselves because we already know we will fail. We'd rather do something "safe" in a group, like watch a movie, than something that requires our input -- because the world will find us out. These aren't just the teens that pierce their entire bodies or the overweight women who hide behind their chip bag; although they are included. Think of yourself. When we walk in the mall and see an outfit we really like but automatically think we could never wear it. We stay in the kitchen to "help" instead of interact with our house-guests because we aren't witty, humorous, social, enough. We want others to decide for us because we are incapable, even of ordering at the restaurant. We apologize for everything. We are nauseated every time we go to work. And we dismiss every compliment because it can't possibly be true.
This battle is real, and it wages in Christian women also. Even in the hearts of those of us who were blessed with incredible homes and godly parents. We look all the way back in history to the first woman -- her firsts downfall was believing she wasn't all she could be. That she wasn't perfect enough. That there was something better.
We don't have to give into Satan's lies. We women were created for a purpose, as women and as individuals. If we could grasp, not what we should be doing, but who we are, what are design is, we could easily let go of some of the lies, and allow some of our wounds to heal.
We long to be sought after and appreciated and needed. God does also. We desire to comfort and aid; so does He. We yearn to be desired, pursued and loved. Christ also has these longings. Not only do we have the perfect Lover to fulfill our deepest longings, to both take and give love, but we have this quality to bestow on others. We represent a tender part of God's heart for a reason. He desires to use us to reveal Himself.
We women also have been given a beautiful mandate. To be fruitful, to take dominion of the earth, to subdue it, to be stewards over it, and to co-rule with man, to help him, to complete him. We are man's fellow warrior. We are their counterpart. We've been nominated as man's best companion through life's adventure. We were naturally given fierce devotion for a reason. We are not an appendage, but an essential part of creation, of man, of God's plan.
Womanhood is not to be solved but relished. Not to be stressed over, but embraced. If we can simply recognize our worth and how our Creator sees us, we wouldn't be so apt to fall into feminist lies and seek fulfillment in selfish ways, or to lazily perceive our lives without purpose or ambition.
I sincerely believe that it's healthy to allow ourselves to enjoy being feminine and beautiful. To seek for ways to inspire our fathers and brothers, to help them in little things. To fiercely pray for our men. To fast for them. To serve beside them. Nurture our little siblings or nieces and nephews. Pursue and invest in Christ, talk and listen. To shun feminist ideas and instead unashamedly dress and speak and fight and serve like a feminine woman.
What has Christ asked of you as an individual? Are we cheerfully and passionately pursuing it?
You are needed. Creation was incomplete without the final creation of woman. God was unsatisfied, and earth was "not good" until woman was placed on the earth. Man himself was incomplete. Woman wasn't just a lovely afterthought, but we were needed.
Man and women are made in the image of God. God reveals to mankind a part of himself in our femininity. And only we women are ambassadors for this part of God. Women are nurturers, we are romantic, we are interested in details, and fascinated by beauty. These are character traits of our God. Embrace them! Allow, seek, let these things flow through your creativity. For each of us, this will look differently. Some of us are called to pursue schooling, some to be nurses, others are gifted as artists, others are called to study His stars, some to be missionaries -- run! Follow it.
Womanhood is an adventure. If we are Woman 1 or Woman 2 we will find that godly womanhood is not just an adventure but also a battle. The first step to fighting is recognizing our wounds and our ungodly mentality and then striving to embrace who God has created us to be in the face of it all.
At War with Pink Lace I
Meet Emily & Samantha