Do you ever ponder what the Word of God has to say about womanhood? In this modern world of ours, is there no longer a need for gender roles, chivalry, leaders, submission, femininity, homemakers, and stay-at-home mothers?
What is the uniqueness of woman? Does she have any? Or is she destined for a life of struggle? Always comparing and competing with man for worth, identity, dignity, and purpose?
(Most women get married at some point – and are desiring marriage while they’re single – so I’m going to be talking a fair amount to wives/about godly wives; marriage; children; etc.)
I think when we consider that we have an all-knowing Creator who lovingly knit us together in our mother’s womb, we can feel confident in going back to His Word to define womanhood.
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
Think about it … He knows you inside and out. He knew you before anyone else did. He crafted you inside your mother’s body. Your conception was not an accident. He wrote out your DNA. He purposefully gave you the personality, talents, and interests you have. The skin tone, eye color, and hair you have. He created you knowing you’d be the height you are and have the body shape you do. He intentionally made you the gender that you are.
He knows you. He has a plan for you. He knows you better than you know yourself. He loves you. And as your Creator – the Creator – He definitely knows what’s best for you.
Women, I know that some of what’s in the Bible talking about womanhood and gender roles is hard to swallow. But take a moment and search your heart. Do you believe God created you? Do you believe Jesus Christ died to cleanse you from your sin and give eternity with Him? Do you believe He loved you enough to give His life?
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Can you not believe that His ways are best, even if they’re hard?
Perhaps, if we went to the Bible before the culture for knowledge and advice – and we lived out what it says – our lives would be vastly easier. Perhaps we would find more purpose in our womanhood. Perhaps we’d have better relationships with the men in our life (particularly, one’s husband).
Perhaps we’d find FREEDOM instead of the chains we expected.
So what does Biblical womanhood look like? Let’s take a look at some verses from the Bible on women.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23 And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
First, we know we are made in God’s image, as the first woman, Eve, was. We read that in the beginning, woman came from man. God created Adam first. And then, knowing it wasn’t good for man to be alone, He fashioned the first woman from Adam’s rib.
This is such a beautiful piece of Scripture, is it not? My heart flutters when I read it. God created a man and gave him work and a purpose. But He doesn’t want man to be alone. It wasn’t good for man to be without woman. God wants to create a partner and helper for Adam. So He causes Adam to fall asleep. And instead of creating another human from the dust, He takes directly from Adam to create Eve.
And Adam says: she is of me! Therefore, when a boy grows into a man and finds the woman for him, they shall be joined together and become one flesh.
Maybe that’s where the deep desire for marriage comes from. Because woman was created for man. To be together. This is just romantic speculation on my part, but maybe this is why a woman feels so safe and at home held close to the chest of a man. Because Eve was literally fashioned from Adam’s rib.
(I know that not every woman desires marriage. Some people are called to singleness. But I’m speaking from personal experience and feelings, and from what I’ve heard a lot of other women say.)
So, first off, don’t be believing that singleness is the most holy state. When I’m saying this, I’m believing that you have the solid foundation of a Christian, knowing that you’re made first for Him and His glory. His will is that you be in intimate relationship with Him (whether you’re single or married), and your purpose is to shine Christ’s love and make much of His Name.
But as you’re walking with Him and delighting in Jesus Christ, maybe He has a glorious plan to use you in the role of wife and mother on this earth. See this as a good, holy, valuable, and beautiful occupation!
Take some time to carefully read over these Scripture passages:
Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
2 When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.
5 The Lord bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
6 Yes, may you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!
10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.
4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.
When I read verses like these, it seems that God puts great honor on the roles of wife and mother. They weren’t seen as unwanted occupations or less worthy callings. A godly wife was seen as priceless. Beyond valuable. Children as a blessing from the Lord. A sign of His favor. The wife’s role and her work in the home is shown in detail and importance.
In this modern world, how far we have strayed from this mindset. And perhaps we have lost something precious? Finding joy and purpose in wifehood and motherhood. In embracing being different and complimentary as a woman. In being feminine. In making a home. In raising up the next generation.
Most of us women desire marriage, and so we should study the Bible on what God would have us do to grow into godly wives. If so many of us are to married at some point, we should find beautiful and Biblical purpose in it instead of just seeking marriage for the pleasure of love. Marriage is about more than happiness. There is purpose in it, and we should take it seriously.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Women, the Bible says man was created first, and woman from him. The Bible calls wives to submit to their husbands. The Bible calls husbands to lead and provide. The Bible calls women the “weaker vessel”. In Titus, women are called the love their husbands, their children, and be homemakers. The Bible names the man as the head of the woman, as marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church.
As Christ pursued us, gave up His life for us, and leads us, so a man pursues a woman and marries her – giving his life to her and sacrificing himself daily to love, lead, and provide for her. Spiritually and physically.
Wives are called to willingly submit to their husband. To willingly give him the leadership and responsibility in the relationship. In the family. Household.
And he is to love his wife sacrificially. To pursue her always. To dwell with her with tenderness and gentleness, as she is the weaker vessel.
9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.
When reading some of these verses (especially 1 Timothy 2:11-13), we women may be tempted to think this is saying we are less than or don’t have the potential for wisdom like men. But I think we need to remember that male and female are both made in the image of God. Just because we have different roles doesn’t make one gender of more value than the other. I have heard some profound and thought-provoking messages on gender, and I believe that both man and woman – masculinity and femininity – represent different aspects of God. God does refer to Himself with male pronouns, but He made male and female in His image. And in different parts of His Word, He uses feminine allegories to describe Himself – such a mother hen gathering her young close (Luke 13:34). So we should never feel demeaned, unworthy, or less than in our womanhood. Our womanhood can be a special reflection of God’s character – if we live it out Biblically.
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
16 A gracious woman retains honor,
But ruthless men retain riches.
22 As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.
14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit;
He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.
15 A continual dripping on a very rainy day
And a contentious woman are alike;
Women, instead of nagging and competing, let’s try to compliment and build up. To love, encourage, serve, and spur our brothers (including husband) on to good deeds.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
It appears that husband and wife, Aquila and Priscilla, together took aside this man and taught him the Truth. I love this picture of godly marriage … that the couple is a team. They minister together. They spread God’s Word together. They work together. They teach, encourage, and admonish together. I’m sure Aquila was still the leader and head of the household, as God lays out in the Scripture, but it does not in any way undermine Priscilla’s value and wisdom, and the importance in her playing out her part in the marriage.
So, dear ladies, don’t undermine the beauty and purpose of a Biblical marriage. Of a woman’s place in the home. Of letting your husband lead – coming alongside him in ministry. Of helping fulfill the great commission by raising up children in the Lord. Of Biblical femininity that compliments Biblical masculinity and points to our beautiful and all-wise God.
Do you know what a light embracing these things can be to a lost world?
Do you know how being, wholeheartedly, a woman, a wife, a mother, a homemaker can encourage, bless, even change the lives of your brothers and sisters in Christ? Whether it be your husband, your children, your neighbors, or your church family?
This is not to say that women should never work outside the home or have a different ministry and calling than wife & mother. Forgive me if I try to put everyone in the same mold and try to make everything black and white. I know there are unique situations and people.
But if you are desiring marriage and motherhood, I would be serious about studying Biblical truths on these matters. Because I truly believe the family is crumbling in America (and probably the whole world) … And it is probably largely because people do not know what Biblical manhood and womanhood look like. What does it look like to be a Biblical wife? A Biblical husband? A Biblical mother? A Biblical father?
There is a reason that God made a design for these things. Will you study His design? And will you attempt to follow it? Because don’t you think the Creator’s design will work best?
When I read these verses from God’s Word on womanhood, I have no problem accepting them because it’s what I want, personally. I want to be home. I dream and pray to become a wife and homemaker someday. I want my home to be the heart of my ministry. I want to support and love one of God’s adopted sons (my future husband). I want to counsel women. Mentor girls. Raise children to know the love of God. I want to open up my home to people who need fellowship and heart talks. I want to serve my brothers and sisters in Christ with homemade meals and loving hospitality. I want to shine for Jesus Christ by the way I adorn my home with His love and truths. His peace and joy.
But, obviously, that’s not exactly how my life looks right now – even as I strive to be a godly woman. I don’t have my own home. I live with my parents and siblings. And while I’m welcome there, the house does not belong to me and I have eight other people to consider before trying to make plans for this home. My dad is a great provider and I have never lacked food, shelter, or clothing. But as an adult, I feel the need to go beyond just helping at home and seek a job outside and learn to provide for myself.
So, at this point, I have to work outside the home, at least to some extent. But I also am trying to cultivate homemaking skills, and I find lots of joy and satisfaction in cooking for my family, cleaning and organizing the house, nurturing children, and encouraging other women.
And I pray for a godly man who is able to provide for me and will count it his purpose and responsibility to lead me (and any children God blesses us with) spiritually and in all things. Because as I grow in the Lord, I feel in my heart a calling to the home. To be the helper (Do you know that God and the Holy Spirit are called our helper? This is no term to be taken lightly or demeaned.) to the man who God would choose for me. To counsel other women. To teach and encourage through this blog (and perhaps Youtube videos one day.) To open my home to those who need it. To be a mother.
Maybe you’re a woman who doesn’t feel called to be married. Or you’re in a season of singleness right now, in any case. Maybe you feel God has given you gifts and talents that call you out into the world and a career.
13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. 14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.
Just remember that you still need your brothers and sisters in Christ. I would go so far as to say that it is important for you to have a spiritual leader in your father. And if he is not available for that role, I would pray for a spiritual leader in another trusted, godly older man such as your pastor. Older brother. Uncle. Etc.
Having an older, godly woman to mentor you is important too! I’m currently praying for such things in my own life!
As a single or married woman, we are not meant to be wholly independent. We are to be dependent on God, and also receive help from our brothers and sisters in Christ. And be intricately a part of the Body of Christ. Have a church family. Women usually naturally have nurturing skills, so don’t be afraid to help with other people’s small children. Find a younger girl to mentor. Married or single, you can be the Titus 2 woman who counsels younger women and trains them in godliness.
I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.
Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.
3 Honor widows who are really widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 7 And these things command, that they may be blameless. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
(As for married mothers with careers, I don’t, in any way, mean to condemn you. As I said, I like to see things in black and white. But I am not all-knowing or all-wise. But if thoughts of the home bring feelings of distaste – or you haven’t thought about it much at all – I would simply like to remind you that the home is not a lesser calling, but a truly worthy and esteemed one, it would seem, in God’s sight. And your children are precious souls He has entrusted to you. God has put you and your husband in their lives to raise them to know His love – to love and serve Him – and this is of utmost importance. Careers are temporary; your children’s souls are eternal.)
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Another Biblical truth on womanhood I want to remind you of is found in the above verse. Our beauty is not what defines us. We do not find our identity in our looks. Yes, God made women beautiful and attractive. But our feminine beauty is earthly and it will pass away.
Spending an overwhelming amount of money on cosmetics, clothing, and various other products to enhance your beauty and “fix” your “flaws” will not fulfill you and will not make you happy. It is an endless quest, my dear fellow women.
Beauty. Charm. A fit body. Beautiful clothes. Sensuality. Wittiness. A flawless face. Scores of suitors. Many friends. A career. A boyfriend/husband. Popularity. Countless “likes” on social media. Praise. Success.
Listen. It will not fulfill you.
Womanhood is about embracing God’s design and fearing Him. The woman who fears God, she shall be praised. That is worthy womanhood. That is an identity to get behind.
A woman going all out for God.
A woman living for her Lord’s glory.
A woman enamored with her Savior’s Word.
A woman living to shine her Redeemer’s love in everything.
A woman passionate about God’s design.
A woman secure in her Creator’s workmanship.
A woman confident in her role as a God-fearing female.
Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.