Be a Man

What does it mean to be a man?

How can I, as a woman, encourage my brothers in Christ toward godly masculinity?

What qualities should I look for in a future husband?

These questions roll around in my head. …Because doesn’t it feel like, in this day and age, that true manliness and chivalry are fading away before our very eyes?

be a man

I recently read a scene from a book that nearly took my breath away.

A boy, on the cusp of manhood, stepping in between a girl and the lash. He stepped behind her, shielding her with his body … and when the blows drove him to his knees, he pulled her down with him and covered her.

With tears welling up in my eyes, I thought: Now this is true manhood in all its strength and beauty.

EPHESIANS 5:25-28

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her26 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. 

Does that scene remind you of something? Perhaps of Christ stepping in for you? Shielding you from wrath with His Body? Letting His blood be spilled in place of yours?

And what is true manhood but a reflection of Jesus Christ?

I don’t often feel deserving of the chivalrous acts of men, but it is a stunningly beautiful reminder to me of God’s lavish and grace-filled love for me. For I did not deserve His mercy and blessing, but He gave it anyway.

So, my friends, though it may seem elusive, chivalry is not dead. It is not outdated, old-fashioned, or unneeded. It is not a silly practice of medieval days.

1 CORINTHIANS 16:13-14

13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.

Chivalry is more important than you know! It is desired. It is beautiful and wonderful.

Even the small acts of opening a door or offering a polite smile and nod, these are meaningful to women.

…That is to say, to women who embrace their womanhood.

Despite what the feminist culture wants to tell us, most women innately desire to be treated as feminine creatures, worthy of honor, protection, kindness, and gentleness. They want strong men. They long to see chivalrous acts from the men around them.

We are women! And healthy women naturally want to feel feminine, womanly, and beautiful. They want to be cherished, respected, and protected by good men.

EPHESIANS 5:28-29

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

In today’s world, we don’t get that very often.

There have been times that I’ve been walking through the store and had to really make an effort to move out of the path of a man barreling my way. It’s left me a little unsettled, the way he stares, like, “Move out of my way or I’m gonna run you over, woman.”

Another time, my coat tie got stuck on the rail in an elevator. Everyone emptied out quickly, and the one guy who noticed my plight laughed sheepishly and started to leave as well. The words: Can you help me? died on my lips. I managed to figure out where I was stuck and free myself. And lest you think the guy was a completely unscrupulous sort, he did hold the elevator door open when he saw that I freed myself.

But such encounters leave me feeling unprotected deep down inside. Do young men feel no natural protective instinct or honor toward women these days? Do they no longer jump into action when a woman is in need? Or nod kindly and step out of the way, like a gentleman, when they meet a lady on the path?

Even if they don’t know if a woman needs help, if it appears that she might, a simple: Hey, do you need a hand? might provide some relief.

This is not to say that I can’t step out of the way, or that I’m incapable of taking care of myself under minor distress – like I was in the elevator.

But I think it’s important for men to daily live out their masculinity in small ways in order to develop Christ-like chivalry that will flow into bigger, more dire situations.

1 CORINTHIANS 13:11

11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

1 TIMOTHY 5:1-2

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Men must have a higher view of women. Not because we are better, but because we are different.

We are not just another “guy friend”. We are unique from men, and should be treated differently. With gentleness. Tenderness. Thoughtful honor and respect.

The Word of God calls for men to give honor to the woman, for she is the weaker vessel. And no, this doesn’t mean that she is less intelligent, inferior, or of less worth.

1 PETER 3:7-9

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. 

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing,

But think about it. On average, men are bigger and stronger than women. Usually they can build muscle mass faster and bulkier than women. Over the centuries, men have been the ones willing and ready to fight for their families and country, and take the jobs of policemen, firemen, etc. Even today, there aren’t a whole lot of women who are wanting, or even think they’re physically and/or emotionally capable of going to war and such.

By divine design, men are more inclined to take the difficult and gritty roles of protecting, providing, and hard physical, or emotionally tough, work.

With more strength comes more responsibility.

1 TIMOTHY 5:8

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

I don’t see myself as any less than men, but I do see myself as made for a vastly different role than men. And honestly, I know that I’m weaker … at the very least, physically.

It’s sensible to assume that at 5’5″ … and more slender than strong … not many men would have a problem overpowering me physically. Perhaps knowing this makes me crave, even more, gentleness and honor from men – especially those in my life. It gives me a general sense of security and well-being.

As for emotionally … I’d say that in most ways, I’m the stereotypical woman. I’m emotional, and very relational, and all that. And sometimes women are flattered and manipulated by unsavory men. Though, by growing in maturity and in my walk with the Lord, it becomes easier to recognize and avoid these men, I do believe that God made women to be under the covering of a man – such as her father. A man who will look out for her and hold any suitors to a high standard. For the young woman’s well-being, honor, and happiness!

Though I am weaker, if I know that a man highly esteems me and would never use his strength against me – but rather to protect and cherish me – then my weakness doesn’t matter.

Versus if a man uses his strength to harm me in some ways, then I am insecure and my weakness frightens me. I might feel the need to harden myself. I might want to prove myself to men so that they won’t take advantage of me anymore. I might despise my femininity. My nurturing, gentle spirit. My womanhood.

I feel like this is what happened with some of the women in the feminist movement. They were hurt, perhaps emotionally, by men. And now they want to protect themselves. To prove themselves. To make everything “fair” and equal and same. But in this mad rush to give evidence that they are just as good as men, they often trash their femininity and the unique qualities and roles that make them women.

PROVERBS 14:1

The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

And also, with their brash, hardened, spiteful behavior, they squelch chivalry in men.

But again … chivalry and godly masculinity are for women’s good!

Not just in the big things, but in the small things. There are some things that I could manage on my own, or grit my teeth and bear. But when a man steps in and offers his help, I feel highly honored. And thankful.

When I’m walking on unsteady ground, I can probably get to my destination without too many mishaps. But if there’s a man nearby and he offers a hand to steady me, it’s an appreciated kindness.

I can put gasoline in my car in the winter and just manage to bear the cold (I hate cold, haha!), but if a guy offers to do it for me, I’ll quite gratefully accept and let him live out his masculinity – bear the cold for me!

Not only does a truly manly man reflect Christ, but men being masculine helps women live out their femininity as God designed. There is a reason that God created us as

male and female

masculine and feminine

with divine purpose

with different roles

with distinct, unique strengths …

It is to wholly reflect Him and radiantly glorify Him!

And it is for our good.

Oh, let me tell you, dear people, it is so good to be unashamedly, freely, beautifully, uniquely, femininely, divinely … a woman. Just exactly who God created me to be. How glorious. How good. How purpose-filled. How exciting. How adventurous. How delightful!

GENESIS 1:27-28

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 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.”

We cheat ourselves out of many a good thing when we stray from God’s design for womanhood and manhood. We cheapen ourselves when we push for today’s culture’s definition of feminism, liberation, and sexuality.

Only when we go back to the Bible will we find our true selves. As Christ-like women. And Christ-like men.

Femininity and chivalry are essential.

So men … pursue God. And be unashamedly men.

2 TIMOTHY 1:7

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

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Resources For Studying Biblical Womanhood & Manhood

Hello, dear readers! In light of Tuesday’s post, I wanted to share some resources for studying and learning more about Biblical womanhood (and manhood).

If you haven’t gathered from reading this blog, I love this topic. The desire to live out womanhood Biblically is something that is woven very deeply into my heart … It’s one of the reasons I started Lady Grace in the first place! I’m always eager to listen to more sermons on God’s design and Biblical gender roles. And forever looking for more solid books exploring this subject.

So without further ado, here are some sermons, Youtube videos, and books that have helped shape my view as I study God’s Word on gender, Biblical roles, and marriage.

~ Sermons ~

David Platt – Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: Part 1

David Platt – Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: Part 2

David Platt – What About Women, Paul?

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 4): Man’s Hurdles

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 5): Man’s Redemption

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 7): Woman’s Purpose

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 8): Woman’s Hurdles

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 9): Woman’s Redemption

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 10): Together For the Gospel

New Work Fellowship – Mutual Love & Respect: Marriage For Dummies

New Work Fellowship – Love: Marriage For Dummies

New Work Fellowship – Respect: Marriage For Dummies

***

~ Youtube Videos ~

John Piper – A Beautiful Woman is a Person, Not a Body

John Piper – When a Man Loves a Woman Well

Ask Pastor John – Confronting Emotional and Verbal Abuse in the Home

J.D. Greear – Spiritual Headship

J.D. Greear – The Problem of Divorce

J.D. Greear – Four Ways Husbands Should Lead Like Christ

Emily Wilson – Accepting Chivalry

Liz Wheeler – This is How Real Men Act

Liz Wheeler – Women are Becoming the Men They Want to Marry

Liz Wheeler – Hey Feminists, Don’t Tell Me How to Be a Woman

PursueGodVideos – What It Means to Submit to Your Husband

Girl Defined – The Number One Thing Single Girls Should Look for in a Future Husband (but rarely do)

Girl Defined – 3 Ways Christian Girls Can Promote Godly Manhood

Ultimate Marriage – The Biblical Roles of a Husband and Wife

Ultimate Marriage – The Basics of Biblical Marriage

***

~ Books ~

Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

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Love Defined: Embracing God’s Vision for Lasting Love and Satisfying Relationships by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

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Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

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The Mark of a Man: Following Christ’s Example of Masculinity by Elisabeth Elliot

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Woman by Divine Design by Dr. Jeffrey L. Seif

woman by divine design

Submissive Women?

submissive women

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘submit’?

In the 21st century, are headship and submission antiquated ideas? Is there no longer a need for gender roles? Has our progressiveness led as to a place where manhood and womanhood are merging, and living out old-fashioned masculinity and femininity is unneeded?

Some would answer with an emphatic “yes”.

And not just those in the culture, but this is trending in the general church as well.

Wives don’t need to submit. We’re not living in medieval times.

Husband and wife lead together.

Holding the door open for women is outdated chivalry. Girls need to be taught that everyone holds open doors for everyone. We must not treat women any differently than men.

Pastors needn’t preach on verses concerning submission and headship, because those subjects are irrelevant in our day.

Whichever way you lean, I want to pose a question that I believe is crucial:

At what point does God’s Word become irrelevant?

Seriously. We must ponder this, and what we believe to be true about the Bible if we are to have any type of foundation.

As Christians, we believe that the entire Bible is God’s Truth. And if you don’t believe this, I would ask yourself if you sincerely are a Christ-follower. (Read my post: His Word is Truth.)

Now, as we read the Bible, we have to be careful not to cherry-pick verses. And we have to take into account God’s unchangeable character, plus the history, culture, and social situations of the time these books were written. The Word of God must be intently studied … and tough sections read in the right context.

I want to present to you the idea that the Bible supports headship and submission throughout its entirety.

Women submitting was not just something God allowed because of mankind’s hardened hearts (such as was the case with polygamy and divorce.)

Matthew 19:8-9

He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

Rather, it was His perfect design from the beginning. And thus, it is by no means outdated or irrelevant, and we are living outside of God’s will when we treat ‘submission’ and ‘headship’ as bad words.

Now, before you click out of this post, let’s go back to our God’s character.

Does God support demeaning or oppressing women? Does God view women as less valuable than men? Did God create women to be not as intelligent and not worth as much as men?

I am reading through the entire Bible for the second time, and I can wholeheartedly say that when studying God’s Word, I have found nothing that gives me the idea that God wants to demean, oppress, or hurt women.

Rather, the opposite.

God cherishes His daughters, and highly values womanhood.

Therefore, we must conclude that submission is not bad or oppressive because God ordained it and God is for women.

It is a good, beautiful, freeing, complementary, perfect design.

Proverbs 31:25-29

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.”

Satan, of course, wants to steal our abundant life and our freedom. He works viciously through the culture, which has completely distorted submission, marriage, and gender roles. Manhood and womanhood.

You can see everywhere the disaster, chaos, and destruction that moving out of God’s perfect design has caused.

  • Passive Men.
  • Oppression & Objectification of Women.
  • Bitter Women.
  • Scorn of Men.
  • The Demeaning of Motherhood.
  • The Disappearing of Fatherhood.
  • Divorce.
  • Fornication.
  • Adultery.
  • Pornography Addiction.
  • The Crumbling of the Family.
  • Mass Murder of Babies.
  • Gender Confusion.
  • Homosexuality.
  • Abuse.

Fear, confusion, division, hurt, bitterness, cruelty, impurity, and brokenness. And every form of sexual depravity and distortion.

I believe that throwing aside God’s design for manhood and womanhood is one of the worst things we could have done as the Church.

So, how do we get back to a Biblical understanding of submission? Of God’s unique design for gender?

Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord23 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 her26 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.

Titus 2:1-5

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their childrento be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Women, press into Jesus Christ, the Lover of your soul!

Why would you believe something the world offers is better than what your Creator ordained from the beginning? The One who formed you in your mother’s womb. The One who created your complex brain, your feminine body, and fashioned passions, desires, gifts, and purpose within you?

The design of headship and submission is not to oppress you.

Men were not created to be harsh dictators, but servant leaders under God. Biblical headship involves incredible responsibility and sacrifice, not selfishness and bullying. For a husband to love as Christ loves the Church is to love sacrificially – to give of himself daily, to give up his desires to serve you, to lead with boldness and courage for God’s glory and your good.

1 Peter 3:7

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wifeas to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Colossians 3:18-21

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.

20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

The fact is, the role of husband is not one a man should go into with arrogant boasting, but with a humble heart, seriousness, wise counsel, and prayer. This is not where he becomes boss, but rather where he becomes answerable to God for how he lives out headship – because the husband is the head whether he wants to be or not.

Ephesians 5:23

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.

1 Corinthians 11:3

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.

Dear wives, God set up headship and submission in the beginning when He created man first, gave him authority and a task, and then created woman to be his helper.

And, from what I understand from various different pastors, the same word used for ‘helper’ there is also used to describe the Holy Spirit being our helper in other verses.

Is that demeaning to the Holy Spirit? By no means! The Holy Spirit is God! Yet He is our helper.

Being a helper does not make you a doormat or a nameless servant (though all of us, both men and women, are called to serve). Rather, it is a noble and esteemed calling. To support your husband in the kingdom work that God has given him. He needs you. You are to function as a team – him leading and you supporting.

This does not make one gender better than the other, though their roles are quite different.

Genesis 2:7 & 15-25

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it16 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.

This is not about competition. God did not create man and woman to compete with each other, but to complement each other … to create a beautiful picture.

This picture unfolds as the husband takes his place as the leader, fearlessly leading his wife forth into their work in God’s kingdom. He cherishes his wife, and loves her. He is tender with her; gentle and kind. He honors her. And takes responsibility for his family and what direction they’re going in.

And the wife willingly submits to his leadership and supports him as the head of the household. She encourages him, respects him, honors him, and esteems his leadership. She ministers alongside him, humbly following under his headship.

Now, I know some of you are cringing right now. Follow? Humble? Why can’t we just be equal??

You are equal. Equal in value and worth. Equal in dignity. Equal in Christ.

Galatians 3:26-28

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.

But there must be a leader and head, and God calls men to that weighty task.

Author, pastor, and speaker, David Platt, delved into this subject with such grace, gentleness, and authority in one of his sermon series. (David Platt – Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – Part 1 & Part 2. Highly recommend!!). God is head of Christ, does that make God better than Christ? Christ less worthy than God? No! Jesus Christ was equally God, yet He submitted! Obeyed. Humbled Himself. Served.

Jesus submitted to God.

Will you, women, balk in what your Savior Himself walked out?

Jesus Christ was obedient. God is the head of Him, as husband is the head of wife. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

That we would refuse to do what our Lord did … calling it too demeaning and humble … that’s pretty arrogant of us.

There is nothing demeaning, demanding, oppressive, or ugly about Biblical submission. It is beautiful, and when we are tempted to think otherwise, we must immediately look to our Lord Himself and follow His example.

Philippians 2:5-8

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of menAnd being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

John 6:38

38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

1 Corinthians 15:28

28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Submission and headship were God’s design from the beginning. They are every bit as relevant today as they were in Genesis. And Christ Himself led the way in submission.

Women, I know, I know, that a lot of men do not make being a wife easy. And this hurts me so much. Whether they are passive, domineering, harsh, or all three, it is hard. And my heart bleeds for you.

But, I promise you, ditching God’s design is not going to make it better.

Women trying to rule over men. Scoffing at feminine inclinations and roles. Trampling men and God-given masculinity. Forsaking motherhood. Flaunting themselves in a twisted appeal for validation … This all hurts my heart as well.

Even if your husband (or father … whoever is head of your house) is not living out headship Biblically, you can find powerful purpose in living out your womanhood and femininity according to God’s design.

1 Peter 3:1-6

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, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 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 GodFor in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

Your design as a woman reflects the Almighty God’s character! Don’t toss aside this precious purpose for the lies the world is feeding you.

Being a helper. Submitting. Nurturing. Supporting. Encouraging. Esteeming. Living compassionately. Complementing. Giving life. This will reflect your Lord, and glorify and please Him. Let Him gently smile upon you and powerfully protect you, even if the men in your life are oppressive. They will answer to God, as will you. So you just need to live out your womanhood according to God’s design and leave the rest up to God.

Imagine if we could bring passionately Biblical manhood, womanhood, and marriage back into the church? The examples that I have seen of radically living out God’s design are RADIANT.

Don’t be deceived. These agendas of feminism, toxic masculinity, “equality”, and no more submission and gender roles are bringing us nowhere but down. Further into destruction.

Proverbs 14:1

The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

I am vastly encouraged when I hear pastors and brothers preach to us on submission and headship. They are radical about God’s Truth, not male domination. These are the kind of men I rally behind – and am strengthened in my faith by. Bold, strong, masculine, compassionate, protective, gentle, truth-seeking, passionate men of God.

Let’s start looking to the wisest of all. And He, our good and perfect Father, calls men and women to embrace their distinct roles with purpose and joy, in submission to God, for the glory of God.

Am I Rightly Living Out My Womanhood?

Womanhood.

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?

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(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.

Psalm 139:1-10 & 13-16

Lord, You have searched me and known me.

You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.

You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

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?

Psalm 139:23-24

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.

Genesis 1:26-28

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 them28 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.”

Genesis 2:15-25

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.

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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:

Psalm 127:1-5

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.

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.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.

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.

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Psalm 128:1-6

Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.

When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.

Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.

The Lord bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.

Yes, may you see your children’s children.

Peace be upon Israel!

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Proverbs 31:10-31

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.

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Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.

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Proverbs 18:22

22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.

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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.

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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.

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Ephesians 5:22-33

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 body24 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 her26 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 church30 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 church33 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.

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Titus 2:3-5

the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their childrento be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

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1 Peter 3:1-7

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, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 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 GodFor in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

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.

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Colossians 3:18-19

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.

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1 Timothy 5:8

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.

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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.

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1 Timothy 2:9-13

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.

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1 Corinthians 11:3 & 11-12

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.

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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.

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Galatians 3:28

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.

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Proverbs 11:16

16 A gracious woman retains honor,
But ruthless men retain riches.

Proverbs 11:22

22 As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.

Proverbs 14:1

The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

Proverbs 22:14

14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit;
He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.

Proverbs 27:15

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.

Proverbs 27:17

17 As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

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Acts 18:25-26

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.

Acts 16:13-15

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.

Romans 16:1-2

I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 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.

1 Timothy 5:1-8

Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.

Honor widows who are really widows. 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. Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. And these things command, that they may be blameless. 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.)

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Proverbs 31:30

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.

2 Corinthians 11:1-3

Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. 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 ChristBut 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.

I am a Woman

I am a woman(picture found on pixabay.com)

I am a woman

Created in the image of God

as it says in Genesis 1:27 … 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Formed to be a helpmeet

as it says in Genesis 2:18 … 18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

“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.”

I am a woman

Made to nurture

to support

to help

to bring life.

Prepared to do good works

as it says in Ephesians 2:10 … 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

I am a woman

purposefully formed in my mother’s womb by God Himself

as it says in Psalm 139 … 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.”

When God created men and women, He called them good

as it says in Genesis 1:31 … 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

Even though both man and woman gave into sin and evil clouded goodness

I am a woman

and I know that my design is good. God designed woman in the beginning, when perfection reigned. And He designed me as a woman now. Even though I cannot hope for perfection on this earth, I can champion behind God’s good design.

beach-1868130_1920(found on pixabay.com)

I am a woman

I am not sinless or pure

But I am an image-bearer of the immortal King of Kings

As is every human being, and does that not call for us to respect each other as we struggle to find our way back to the One we were created in the image of?

We could not find our way on our own – the Heavenly Father pursues us

as it says in Romans 5:8 … But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

and in 1 John 4:19 …19 We love Him because He first loved us.”

I am a woman

forgiven and made clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

And as I look out into the world, filled with people who do not know God, yet were created in His image, I want them to know of the Love that brought me back to my Creator.

If we, as Christ-following women and men, do not treat each other with love and respect and dignity, how will the lost know we serve a loving Creator?

As it says in John 13:35 … 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” “

I am a woman

Not more important than men. No.

But not “less” than men.

We are all the same – all equal – in Christ

as it says in Galatians 3:28 … 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.”

But I am specifically a woman

Not more or less than men

but beautifully different

Given a different role and purpose for a reason

to complement each other,

not be in competition.

Sometimes to come together in marriage

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And with our unique identities combined

create the perfect “home” for children

to raise them in the knowledge and love of the Lord.

To reflect the nature of the Most High God in the way He created us as male and female

To radiantly glorify Him with our different but equally important and honorable roles.

I am a woman

And as such, I believe in

Femininity

Beautiful and loving and God-honoring marriages

Radiant Motherhood

Supporting and respecting men (in particular, one’s husband)

Keeping a joyful home

In short, I believe in my right to be a real woman! A woman as God created … feminine, gentle, strong, nurturing, supporting, companionable, life-giving …

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I believe there is much beauty and fulfillment and honor in standing by your man, making a home, and raising children for the Lord.

Proverbs 31:25-27 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,”

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I am a woman

I have not given up on men. I believe they can and will and do step up to their godly calling. I still believe in:

Chivalry

Masculinity

Leaders

Protectors

Providers

Gentlemen

I am not less than men. But I am a woman, designed by God to be treated with care by men.

As it says in 1 Peter 3:7 … 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,”

If I am the weaker vessel, I believe God decreed that I should be treated (especially by men) with:

Gentleness

Kindness

Understanding

Honor

Respect

I am a woman

And yes, I truly am honored and enjoy (and even crave this) when men, in sincerity of heart:

open doors for me

offer a hand to steady me

protectively guide me through a crowd

value my thoughts and opinions

offer to help with something I may be having a hard time managing on my own

offer to walk me home, a coat, hat, etc. when I’m cold, a presence if I’m uncomfortable or being harassed

strive to guard my heart and my purity

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In short, I (and many other women) truly appreciate when men are gentlemanly, appropriately protective, looking out for us, kind, gentle, leaders, honorable, respectful, etc.

We appreciate and champion real men who are

masculine, protective, and courageous leaders

but also humble, gentle, selfless, and tender providers.

I am a woman

And I believe that if God wills for me to get married, I should wait for a godly man to pursue me.

Pursue me:

cautiously

intentionally

wisely

respectfully

patiently

honorably

chivalrously

gently

kindly

selflessly

Because if I, by God’s command, am to submit to, respect, and support my husband, and he is to be head over me (responsible for me) and love me as Christ loves the Church …

I should wait for a man of God

and he should prove to me he knows and is prepared to be a husband as God designed.

And I believe romantic relationships should play out in an honorable way – the man leading, but both individuals treating each other with respect and wisely, with the knowledge that they might not belong to each other in the end.

Proverbs 18:22 22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.”

1 Timothy 5:1-2 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.”

Colossians 3:19 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”

Ephesians 5:22-33 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 her26 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.”

Ephesians 4:1-3 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. “

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Song of Solomon 5:16 This is my beloved,
And this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!”

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I am woman …

striving to be a woman of God. Obey the Word. Live out God’s good design.

Proverbs 11:19 16 A gracious woman retains honor,”

Titus 2:3-5 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”

Proverbs 12:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,”

1 Peter 3:4 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.”

Proverbs 19:14 14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the Lord.”

Proverbs 31:10-12 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.”

Proverbs 31:30-31 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.”

I am a woman

And I want to be unashamedly a woman.

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Living out my femininity in a Biblical way. And thus encouraging men to live out their masculinity as God designed and blessed.

God had a good plan in forming both male and female, and giving us different roles. As children of God we should be seeking Him, searching for wisdom, gaining understanding about His design for womanhood, manhood, singleness, marriage, family, life … and passionately living it out.

Lady Grace ❤

 

Book Review: Girl Defined by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

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Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

My Personal Review ~ 5 stars ~

Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird is a book I think every woman (teen+) can benefit from reading! For one, it’s very easy and enjoyable to read – I continually wanted to return to its pages. And it truly speaks to the heart! Girl Defined explores issues we as women are facing everyday, and gives Biblical advice, eye-opening truths, and encouraging/challenging stories.

It speaks to younger girls (around teen years) as well as married women, or even middle-age/older woman. There are stories about teens, young moms, 30-year-old singles, and older widows. I can’t wait to share this book with my younger sisters (14 and 16)! I loved it! Girl Defined speaks to WOMEN and calls for us to find our identity in Christ and embrace God’s plan for womanhood.

As with every Christian Living/Self-Help book I read, I didn’t agree with absolutely everything said in Girl Defined … word for word. Some things I thought, “Well, I wouldn’t exactly say it that way.”

But this book really hits the nail on the head when talking about Biblical womanhood. Sisters Kristen and Bethany have the Word of God, life experience, statistics, and well-known Christian speakers/writers (such as Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth, Dannah Gresh, and Mary A. Kassian) to back up what they’re teaching.

So many things clicked for me when reading this book. It just makes sense, what they’re saying. Even if it is TOTALLY against the cultural norm, totally against what the world tells us to do/be … when you read about femininity, beauty, and identity the way Kristen and Bethany see it, it makes sense when you think about how God designed us. Men and women were created to be equal, but different, for specific purposes. This book embraces that, and I LOVE it! Ladies, we are going to be so much happier and fulfilled if we embrace GOD’S DESIGN! If we embrace femininity. If we embrace womanhood and the “nurturing”, “helping”, and “life-giving” that comes with that role.

Girl Defined also talks about living purposefully, with eternity in mind, which is a message for ALL Christians, no matter where you are in life. It was both challenging and encouraging! Exciting, even! ^_^ Let’s live, my friends! Let’s live a life that we can look back on and not regret. A life of fulfillment. A life of honoring God.

I really liked how Kristen and Bethany quote authors like Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth in this book. They have such powerful things to say! One of my favorites from Mrs. Wolgemuth is: “Being created “for someone” indicates that God created the female to be a highly relational creature. In contrast to the male, her identity isn’t based on work nearly as much as on how well she connects and relates to others. Forming deep relational bonds is at the core of what it means to be a woman.” (pg. 91)

And from Mary A. Kassian: “A wimpy woman gives up on biblical femininity when life gets hard. A wimpy woman quits when she has to stand alone. A wimpy woman caves in when the culture pressures her.” (pg. 169)

They also share thoughts from some of the past top models in the industry, such as Kylie Bisutti. She say that models are some of the most insecure women she’s ever met! Have you ever thought about that? We simply cannot place our identity in our outward appearance, because we’ll never measure up.

Yes. Overall, I feel Girl Defined is full of Biblical truth and has the potential to make a big impact on women today. I want to share this book with all the women I know – young and old! It reminds us of our beautiful identity, purpose, and femininity. This is so much more freeing than what the culture is telling us! So priceless! I would strongly encourage you to read Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity, women! *smiles*