April 10, 2012

The Big 3 of Embracing Biblical Femininity

Via
Today's post is from Gennean who blogs over at Loved, Not Lost, about her faith journey and her love for Christ. Be sure to stop by her blog and leave her some love today!

Okay, I'll say it: I love being a girl!  I have always loved all things feminine and it's pretty safe to say that I probably always will.  Being a woman is such a wonderful blessing, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility.  I admit that I am no biblical scholar and that there is so much that I have yet to discover about what it means to be a woman - after all, I am only twenty-two!  Still, as a daughter of the King, I have spent much time in contemplative prayer and in the Word wrestling through what it means to be a woman in light of the grace of God.  So I am here to share with y'all what I like to call "The Big 3 of Embracing Biblical Femininity."

1. Embracing Feminine Beauty

Because Natalie and Ashley have both already touched on this, I want to first recommend that you read their posts.

Truly biblical feminine beauty is not found in our appearances, but in the core of our hearts.  In 1 Peter 3, a passage addressed to husbands and wives, there are many nuggets of wisdom for us females to glean from, including this:
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (v.3-4)
Shoot dang - does that hit your heart like it does mine?  Living in a society that is completely enraptured by materialism, the latest and greatest this and that, and culturally-defined standards of beauty, the concept of inner beauty certainly is a novel one.  Yet these words straight from the Bible completely contradict what our society says "beauty is."  So what does that mean for us?  I think it means that we need to make the personal decision to redirect our focus of beauty to what is written above.  What makes a woman beautiful  is not how she looks or what she wears, and it never will be.  What makes a woman beautiful is her heart, her passions, and her contentment in Christ alone.

And what about the "quiet and gentle spirit" part of that verse?  I am sure there are differing opinions on it, but I have come to believe that what's described in those words is a silent kind of hope: a quiet and gentle spirit becomes one whose hope is completely entrusted to the hands of the Lord.  That sure sounds like beautiful sight to behold.

2. Embracing Feminine Action

As followers of Jesus Christ, I am convicted that we are called to do a lot of hard things in our lives on earth, and as women, we have been given specific responsibilities.  While we are all required to do good to others for the sake of the gospel, I believe that women are individually called to other specific actions throughout the Bible.

My personal life verse is "For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do..." (1 Timothy 2:10).  Though it may seem vague, I love this verse and have come to view it as meaning that if I claim to wholeheartedly love Christ then I also must wholeheartedly love others.  After all, it seems that loving Him and loving others go hand in hand, and three ways that I see this playing out practically in my life as a woman of God are: through loving others compassionately, through encouraging and mentoring other young women, and through raising and/or teaching children in accordance with the Bible.
  • Loving others compassionately includes everyone: our family, our friends, our co-workers; the rich, the poor, the middle-class; the married, the widowed, the orphaned.  We are called to love everyone as Christ does, and we should do so "out of the overflow."  We should be first seeking to be personally filled through spending time in prayer, in the Word, and in God's presence.  Then, when we pour out love on others, we will be loving them out of the reservoir within us that has been already filled by Christ.
  • In Titus 2, older women are instructed to "teach what is good, urging younger women... to be self-controlled and pure..."  While this verse is addressed to women who are likely much older than myself, there is still much that we can personally take from it.  I think that we should begin living out this command now by providing encouragement, support, and even mentorship to those younger than ourselves so that we may build them up as we are also being built up by our own female mentors.  I mean, I'm confident that we can each identify one or two key "older women" who have done this in our own lives, right?  Be sure to thank them for the investment that they made in your life, and then continue to invest in the lives of other young women (pouring out of the overflow)!
  • When the day comes for me to have kids, I plan on raising them in a way that both glorifies the Lord and submits to the commands given to parents on how to raise children (see Deuteronomy 6:7;  Proverbs 22:6, 4:1-17, 13:24; Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:21).  As an unmarried woman currently, I have chosen to both serve and simultaneously prepare for that day by teaching children Biblical truths now.  As a children's ministry worker at my church, I have the honor and privilege of engaging little ones every week, teaching them the truths of God's Word and loving them out of the love of Christ.  There is no greater blessing than seeing a child come to know and love Jesus, and I am so excited for the day when my own child decides to do the same!

3. Embracing the Feminine Heart

We, as women of God, have hearts fashioned after His own heart.  We long for real love, and we desire to be fought for and won.  Ready for some good news?  Jesus Christ has gone forth on your behalf and done all of this already.  Seriously!  He has loved you from the beginning.  He has fought for you mercilessly, and if you're reading this right now, He has likely won you for Himself!

Ready for some more good news?  He will never cease in His pursuit to fight for your heart.  He values you, loves you, affirms you, and desires you, and He always will.

Now, this all may sound great, but maybe you've been hurt.  You may feel too scarred, abused, or broken to believe that all of this is true.  But take heart, for He who has overcome the world is the One who fights for your heart (John 16:33)!  He can be trusted to take care of you, to provide for you, and to love you with the only love that will ever fully satisfy.  

Lastly, never, never, never be ashamed of your feminine heart.  It may seem burdensome at times, with all of its "silly" longings and desires.  But know that each of those desires is there for a reason: to be fulfilled and satisfied by Christ!  Do you believe this promise?  If so, claim it!

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Sisters, I pray that we would all truly come to embrace our femininity, knowing that it is okay to make mistakes, to have bad days, and to sometimes doubt.  Above all else, I pray that we would know that we are deeply loved and fought for by Jesus Christ, who alone saves and redeems us.  Let's embrace our true beauty, our call to action, and our beautiful, feminine hearts.  And may we seek to glorify His name in all that we do!

8 comments :

  1. Thanks so much for sharing Gennean! Loved every word of it =D Especially the part about embracing the feminine heart!

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  2. I have really been loving this series! :) I know you are a blessing to so many women through this!

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  3. love this! what beautiful and wonderful reminders! :)

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  4. Gennean, I really do like this post! I found that verse in 1 Peter about a week ago and it has been convicting/guiding me every morning. In another translation it refers to the "beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit" as "meek," and I interpret that as humility brought on by wisdom. But this has easily become one of my favorite verses, so this message is really on par for me!

    Second, I love that you say we should never be ashamed of our feminine heart. I have done so a lot recently with the mindset that it is just a bit of folly, but I understand where you're coming from with this new perspective. So thank you :)

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  5. Thanks so much for reawakening my desire to mentor young Christian women living in a very confusing culture. We must build them up with TRUTH. Lovely post--thank you for writing. The world needs more unashamed feminine hearts. <3

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  6. Embracing these and applying them to my life! Very relevant and on point. I've also gone through the children's ministry phase. It really equips you!

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  7. Thank you for having me, Natalie! It was a challenging post to write and really revived my heart!

    Thanks for all of the wonderful and encouraging comments, ladies! Praise to the God who uses us as vessels in one another's lives!!

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