How do you define femininity? Lace, ruffles, bows? Our society has distorted femininity, the set of characteristics that make women different from men, to where many women feel they ought to become more like men in order to survive and thrive in today’s environment. In trying to elevate womanhood, they dissolve it.
If we truly understood the power and importance of our feminine traits, perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to undermine them. True femininity doesn’t limit a woman, it empowers.
There are those on the other extreme who balk when they see strong and determined women building careers, daring to dream. But being strong is part of God’s plan for His daughters, and anyone who needs to demote a woman, to “put her in her place” goes against God’s will.
When we stop learning about God’s plan for us through His Word, we lose sight of who we are and start clinging to polarizing extremes trying to find ourselves. The solution? Let’s return to the examples in the Bible to learn about true womanhood.
Lessons from a Queen
Queen Esther offers one of the best examples of true womanhood. As queen, she submitted to her king. But Esther was discerning. Above her respect for the king was the fear she had for God. There was a time to enjoy her position as queen and a time to exercise her power to save her people. We need to be prudent. There is a time to keep silent and a time to speak up, a time to let things go, and a time to take a stand.
How will I know what to do? “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” Psalm 141:3
More than just a pretty face
Esther arrived at the palace with many other beautiful women, but, because of her character, she won the favor of Hegai, the head of the palace harem. Taking care of our appearance is important, but a beautiful face doesn’t guarantee privileges. Cultivate friendliness, kindness, generosity, and see what happens.
How will I know what to do? “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Luke 6:31
Strong women also feel fear
Esther was Queen! She was a powerful woman! But she didn’t dare place her plans in motion alone.
Esther took time for communion with God, the source of her strength.Conflict and Courage, p. 245
A strong woman is only strong because she has placed all her vulnerability at Jesus’ feet.
How will I know what to do? “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Never forget whose you are
Esther understood God’s purpose in granting her the throne, and she risked her life to intercede for her people. I wish we had Esther’s strength of character. For much less we harm our neighbors and deviate from our principles. Under much less risk we abandon God, forget His Word, and succumb to the world’s charms. We are ashamed to be Christians and mingle with the crowd. I wish we remembered that it was God who put us where we are to fulfill the purpose that He entrusted to us.
How will I know what to do? “…observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” Deuteronomy 5:32
Accept your mission
Whatever God has called you to do, He will empower you to fulfill it. During our brief visit to this world, God entrusted us to affect the lives of all around us positively. Be light wherever you are, be the salt of the earth, be the right words at the right time and, above all, be proud to be the woman that God has called you to be. God has entrusted us with our femininity. Let us learn to exercise it for His glory!
How will I know what to do? “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105