“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Let Me Be a Woman is the title of a book written by missionary author, Elisabeth Elliot. The subtitle is Thoughts on Womanhood for Valerie, which are meditations on womanhood penned by Mrs. Elliot as a gift for her daughter. Valerie was engaged to be married, and her mother lovingly wrote of what it means to be a woman as God fashioned us to be.
Recently, as I watched some of the news clips of the “Women’s March” on our nation’s capital the day after the inauguration of our new president, the title and some of the thoughts expressed in Mrs. Elliot’s book came racing back into my mind. I felt many emotions as I observed images of women wearing hats designed to look like the most intimate part of a woman’s body, some carrying signs with vulgarities written across them, and others wearing or carrying symbols representative of the LGBT community. I was reminded of Solomon’s words in Proverbs 11:22, “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.” I felt anger rise in my heart, along with disgust and a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. And then the sadness and the pity began to settle in. I felt sorry for so many women who have no idea what it is like to experience the fulfillment that is to be found in being the kind of woman they were created to be. My heart stooped as I saw young women and little girls marching alongside their mothers. The kind of womanhood they were observing up close and personal is not true womanhood at all. They will never find happiness in bashing on men, yelling profanities, nor demanding their supposed ‘right’ to have their unborn babies ripped from their wombs.
It saddens me to think that my grandchildren are growing up in a culture where men who decide to become “women” are celebrated while “just” being a wife and mother is frowned upon. I can’t imagine the confusion created in young children when they are asked if they think they were born the wrong gender and would like to become the opposite sex. I can hardly believe that we are even discussing such things.
Now, more than ever in my lifetime, I believe that we as Christian women need to take our responsibility for the next generation very seriously. Our daughters, granddaughters, and all the young women around us must to be taught what real womanhood is all about. It is so important that we model biblical femininity before those who are coming behind us. I thought of the things we are instructed to teach the younger women in the second chapter of the book of Titus. We are directed to teach them to “…love their husbands, love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands”. And then I thought of the marches all across our country, and how the very opposite of these privileges were displayed for young women all over the world to witness. I realize that every woman who participated in these events was not doing all the things I have described, but my point is that this kind of behavior is becoming more and more commonplace among the “fairer sex”.
In her book, Radical Womanhood, Carolyn McCulley writes, “More than forty years after ‘women’s lib’ began, pundits now claim that we live in a post-feminist age. Feminism is a given. We breathe it, think it, watch it, read it. Whenever a concept so thoroughly permeates a culture, it’s hard to step back and notice it at work. Feminism has profoundly altered our culture’s concept of what it means to be a woman.” I totally agree with her assessment. As the feminist agenda becomes more deeply ingrained in our culture, we stray further and further away from the beautiful portrait of womanhood we find displayed in the pages of Scripture. The second president of the United States, John Adams wrote, “From all that I had read of history and government of human life and manners, I had drawn this conclusion, that the manners of women were the most infallible barometer to ascertain the degree of morality and virtue of a nation. The Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Swiss, and the Dutch all lost their public spirit and their republican forms of government when they lost the modesty and domestic virtue of their women.” If his statement is true, and I tend to believe it is, our country is in very dire straits. But rather than despair we can choose to rise up and make a difference in the corner where God has placed us. We must display the joy found in serving others instead of demanding our rights and the beauty of protecting life rather than destroying it. Our daughters should see the loveliness of walking in purity, practicing kindness, and being faithfully committed to one man in marriage for a lifetime.
More important than the happiness of our daughters and granddaughters as we live and encourage them to live in the light of biblical teachings, is the glory of God. The feminist agenda has relentlessly tried to undermine the authority of Scripture when it comes to the role of women in the home, in the church, and in society. One of the leaders during the inception of the feminist movement was Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Mrs. Stanton so rejected the Bible that she published The Woman’s Bible in which she changed the Scriptures so as to make them align with her feministic views. In her writings she repeatedly targeted the authority of Scripture. This intention is even more clearly seen in the modern day feminist movement. Our battle to represent a biblical model of feminine womanhood is not just a battle for the next generation. It is a battle also for the authority of the Scriptures and ultimately for the glory of God.
You might wonder why this is so important. I believe the Apostle Paul gives us a partial answer to that question in Titus 2:5. After charging the older women to train the younger women, at the end of verse five we read, “…that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” It literally means to be a good advertisement for the Christian faith. If you profess to be a Christian but your life does not line up with God’s word, then His word is blasphemed or dishonored. We are to live our lives so as to eliminate any reproach on Scripture. Women all around us want to see lives that are different. They not only need to hear the truths of the gospel, but also witness the reality of it in those who profess to be followers of Christ. After going on to exhort bondservants, Paul records in verse ten that we are to do all these things in order “…that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.” In other words, we are to make the gospel believable. What a glorious privilege! We have been given this wonderful honor to highlight the attractiveness of the gospel! When the people around us, men and women, see families functioning the way they were created to function – husbands lovingly leading their families; wives joyfully submitting to their husbands, and children living in obedience to their parents, it gives us a wonderful platform to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I believe if we as Christian women will embrace God’s plan for us and seek to teach the next generation of women these truths concerning biblical womanhood we will see families blessed, the word of God honored, the gospel adorned and God glorified. I only get one life on this earth, so let me be a woman; a feminine, strong, kind, courageous, nurturing, biblical woman for the good of the women around me and for the glory of God!
Soli Deo Gloria