02 April 2009

In Praise of Women

I’m praying for the day when "modern" women will stop trying to be like men and appreciate the value of being feminine. (No male-bashing here. I’m a big fan of good men!)

I’m just anxious to see the strength and honor of the feminine gifts restored in our society. I hope the next generation of women will understand the value of being different from men by design. Generally speaking, men are made to be “hunters and gatherers” and women are skilled at being home and people-builders. God gave us big hearts, intuitive minds, and bodies expertly suited for holding babies on one hip while shopping, cleaning, and a hundred other things.

Now ladies, I’m not saying we’re all running around like the Scarecrow without a brain. It takes a lot of intelligent brain power to mange home and family! But I wonder if some of women’s dissatisfaction with their lives comes from not appreciating the special gifts of the feminine, thinking they need to be more like the masculine. There is incredible and eternal value in being a woman!

Women’s divinely created nature is a beautiful gift when appreciated properly and used appropriately. By far our greatest privilege is to be co-creators of new life, but it doesn’t end there. Whether mothers or not, we are made to be life-givers, life-nurturers, life-sustainers. Our softness, deep feelings, warmth, protective instinct and loyalty are part of what makes us Gentle Warriors.

This is the feminine genius, or rather, the genius of God who fashioned us with a unique strength and grace. Far from being a weakness, our tenderness, our sensitivity, and devotion is our fortitude and our steel. (Steel Magnolias, anyone?)

Femininity, at its authentic best, is indeed a force to be reckoned with!

Think of Naomi and Ruth, both widowed and essentially homeless. Their devotion to each other becomes their strength and ultimately, their saving grace. Ruth vows to stay with Naomi come what may…”wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you die, I shall die…” They remain committed to each other’s needs, and with wisdom and industry, they secure a new home and future for each other without ever compromising their virtue.

The gospel stories of the crucifixion reveal the strength of feminine devotion in the women who were present. It is interesting to me that all four gospels mention the presence of the women who followed Jesus from Galilee and remained with Him all the way to Calvary.

With all that was going on, with all the people that were there, in a society where women were certainly not treated as equals, why bother writing down what a group of women did that day?

Because they stayed.

They walked with Him, and ministered to Him, and dried His blood-stained face, and wept. Yes, they wept for Him and the suffering He was enduring. But mostly, they stayed when others ran. St. Luke tells us, “When all the people who had gathered to witness the sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching these things.”

It is no wilting or fragile flower that stands there witnessing the most horrible death in history!

Their tender and unwavering devotion for Jesus was the iron in their spirits that allowed them to stay when others left.

I'm blessed to know many such genuinely feminine women in my life. These ladies stay when things get rough. They stand firm and remain devoted. They pray like crazy. They forgive, and they love, and they feed people and clean and call to check up, and send cards to say "I love you" because they care. They have big hearts. They cry a lot and keep on going. They are ferociously protective of their families. They are gentle, fair, tender, emotional, sensitive, and tough as nails, too. They will not accept abusive or immoral treatment; they will protect and take care of themselves, too.

They are the smartest people I know, because they love being feminine, and they know that strength of heart is the greatest strength of all.

To Women, and the wonderful Father who made us!



Sarah (JOT) said...

You hit this one precisely in the heart!!
Oh, THANK YOU for the snail mail - the lovely booklet came yesterday and I am just tickled to a tender pink that you thought to give a copy to me as well! THANK YOU so very much!!

Dirtdartwife said...

I *love* my femininity. I grew up in a home of the "M. Sanger" type fem-nazi types so it was such a relief to finally learn that I can be who I've always felt God wanted me to be. A real woman.

thelittlehouseinthebigyard said...

i have a new friend and this has been a topic of discussion amongst us lately-how we can instill genuine femininity in our daughters and for me especially because we have a house full of boys-so we often have to fight for girl time! but this was a great post. thank you jennifer!

Our Family said...

Hello Jennifer, great blog, my wife love reading this one.
You were asking several weeks ago about the three column blog, I found a source that might help you a little bit. http://tips-for-new-bloggers.blogspot.com/

I hope this help and I hope you are feeling better.
God Bless!

Sarah said...

Jennifer, this was so wonderful! I think this is so important, especially today. Oh, how I long for a return to more femininity in our culture and to recognize how very valuable and beautiful it is! I pray that I may instill this in my girls at least, to always know with all their hearts how beautiful God made them to be—authentically feminine!

Our Family said...

Jennifer, send me an email. My email is at my blog. I'll see how I can help

Homeschoolmum4Christ said...

I love being the feminine part of God's great design, and wouldn't like to take on the role that my husband has.

God made me female, and I'm quite happy to be the homemaker, mother, wife and friend.


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