These two topics have been on my mind lately. This is going to be written both for girls (my college ones know that is a term of endearment) but also for those who work with teenagers and college girls - who need to think about what the Bible has to say about things in light of what they are learning from culture and friends.
First, I think these two topics are in the same family - they have much play on each other. I'm not married, don't know if that is something God has for me, but I can think about it either way.
We have many portraits of what biblical femininity, or Christian women, ought to be like. Some are Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, a local pastor's wife, mother, aunt, singer, worship leader, friend, etc. I'm sure we have all seen good and not-so-good pictures of what a woman of God should be. So...what is our "plumb line"? It has to be Scripture, and as I have heard recently: reading the Word in the Spirit, not in the flesh. The Word is perfect and will not lead us wrong in how to please God.
So, how does this play into the sanctity of marriage. I was at a genealogy conference this weekend and one of the speakers said basically that marriage was for the distribution and protection of property. Maybe by a legal standpoint - but not by a godly standpoint. A Christian marriage should be a reflection on Christ's relationship with the church. One that will bring the most glory to God - more than the two people remaining single (or married to someone else).
There are some women in my life that I would like to be like someday: Phyllis, Kimmie, Renee. Some women older than me that I wish I could pick certain traits and just pump them into my life: Kathy, Patty, Felicity, MG. Also, younger women that I know have traits that I would love to have because they are more like Jesus than me in specific areas: Christina, Laura, Vern, April, Melanie, Devan, Kasey. I've been around some recently that I do not want to be like. There is a demonstration of biblical femininity that is so appealing. When I am portraying that (be denying flesh and walking in the Spirit) - I want to rest in that, fall asleep in it, dwell there - because it is what I was created to be. But, then when I see the opposite, crass, loud (in a bad way) - I am so turned off by it. I just want to run from it. It is hard to model biblical femininity in a sinful world. But the Word says that it will be. Here are some thoughts from Scripture (so that this isn't all about what I think):
1 Peter 3.1-...
"In the same way, wives, be submissive to your own husbands...as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external...but that it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit - which is precious in the sight of God."
"The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain."
"Be imitators of God and walk in love. But immorality or any impurity must not be even named among you...Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord...Therefore be careful how you walk, making the most of your time because the days are evil. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her - so that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, so that he might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and blameless."
"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit - let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another."
I pray this for my life, for the girls in my life, and for the girls that I will get to minister to in the future. If we embrace the way we were designed to live...all for the ambition of the glory and praise of God alone.
"What would happen if a remnant of women were willing to repent, to return to the authority of God's Word, to embrace God's priority and purpose for their lives and homes, and to live out the beauty and the wonder of womanhood as God created it to be?" - Nancy Leigh Demoss.
As Carolyn McCulley has taught me well, as she has mentored me (as well as Christina and Kathy) - you can even do this "home" thing as single women - using your home as your main point of ministry - hospitality, studies, etc. Thank you women of God for teaching me that as single women.
"The starting point for all repentance is setting our hearts and minds on things above...to direct our attention to Jesus and the finished work on the cross...to intentionally focus on Jesus...and that we are no longer enslaved by an evil desire." - Carolyn Mahaney
Ok - this has gone long enough. Be encouraged - encourage other women you know in this too.