This blog post has been in the thinking process for a few days now. But last night, conversing with a friend, something came out of my mouth that put in all into perspective for me.
First to the ladies: Ladies, especially single ones, we need to be living out biblical womanhood now, while we are single. God did not create us as married women - He created us as women - and desires for us to live as women who model biblical womanhood (that's why He gave us women in the Bible, and the writings of Paul). If you need two books to read on this subject - I would recommend Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye - really a book on how to live out biblical womanhood while you are single (Prov 31) written by a single woman, Carolyn McCulley. The second would be RBMW - Piper and Grudem - what was known as the big blue book when I was coming through seminary. Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is not named Council on Biblical Husbands and Wives. Because that is not where the character is rooted. Our character and qualities as woman are honed by God in our lives prior to us getting married. So, don't be saying to yourself, one day, if I get married, I'll do this...and be this way... Start living the way God would want you to live now: care for the men in your life as brothers in Christ, keep your home, be hospitable in your home and in your church, love your neighbors, learn from older women on how to do these things, mentor the younger women in your life, live by grace, focus on your walk with God - being who God wants you to be as a woman of God.
Married Women - two more books (besides the two above): Biblical Womanhood in the Home (ed by Nancy Leigh Demoss) and Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney. I have read both and re-read both and couldn't recommend books more highly on the subject than these. Love your husbands, respect your husbands, keep your home. First priority in your life, outside of your relationship with God, should be your husbands - then your children and home. That is not to say that you can't work, go to school, hang out with other women - but as Prov 31.12 says - she is to do her husband good all the days of her life. That is going to look for each couple - but our first priority should be our husbands.
Pastors/Godly Leaders - I love the older (or younger) godly men in my life - am so thankful that God has allowed us to be friends. Please shepherd the young men in your keep to be biblical men - to love the women in their life (all of them) as sisters in Christ. Keep setting the bar high in your churches for your men to love Christ, love their wives, show us single women what biblical husbands should be - so that we will know what to look for in our future husbands.
I speak for several single women - we want biblical leaders, masculine, Christ-like men as our husbands. Pastors - please teach this. We crave it and desire it.
Prov 31, Eph 5, Gen 1-2, 1 Peter, 1 Tim 1-3