God's Authentic Design
It is almost Father’s Day, and I find myself compelled to write about femininity.
(I know. I’m weird.)
I think I am being compelled by a combination of things:
1) I want to join the good work that's happening in our world today to empower women.
2) I feel a nudge from the Spirit of the Living God to write in this direction, due to the confusion regarding gender these days.
3) I have three daughters.
Recently, I heard a woman share about a time in her life when she viewed her femininity as a liability. That phrase was so interesting to me. In her story, she described a few ways that this lie played out in her life:
First, she thought the way forward was to become more masculine. Her attempts at this brought more emptiness and guilt.
Second, she thought the way forward was to discredit and disassociate with masculinity completely, because it seemed evil, dangerous, and worthless. This only brought her more confusion.
Third, she thought the way forward was to completely associate with another female in an intimate, sexual way. But she found this to be in the opposite direction of the love, life, and truth her soul was seeking.
Finally, God’s light shone on the lie she was believing about her femininity, and showed her the path to forgiveness, healing, and fulfillment. She discovered that the damage and disillusionment caused by unhealthy relationships was undone by restoration—by participating in the kind of healthy relationships prescribed in the Bible.
It was awesome to see how free and secure she has become because of the Spirit of the Living God in her life.
When God created the world, He drew lines differentiating women from men—female from male—feminine from masculine. Just as God has limited the mighty ocean from going beyond its shoreline, He has drawn lines limiting what is female and what is male. He did not do this to limit our joy or power. He did this to help us find our joy and power. He made female and male in order to reflect what He is like. Together, female and male give us our best image of what God is like.
Today it seems our society wants to blur the lines that God has drawn. The challenge is, if we lose sight of what is truly male and truly female we damn society in many sociological ways, gender dysphoria, sexually transmitted diseases, addiction, absentee or unhealthy moms and dads, etc.. But much worse than that, we lose sight of God. If we lose sight of God we and our children will be tossed to and fro by every wind of false doctrine, destructive philosophy, and demonic deception.
I don’t want this for my girls. I want my girls to know that God is for them and their femininity—that God delights in them and desires to develop their femininity to full maturity. I want them to know that their femininity is a gift for helping them connect with God, and for showing the world the image of God only found in femininity. I want them to be able to wear the t-shirts that declare, “Girls can do anything,” and “Never underestimate the power of a girl,” without having to discredit or disassociate the image of God found in masculinity.
Here is a little something someone shared with me as I set out to write this piece on femininity. I have adapted it from its original purpose of describing the mission of a magazine called Darling, which you can find at darlingmagazine.org.
I want to help my girls “...hold the modern mold of woman up to God’s word and be led by God’s Spirit to re-discover God’s authentic design for femininity. I want to help my girls discover beauty apart from vanity, influence apart from manipulation, style apart from materialism, sweetness apart from passivity, and womanhood without degradation. I want to teach my girls to practice the arts of virtue, wit, modesty, and wisdom—all the while creating beauty and embodying love. I want them to know that women are not only interesting, but integral to all God is doing in the world. I want them to know they are not only good enough, but under God’s sovereignty they are capable of greatness. I want them to know they are not just here, but here for an everlasting purpose.”
I hope this is helpful for you and for the girls in your life.