Girls, we have been bombarded with messages about what we are to believe about ourselves and the world around us. I don’t know about you, but I have questions. Let’s talk about the word “FEMINIST”…… am I one? I don’t know. I mean, I hear celebrities spouting off about being a feminist and how women should be equal with men, and I get so many mixed messages. Women that label themselves feminists say they want equality- they want to be treated just like men, but I don’t want that! I am a woman, thank God. I am special and set apart unique and different, far, far different from a man. And, hey, I’m all for equal pay, but, let’s be real, that’s not the only thing that feminism stands for…. ask Lena Dunham.
With that being said, the bottom line is, I don’t care what they say. I don’t care to be a feminist. I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I want to be a godly woman. I want to be a strong woman. I want to be the woman that God created me to be. How am I to do that? Here are 7 things I think strong, godly women have in common and what I strive for in my life.
1. They are confident in the Creator.
Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Strong women know where their worth is found- at the foot of the cross, where Jesus made us worthy. Other women may search for worth in fame, popularity, money, love, status….. but not the strong woman. She needs nothing but the Lord’s still small voice saying, “Darling, you are loved.” No matter what comes her way, her faith is unshaken, and her view of her worth in Christ is consistent.
2. They appreciate and encourage the men around them.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Many times, it feels as though “feminists” have a strong dislike for men, and even go to great lengths to tear them down and magnify and prey on their weaknesses. Not the strong woman. No, she is a constant encouragement to the men in her life simply by being a woman of God. She seeks to appreciate them, and allow them to help her when she needs it. She understands that God has given roles to men that women can not fill, and roles to women that men can not fill. She is happy to do her part and cheer on men who are willing to do theirs.
3. They strengthen their arms to serve.
Proverbs 31:17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
Strong women of God are just that– strong. Her arms are strengthened by carrying children, building families, lifting others up, carrying the burdens of friends, providing for herself and her family. Her arms are not strong simply to look good in a sleeveless shirt. Her kind of strength is not for show, it is for service. She is constantly working and serving with their hands those around them.
4. They are FOR other women.
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Many women claim to be “feminist,” but then proceed tear down, gossip about, judge, and glory in the failures of other women. What?? The strong women knows that God is glorified when we are unified in carrying the cross. When the world looks at her, they know she is a child of the cross because of the love she shows to her sisters. She does not compare herself with others. She knows that God’s unique plans work differently in every life. She appreciates other ministries, and celebrates other victories, big and small, in the lives of the women around her.
5. They speak with truth and grace.
Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.
There are many people who speak the truth, but without grace. There are just as many who speak with grace, but leave out the truth. Both of these things are easy to do, but the strong woman of God works hard to find the balance of truth WITH grace. She strives to speak the words that the Lord would have her to speak- words that build up and bring together for the glory of God. Her motives to speak are not selfish, but selfless, because she knows that life and truth and grace- it’s not about her. It is about her Lord, and she wants her every word to reflect this attitude.
6. They embrace their femininity.
Proverbs 31:10-11 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
The strong woman of God knows she is a woman, and that it’s not a bad thing. God made her a woman for a specific purpose- one that she could not fulfill if she were a man. Feminists try to blur the lines between male and female. Instead of trying to rebel against her nature, the strong woman embraces it unapologetically. She is tender-hearted, loving, nurturing, joyful. She delights in her ministry to others. She delights in building her home, and taking care of her family. She delights in serving her husband and her children. No, she is not the maid, or a doormat, or a stepford wife, but she embraces all the wonderful things God has given her to take care of and she does it happily. She enjoys being a girl.
7. They change the world.
Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
The strong woman of God is, in every way, more powerful than the feminist.
When the feminist screams, “EQUALITY!” The strong woman whispers, “Unity.”
When the feminist proclaims, “I am woman!” The strong woman instructs, “This is my Jesus.”
When the feminist demands, “Down with men!” The strong woman encourages, “Son, kneel down with God.”
These- these strong woman characteristics- are goals for me. I can’t pretend that on any given day, I am all 7 of these things. Sometimes, I am busy serving others, and look down of those who only serve themselves. Sometimes, I am so confident in my own worth, I trample over my husband and leave him feeling unappreciated and discouraged. Sometimes I want to change the world so badly, I end up speaking the truth and leaving out the grace……. but I’m learning every day.
Who are you looking like these days? The feminist or the strong woman of God?
I don’t know where you are in life. Maybe you are in high school with your whole life ahead of you. Maybe you are in college getting ready to start a career and be a light for Jesus. Maybe you are a newlywed learning how to look like the bride of Christ. Maybe you are raising your babies doing the best you can at the most important job in the world. Maybe you have an empty house now and are looking for ways to serve others.
Whatever state we are in, we all can use a reminder of what it is to be a truly strong woman of God. We all can strive to good examples to the generation to come. We can all be strong women. We all can change the world, if we change just the world around ourselves.