Where do we learn to be women? That is a topic far from the conversation in Christian circles, especially among the younger girls and women who need it the most. Lady’s devotional materials, Bible studies and prayer groups are usually for the aged – with each passing generation, women’s unique gifts, ministries and callings are becoming forgotten. In the blur and confusion of the modern day, our churches have taken on a largely genderless view of faith and living, leaving our young women stranded. Enter any children’s class or youth group – you are unlikely to hear girls being taught about Biblical womanhood or boys being taught about manhood. They are probably taught many important things, but these essential truths are usually not among them. Men and women are treated as the same; gender is forgotten.
Yes, I agree in many things, as our apostle. The call of Jesus, the redeeming work of the cross, the commands of our Messiah – these transcend gender and apply to us all.
The problem is, our genders play such an important, God-given role in our lives. Gender – distinctions in physicality and in function, for example – are found at the very beginning, when God created Adam and Eve. We really musn’t forget them – they play a role in this life, though of course they are not as important in the age to come (and let us not forget that either!).
If girls don’t learn to be godly women from their families and within a faith-filled context, they will fall prey to the world’s designs and sensual, ungodly messages. They will learn what it means to be women from pop stars, celebrities, and other hedonistic role-models. They will probably become sexualised, unwittingly. This crude, lewd form of femininity that focuses on outward appearances and attention-seeking is a far, far, cry from the noble, honourable women of the Bible, whose beauty was inward, whose legacy was eternal, and who were humble, courageous, and devoted to God.
The world will teach our daughters to be beautiful on outside. The world will teach our daughters that relationships are about having fun and experiencing romance, not about sacrificial love and starting a family. The world will teach our daughters to aspire to be everything but godly wives and mothers, a role that will fall into neglect, or worse, be taken on with little appreciation, care or acknowledgement of it’s sacredness.
Women are born with the ability to create and nurture life, and this cannot be described as a powerful potential. How sad it is, then, that motherhood is valued so little. Girls grow up without realising that they have this potential, and usually, a natural innate desire and aptitude to be mothers.They are not prepared for it, nor taught to anticipate and treasure such a role as an opportunity for divine ministry. However, this does not mean that women who are able to have children are any less women, or that their lives have any less of a purpose. We do believe that God’s design for each is unique and purposeful, and that womanhood is deeper and much more meaningful – it cannot be limited to just “bearing children” and “having a womb”.
Where can girls learn to be women
From the Word of God, written for our instruction and admonishment. Women in the Bible play many significant roles and we can learn a lot from their lives. In fact, this should be the foundation and guideline for constructing a personal understanding of one’s womanhood
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
(1 Corinthians 10:11
2. From mentors. The older women are clearly to be examples to younger women. This starts at home with one’s mother.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
3. From other godly women, whose lives and labours (though perhaps unrecognised and hidden) bear godly fruit. We may listen to them, read about them, and learn from their example from afar off. Corrie Ten Boom and Elisabeth Elliot are examples of women that we can look up to as role models.
We can’t just offer girls “alternatives” to the world, however. Different doesn’t mean better or more spiritual. We need to get back to the Bible and be rooted and built up in God’s Word alone, not men’s words and ideas.
The same is true with “Biblical Manhood”, which should focus on what the Bible focuses on, like listening to God, being a humble servant, being totally surrendered, living as a disciple, taking up one’s cross, being a leader and a shepherd, being responsible and mature, etc.