Womanhood is an interesting word to define in our society. Some say it’s independence. Some say it’s breaking the glass ceiling. Others define it by marriage and motherhood. To be honest, our society’s view on womanhood is a bit twisted. They say a real woman climbs the corporate ladder and lives a “me-first” life. Sadly, motherhood and marriage are often devalued. However, I also believe the thought (that can often be in the Christian community) that womanhood is defined by marriage and motherhood is also a wrong belief. To truly define womanhood, we must look to Scripture.
The first look into womanhood is in Genesis 1. In verse 27, we learn we’re made in the image of God. We also learn men are made in his image, making us equal in value and worth. Neither gender is superior to the other. Our culture often devalues true, biblical womanhood, but sisters, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Humanity is the only thing in creation that can claim bearing the image of God himself. The Creator of the universe breathed life into us and created us to reflect him. Therefore, womanhood (and all of humanity) starts here, being image bearers of our Creator.
When we flesh out being image bearers, there are beautiful implications! EVERY human is an image bearer of God, and when someone accepts Christ as their Savior, their life becomes hidden in Christ. When we see ourselves in this light, we’ll drastically change the way we live. Our identity is no longer in marriage, singleness, motherhood, jobs, or any other earthly role, but in Christ. The earthly things become tools God gives to live this identity out for his glory. This will also change the way we see others. The woman who we had some conflict with? Or the woman who mothers a little differently than us? She’s an image bearer too. This means we boldly proclaim the gospel to every lost woman (and person) we encounter. For our Christian sisters, it means we love them, bear with them, forgive them, and maintain the unity of the Spirit with them.
Indeed, true womanhood is defined by Jesus’ command to, “…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). Therefore, no matter our season of life, whether single or married, a mom or still waiting, our ultimate call is to love God with everything we have, and then to love people. Students, love God and love people in the classroom each day. Business women, love God and love people in the office. Mamas, love God and love people in homemaking and raising children.
No one ever “arrives” at biblical womanhood. It’s not a status we achieve at marriage, motherhood, or any other season. It’s living life for the glory of God, out of an overflow of thanksgiving for what he’s done! Sisters, biblical womanhood is a beautiful and also a unique thing. The world tells us we’re exactly like our male counterparts, but that’s simply not the case. Yes, we’re equal in worth in the eyes of our Lord. However, God has created us with different in roles, and that’s okay. In fact, it should be celebrated!
Christ equips us uniquely to be able to serve his kingdom. As women, we have gifting, insights, and experiences that can benefit the Kingdom in beautiful ways. In Genesis 2, we‘re called “helper”, which isn’t a devaluing title. Did you know the Holy Spirit is also referred to as this? Obviously, we’re not the Spirit, but this should comfort us to know to being called “helper” is valuable. In Proverbs 31, we’re called to be hard workers. The Proverbs 31 woman is very skilled. Sister, you’re skilled too! At your salvation, Christ equipped you with gifts to be used to edify of his body! Our skills range from being software developers to expert bread makers. No matter our skill, our work ethic is to be like that of the Proverbs 31 woman, and we’re to use them for the glory of God! In Titus 2, women also have the command for older women to teach the younger. Did you know we’re both, the older and the younger? There’s someone one step ahead of us who can pour into our lives, and there’s someone one step behind we can pour into as well. As women, there are ways we can minister to one another that simply can’t be done by a man. Not just that, though, as women we can and should edify our entire church body with our gifting! Yes, we do this under the umbrella of the male-leadership (elders/pastors) in our church, but that doesn’t make us less or unnecessary. Our local churches need us to plug in and serve in the unique way God gifts us to.
Sadly, our society devalues true, biblical womanhood, because it ultimately comes down to this- laying down our lives for the sake of Christ. The world tells us to “follow our hearts” and “do what makes us happy”, and they believe that’s what womanhood is about. Because Christ laid down his life for us, we can joyfully serve our families, knowing that though it’s not glamorous, it’s kingdom work. Because Christ laid down his life, we can choose the career path he calls us to, though it might not be what we originally planned. Because Christ laid down his life, we can serve our co-worker in the midst of her trial. It’s a beautiful thing when we lay down our lives for the sake of the Gospel. Sisters, these ordinary things have truly extraordinary, eternal value. Our call to be helpers, to be hard workers, and to minister to other women is a worthy and weighty call. Ultimately, our call is to live out all of these things by loving the Lord with everything we have, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Sisters, that’s what our womanhood is rooted in. No, womanhood isn’t just mothering or being a wife. It’s also not having the best career and leading an independent life. It’s loving Jesus and loving people and humbly submitting to our Savior for the sake of his glory and the gospel. That, dear friends, is our call.
p.s. When I went to find a picture to for this blog, it was SO hard. I found so many pictures of biblical women. From our youth girls, to family, to friends, and more, they’re all in different seasons of life, but they’re all living for the glory of God. So, here are some women I love that love Jesus a whole lot (but this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the wonderful women in my life! Praise God for both those pictured & those not!).