But what if I’m not gentle and quiet? What if I can’t cook? What if I want to work? These thoughts and more have consistently come to my mind when trying to understand what my role as a woman of Christ should be. Let’s face it, it’s tough enough to be a woman in today’s society without the pressure of feminism, sexist workplace behaviors, and traditional roles. Many of us are left wondering what exactly are God’s plan for women? And are we not able to serve God as well as men?
To be honest, I am not the typical woman figure. I hate cooking and any forms of baking, hate cleaning and have far too much energy to be content staying at home every day while I kiss my husband goodbye as he goes off to work. Oh yeah, and I really can’t sew. Does that mean I’m going to be a failure to my husband if I get married? Does that mean that I am a disgrace to women?
Ladies, let me be the first to tell you that God does not have the same roles for any two people, so why would we assume that He should have the same roles for any two women. He might call one woman to a life of staying at home and looking after her family, while He calls another woman to live working high up at a business. Both are able to make a difference for God’s kingdom, but they are used in two very distinct ways.
Have you ever noticed that women that are quiet seem to have all the luck? That they are the ones who always get the boy attention because they appear to be so “quiet and mysterious.” To be frank, I’ve always wanted to be a little quieter. To not constantly be getting in trouble for saying something I would regret later. But we have come to believe the lie that we as women are expected to behave this way. That we are only worthy to God when we are off to the side and silent. This is not true.
God created no two personalities to be the same, that is why He knew exactly what He was doing when He created you loud or soft-spoken, introverted or extroverted. He had an exact plan and exact skills He gifted you with different from anyone else. Women, we need to stop being so silent in our congregations, silent in our Bible studies, and silent in the way we are serving God.
God now more than ever needs to have women who are vocal, women who are outspoken about His truths, and women who are not afraid to combat the expectations of the media and voices of the world. We need to be powerful in the way we serve the Lord. God can use us to make a difference in other women’s lives in ways that men could never imagine. We need to have women who can mentor each other, who can teach our daughters how to be modest and how to be kind, and women who can be missionaries to those broken by sex trafficking and rape. God has unique plans for women to not only serve other women, but to serve children, men, and any age group. Don’t let the verses in the Bible( particularly Timothy) that are about women’s roles allow you to remain silent. God has amazing plans for you to further His kingdom in ways that men never could.
So what the only food you can make perfectly is scrambled eggs? So what you sometimes forget to dust your dorm room? So what you enjoy sweatpants more than dresses? Does that make you any less of a woman of God? Absolutely not.
One verse that really identifies how we should behave as women of God is 1 Peter 3:4 that says,
“ Let your adornment be that of an inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.”
News flash ladies, gentleness isn’t a personality type, it’s a type of action. One of the words I have consistently heard mentioned( mostly by my own mother) that I lack would be gentleness. If you know me at all, you know that I am a pretty loud and energetic person, a quiet spirit is pretty much farthest from the truth.
But does that mean I will be a failure to my husband if I get married? Not at all! Learning to be gentle and learning to be more of a Godly woman are not skills we are born or not born with, they are skills we are meant to learn. So let’s unpack this definition of the word gentleness, shall we?
According to a Biblical dictionary, gentleness means the sensitivity of disposition and kindness in behavior, founded on strength and prompted by love.
So what does this look like in real life? It means being kind and mature in the ways that we handle conflict and controversy. That could be choosing our battles with those who disagree and antagonize us, instead of adding fuel to the fire with our hasty words. So we must become women that are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Not women who are the first to write a heated Facebook post or vent about that one girl on our hall. It means watching what we say because we know that all we do can either positively or negatively be connected back to God.
It means being strong. To be women who are not afraid to gently confront our friends when we see them going down a wrong path, to tell our best friend the guy she is dating is not a strong enough Christian, and to have the willpower to not get drunk on the weekends when it seems like everyone else is doing it. To stand firm in our convictions. To not let the new guy we just started dating push us farther than we are comfortable physically, or not allowing ourselves to give into the temptation to wear the shorter skirt or lower cut top when we know we’ll be around a boy we are interested in. It’s not only knowing and understanding the Bible but living it out in our actions and deeds. We must be strong women who hold fast to Biblical teachings when the world and even our friends and families are trying to lead us astray.
Finally, being gentle means being kind. Not just acting kind to people’s faces and later talking about them behind their backs, but actually being kind. Truly caring about others and loving them as God loves them. Realizing the gifts that other people have to offer and encourage them in those, instead of becoming jealous that they are not our own. Dropping everything when a friend is in need or just when your roommate needs someone to look over her paper. Being the type of friend that God calls all of us to be. Intentional, encouraging, prayerful, and loving.
It can be tough being a woman in today’s world, but by looking to God to help us understand our roles, we will be able to serve Him in ways we never thought possible.
So the next time you find yourself feeling bad that you have more of a passion for the homeless than for baking in the kitchen, realize that God has placed that calling in your heart.
Don’t let what you think you should stop you from what God has called you to be.