What Does God Say About Women’s Roles

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?

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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 life 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 more quiet. 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 women 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.”

1 Peter 3:4- bible verse about women

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.

Be a women of a quiet spirit

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  encouraging 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 be stop you from what God has called you to be.

 

To The Girl That Has It All Together

Who am I?

This is a question that has haunted women for generations. From trying to wear the right clothes in middle school, to picking the right major in college, to even going through that mid-life crisis, we find ourselves asking, who are we? Where do our identities lie? Where do we get our satisfaction and worth?

The typical Christian response is from Christ. It can be so easy to say “Of course my identity comes from Christ.” But have you ever stopped to consider what that really means?

When I think about who I identify myself as so many words come to mind.

I am a daughter, a friend, a student, an athlete, a reader, a blogger, a leader, a lover of preppy clothing, an overachiever, a sorority sister, a regular sister.

set apart quoteBut  I still have many sins to hide.

I am broken, I am selfish, I am prideful, I am judgmental, I am a gossip, I am hateful.

Yet, it can be so easy to forget the most important statements of all.

That I am redeemed, I am loved, I am worthy, I am beautiful, I am saved, I am a prize, I am His. 

I think that it can be hard for any of us to admit just how much we care about how other people see us. It’s easy to hide behind our plethora of activities, easy to hide behind our awards and achievements, and easy to hide our faith from the world. Every day we wake up and are faced with the battle of having to prove that we are worthy to the people around us somehow. So we force ourselves to get up early and make sure our hair is done just right, we interrupt our classmates in our pursuit to be the smartest voice heard, and we sign up for the mission trip we are unprepared for in order to get the accolades from our Christian friends.

But what if we stopped doing all that? What if we truly embraced our authentic identities in Christ alone? What if we didn’t question who we were in response to another?

“ But God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”- Romans 5: 8

“Therefore I urge you, brothers, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship.”- Romans 12:1

We aren’t perfect beings. And we never are going to be. So no matter how many awards, “Job well done”, and praise we receive here on earth, nothing is going to wipe away our sins except for Christ. That is why it is completely impossible for us to try to find our identity in any other earthly element, because God is our creator who has made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

I am talking about this subject today because I definitely speak from experience. I would definitely classify myself as a grade A overachiever. I am involved in so many different events both on and off my college campus, and take great pride in the leadership positions I have been able to attain going into my senior year. But I take too much pride. I take too much pride in being the girl who seems to have it all together. The girl who gets good grades, dresses well, is organized, and goes to bed early. But I’m not the girl who has it all together, and I am never going to be. And unfortunately neither are you.

I am just as broken as any other individual on my college campus. I face trials, endure hardships, and cry in the shower when my days become too much to handle. I get stressed out, say things I shouldn’t, and care way too much about impressing fickle boys. When I put my worth and my identity into being the girl who does everything and has it all together, I fail. My identity needs to come from Christ and Christ alone.

Too many days I find myself not seeking God when I am stressed out or upset, but turning to other things to get comfort. I seek to find my worth in social media, how many friends I have, and reminding myself of all the things I’m “good” at. I allow myself to obsess over my reflection in the mirror, for the girl who has it all togetherobsess over the conversation where I said something stupid, and obsess over posting a photo on Instagram to let everyone see how much “fun” I am having. But I don’t obsess about God. I don’t obsess about others and intentionally hearing them. I don’t obsess about the grace I have been given.

So let’s stop. Stop putting our worth in earthly awards and positions and start building up our treasures in heaven. To learn to love ourselves and to feel that we are worthy of love no matter how many campus activities we invest in. To be approachable and open about our struggles. To not be afraid to talk to our friends about Christ and encourage them to live life with Him to the fullest.

I can’t be perfect, you can’t be perfect, but together with God we can become perfect. I have no idea what identity you have been hiding yourself behind these past years. Maybe it’s being a really great athlete, or the mother of your friend group, or the smartest kid in your classes. But those things don’t define you, they are only evidence of the gifts that God so richly blesses us with; don’t turn a gift into your self-worth.

“He rescued me because He delighted in me.”

He delighted in you. Not because you were president of student government, not because you were Homecoming Queen, not because you went on 12 mission trips, but just because you were little old you. Riddled by sin and desperate for grace. So embrace your fallen nature today, you never know how God is going to use your scars to bless another.

 

What The Bible Says About Modesty

I want to start by asking you a question. When did it become a bad thing to want to protect our brothers in Christ? When did it become unheard of or embarrassing to admit that sometimes we wear clothes we wouldn’t want our fathers to see us in? When did it become OK to walk around wearing as little as possible and write it off by claiming our bodies are our own to do whatever we want with it? When did we as Christian women think we had to give up our feminism in order to support modesty?

The word modesty can be so broad. To many it seems like another chore that is required of the Christian faith. That we must hide our bodies because they are something to be ashamed of. To others it is mocked; the idea that we should dress our bodies to prevent poor boys from stumbling is laughable, surely they can control their urges. To many a confusing term. A term that encompasses so many meanings that they are not sure where to begin, but without proper clarity it is too bothersome to consider dealing with. Maybe you also are unsure what the word modesty means and what God’s context for it is. I can’t claim to know the truth, but what I do know is that we as a society of Christian women need to educate ourselves about how our clothing affects those around us.

Modesty quote with woman in black dress as background

Yes, there are pigs out there. Men who will wolf whistle at you when you are bundled up in a winter coat, men who will make you feel uncomfortable when you are wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and men who say you “asked for it.” These are not the men I am concerned about protecting. There will always be evil in the world and satan in the hearts of men.

We as women have convinced ourselves that all men are this way. That all men are disgusting perverts who perpetually want nothing more than to get in our pants, cop a feel, or undress us with their minds. But what about the good men out there. What about your sweet fourteen year old brother who can’t concentrate during a Victoria Secret’s commercial? What about your aging professor who accidentally gets a look down your low cut top as well? What about the great guy you are dating who is trying to not take advantage of you? What about them? What are you going to tell your children if you have sons? Are you going to tell them to just give over to their desires? Are you going to tell them to treat women like the objects we sometimes dress like? Of course not!

I used to be unaware of what modesty was, and frankly felt like I had enough trouble getting noticed by boys to stop donning my yoga pants. I mean what is a girl without a butt to do? Then I read a book that changed everything. It is called Every Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker. The book takes you through the struggle the two men had separately with lust, and how they were able to overcome it with the Lord. These are good Christian men who loved their wives, but couldn’t quite stop their wandering vision.

I think as women because we are so relationship oriented, we believe that guys see the world and us through the same eyes. They do not. In the book they go into great detail to explain how men were made to receive sexual gratification through their eyes. A quote from the book says,

“ We aren’t picky. It can come in a photograph of a nude stranger, romantic interlude with the wife, or even a scantily clad women in your wife’s bathing suit catalog. Women seldom understand this because they aren’t sexually stimulated in the same way. For males, impurity of the eyes is sexual foreplay.”

There point is entirely correct. We don’t understand it because our sexual stimulation is through touch and relationship. To put in perspective, telling a man to stop being visually stimulated is like telling a woman to stop enjoying the intimacy of a man truly getting to know her, or to stop fantasizing about Mr. Right every time she watches a romantic comedy. I was shocked to discover in the book the great shame these men felt for their wives and family for accidentally seeing a women jogging in a sports bra and thus fantasizing about it later. They know we find this particular chemical makeup of their brain revolting, unforgivable, and disturbing.Boy in beanie hat sits on a sidewalk with modesty quote present

But the most important thing I took away from the book was that they can’t always control it. There are many ways for men to get better with their lust and visual desires, and I would encourage all men to be striving towards that, but there is nothing wrong or frowned upon about us doing our best to help those who are trying to help us. The men of the book pleaded with women to consider what they wear and try to help them out a little bit. They are trying to keep their eyes pure for their wives, and sometimes we unintentionally, while trying to impress others, can cause them to stumble.

So what can we as Christian women do about it? What does it mean to be a modest women in Christ? Now, I’m not about to tell you that you can never wear a bikini, yoga pants, a crop top, or shorts that aren’t 9 inches ever again. That would be hypocritical and unrealistic. I’m going to introduce a concept. Intentional Dressing.

Intentional Dressing is waking up every morning with the intent to dress to please the King, yourself, and your guy friends. We all have those articles of clothing we bought when we were feeling slightly risque, wanted to grab that certain guys’ attention, or to show off the weight we had worked so hard to lose. We all have the not quite too short from the right angle pair of shorts, spandex running pants that cling a little too generously, and shirt that is fine unless we lean the tiniest bit forward. We have worn certain clothes, dresses, and shirts to gain attention from the visual part of the male brain. As much as we hate that part of the brain, we still try our best to please it and feed it’s ever growing appetite.

So have we as women asked for it? Of course not! But have we encouraged it? I know I have. As a track athlete it’s pretty much impossible to find anything to run in that isn’t leggings or spandex. How can you wear those baggy shorts when everyone around you is wearing spandex and Sophie short shorts? You’re going to look nasty “face wise” at practice so at least you can take comfort in your butt looking good, right? Yes, we do need these things to run faster and to work out better outdoors, but what about the Sunday afternoons I’ve worn them just because they were “comfortable?”

As a 5’9 girl, I have always struggled every time I searched for shorts, a Homecoming dress, or skirt. The anticipation of seeing the dress fit perfectly at top only to realize it’s barely goes to the top of my thighs. I can definitely be a vain person, like all of us, and can admit to rolling those shorts up just a little bit or choosing a dress without my mother that was slightly shorter, but not short enough to be untoward. Haven’t we all done something like that?

“ Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought a price.”

You were bought at a price. God created ever part of you lovingly and paid the ultimate sacrifice for your freedom. We aren’t our own. And even though feminists and those in society might try to convince us that we make our own decisions, we have a right to wear what we want, and we only have to worry about what makes us feel beautiful and happy, they are wrong. In the verse right above that privilege is very clearly taken from us.

Wouldn’t you agree that you can feel just as flattering and beautiful in a sack of rags if a boy told you so? Wouldn’t you agree that you can feel beautiful in something that fits you just right that hardly shows any skin? Wouldn’t you agree that sweat pants are actually a lot more comfortable than spandex? We can’t have it both ways. We can’t both not want men to objectify us and judge us solely on what we wear, but then dress provocatively to get the attention of that part of their brain we “detest.”

Sure you might say that you aren’t dressing for them, you are dressing for yourself. But are you being 100% with me? Are you going to claim that you never once reached for the short shirt because your crush was going to be at that party? Because I don’t believe you. I know it can be hard when you feel like you have to compete with so many girls out there to get attention, but I promise you the type of boys you have to reveal skin to grab their attention are not the right boys for you.

Let’s bring back modesty. Let’s bring back wooing boys with our personalities, charm, wit, and kindness. Let’s stop dressing like strippers and call girls and start dressing the way a princess of the greatest King who ever lives deserves to dress.

"Modestly dressed women complete with quote."

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what modesty will completely mean to you since everyone’s body is different, but I can give you some tips to figure it out.

1.Pray for wisdom. Trust me, if you begin to ask God to show you what things in your wardrobe you should get rid of to intentionally dress He will show you. The Holy Spirit will convict you.

2.Pray for your future husband. He is most likely facing every day surrounded by the temptation of pornography, incredibly graphic sexual scenes in movies, and scantily clad women starving for his attention everywhere he turns. He is trying his best to be good, and I’m sure he can use all the prayer he can get.

3.Be a light. A think a great way to be a witness to non-believers is to embrace modesty . To say no, I am not going to objectify myself by wearing the tightest thing I can find. I am not going to lower my standards in order to get a boy to look twice at me.

4.Clothe yourself in truth. Realize that there are good Christian men out there who would rather nourish you spiritually then take off your bra. Don’t let satan trap you into believing that it’s your fault and that you can do nothing to help them.

5.Practice Intentional Dressing day in and day out. Be honest with yourself and clothing choices. Yes, you can’t always help when men lust after you, but you can try your best to not intentionally encourage it.

If we expect men to become gentleman and treat us like ladies, we have to dress the part. Think about what you wear each day as a billboard for all to see and judge. Who would they say you’re advertising to?