Check out this coloring sheet by Practical Pages. It’s so feminine and so strong!
In writing “The Butterfly and the Rock,” I had kinda hoped to criticize feminism. With this post, I’d like to visit the truth on femininity.
It seems a majority of girls nowadays are falling into one of two camps, what I call the “Girly Girls” and the “Butch Girls.” (This is, of course, a broad generalization, but that does not make it false. There are exceptions, of course.)
The phrase that helps define a Girly Girl is, “I broke a naaaaiiil!” This is the type of young woman who is more concerned for herself and more concerned for her peers’ image of her than she is concerned about the truth of who she is in Christ. This type of young woman often identifies with and idolizes icons of pop culture, and thinks about boys in a way that is unhealthy. She sometimes flaunts her body inappropriately, and may believe she needs to behave like the other teens she observes in order to “be someone”. She can be whiny, and/or dramatic, and/or manipulative.
A phrase that helps define the Butch Girl is, “I can do anything better than a boy can do it,” or, “I can open the door for myself!” A Butch Girl is more concerned with her priorities, her own game plan, than she is about accepting her Heavenly Father’s gifts of peace and grace. This type of young woman is often ashamed of herself, thinking she would have been better as a boy than as a girl. She strives to conquer, and refuses to soften her heart enough to risk it being broken. She can be rude, and/or bossy, and/or pushy.
Being a good Christian girl, I understood from the church, my family, and everyone else in my bubble that I was a girl, and should, therefore, be feminine.
One problem: I thought that being feminine was stupid. Why? Well…
The world told me that being feminine meant playing down your intelligence, hating your body but using it to get attention, hanging out at the mall watching boys, wearing Barbie pink, stabbing your friends in the back in order to be “cool”, reading ridiculous magazines with inappropriate subject matter, and re-fixing your hair on the hour.
The Christian homeschool community told me it meant obeying without thinking, hating your body and wearing ugly clothes to hide your shape, enjoying doing all indoor household chores, reading poorly written novels, and (when I grew up) having lots of babies.
Feminism was in full swing when I was growing up. It told me that women should be tough. Not strong, but tough. There’s a big difference, if you stop to think about it for a minute. It said that women didn’t need men for anything but procreation, and that men were basically little more than animals.
But they were all wrong.
Femininity is standing strong for the things that matter and having a beautiful heart. It’s allowing God to love you for who you were created to be, trusting Him with your whole heart, and loving Him back with all your might! It is knowing that you were created to be beautiful and different from a man, and letting that beauty and that difference shine through in the way you dress and act. It is not about being prissy. It is about inner strength and thoughtful words (I need a lot of work in this area). It is about letting God’s ferocious love and vehement grace flow through you to others.
As a young woman, I used to be a Butch Girl. But God showered me with love and grace and washed me of it…well, most of the way. I’m still being worked on in this department. From the first time we met and started dating, my husband treated me like a lady, which confused me terribly at the time. He took me hiking, and lent me a hand when descending some high, steep spots. I could have done it without his help, sure! But it was meant as a kind gesture and I accepted it by putting my hand in his. I found something I’d been missing out on my whole life! Femininity. I started accepting myself as a girl, instead of someone who would be better as a boy.
I wish I’d known that I didn’t have to compete for the love of God, that I didn’t have to earn it. I wish I’d known deep down in my heart what I was worth to my Heavenly Father. That, because He loved me more than I could imagine, He gave me a feminine heart and a feminine body and a feminine spirit. I didn’t know that I was precious and priceless and that I could trust God with my heart–my innermost feelings–and that He wanted to heal even my deepest hurts.
There’s a lot more I could write about my journey in this area…especially since I’m still travelling and haven’t yet arrived. But this is a blog post and not a book chapter. 🙂
…Fast forward to 2012…
My husband and I are now blessed to have a daughter who is becoming a fine young lady of deep contemplation and feeling. I pray I can help guide her into womanhood where she will arrive with a full understanding of how beautiful, unique, and precious she is to her God.