Do you think God cherishes our feminine side? I think He does, or He wouldn’t have created us that way! Contrary to the current cultural climate which would teach our children that gender doesn’t matter and that we should be free to change our gender identity, I believe that God’s Word clearly instructs us to foster our feminine side.
Let me clarify and address this before it even comes up. This is not about a male-dominated society where women are “less than.” We will talk about subjects involving submission of a woman to her husband on this blog, probably frequently, under the heading of Marriage. But I do want to reference the writings of Paul. Let me give you my blanket opinion; Paul outlined a lot of cultural things that women of those times did, or men of those times did, and stated that the lines shouldn’t be blurred. Many, possibly even most, of those specifics were cultural and I don’t think we are supposed to do things exactly that way. He basically was saying, “Men should act like men, and women should act like women.” It’s a culture thing, and I will definitely have a full blog post on that soon!
1 Corinthians 11:15 gives us a glimpse of being feminine. It states that long hair is to a woman’s glory. What does that mean? It means, it makes her beautiful. (The rest of that verse says the equivalent of, and please excuse my loose translation, but it looks ridiculous on men!)
So what is the standard? Does God care if we take care of our appearance? What about all the verses speaking against vanity?
Did you know that in the original building of the temple, back in Exodus, one of the gifts that was given was that all the women “who were moved” brought their bronze mirrors? First of all, that means that those women were in the habit of carrying bronze mirrors. Secondly, they were willing to give up that part of their lives to contribute to the building of God’s Holy Temple. They weren’t required to do it, and some of them didn’t (only those “who were moved”). These were women who took notice of their appearance, but weren’t so attached to it that they couldn’t give it up. The gifts that were brought to the temple were only the best of the best, and that bronze was melted to make the fastenings for the curtains and more in the temple itself.
Song of Solomon makes a great big deal out of a woman’s beauty, and how it is valued to her husband. (It also makes a great big deal out of several things to value about men, by their wives!) I can’t wait to delve into the Song of Solomon in later months, here on the blog!
Proverbs 31, the biggie, speaks of the virtuous woman who makes clothing for herself and her household. Clothing made from fine linens, purple, and scarlet, no less! They wear the fanciest stuff available. But, isn’t wearing the fanciest clothing vanity? Apparently not. She does it, and in doing so is providing the example that Christ would have us to follow. (But making her own clothing surely makes it a more frugal option, wouldn’t you think?)
Do you still need proof?
I’ll just insert a big thing for me, concerning being feminine and paying attention to beauty. For me, I’ve finally come to realize that my husband values my femininity and he appreciates the little things I do. I think he appreciates them more now than he did before I had a period when I didn’t do them… and some things I do thinking it’s for him, he never notices. But he does notice plenty, even if he doesn’t always remember to let me know that he’s noticed.
Knowing that I’m honoring him with these things is important to me, and has boosted my own self-confidence in ways that I cannot explain to you. I started doing them as a way to honor my husband, because I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit when I would dress up for an event and he would notice. Since starting to do some of these “silly beauty things,” my opinion of myself has changed. I feel better. I notice when he notices me. (I think he notices me more often!) I worry less about the way things fit or a small thing out of place, because I feel… I’m not sure “pretty” is the right word. I feel noticable.
For me, some of those things include doing my hair and nails. Sometimes I’ll do makeup, and jewelry. Wearing beautiful clothing that fits properly is a big one for me lately. I’ve started doing some of the silly little things like foot scrubs and body lotions, even perfume that I know my husband enjoys. I consider crafty things to be feminine. That’s certainly Biblical, and it was one of my husband’s answers when I once asked him how I match up to the woman he always wanted!
Lately, I’ve come to realize that many of these things, and how I feel, depends on health. Weight loss is a big one for me, but also things like pain management and avoiding headaches would fall under this category. I feel much more feminine when I’m not sick and can fit into my clothing! Just saying….