Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Type of Woman a Man Needs

In all the hubbub about 50 Shades of Grey (which seems to have died down now that it's not new- what a short attention span society has) a friend of mine posted on Instagram, "Don't be a woman who needs a man; be the woman a man needs." I've yet to find anything in Scripture that contradicts that. It's said that a wife is a good thing (Proverbs 18:22). It's said that it's not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Nothing is ever said the opposite way. 

"Don't be a woman who needs a man."  Now woman was made for man (1 Corinthians 11:9). There is a natural desire in women to want a man. But women need to be complete in God first. When we make our focus anything besides God we end up with something warped and cracked and broken. 

In our quest for women's submission or women's rights we have forgotten something. Women aren't to submit to men- just to their husbands. Then they join in the ranks of those that submit to their pastor and their boss or whoever by reason of position. We are told about our differing roles in the church but that doesn't make us less than men, simply different. 

A woman who finds her confidence in God is a scary thing. She can walk in submission to her husband as an insecure woman cannot. She's not challenged by God's order of things or her husband's strengths. A woman who finds her confidence in God can bless her husband because she isn't concerned with what others think about them or their family. A woman who finds her confidence in God is able to bless other women because she isn't intimidated by their gifts and talents. 

"Be the kind of woman a man needs." What kind of woman does man need? Society has all sorts of strange answers for that question. But a man doesn't need a sexy woman, a high-society woman, a career woman, a trophy wife. Marriage goes so much deeper than the skin. The Bible tells us what kind of woman a man needs.

1. A virtuous woman. Proverbs 12:4, 31:10. A virtuous woman is prized and rare. Virtue is sometimes described as excellence, moral goodness, femininity (or masculinity in males). In our androgynous society this type of woman stands out. Do you embrace your femininity and your calling as a woman? You do not have to be like a man to do great things. God made you a woman. Embrace that. Take to God your troubles and difficulties about womanhood and watch Him work in your life as He has worked in mine. 

2. A gracious woman. Proverbs 11:16. She retains honor just like the Proverbs 31 woman is clothed in honor. There is honor in being a woman. It's an honor that we can take from ourselves when we act in ways that are unbecoming. There is plenty to be said about grace and being gracious. It is a characteristic of God. It shows itself in kindness (Ephesians 2:7) Grace accepts others and makes them feel at home (Ephesians 1:6). Gracious words come from wisdom (Ecclesiastes 10:12). Wisdom is a hallmark of the Proverbs 31 woman's speech. A gracious woman is an abounding woman (Ephesians 1:8) When we are not gracious- when we are careless with others, judgmental, unwelcoming, loose with our words- we lose part of the honor of being a woman. 

3. A meek and quiet woman. 1 Peter 3:4. It may surprise you what this verse actually means. After all Moses was the meekest man, remember? It doesn't mean a doormouse woman who sits around with no opinion or viewpoints and never talks. It means a steady woman. Even, predictable in emotions, not given to extremes. It means she doesn't incite riot or offense. She's not stirring up trouble. She's calm inside and toward others. We can be that type of lady. 

There is so much more said about women in the Bible. We'll be unpacking more later but I want to end with one thought. 

You know what kind of woman it's never said that a man needs? 

A beautiful, size 2 woman. 

Certainly there are mentions of women in the Bible being beautiful. Sarah was beautiful. Rachel, Esther, and Abigail were called beautiful. But that's about it. It's never said for a man to look for a beautiful wife. It's never commanded for a woman to strive to be beautiful- actually it's said to matter very little (Proverbs 31:30). I'm not advocating neglecting our appearance. I think it's important to God, ourselves, and our husbands; but it's not most important. It's not even on the radar of importance. I would like to do less judging of others based on their outside and look on the inside instead. 

Being a woman is a privilege. Therefore, like all privileges, it has responsibilities. Let's be the kind of woman that God sets out in His Word. 

To me, a lady is not frilly, flouncy, flippant, frivolous, and fluff-brained, but she is gentle, she is gracious, she is godly, and she is giving. You and I have the gift of femininity...the more womanly we are, the more manly men will be and the more God is glorified. Be women, be only women, be real women in obedience to God. Elisabeth Elliot