I’m going to be honest with you. This article may be hard to take in. This is a tough issue (at least for me) to deal with. I don’t know what kind of home you have come from, or how you were raised, but let me assure you we’ll trudge through this swampy valley together. And we will come out victorious; for our King has already won the battle for us!
Let me start off with saying that I come from a broken home. My parents were never married, and I rarely got to see my father when I was growing up. My mom was married once, but got a divorce when I was in second grade. For most of my life my mom has been single, and has used me as a crutch at times. Before I move on let me make this clear: I love my parents greatly, and I wouldn’t ever trade them for anyone else in the world. No parent is perfect. We all screw up. It’s called being human.
With that being said I’m going to get at the heart of this issue. I have a tough time playing the role that God gave me when I was born; a woman. With the lack of a spiritual male leader in my life, my dad telling me to toughen up, and my mom depending on my help in the home (since the end of 3rd grade), I was forced to take on a “man’s” role. Life became even harder when I became a Christian. I felt responsible for my family, and I took on a role that was never designed for me.
I’ve been reading Joshua Harris’s book, Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship, and he’s opened my eyes a lot more to the roles that God created in us. He created man a woman equally, and within that equality, assigned us different roles. We were made to complement each other; not be duplicates. If we weren’t different, then life would be so boring and predictable! God created Adam first and by doing this, He signified him as a leader and an initiator. Then He created Eve to be “a helper suitable to him” (Genesis 2:18). He created Eve to compliment, and help Adam. Adam is no better than Eve, and Eve is no better than Adam. In his book, Harris quotes a commentary on Genesis by Matthew Henry: “Eve was not taken out of Adam’s head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.” I L.O.V.E. this. What a beautiful display of how God intended us to be!!
In today’s American culture, our roles as men and women have gone all wonky. Men are becoming more passive, and women are becoming more aggressive. We’ve forgotten our roots! Men don’t know how to be men, and women don’t know how to be women!
Men! God has called you to servant initiators- firm, but gentle; masculine, yet caring; leaders, yet servants; protectors, not seducers. Harris has four points in his book that might be helpful to you.
- Assume the responsibility of leading and initiating. All this means is that you should serve a woman by leading and initiating in small ways. Plan things, initiate conversations, etc.
- Be a spiritual leader. Make your own spiritual growth in godliness a priority. Initiate biblical fellowship.
- Do little things to show you care, respect, and desire to protect. Just be a gentleman.
- Encourage women to embrace godly femininity.
Women! Don’t let the world be little you. You are a Daughter and a Princess of the most high God! You are beautiful and strong! Fix your eyes upon Him, and live your life according to His purpose! Use your gifts, develop your mind, and be passionate about God!! Harris gives us four points as well in his book.
- Encourage and make room for the men in your life to practice servant leadership. Refuse to do the work of leading for them. Now God asks us only to submit to our husbands, but a single woman can encourage servant leadership and respond to their initiative.
- Be a sister to the men in your life. View them as a brother, not as “potentials.” Be yourself. Be a friend.
- Cultivate the attitude that motherhood is a noble and fulfilling calling. Learn homemaking skills. Learning to keep a home and love a husband and children is a part of God’s plan for training of young women. Practice hospitality, and care for and nurture for people in your life.
- Cultivate godliness and inward beauty in your life. Refuse to buy into the obsession with being physically beautiful and sexually alluring. There’s a difference between dressing attractively, and dressing to attract. In 1 Peter 3:4, Peter tells us that our beauty should be of our inner selves- “The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
I struggle daily to be what God has called me to be as a woman. I know for a fact that I cannot do it on my own. I need my God, my Father, my Savior, to help me. I need His strength. So join me as we march on through the ways of this world onto something far greater: being real men and women of God. I dare you to live a life in which God has called you! Will you trust Him? Will you believe?