A conversation this weekend has had me pondering further some thoughts already going round my head recently. What does it mean to be feminine if that has not been affirmed in us growing up and we grew up as so called ‘tom boys’. I don’t recall moments of clear affirmation of my feminity and I have found myself wrestling with issues around being a woman, but at present I am in a season where I am very comfortable with who I am in that sense. Yes there are many aspects about my character that I am less comfortable with and know need to change but I don’t get caught up in being feminine enough. And the question made me wonder if we as women wrestle with this issue not so much because that is the real question at the heart of the matter or because the christian self help books tell us that it is without letting us explore our own questions and journeys. And by offering easy reading they become obstacles in us going to God first. It reminded me of a conversation with a friend about healing and lack of bible teaching at a conference we had recently been too and my friend felt that often people needed healing before they could hear God’s word. For me it is God’s word faithfully and genuinely taught that allows any healing that is needed. That healing comes from God’s word not ours.
I am in a study group using the book Captivating as a spring board to our studies. I read it when it first came out and it offered a helpful spring board for me then but I am in a different place now and I find it pushes all the wrong buttons in me now. At times I find it and other conversations and books I have read want to both describe the questions and issues I should have and offer their response with a nod toward scripture but allowing their voices to shape the answer rather than God’s without allowing us to enter into asking our own questions.
And so this has led me to another question , why do we seek our affirmation from those who have either wounded us or those who have stepped into the empty shoes in our lives? Why if we claim that we believe God’s word do we not allow His words to be the words we hear and allow to affirm us? What holds us back from accepting His truths over us? His word is filled with affirmation and life and yet we often seem to look elsewhere yet claim to say we hold God’s word up as truth.
What is it that we are trying to understand about ourselves when we ask ‘what does it mean to be feminine?’ I realised after the conversation this weekend I was not sure if I knew what I meant by it because I get hung up on the idea of pink and fluffy and danity, but that might come from the fact that I was often referred to as the tomboy, so in some way I was not a girly girl even though I longed always to grow up and be married and be a mum and homemaker and yet I love the outdoors, I love adventure and I hate shopping, especially clothes shopping and make up confuses me totally. So I guess I see feminity being linked to clothes and make up because I was called a tom boy and those were the things I did not like. So I resist exploring the question because I have this illogical fear I will have to embrace shopping and make up if I am to be truly feminine, but I have a feeling that is not God’s answer and if I was to take some time to stop and look at His word I would find it filled with women who were courageous, strong, cried, doubted, questioned, followed, submitted, led and in that I find my answer along with being called His beloved daughter through Christ. That should be the foundation I build my identity on.
What I have shared is a segment of my thoughts circulating around today and I write this not as a complete piece but what I hope will be the start of a conversation with some of those who read along. It is not about right and wrong but I would love dialogue and thoughts from others. It is a conversation open to any of my friends though I appreciate for those who do not share faith in the same way as me or at all then it may seem rather abstract or just totally random, but I ask that you bear with me in the questions I have asked and understand that there is a context in which they are raised. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.