“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
As an only child, much of my life has been spent in pursuit of my own pleasure, with little thought of anyone else. But now that I’m older, I’m seeing every day what exactly a real woman is supposed to be. She is selfless, serving, gracious, and kind—an impossible list of virtues, most of which I don’t seem to have. Do I want to help clean or cook? Not really. But this isn’t about me—and that’s what womanhood is about.
One positive about being older is that I’m far more willing than I have been to shoulder the responsibilities of womanhood, and actually apply myself to learning those beautiful character traits of a godly woman.
Learning them is, by far, the hardest thing I have ever done. Learning self-sacrifice in particular, especially the practical sort usually required of a woman, is painful in every way, but its reward is a deep and lasting loveliness and strength that nothing else brings. I’m not very good at it yet—only recently have I really realized how important it is to relationships, especially in a family. And since I’m not married yet (and probably won’t be for a while), my family is my mission field.
Graciousness and kindness are also sacrifice, in a way, and can be very uncomfortable. Usually it’s much easier to be sarcastic, or sharp, or funny in a slightly cruel way. Words have always come easily to me, and sometimes it’s very hard to simply smile, and say something soft and sweet instead. Another disadvantage to being an only child is that I tend to be unaware of what people around me need, whether it’s a hug or a glass of water. However, these little kindnesses go so far—another thing I’m just now realizing.
So, I really feel like I’m in a new chapter of life, with an entirely new mandate from the Lord: becoming a woman, a strong, godly one. It’s an exciting journey that never ends.
How about you? What are your thoughts on becoming a godly woman (or man)?