Would you throw in your thoughts on becoming a biblical woman?Candace Watters answers mainly by quoting and referencing Barbara Mouser's Five Aspects of Woman. While I had some concerns about other parts of the response, this especially struck me:
I have trouble with this topic because it seems to me that manhood is "earned," whereas womanhood is just a fact about myself — if anything, my womanhood is something that I may need to transcend (these are observations from the wider culture, but I do not think they are always countered by the church). In other words, I feel like manhood is a trophy to be won, and womanhood is like a prize you get for participation.
Glory of Man (1 Corinthians 11, Ephesians 5) — As created, woman "glorifies her husband and her heavenly King with submission, adornment, purity and love. She emulates the Church's membership, as her husband emulates Christ's headship." In her fallen state, woman makes her beauty an end in itself, leading ultimately to ugliness (shame, lust, pride and sexual perversion, for examples; see Isaiah 3 and Ezekiel 16). Once redeemed, a woman is free to use her beauty for the benefit of her heavenly father and when married, for her husband.
This raises so many questions, but I want to address two of them:
Because this trait is so interdependent on created man, a godly woman must "find a man who commands her respect and wins her love; to please, be beautiful for, desired and cherished by such a man."
- What about women who are not beautiful? I realize that, in our culture's way of thinking, it is as if these women do not exist. Or, perhaps more properly, our culture acts as if these women should not exist and therefore, their actual existence should not even be acknowledged. For example, I recall reading of an experiment conducted by a beautiful young woman who had a professional make-up artist "turn" her into an elderly woman. She then went around for a day, doing the sort of chores she usually did in her city. She was shocked --- it was as if she had suddenly become invisible. Those who did acknowledge her were often dismissive and impatient. The church should not be like the world. Taunting plain, elderly, or disfigured women with "you are free to use your beauty for the Lord" and "you should be beautiful for your husband" is dismissive, demeaning, and somewhat cruel. Not all of us are beautiful. Please stop pretending that we don't exist, that only the beautiful women matter, or that we are failing God and our husbands by not being beautiful.
- What about single women? Apparently, if they are to be godly, they "must find a man" because this trait of godly womanhood is "so interdependent on created man". What if they can't find a man to marry them? Are they less godly? Less womanly? Or, do they simply not exist in the mind of these authors, just as plain women do not exist?
Then there is the smugness that comes across like, "I am so much more godly because I am married. Neener, neener to you, single gal. If you were really godly, like me, you would have found a man!"
Please spare me the smug bragging about how godly and beautiful you are, and how much better you are than those who are not blessed with your beauty or your husband. That's really nice for you, but --- and this may put your pretty little head in a spin --- beauty is not next to godliness. And, even more shocking --- some of the most godly women I've known were plain, even disfigured...and a few were --- gasp!---single.
Oh, but how they glorified God! Much more so than your focus on fleeting externals.
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