The real ornament of woman is her character, her purity. – Gandhi
The Myth of the Ideal Christian Woman is a perception that is softly killing the spirits of many Christ following women. I’m afraid we have carved an idol out of the woman found in Proverbs 31. We name our ministries after her. We teach half of our women’s bible studies about her. We call a good woman “a real Proverbs 31 woman.” I can’t think of any other biblical people we do that with. I don’t hear a lot of people say “You’re a real Joshua 2 kind of woman. “
In doing so, we have caused many women who don’t have the Proverbs 31 gifts or skill set to feel like failures. We have mythologized a woman who may not have actually existed.
Oh, we modernized her some. I mean good Christian women throw good parties, bake their own bread, have dinner on the table every night, keep a tidy, well-decorated house, have well-behaved children and happy husbands, volunteer at school and are always on time with make-up on. Right?
So if that’s it, why are good, godly women struggling with feelings of worthlessness, insecurity and self-doubt? Why do our spirits feel restless? Why are we discontent at the end of the day?
Because we are trying to be someone who we aren’t. Mrs. Proverbs 31 is a righteous lady! But she is not me. And I don’t have to be her. And I don’t think you have to be her either.
So if I’m not her, Who Am I? Well, I can only take my identity crisis to one place. My Creator. I can only use the gifts he has given me. I can only bear fruit from the seeds he has planted.
And so what we have to see sisters, is that we don’t have to be anyone else. You just have to be you. But be the best you that you can be. Fulfill the calling that God placed within you. You are a unique image bearer of the Almighty. He put a piece of himself in you that only you can shine. That. Is. Amazing.
As women, some of us work outside the home but some are homemakers. Some of us are college educated but some are not. Some of us are married and some are single. Some have one child some have six. And that’s OK!
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ… But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit…
But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care.
So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. (From 1 Cor. 12)
When you accept where God has put you, you won’t strive to get somewhere else. When you know he is pleased with you, you won’t seek other people’s approval. When you value your gifts, you won’t have to compete with other people. When you give your to-do list to the Lord, you won’t feel guilty for all the things you didn’t get done. When your worth comes from the Father of Lights, you will know you are priceless.
So here’s your 4 easy steps:
- Let him lead.
- Embrace where you are.
- Embrace who you are.
- Shine your light.
Because the Ideal Christian Woman is you.
The challenges we face are far less about our marital status, number of children or career path, and more about being where God wants us, letting him direct our steps and giving control over to him. It’s about being just who you are. A woman of God.
Now shine for him. In your glorious imperfections. Shine. In your chaotic life. Shine. In your disappointments. Shine. In your weariness. Shine. In your dreams. Shine. In your purpose. Shine. In all your fullness. Shine!
You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. -Jesus the Christ