A Woman After God’s Heart
If there was ever an award for the “Good Church Girl” (or GCG as I like to call it), I would probably win it. I was dedicated in a Bible church as an infant. My Dad was an elder. My Mom taught Sunday school (so naturally I always had perfect attendance).I had every badge possible and all my jewels were placed perfectly in the crowns on my AWANA vest. I knew that father Abraham had many sons, and many sons had father Abraham. As a GCG entering middle school at a public school, I was careful to only make friends who were also GCG’s (ya know, the ones who didn’t cuss, drink, or like boys), because, as all GCG’s know, bad company corrupts good character. In high school, I was a leader in my youth group and an FCA officer. I was “that girl” who would offer to pray before my team’s tennis matches. I graduated high school a virgin and left the Pagan Public School World and enrolled myself in a Baptist college. I attended chapel 3 times a week, took classes on Systematic Theology and Christian Doctrine, did community service/outreach every week, and went to a Bible Study with my friends. To top it all off, I met my husband at the Passion Conference and now I am on staff at my church. Could this be anymore excessive?
Now I am sitting here as an “adult” wondering what it means to be a godly woman. I definitely don’t feel like I am a “woman” per se, but apparently being married and having a job counts for something. As the ultimate GCG, you would think it would be easy for me to transfer from a GCG to a godly woman, right? I wish.
If anything, it is only frustrating to know how I should be, but seeing how short of that I fall.
So whoever you are, and wherever you are in your journey in your relationship with God, know that you and I are on the same page here. We are both trying to figure it out. I am just as confused as you. I don’t really have any good advice for you. Lucky for us though, the Bible talks about womanhood and gives us practical wisdom on how to walk it out. In Titus 2:3-5, Paul gives instruction for Christian women. There’s a lot of good stuff in there, but I want to pull out three main things that I feel are especially applicable to our community.
Find an older woman to learn from
There is great value in learning from a woman who has walked with God longer than you and has experienced more life than you have. I know this is something many of us really desire, but we don’t really know how to make it happen. Here is my advice for you: don’t be afraid to make the first ask. Sure, I know it is scary to seek someone out and we fear rejection. But come on, do you really think if you approach a woman and ask to learn from her she would be like, “Gosh, this little peasant girl wants to spend time learning from me? Absolutely not.” NO WAY! I can only imagine the great honor and encouragement that would be to her. So just go for it! You don’t have to slap the “mentor” or “disciple” label on it, just ask her if you could take her to coffee or dinner and talk about life. Learn from her experiences and share your struggles with her. She’s not a perfect woman, and won’t have every answer, but I guarantee you she will have wisdom that she will willingly share with you.
Love your husband and children
I am not a mother, but I know that loving my husband is one of the most sanctifying and wonderful jobs God has given me as a woman. In doing so, we learn so much about the love God has for us. I can only imagine how much more that multiplies when children are added to the picture. But what if you don’t have a husband or children? This still applies to you in all of your relationships. How are you loving the people around you? What friendships are you investing in? Any friendship that is a true, real friendship is going to become a pain in the neck at times. I’ve been there. I’ve wanted to quit on friends when it gets hard and they drive you crazy or hurt you or betray you. Stick it out with them. Love them with they don’t deserve it. Ask for forgiveness when you wrong them. Be quick to forgive when they wrong you. Talk about the hard sin issues in your life. When these things happen, real gospel-centered community is formed.
The best friends I’ve had are the ones that know my mess but stick it out with me anyway.
Work through these things together. It’s hard, but so worth it. When the time comes for you to get married, you will be better prepared to love well when the going gets tough (because it will).
Two distinct things come to mind when I think of purity: a True Love Waits ring, and Catholic nuns who abstain from all sexual relations with men. I’m not against either one of these things, but I do think that purity is somewhat discussed inaccurately within the Christian culture, especially for women. We peg men as the perverts who struggle with pornography and/or masturbation, but never talk about that struggle for women. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a sermon/talk/discussion on this for men, with a following statement on how this is rare among women. The belief that women do not struggle with pornography and masturbation is a LIE straight from the pits of hell. I have known and talked to enough women, specifically Christian women, to know that the struggle is real and the problem is EVERYWHERE in the church.
So if this is you, hear me on this: you are not alone. You are not a freak. You are not the only one.
You are living in community with other women who struggle exactly like you do, but everyone is living in heaps of shame and fear of being known. This is what I want you to know: God loves you more that you could ever imagine. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Jesus died on the cross to forgive your sin and set you free. So walk in that! Find a friend or someone you trust and confess this sin to them. Ask them to ask you about it on a daily/weekly basis. Give them permission to be annoying and nosey. Take active steps to remove this sin from your life. There is SO much joy and freedom in bringing the darkness to light. Walk in the light!
I am so encouraged by the women I know. There are many women I look up to and admire their examples and perseverance. God has uniquely gifted each one of us in special ways to love people and make Him known throughout the world. Women are capable of so much. Aspiring to become a godly woman should not be a discouraging task of trying to be perfect, but rather, knowing how imperfect we are, and looking to Jesus, the One who is perfect. He died on the cross for us to make us His own. As a Christian woman, you are made new in Christ. He gives you your identity, purpose, and joy. You don’t have to look anywhere else to find it. Women, be confident of who you are in Christ. You are complete in Him.
For His Glory,
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