I started this blog because I was inspired by Miranda Hart’s book which was all about being awkward, tall and clumsy and basically not getting the ‘being a lady’ thing right. I planned to write about how difficult it is to be a woman, regarding hair, make-up, skin, fashion, speech, dates — the whole nine yards. I started doing this in my first blog. But despite my promise to write more, I never did. Because another agenda took over — the desire to not only be a real woman, but a woman of God.
I mean I didn’t discuss this with myself and then say, alright, let’s change topics here. Actually I just wrote whatever came to mind and whatever I was inspired to write based on what I was listening to or reading. I guess what I was filling myself with was some heavy-duty spiritual nourishment because my perspective has changed more in the last seven months of writing this blog, than it has my entire life.
You see, before I finally looked at myself in the mirror, my £80 haircut still looking shaggy, ever-present blunders on my face looking as red as always and that extra bit of fat leaning over my bra as it typically does, before I finally looked at that woman in the face and said ‘you are a beautiful woman and I love you’ and meant it, before that, I didn’t believe I was at all. Yes, I thought I was good-looking, but not beautiful. After all, I didn’t know how to properly apply eyeliner, my hair didn’t suit me straight but naturally it was all over the place, and my body always changed as a result of my insecurity-induced binges on unhealthy food. I never felt comfortable in a tight-fitted dress, no matter how on point my body was and every time I bought clothes in the store I hated them by the time I got home. I looked at other girls — clear skin, straight, shiny hair, amazing style, great posture and most of all — petite — and thought to myself — they are beautiful women. I looked at my tall, gorilla of a clumsy self, with my sprinter thighs and broad shoulders and said — you are undefined. Because I couldn’t call myself a real woman, far less a beautiful woman.
So what caused me to look at myself in the mirror and decide that I was a beautiful woman who was immensely loveable?
The frustrations of paying £80 to get my hair cut in a way that would transform me into a babe like Marilyn Monroe, yet still looking like, well, me.
The frustrations of trying to steady my hand to put on the eyeliner I just bought along with loads of other make-up and realising I didn’t really want to have to put on eyeliner.
The frustrations of buying what I thought were amazing A-class women clothes, putting them on and then just wishing I could be in my frumps again while pulling down my skirt every three steps as it crawled up and over my backside.
The frustrations of knowing, deep down, that after all the money spent and effort in giving myself a make-over, I would feel so odd in that ‘new body’ that I wouldn’t be able to be confident anyway.
The immense and unconditional love from Jesus that I experienced as I got to know Him more and fell deeper into His ocean of grace and love, a love that is unequivocally strong and life changing regardless of the number of layers of make-up I have on or the clothes that I wore. A love that clothes me in heavenly cloaks and runs through my untamed hair and adds zest to its curls. A love that envelopes every corner and crescent of my body, chubby or bony, and warms it with total admiration. A love that pulled me up off the ground where I despaired in my inadequacy, brought me in front of the mirror, and gave me complete confidence to say, ‘You are a beautiful woman and I love you’.
And that was only the beginning. Since declaring that to myself with all of my heart I have finally come to see and understand what it means to be a woman. And as a result have realised that I am very much a woman, a real woman, and more and more so every day as I develop, mature and be.
What does it mean to be a woman then, you ask? Well that would take me at least six blogs to define but let me start by using this table below:
|Errors in Passivity||Biblical Ideal||Errors of Aggressiveness|
|Husband||Wimp||Loving, humble headship||Tyrant|
|Wife||Doormat||Joyful, intelligent submission||Usurper|
Yes, I believe a REAL woman is joyfully and intelligently submissive. A real woman understands that to help create a society of real men, she needs to treat all men like they are fully capable of being leaders. If they are far away from that, she doesn’t talk down to them and dis them by calling them stupid, simplistic or ‘animals’ but encourages them to develop their talents, find their innate leadership qualities and appraises them anytime they show the qualities of a real man.
A real woman, if a man comes to her vulnerable and downtrodden, she helps him up all the way to standing position and doesn’t ever make reference to her being the one getting him there, because she knows that if there is one more real man in the world, the world is 100 times better for it. And when that man or any other man takes on the role of leader she does not turn the other way and refuse to listen to him because she has more degrees, is from a higher class, is more beautiful or knows his weaknesses. No, a real woman listens to his leading and encourages him to speak out, to voice his ideas, to be confident, to be courageous, to be a real man. She listens to his idea, quietly assesses the sincerity and rationality behind it and responds with submission if it is a good idea or gently continues discussion with him to come to a better conclusion for the both of them. Ultimately she allows him to make the decision, because she knows that if the world had one more real, decisive and confident male leader, the world would be 1000 times better for it.
And when this real woman goes on a date, she allows the man to suggest the place, pay for the meal, hold the doors, and pull out the chairs if he wants to. She allows him, first of all, to make the first move in asking her out, and then in kissing her and then in asking her to be his girlfriend. Because she knows that when a man is ready to be a real man, then and only then will he be ready to be with a real woman — and she would never want to force him to make a decision before his time. A real woman knows that it takes time for a man to fall in love, but it takes no time at all for him to lust — so she is patient, moves slowly, dresses modestly, and lets him get to know her and she him before they get too physical. Because a real woman knows that when a real man loves a woman, with a long-suffering kind of love, that love is revolutionary and spills out into all of his life, making the world 10,000 times a better place.
A real woman is intelligent and wise and does not let men who pretend to be real men defile her, have her heart, toy with her emotions or show any aggression towards her. Because she knows that when a man is not yet a real man, when he doesn’t know how to be a man, he is unable to humbly and selflessly accept, appreciate and appraise a real woman’s gentle submission. She knows instead that he will abuse it and she keeps her heart well away because she knows she is worth ‘far more than rubies’ (Proverbs 31: 10).
And a real woman is not idle, but is busy nurturing her talents, caring for others, feeding her family and developing a closer relationship to God who thus clothes her with strength and dignity. A real woman is a helper — not one that is abused and inferior, but one that, without her, the world will be 1,000,000,000 times worse.
After all — Jesus was born of a virgin woman!
‘Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate’ Proverbs 31: 30
There’s SOOO much more to come on this. Stay tuned…