Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (1 Peter 3:7 KJV).
When young men are growing up and face challenges and become emotional or weepy they are often told to ‘man up’. Without asking for explanations, they automatically know what it means to ‘man up’ or to be man. It usually means that they have to be brave, strong, courageous and get on with it without being ‘wimpy’, or ‘soft’
I have however never heard anyone say to a woman ‘be a woman’ or ‘woman up’. They will use the actual real words. They will say, be gentle, be strong, be patient, be brave, be serviceable, be generous, be quiet, speak up, be forgiving, be wise, be hospitable, be calm, be patient and others similar terminologies.Women are the most diverse and yet unique set of God’s creation.
There is therefore no agreed universal definition of what it means to be a woman. Every woman is unique. They come in different shapes and forms. The loud ones, the quiet ones, the shy ones, the overly confident ones, the sharp tongued ones, the reticent ones, the list is endless.
There’s really no good or bad way to be a woman. The only exception is if a woman uses her womanly attributes to disobey God and to practice treachery and wickedness. That is when you hear statements like ‘hell has no fury like a woman scorned’. It has been said that a woman has the power of a kingdom in her hands. Kings are made by her and kings are brought down by her. Anyway, that is besides the point.
What does it mean to be a woman?
What did the original model of a woman look like?
The original model was made as a response to a specific need identified by God. She was made to measure, made fit for a specific purpose, made to suit, custom made model without duplicate.
Every woman since then is made as an answer to a specific need. Designed and made to fit her particular mould. If that mould requires her to have a loud personality, then that’s how she should be. If it requires her to be quiet that is what she should be. Her favour which God has on her life is tied up in her being who God made her to be because that favour goes with the particular task or mould or need she was made to be suited to. If she tries to be anything else she cannot walk in it’s favour because it doesnot suit her. Blessed is a man who finds a woman who is secure in herself and is walking in her assigned favour. If she becomes his wife, that man will qualify to reap of that favour which is of God.
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord. (Proverbs 18:22 KJV)
What every woman needs is to be loved, affirmed and cherished for who she is as a person first and foremost rather than just for her role as a wife or a mother.
Hidden inside every woman, no matter how hostile she may seem is a little girl who needs her unique type of ‘girliness’ to be affirmed and validated whether it be a ‘tomboy’ girliness or a ‘teddy bear lady like’ girliness. She needs to be allowed to evolve and find her true self.
Without your ‘little girl’ – your inner girl being affirmed, you grow into a woman with ‘needs’ which is what puts a lot of single men off. Not everyman wants a clingy, neurotic type woman as a wife. Neither do they want a stubborn ‘I will do whatever I want’ type.
A woman’s personality needs to be submitted to God more and more as she grows otherwise she becomes even more strange as she grows. Just look at certain middle aged women who have still not found their very own places in life, they are hard to live with and hard to please. It is often blamed on hormonal changes, but could there be more to it than that? The more you are able to submit to God, the more you find your true ‘womaness’. As a woman you need to let God lead you, speak to you, comfort you, heal you. When it comes to God, you need to have a quiet, listening attitude as he is the only one who can direct you towards your ‘true north’, your definite destiny. Let your strength and value be in ‘….the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price’. (1 Peter 3:4 KJV).
If you as a woman do not fear God, there is no way you can discover the totality of who he made you to be. You will aim to be like someone else. Unfortunately or should I rather say fortunately, you were not made with those specifications in mind and so you cannot maintain being who you are not authentically. You definitely cannot do so long term without frustrating yourself and others. The bible calls such women ‘strange women’ and a good man is advised to stay away from her. In her desperation to be what she is not, she causes a lot of confusion not only for herself but for all those around her. She cannot really deliver what she seems to be promising.
A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. (Proverbs 9:13 KJV).
When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. (Proverbs 2:10, 11, 16-19 KJV).
Don’t use your attributes as a woman in ways God did not plan for you to use.
Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! (Proverbs 31:30 AMP)
The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. (Proverbs 15:33 KJV)
Anyone who wants to receive honour must first be humble. An honourable woman is a humble woman whose value is very entrenched in the fear of the Lord.
God requires that she be honoured as per our main scripture above.
So what does a good, secure woman want?
She wants you to handle her according to the value of who she really is and not who you want her to be. You have to get to know her. You have to live with her according to that knowledge.
She wants the honour that is due her. No one honours a weak thing. We should however honour a strong thing in a weak vessel. It takes real grace to maintain greatness in a weak vessel. For the sake of what the vessel carries, you honour the vessel.
A woman wants to be treated like an equal, valued partner, not a subservient second fiddle. We are all heirs together – we inherit together. A woman is as much a signatory to the heavenly account as a man is. Without her signature, the cheque may very well not be accepted. Beware, both her husband’s prayers and her prayers can be hindered.
A woman just wants to be allowed and supported to be all that God made her to be and not be forced to be a replica or duplicate of her husband’s mother, sister, an ex girlfriend, or that other woman he so admires.