The Prism of Womanhood

I’m grateful to have a post up at DG today. Here’s an excerpt:

“The unique influence of a godly woman is in transforming things. A woman is to be compared to a crown on the head of her husband (Proverbs 12:4). This is not because she’s merely decorative, but because she is the thing that makes her good man great. She transforms a promising bachelor into a purposeful, respected husband. He gives his seed and by some miracle and mystery, God has designed her body to nurture and grow a new person, as Nancy Wilson outlines in her address, Dangerous Women.

In this transformative role, whether single or married, a woman mimics her Savior. Like him, she submits to another’s will and, also like him, God uses her to take what was useless on its own and shape it into glory. Dirty things clean; chaos turned to order; an empty kitchen overflowing with life and food; children in want of knowledge and truth and a mother eager to teach; a man in need of help and counsel and a woman fit to give it; friends and neighbors with a thirst for the truth and a woman opening her home and heart to share it with them.

A woman is a prism that takes in light and turns it into an array of greater, fuller glory, so that those around her now see the rainbow that was contained in the beam. She constantly radiates reminders of God’s faithfulness. She reads the black and white pages of the word of God and takes on the task of living them out in vibrant hues for her children, her neighbors, and the world to see. When the Bible commands feeding, nourishing, training and love, a godly woman sets to the task, enhancing and beautifying everything around her.”

Read the rest.


12 thoughts on “The Prism of Womanhood

  1. It must be sweet to have the biological equipment and financial wherewithal to be a stay-at-home mom. I admire you for doing it, and I’m happy that you can afford to. As a woman with no uterus who has to work for a living, though, I must take exception to your casting your role as mom and homemaker as the biblical role for women.

    You seem to imply that women who work are somehow trying to be men (which I don’t think is the case for most working women, although I can only speak for myself and my acquaintance — I think we are happy to be women). You say:

    “… in order for her to become like a man, he becomes less and less like one. And that’s something that most women, even the most ardent feminists, recoil at in their heart. Not because femininity is detestable, but because on a man, it is grotesque.”

    A few things:

    1) I think I already addressed, we aren’t trying to become like men or become men.
    2) How does a working woman make a man less manly?
    3) If you mean that a man whose wife works has to do “women’s work” at home, that is NOT unmanly or grotesque in the least but is much appreciated.

    You say:

    “…she is the thing that makes her good man great. She transforms a promising bachelor into a purposeful, respected husband.”

    Why, though? Shouldn’t God be in the business of transforming her husband and making him great? And if in fact this responsibility for making our man great is ours, doesn’t that make us the leader because we’ve shaped the biddable man into what we want him to be? And isn’t the leader exactly what complementarianism says women can’t be?

    You say:

    “In this transformative role, whether single or married, a woman mimics her Savior. Like him, she submits to another’s will and, also like him, God uses her to take what was useless on its own and shape it into glory.”

    I cannot follow you here. You seem to be contradicting your previous assertion that women should NOT try to be like men — now you seem to be saying, “There is one man you MUST emulate, Jesus, but ONLY emulate Him in being submissive.” This seems confusing? Furthermore … to whom do you think Jesus was submitting? By Trinitarian theology Jesus is always God — to whom did He submit, Himself? I am not understanding your reasoning.

    You say:

    “Dirty things clean; chaos turned to order; an empty kitchen overflowing with life and food; children in want of knowledge and truth and a mother eager to teach; a man in need of help and counsel and a woman fit to give it; friends and neighbors with a thirst for the truth and a woman opening her home and heart to share it with them.”

    I hope this is what your life is like! Sounds so lovely. I also hope you realize that it reflects a lot of privilege that other women just don’t have.

    You say:

    “A woman is a prism that takes in light and turns it into an array of greater, fuller glory, so that those around her now see the rainbow that was contained in the beam. She constantly radiates reminders of God’s faithfulness. She reads the black and white pages of the word of God and takes on the task of living them out in vibrant hues for her children, her neighbors, and the world to see. When the Bible commands feeding, nourishing, training and love, a godly woman sets to the task, enhancing and beautifying everything around her.”

    How is any of this not applicable to a man? Shouldn’t all believers, regardless of gender, radiate God’s love, light and goodness?

    I hope that you are happy and really feel fulfilled that your life’s calling is to rear your children and make your husband a better man. I just don’t think that there’s any biblical reason to claim that EVERY woman’s calling is the same as yours.

    1. Hi Jax Hill,

      First of all, thanks for your comment and yes, I agree that I am blessed beyond anything I deserve and by no merit of my own–not only in the family and life God’s given me–but more importantly, in being saved by God’s perfect Son Jesus. It is beyond privilege, it’s outrageous undeserved grace. It looks like from your blog that we both have the privilege of being wives and mothers, even if not biologically. I’m happy for you too and while I wouldn’t call it “sweet” to have the biological equipment to have children, I do regard it as undeserved kindness.

      In regard to the article, I think we likely have some legitimate areas of disagreement, but I think they’ve been needlessly inflated. You read more into the article than was there in terms of whether or not I was saying women can or can’t work outside the home. I not only think they can, I think they must in some situations. The simple fact that I have spent time writing for DG and in other capacities ought to show that in a small way. I was not saying that women who work outside the home are striving to be men. I was saying that some women DO set themselves up without distinction from men and I think that’s a mistake. The bible shows that we’re very much the same, but also distinct. God in three persons is the foundation for how God created man and woman in his image. He is distinctly 3. To say that because Jesus is God he cannot submit to God rejects the concept of the Trinity. He told his disciples, “I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father..” (John 14:31 ESV) Jesus submitted to the will of his father, even when he asked for the cup to pass from him in the Garden of Gethsemane. We imitate our Savior in his holiness and perfection and submission, yes.

      I was mentored by a single working woman for a brief time during my 20’s. She was and is a godly and Christ-like woman in every way that matters. She gave me wonderful parenting advice, opened her home in kindness and did it all without having ever had children and employed full time. All Christian women have the capacity and calling to be a mother, a spiritual mother, which is the only kind that is distinctly Christian. Mothering of children in a family is simply the way God designed the world so that we could have a concept of what true family and mothering is, that is spiritual family, spiritual mothering, and I believe every woman is called to that.

      I also think that the home must be a priority, whether a woman works or not. I believe this because I read it in the Scriptures (Titus 2). But saying the home must be a priority is different than saying a woman may never work outside of it. Clearly the Proverbs 31 woman had ventures in buying a land and planting a vineyard.

      I say that women make their good man great because I read it in the Bible. She is the crown on the head of her husband. She doesn’t save him, she isn’t God, she’s just a really awesome wife who’s good for him.

      And men certainly share in transforming things and culture making. I simply was looking at what the Scripture and God’s world and biology teaches us about women in general and I find that particularly drawn out in regard to them. Hope this helps clarify and blessings to you.

      1. “Mothering of children in a family is simply the way God designed the world so that we could have a concept of what true family and mothering is, that is spiritual family, spiritual mothering, and I believe every woman is called to that.”

        Beautiful and encouraging–thank you!

  2. Your article is right on with scripture- which makes it an edifying and encouraging read. Thank you for it, hope to read more from you on Desiring God! Thank you, God bless you!

  3. Oh how I love this post! I write about God’s command to younger women to be keepers at home frequently since I know how important this is to the Lord and for children to have a mother home full-time with them nurturing and loving on them. I will be writing a post about this post that you have written since I scour everything I can find looking for others who are teaching this to women. I will link it to your post on DG. Thank you for your boldness in teaching this crucial topic in this day and age where it is so mocked.

  4. I have been super encouraged by your last 3 or 4 DG posts. Thank you for using your gifts and sharing truth.

  5. Thank you for this. This article describes how woman bear Gods image. Sometimes I feel like people forget that woman bear Gods image and heart, too. I have been shamed before for being a woman, but the Lord is bringing me to own that I am a woman. A woman! Who has a curves, mood swings when that time of the month comes, loves to fix her hair, loves putting on make-up, likes to talk. These are just a few ways in which I display being a woman, and I love it. 🙂 We are Gods masterpieces. Woo.

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