Thursday, January 20, 2011

What It Means to Be a Woman

I've been a woman for a while now, but i can't say that i fully understand it.

There are a lot of things that go into being a woman.  For example, the BabyGirl and I made a pilgrimage out to BabysRUs (no small feat i assure you) to buy her some clothes.  She has outgrown her current clothes so we went shopping for the next size up.  They had a HUGE clearance section, and i had a coupon for an additional 40% off.  Well, wouldn't you know, in that great big clearance section i found hardly anything in her size.  I spent forever combing thru the chaos and disarray typical of clearance racks, receiving very little reward for my labor.  I said to her, "BabyGirl, even as a baby you already find yourself in the plight of all womankind: they never have your size on clearance."  It's a position she will find herself in many a time over the next 70 years.

But isn't it crazy to think that one day my little Honey Lamb will be a woman?  My BabyGirl, who during our shopping trip spent every moment trying to climb out of the buggy?

It's the thought of her eventual womanhood that has caused me to start paying attention to what it means to be a woman.  Another example: at church one time we had a big group prayer for a family who was going thru some momentous life challenges.  I was so moved to tears by how much affection i have for this family.  Afterwards, my friend - the woman of the family - was crying too.  Her 8 year old daughter said, "Mom why are you crying?"  And she said that she was crying because she was happy.  It was like telling the 8 year old that the Tooth Fairy is real.  "What??  That doesn't make ANY sense, Mom."  We both said to her, "Just wait.  One day you will be a woman and you will cry for all sorts of ridiculous reasons."

I've been going through a Bible study on the book of Esther.  Esther was an orphan, raised by her bachelor uncle.  So ironic that one of THE MOST feminine characters in the whole Bible was raised by a man.  The teacher of the Bible study went into detail about this concept of Esther with no mother.  She shared a personal experience of going to the funeral of a woman in her 30's who left behind 3 little stair-step girls.  Those 3 little girls sat on the front row of their mother's funeral with facial expressions of shock, confusion, and grief.  Having lost their mother, they would have to face womanhood alone.

I bawled my eyes out at that story.  It touched me so much because I myself am part of a set of 3 stair-step girls.  Well, we aren't stair-steps anymore =].  It also touched me because i thought of my own BabyGirl, and how deeply tragic it is for a girl to lose her mother.  I hope and pray with all my soul that God will allow me the privilege of raising her to womanhood.

When the BabyGirl was about 7 months old, she and i were sitting on the couch with a magazine nearby.  On the back cover of the magazine was this ad.  The ad makes me angry for reasons we don't have time to go into.  I am offended by it, and i don't want it on my magazine.  For some reason this picture really captured the BabyGirl's attention.  I don't know if it's the stark black\white contrast, or what.  She was staring at it.  I took the magazine away and stated emphatically, "Don't look at this, BabyGirl.  That's not what it means to be a woman." 

Being a woman obviously encompasses more than shopping and crying at goofy things.  And it's a lot more than immodest clothes and fancy perfume.  I certainly haven't mastered it yet, but hopefully i know enough to be able to pass it on to the BabyGirl.


  1. How ironic it is that the magazine ad “uses” a woman for her looks to promote something…. Just like King Ahasuerus, in the Book of Esther, tried to use Queen Vashti’s looks to impress others and further promote his kingdom. Yet I also see, in the person of Esther, how God uses a submissive woman, including her looks, to couragously save His people from destruction and further promote "HIS" Kingdom.

  2. But looks won't last forever and ultimately it is Esther's fear of God that makes her such an amazing woman. "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised" (Prov. 31:30 NKJV).