Monday, July 20, 2009

velveteen rabbit made of steel with a plan

A few days ago, a younger girl friend told me she wants to serve Christ wholeheartedly but is concerned about what that means as a female living in 2009. She has always been given the impression that Christian women are supposed to marry very young; in doing so, are not expected to accomplish much; and should become, in a word, weak. She's not too excited about this concept. (Wow, no kidding?)

She trusts her Savior but has always been taught that the Proverbs 31 woman is also code for Stepford Wife: living a level of perfection that doesn't seem attainable against modern standards; robotic and larger-than-life.

I love the way Leslie Ludy addresses this topic: "'Who can find a virtuous woman?' The word 'virtuous' here is actually a masculine noun that means 'strength, might, valor, and power.' In other words, the Proverbs 31 woman is a mighty, valiant woman full of strength and conquering power. It's the very same word that is used to describe the valiance of David when the Lord chose him to be Israel's mighty king: "I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is...a mighty man of valor, a man of war..and the LORD is with him" (1 Samuel 16:18-19).

"David's mighty valor was unmatched. His power was superhuman. As a boy he killed lions and bears with his bare hands and single-handedly slew the greatest giant in the land. As a man, he valiantly led armies into battle and annihilated all the enemies of the Lord.

"It's this very same heroic valor that marks the Proverbs 31 woman. She has superhuman strength. She has unmatched valor. She valiantly stomps out whatever stands in the way of God's purposes. Nothing hinders her. Her living display of triumph, victory, and the glory of God. The chief word used to the describe the Proverbs 31 woman is the word strength. It's mentioned no less than three times throughout the chapter, in addition to the 'virtuous, valiant' opening description."

I don't know where the idea that serving God from a female standpoint means turning into an unemotional slave originated. It's ridiculous. Ludy nails the real definition: "Set-apart femininity blends the classic womanly grace and dignity of an Audrey Hepburn with the sacrificial, poured-out-for-Christ lifestyle of an Amy Carmichael. It's true feminine beauty merged with absolute abandonment to Jesus Christ. It's the sparkling, vibrant, world-altering, Christlike version of feminity that your King created you to exude."

Stepford? Heck no.

"Comrades, let us be resolute. Let us, by whatever name we are called, be Soldiers, Nazarites, Priests. Some will praise us, some will blame us; let us not care too much about either praise or blame. Let us live looking up, looking on, standing true by the grace of Him who has called us." - Amy Carmichael, God's Missionary


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