I grew up as a tomboy. With three older brothers, I played cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and every sport you could imagine. Princess parties, frilly dresses, and dolls were not a part of my childhood. I was disinterested in hair and make-up, baking and cooking, and pretty much anything and everything that shouted domestication.
As I went through life, I embraced more of a masculine spirit than a feminine one. This inner spirit was shaped by my upbringing, the culture, and by what happened to me throughout the years.
As a young girl, I was sexually molested by a neighbor. Later I became promiscuous at the age of 16. My heart was shattered by the opposite sex, and my walls came up quickly to protect myself. Because of all that took place in my life, I never knew how to be soft, tender, and sweet, all attributes of a feminine woman.
After I became a Christian, I really had a difficult time embracing God’s Word as it directly related to women. I felt like I didn’t fit the feminine mold. However, you’ll never find scripture saying a word that a woman’s personality or interests determine her femininity. Because a woman’s femininity is rooted in God’s design based on our biology and our inner spirit.
You might be thinking, “How does any of this apply to being a cherished wife?” Well, your femininity matters greatly in your marriage! After all, a male is drawn to a female! And your man is a male. 🙂 However, sometimes our feminine spirit can start to diminish in our marriage.
But first, let’s dive into what femininity looks like according to the Bible, not the culture!
God’s design for a woman is to be relational.
He’s hard-wired us like this. We long to connect and develop deep relationships. It’s why you’ll find women chatting with other women over coffee. We love face to face interaction. We have many words on our lips while our husbands have few.
You’ll find us cultivating relationships like the Proverbs 31 woman.
“The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Prov. 31:11
“Her children rise up and bless her, her husband also, and he praises her, saying: ‘Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all” Prov. 31: 28-29
Here’s something that fascinated me as a woman. After the Fall, our curse in Genesis 3:16 has to do with our relationships with our husband and children.
A feminine woman is also a nurturer.
We care for our babies if we’re mamas. If you’re struggling with infertility, your heart longs for the Lord to open your womb. And if you happen to be single, there’s a good chance you’ll want to marry and have children. God designed our bodies to give life (through our womb) and sustain life for a newborn (through our breasts).
A feminine woman is a vulnerable woman.
This is the part of femininity that was most difficult for me to grow in. As women, we have an incredible ability to be soft, sensitive, and vulnerable. That whole ‘weaker vessel’ verse in First Peter 3:7 really ticked me off when I read it as a new believer. 🙂
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them (wives) with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7 (emphasis added).
But, the verse is actually quite beautiful now that I have grown in my Christian walk. Even though this scripture exhorts men to love their wives, this doesn’t mean you and I are weak and pitiful. It simply means we’re more delicate and fragile and should not be treated like a man. This concept taught me that it was okay not to put on a fake front of being strong.
A feminine woman desires to be beautiful.
I’ve had this conversation with my husband often. Every woman, unless she has been abused in some way, or is running from her femininity, wants to be beautiful. Over and over in scripture, there are women like Eve, Sarah, Rachel, Rebekah, Queen Vashti and Queen Esther that were mentioned as being beautiful.
But then you have the Apostle Peter exhorting women not to get caught up in our outer appearance.
“Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4
Make a note of it. The above verse does not say that a woman should not be outwardly beautiful, but that she should be concerned with her inner beauty.
A feminine woman responds to her husband.
God made woman to be a helper for her man. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I learned in scripture that I was to be a ‘helper’ to my then, non-existent husband, I had a hard time swallowing this biblical truth. I saw this as a demeaning position. Not only that, but God put our husbands in a position of authority over us. However, this does not mean we are less than our husbands. It just means we serve a different role in the relationship.
And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18
For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. Eph. 5:22-23 NLT
We are also the glory of man. 1 Cor. 11:7.
Since God designed us to be responsive to our husbands, we can become the warm, inviting, and more delicate gender. And since our husbands are in authority over us, we can allow them to protect us and lead us.
3 Ways to Lose Sight of Your Feminine Spirit
1.Not being vulnerable when your guy hurts you.
- We become defensive.
- Seek to emasculate him.
- Let him know we don’t need him.
- Try to control him.
- Become argumentative.
- Become passive-aggressive.
- Or emotionally detach from him.
We do any of the above things to protect ourselves from more pain and rejection.
So we become like the foolish wife in Proverbs 14:1,
“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.”
2.Be focused solely on nurturing your kids and home.
I find that it’s hard to be feminine when I’m so focused on tending to the needs of my kids. I go into mom-mode or shall I say, Momster-mode. And this carries over into me being Wifezilla. Ain’t nothin’ sweet and feminine about that!
Another time when I find it hard to maintain a feminine spirit is when I’m too overwhelmed and stressed out with life. I have virtually no time to be the kind of wife I want to be because I’m too busy pursuing other things. Then I get tired and cranky, which usually means I’m short and snippy. Affectionate, kindhearted, and loving me goes straight out the window.
If I pursue the above paths, my actions and attitudes will eventually push my husband away from me. And if I continue in this way of life, he’ll wonder what happened to that warm, caring, and sweet woman he fell in love with.
Look back at the above list and determine what area(s) you are stumbling in that are hindering your ability to have a feminine spirit.
If your heart is broken, ask the Holy Spirit to heal you so you can be vulnerable again.
If your kids, home, or career have become a priority, ask the Lord to give you the wisdom and discernment needed to re-order your priorities so you can bring back the gentler side of you.
Bottom line: If you want to be a cherished wife and live out the love story your heart longs for, then you’ll need to address your feminine side.
Bring the tender and vulnerable side of you back into your marriage, so you’ll have the playful and sweet romance you desire.
Other posts in this series:
Live a poured out life for Christ,