Fierce and Feminine
Okay, so I absolutely love this question because there’s a part of me that can relate to it, meaning, I shared the same heart attitude (and struggles) of how to become a feminine woman when I was an aggressive, take-charge, single working woman. But even if you’re a married woman reading this, I think what I’m sharing today will help you, too.
I am a single mom for eight years now of my eight year old son. My heart’s desire is to be the woman God made me to be, which is to be led by a Godly, kind-hearted, loving husband. I am okay waiting and learning from the relationship mistakes I’ve made. My problem and question is — because I must work, I feel like I am two different people. The “in the world” working woman who deals with sharks, etc., and then at home with my Bible study girlfriends, I am softer, and back into who I really am. What advice can you offer me as I try to be successful, feminine, and not too exhausted from single motherhood as I prepare for Prince Charming?
Definition of feminine:
1. soft; tender; delicate.
At first glance, when I read that definition I couldn’t help but wonder what woman really relates to it? However, I believe many of us do if we look deep within our hearts.
Know Your King
This is the most important aspect of a woman’s life especially because we live out several roles. (Check out the Proverbs 31 woman for some examples.) For me, my number one role is being my King’s daughter. Everything I do stems from this relationship and thus it causes me to prioritize my other roles accordingly. Since you’re a singe mom, you have to work, thus, you need to deal with the sharks. When you’re at work, there is nothing wrong with wearing the ‘work hat’. Wear it, and wear it well, but do so as you represent your King.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Col. 3:17
When you come home from the harsh business world, flip the switch. Be the mom, the soft nurturer, but also the fierce protector.
Know Your Roles
I’m no longer in the work force, but before I had children I did run our business with my husband, and I still help help him in it from time to time. So when this happens, I shift gears, or I put on a different hat and I become the business woman. During this role, I’m fierce but I’m also a woman of character. When I’m not doing the business thing, then I flip the mental switch and I go into a different role. Throughout my day I’ll have several roles. I’m the mom, the school teacher, since I homeschool, the maid, the woman in ministry, the cook, the baker, and the candlestick maker. 🙂 All of these roles bring out different parts of my personality. For example, if I was out and about with my boys and my husband wasn’t by my side and my boys fell into some type of danger with a stranger, then the aggressive ‘mama bear’ in me would come out and I’d rip someone’s head off if I needed to. Now I can tell you there wouldn’t be one ounce of gentleness ruining through my veins during a time like this.
Know When to Shift Gears
Even when you marry, your man will not always be with you 24/7 to protect you. Or there may be some circumstances when you need to step up and help him. Perhaps he’s just had surgery and he can’t lift things. Or he has an illness or disease that has left him physically incapable of protecting you. I believe women go through life shifting gears all the time. We adapt to our circumstances and shift to meet the needs of those around us.
Know Your Personality
I’m a feisty woman and I’m strong-willed and assertive by nature. My husband has told me for years now that I’m a natural when it comes to running a business, however, that is not the main role I fill today. But when I do fill that role, I let him lead since he’s commanded by God to toil the field and because I want him to feel successful in his endeavors. I simply come alongside him and encourage him, give him ideas, strengthen him, and try build him up in his role. I do not become less of a woman when I do this, instead, what takes place is a man who feels respected by his wife, a wife who has no problem being her husband’s help mate.
Know Your Sin and Your Scars
Discern the difference between your personality and your roles and then try and figure out where your areas of sin are. Is there pride that leads you to react a certain way? Fear that’s causing you to run or lash out?
Then look at your scars from your past. Do those scars dictate how you’re responding to your current circumstances? These answers will give you good indicators of when you should or shouldn’t step up and lead. For me, when I let Christ search my heart and when I fully surrendered my ways to Him, He did a complete overhaul of my life. I was literally taken to ground-zero and the Lord rebuilt me. And boy, I am so thankful for that! Was it painful? Do you even need to ask? 🙂
Tips to Balancing Both Traits
Since you have a boy, teach him to protect you when you’re out. Let him know to look out for any possible danger (without scaring the pants off of him!) As he gets older, he’ll know to step up and protect his woman (or mama) when the time comes. For example: not too long ago my husband was away on a business trip and during that time one of my sons was attending an evening youth group activity. Since I was traveling to church late at night I asked my eldest to come with me so he could protect me in case something happened while I was driving, i.e. a flat tire.
My sons have heard their entire lives to protect me (and if they had sisters they’d hear to protect them, as well). They’ve also been taught to protect their sisters in the Lord, whether it’s by physically stepping up and helping them or by defending their character. This is what a Godly man does. And a Godly, feminine woman graciously accepts their protection. Not because we’re weak-minded and/or feeble, but rather because we’re showing the men in our lives that we respect and honor them. And they happen to feel loved when this takes place. (There’s an awful lot I can write on this subject matter so I’ll have to save that for another post!)
Bottom line: You don’t have to do it all, and be all to everyone, all the time. Hence, it’s why you’re different when you gather with your girlfriends at Bible study. Heck, I’m married and I’m different when I gather together with the women from my Bible study. They bring out a different me. My boys on the other hand will sometimes bring out the Ninja-like mommy in their lives!
So when a potential suitor comes along in your life, take the work hat off. And then take the mom hat off (when you’re on a date without your child). If the guy is worthy of your respect, then let him lead you; be the soft and gentle woman you desire to be, but just know that there will be times in your future marriage that you’ll need to be fierce, and fierce is okay. Think about Esther and Deborah from the Bible. Or better yet, Jael, who hammered a tent peg into Sisera’s temple. I’m sure she was most likely wearing a skirt, too!
A feminine heart, one that is soft, tender, and delicate, is more important than wearing a feminine outfit. One represents the character of the woman and the other merely represents the outer appearance. The key to this is not a woman’s circumstances, but rather who she is set on pleasing….
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3,4
Live a poured out life for Christ,
Great stuff Jolene. I especially like:
“And a Godly, feminine woman graciously accepts their protection. Not because we’re weak-minded and/or feeble, but rather because we’re showing the men in our lives that we respect and honor. And they happen to feel loved when this takes place.”
This is so true. I think that sometimes, women feel like we’re being “walked on” when we submit to our husbands, when really we are acting in accordance with the word of God. We must truly learn which “hats” to wear in which circumstances. Your femininity is your superpower! Don’t feel belittled because of something that makes you unique as a woman. It’s hard to remember this sometimes though!
Yep, I totally get the ‘walked on’ thought process. That was once my viewpoint before I got saved, but now I understand the beauty of being feminine and the influence it brings to my husband. It doesn’t matter what the world says, I know what the Bible says and I stand by it’s transforming power.
Absolute great advice. Love it
Awe, thank you, Regina. <3
Great post, Jolene. I teach my young son the same things too. I tell him to love and respect his sister. By doing so he will learn to love and respect me and other women he will come in contact with in his life.
So true, as women we wear so many different hats. We are mothers, wives, friends and comforters. God as giving us all these abilities, however, as you so rightfully said, we need to learn when and how to wear these hat.
Hi Elissa, what a blessing to hear that you’re training your son up to be a man of Godly character. It’s so needed in our world today. You’re making a difference, mama!
I really enjoyed your post but what stood out to me the most was the section on teaching your boys to protect and guard women; and how we should graciously accept their help. When I was younger my father had always taught me that a man should walk on the side of the sidewalk nearest to the cars passing. As I got older I learned that most men no longer feel this way and many women think they don’t want a man’s help. I grew to accept this and to reject the things my father taught me as a child. I began to believe the lie that women shouldn’t accpet kind gestures like that from men because “they are only after one thing” and that their protection is usually done under false premises and with an agenda. It wasn’t until I started dating my current boyfriend (2 years strong, waiting until he finishes his time in the military to tie the knot) that I remembered the things my father taught me. My boyfriend refuses to let me walk on the sidewalk near cars and I had a really tough time accepting the fact that he simply wanted to protect me. This is just one small example. I think a post of this subject would be very helpful to ladies such as myself. The world has taken something as innocent and kind as a man wanting to protect his woman and perverted it. I would love to hear what you have to sayabout the matter. Much love to you and I really enjoy your blog! You are a great example of biblical submission
I totally understand where you’re coming from with the walking on the sidewalk story! Although I did not grow up hearing it, when my man and I were dating he told me the same thing when we went out for a run! I was puzzled by what he said and of course I asked him why. So he could protect me was his response. Yes, I believe writing more on this topic would be beneficial especially in our culture today. Thanks for sharing your situation.
Oh wow!! If I did not know any better I would have thought that this post was designed with me in mind. I am twice divorced. The 1st one left me for what he considered to be greener pastures. The 2nd became extremely abusive on all levels and had to get out for survival. After the second one, my spirit was hurt and broken. I took time to get through all of the emotions, bitterness and anger that these marriages left me with. 5yrs to be exact. Being a single mom, I have had to wear all of the roles that you have described. But I don’t want to do all of those hats for the rest of my life. Not to mention that its just lonely doing them by yourself without a partner. What stood out the most for me was when you speak of scars of the past. WOW!!! I for so long let them dictate my behavior toward me including my towards my father and step father. Moving forward to today in my life I have a boyfriend. I am firmly convinced that we brought together by God. And there has been many demonstrations of this gift to both of us. While its still early in the relationship, we entered this relationship with long term aka Marriage being the goal. It wasn’t entered into lightly that’s for sure. Thank you for the reminder that I need to be the feminine woman that God designed me to be. This post on so many levels spoke to my spirit. God knew what he was doing when he had you minister this one…LOL. Awesome post!!! Take Care! Renee
Hi Renee, so glad to hear that what I shared ministered to you. To God be the glory! He knows what we need. 🙂
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