Here are some Biblical characteristics of a Christian young woman that the Lord impressed upon me lately.
All the women in the Bible we most admire were courageous. We think of Sarah—she must have had courage to follow her husband Abraham as they wandered the strange land of Canaan. She was even given the strength to give birth to Isaac when she was “past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” From her we can learn to courageously obey God even in old age, just as women like Ruth and Rebecca showed courage in their youth.
We need to be secure in who we are and Whom we belong to. When Mary was approached by the angel Gabriel and told that she would fulfill the prophecy of the Messiah, she did not question why she was chosen—she knew who she was and Whose she was. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Whether we have a family or are orphans, whether we have a husband or are single, whether we have friends or are alone, our identity and security must be found in our relationship with the Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
Perhaps the word domestic bears an unpleasant connotation to some. With the rise of feminism, domesticity has become a scorned art; liberation from the duties of home life seems to be the goal as women pursue fulfillment in careers. The Bible says in Titus 2:4-5 “That they may teach the young women to be…keepers at home…that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Proverbs 31:27 “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”
As unattached single women we need to serve whatever household we live in and prepare to serve our own household if God gives us one. Housewifely arts are not our shame, they are our honor.
The Bible says we should be content, no matter how different our reality is from our expectations. Philippians 4:11 “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
This does not mean we should be lackadaisical about growing in our spiritual life or pursuing excellence in all we do. It exhorts a lack of clamoring covetousness and in its stead a maintained peace with the will of God, whatever the situation.
We all know someone who cannot be trusted with secrets or sensitive material because that person is not discreet—he or she cannot keep their tongue still. A discreet young woman is one who guides her matters with prudence, guards her friends’ information with caution, and shares her opinion with reserve. Discretion is harder for some than others, but it is a virtue the Bible commands be taught to all young women.
This is rather a controversial subject—what is true Biblical femininity? I can’t say I have come to a conclusion either but I do know there are traits males have that are called masculine and there are traits females have that are called feminine, and they must not be reversed. Girls should not want to look like boys or vice versa; girls have God-given roles that they ought to embrace as singularly feminine. A thorough study of the Bible can help us grasp God’s definition of the difference between the genders.
I Corinthians 11:14 “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.”
Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
These are just two verses that show how God intends there to be a distinct difference between the genders. If others cannot tell you are a woman from your appearance or conduct, there is a problem. God is not the author of confusion.
An example of a woman in the Bible who was not resilient is Job’s wife. Of course, no woman can guarantee that she would have acted differently if she were in the same situation—any one of us would probably have fallen to pieces just as she did, telling her husband to curse God and die when unthinkable calamities took away everything they valued. But our source of resilience, to rebound from adversity, does not come from ourselves—it comes from God.
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”
Isaiah 26:4 “Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”
Another word feminism attacks is submission. Nobody enjoys the thought of being under authority but it is part of life. God places us in families to learn submission. We go to school and learn how to obey those over us. Our jobs, our marriages, our responsibilities are all supposed to teach us how to submit primarily to God. It isn’t easy but the alternative (rebellion) leaves us feeling worse than obedience would have.
James 4:6-7 “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God.”
Submit yourself. Not as a slave to a despot, but as a son to his Father, knowing every command or reproof is for your good not grief.
Perhaps this is not the best word choice, but by vulnerable I mean surrendered to God without conditions or reservations or suspicions. Completely open to whatever God asks. Not trying to build up barricades to protect yourself from the Will of God. All of us, even unknowingly, construct stone walls and locked doors to keep ourselves from getting hurt, and sometimes God asks for those defences to be taken down so He can give us closer relationships, better opportunities, deeper love for others. Change hurts. But change leads us higher. Let God have access to every inch of your life so change leaves you better, not broken.
This is not a complete list, of course. Just a handful of thoughts by which the Lord has been speaking to me lately. I have so far to go yet! Every time I think I am mastering a step, circumstances occur that remind me what a novice I still am in my walk with Christ. I’m so glad He patiently helps us learn how to keep step with Him as He leads us ever upward.