What image does a Christian woman convey?

Since I’m working very hard on completing the book on women that I’m compiling, this morning I decided take the easy way out for the next few blog posts and find some quotes about women. So I googled “quotes, Christian, women” looking for inspiration. The majority of what came up was I’m sure really good, but everything struck me as sickly sweet, sugar coated, milky, vanilla. Maybe it’s just me, but I found the quotes incredibly unattractive. They were mostly about being a good wife and mother–don’t get me wrong, these concepts are all vital–but so stereotyped.

Then I came across these quotes by John and Stasi Eldredge, from their book,Captivating Revised & Updated: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul. This was more what I was looking for.

“A woman is a warrior too. But she is meant to be a warrior in a uniquely feminine way.”

“You see, women have been essential to every great move of God. Yes, Moses led the Isaelites out of Egypt, but only after his mother risked her life to save him! Closer to our time, Clara Barton was instrumental in starting the Red Cross. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin put fire into people’s heart to end slavery in the United States. Rosa Parks kicked the Civil Rights movement into gear with her quiet act of courage. Eunice Kennedy Shriver created the Special Olympics. Mother Teresa inspired the world by bringing love to countless thought unlovable. And millions of other women quietly change the world every day by bringing the love of God to those around them.”

This last week I had an email conversation about the type of image a Christian woman conveys, especially in leadership. The man commenting wrote that he didn’t want a woman leader to have “a masculine message with a masculine demeanor… deep authoritative voice… in a women’s body. Not repulsive, just not attractive.”  He linked to a picture that he thought demonstrated what a Christian woman might be like that at first shocked me–it was of a fairly provocatively dressed but very beautiful woman who I doubt is a believer. But the image has not left me, because the message it conveyed was very feminine and yet very powerful. A woman can be strong, a warrior,  and yet retain all the beauty of her femininity. The warrior princess that Stasi talks about.

This picture is of a famous statue in London. A warrior queen named Boadicea

 Photo Credit: victoriapeckham via Compfight cc

What do you think?

11 thoughts on “What image does a Christian woman convey?”

  1. larry crabb has a new book out called–fully alive–you might want to check it out–its about femininity and mascalinity

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  2. I can’t wait to read the book!

    I read the first chapter last week on my 3 day retreat and was really blessed. I to have struggle with that passage about woman keeping silent.

    So reading your views and revelation on it was liberating for me. Although I’ve never experienced direct opposition for speaking/preaching. I’ve had questions about if you like the ‘proper conduct of woman in the church’ I never really know how to respond other than, I’m doing what I believe God as told me to do.

    I really appreciate these blogs on woman in the kingdom and in my view, accurate teaching on the subject.

    This is helping me embrace and understand even more who I am in the kingdom. Also giving me truths to pass on to future generations.

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    1. Thank you, Marsha. I love your last sentence. We are pretty much finished with the main chapters in the book and are thinking about the conclusion being a letter to our daughters and a letter to our sons.

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  3. What do I think? Basically, “hogwash.” God created male and female. There is no such thing as “masculine” or “feminine.” Those are human constructs which differ from culture to culture. To promote such ideas is to continue to perpetuate stereotypes, which are harmful to both men and women. A woman can be a warrior, period. As for the Eldredges, this couple is a purveyor and protector of patriarchal views, but no matter how prettily they try to dress up those unbiblical ideas, they are still engaged in fomenting division, not unity, between the sexes. There is simply no difference between a man’s and a woman’s soul, and no such thing as the sentimental notion of “femininity.” God forbid we continue to perpetuate these stereotypes and wound all those who do not fit them.

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    1. Mandy, thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. I agree with a great deal of what you say. So I agree that there is no difference between a man’s soul and a woman’s soul, and I’m all for us all being warriors. However, there’s no question in my mind that there is a difference between masculine and feminine, at least while we live on this earth. The main differences are physical–women can have children, men cannot. I don’t think a woman should need to appear masculine or androgynous to prove her equality.

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      1. See, that’s my point. NOT all women can have children. NOT all women are married. To make some ideal of “femininity” contingent on the ability or potential to have children is to negate the intrinsic worth of the childless or single woman, indeed of the childless or single man as well. Yes, there are biological differences between male and female. But the differences stop there. Those biological differences do not equate to any kind of intrinsic psychological, social or spiritual differences. And when we focus on such things, we perpetuate a division between the genders that is not to exist under the New Covenant as stated in Galatians 3:28. Jesus prayed for unity, not division. And no, a woman should not have to appear “masculine” OR “feminine” to prove her equality– or identity. She should only have to appear as herself, regardless of whatever label someone would put on that appearance.

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      2. To call it “biological differences” is a good way to put it. The problem is that for so long, women have had to appear more “masculine” in order to gain acceptance, at least in leadership. And I agree this is wrong. A woman should be accepted just as herself.

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  4. “She is meant to be a warrior in a uniquely feminine way” reminds me of a vision the Lord gave a friend of mine (who has since gone to be with Him) which she put into a collage – it was a cut and paste picture of a woman in an old fashioned wedding dress of a few centuries ago with a long skirt. You could lift up the skirt and underneath she wore long army boots, dirty and well used. This was also a picture of the Bride of Christ.

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  5. Felicity, a couple of years ago I sent you a copy of one of my books entitled “His Daughters Do Prophesy” (With a Word for You). The back cover explains what my intentions were in writing the book which supports your thesis here…”His Daughters Do Prophesy is a book of essays and prophetic poetry touching on political, social, and spiritual views, based on a Biblical foundation, from a feminine point of view. One of its main purposes is to denounce polarity and to crusade for the unique and peculiar insights of the female. In order to ascertain even a glimpse of what could be in the vast mind of the Creator of this world, we need to sample the deposits that He has placed in the psyches and in the spirits of both genders of His creation, I believe without reserve that the Creator also reveals Himself through His daughters so that we may all be considered as necessary components in the scheme of things. Thus, Joel 2:28, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…” This is truly the time for an unveiling of all things.

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