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Godly Femininity – Part 2

 

 

enjoying a sunny afternoon

 

 

If you have not read Part 1, please read that to get started. 🙂

Can you imagine if you had witnessed godly examples of femininity at home as you were growing up, in your church, at school and in your community? This is what God desires – for children to be immersed in godly examples of masculinity, femininity, marriage and family thousands and thousands of times as they grow up. Then, godliness will seem “normal.”

For those who did not have godly examples (and that includes all of us to one degree or another), there is a lot of work to do in dissecting out all of the ungodly examples we have experienced that programmed us to think that those things were “normal” so that we can consciously reject them and choose God’s ways. It is my prayer that our children will get to experience each of us living out a godly example for them by God’s power working full blast in us. 🙂

It is my prayer that even though recent generations dropped the ball and we as a culture, even in the church, have veered hundreds of miles off course – that God might cause OUR generation to rise up and become a holy generation that will leave a godly legacy for those who come behind us. We have the power and treasure of heaven at our disposal. May we spend our lives for Christ, demonstrating godly femininity to everyone around us for His greatest glory!

Jesus Christ has set us free! The world says that freedom is the right to do what we want. But the freedom we have in Christ is the power to do God’s will. We have the power to choose not to sin when His Spirit is flooding our souls.

  • The only power we lose when we obey God and fully submit to Him as Lord is the power to destroy our marriages, ourselves, our husbands and children and others.
  • We gain the power of heaven to breathe life, healing, blessing, joy, peace, faith, kindness and goodness into our families.

GALATIANS 5:13-18

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 

SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF GODLY FEMININITY THAT GOD WILL CULTIVATE IN A WOMAN MORE AND MORE AS SHE ABIDES IN CHRIST AND HIS WORD ABIDES IN HER (these are all very brief descriptions):

AS A WIFE

  • She is a helper to her husband. (Genesis 2:18)
  • She brings all of herself – her personality, her talents, her gifts, her intellect, her emotions, her ideas, her desires, her vulnerability to her marriage. She cleaves to her husband. (Genesis 2:24, Proverbs 31, Song of Songs)
  • She is authentic – but she is not her old sinful self anymore. Some wives say, “I want to be free to by myself in my marriage,” but what they mean is, they want to be free to be their sinful selves. That is always a destructive choice. A godly wife has the power and ability to be her new self in Christ. She lost the destructive power of her sinful nature because her sinful nature died with Christ and was buried and now she counts herself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. (Romans 6-8)
  • She respects her husband genuinely and finds the good in him to appreciate (because of her character and the Spirit of God filling her soul – not because he always “deserves” it) and she honors her husband’s God-given leadership, allowing him to make the final call if there is a disagreement and trusting God to lead her through her husband even when she doesn’t understand and can’t see how it will work out “for good” from her current perspective. When he asks her for something, she makes it a priority to try to do what he has asked of her with a godly attitude. (Ephesians 5:22-23, 33, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:3-5, I Corinthians 11:3 – If a husband is asking his wife to clearly sin, please check out the post Spiritual Authority for more info.)
  • She does good to her husband all the days of her life, not evil. (Proverbs 31)

—–

  • She is open and receptive to her husband. (Song of Solomon)
  • She studies to understand her particular husband, what speaks respect to him, his needs and the things that most bless him. (Proverbs 31, Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-6)
  • She assumes the best about her husband, not the worst. (I Corinthians 13:7)
  • She is loyal to her husband and doesn’t badmouth him to others. She never bashes him to their children, extended family, coworkers, church members, friends or on social media. (Ephesians 5:22, Proverbs 31, Ephesians 4:29-30)
  • She deals with any sin in her life before approaching her husband about sin in his life. (Matthew 7:1-5)

—–

  • She is affectionate with her husband. (Titus 2:3-5)
  • Her presence, attitude and respect for God and her husband speak much more loudly to her husband about her faith than any words she could ever say. (I Peter 3:1-2)
  • She has a gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear that is of great worth in God’s sight. (I Peter 3:1-6)
  • She comes to her husband humbly, gently and respectfully with his sin privately first, and only if he won’t repent, does she involve a godly male mentor/pastor to help them if there are serious problems. She does not smear him to family and friends or ream him out on Facebook. (Matthew 18:15-17) (How to Confront Your Husband about His Sin)
  • She seeks godly, biblical help if there are very serious issues in her marriage, but she rejects ungodly and unscriptural counsel and seeks God and His Word and His Spirit above all else. (Matthew 18:15-17) She is prepared to separate from her husband and trust God, seeking His wisdom and wise, biblical counsel if her husband continues in severe unrepentant sin and she or her children are truly not safe. She prays for reconciliation if they must separate, and she focuses on her walk with Christ. (A Peaceful Separated Wife, A Peaceful Divorced Wife, The Bible and Divorce)

—–

  • She depends on the wisdom and power of God to know how to respond to her husband’s sin and she is sensitive to God’s Spirit and responsive to what He leads her to do in a given situation. (Isaiah 30:21) (Portia’s Story)
  • If her husband is an unbeliever, she shows the power and love of God to him without words but by her respectful attitude and by honoring his leadership. (I Peter 3:1-2) ( Spiritual Authority, When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God, My Husband Wants to Go Where?)
  • Her husband feels safe with her spiritually, emotionally, sexually, physically and in every way – and he knows he can always trust her. She is never violent toward him. She doesn’t yell, scream, cuss or make threats. She is not scary, intimidating or threatening. She does not bully him. (Proverbs 31:11)
  • She is her husband’s crown. (Proverbs 12:4)
  • She learns to speak her husband’s language and to become fluent in his way of relating and speaking and learns to interpret him accurately and to understand his heart with compassion. She seeks to see him with God’s eyes and love him with God’s love. She wants to treat God’s beloved son well. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

—–

  • Her focus is on Christ not self. She has no insecurity – because she trust in God not self or worldly things. Her security is based on heavenly realities and truths and the promises of God in His Word. (Romans 6-8)
  • She doesn’t have to argue – she has way more powerful methods of communication at her disposal than arguing, nagging, criticizing, complaining, condemning or humiliating her husband. She knows exactly how ineffective and destructive and sinful those things are and they do not even tempt her. She knows how to use her power and influence for good, how to share in a respectful way and how to submit to Christ and to her husband even if they lead her in a way she did not anticipate. (A Real Life Example of Biblical Submission)
  • She does not submit to her husband if he clearly asks her to sin. She submits first to Christ. (Please see Spiritual Authority for more detail in this.)
  • She doesn’t try to control or change her husband, but seeks to bless him. (Proverbs 31, Ephesians 5:22-33)
  • She builds her marriage and family up and does not use her words, attitudes and actions to hurt or harm anyone. (Proverbs 14:1)

—–

  • She appreciates and values her husband’s headship, covering and protection over her. (I Corinthians 11:3)
  • She joyfully gives herself sexually to her husband whenever possible and seeks to meet his sexual needs (even if they are greater or less than her own biological desires at the time). (I Corinthians 7:1-5)
  • She honors her sacred marriage covenant and does not threaten to divorce or seek divorce. (Matthew 19, Malachi 2)
  • She trusts God’s Spirit to work in her husband’s heart to draw him to Himself and does not attempt to verbally drag her husband or force him to God, she knows her  words are not the most important or effective tool. (I Peter 3:1-2)
  • She values and appreciates her husband’s masculinity. She sees and admires the good things about her husband’s manhood and supports him being a man, she doesn’t try to make him be more feminine or think more like herself. She marvels at his strengths and protects his weaknesses. (Song of Songs, Proverbs 31)

—–

  • She is comfortable in her own skin and feels beautiful even if she doesn’t meet the world’s current definition of beauty. (Song of Songs 1)
  • She enjoys being attractive for her husband in a healthy way. (Song of Songs and Proverbs 5:19)
  • She smiles often. She is a delight for her husband to be around.  Her beautiful attitude, contentment and joy in Christ draw him to her. She is not needy, clingy and desperate for his attention. (Philippians 4:4-8)
  • She is glad to talk with her husband about things that interest him. She loves to learn about his masculine world and perspective. She rejoices in his uniqueness and his masculinity and does not shame him for being different from her. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
  • She is ready for adventure with God and with her husband (Exodus – a  picture of God leading His bride through the desert to the Promised Land)

—–

  • She is willing to wear a hat/scarf as a tangible symbol of her willingness to honor her husband’s God-given leadership at church/during prayer. (I Corinthians 11:3-16)
  • She supports his leadership even when she doesn’t agree. She shares her heart, concerns and needs respectfully, then trusts God to lead her through her husband. (Spiritual Authority post at the top of my home page and Submitting under Protest, Biblical Submission, as well as Biblical Submission Does Not = the Husband is Always Right)
  • She brings her husband comfort. (Genesis 24:67)
  • She brings beauty to her home and to relationships. (Genesis 2, Song of Songs, Acts 9:36-39)
  • She desires to make her husband look good that he might receive honor from others. (Proverbs 31)
  • She doesn’t look down on her husband (or anyone) but humbly acknowledges that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. There is no room for her to boast or brag in anything except for Christ and what He has done for her. (James 2, 1 Peter 5:5, Proverbs 22:4, Philippians 2:1-11, Ephesians 2:8-10)
  • She is not abusive in any way – physically, sexually, verbally, mentally, emotionally, financially, etc… (1 John 4:20-21)

AS A MOTHER

  • She values, cherishes and nurtures any babies or children that she has before and after birth. (Isaiah 49:15)
  • She seeks to train and teach her children to know and love God and His Word. (Deuteronomy 6)
  • She loves them with the very love of God. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
  • She desires to be a godly example to them. (Deuteronomy 6, Titus 2:3-5, Malachi 2)
  • She does not put her children above her husband or above God. (Genesis 22, Matthew 10:37-39, Luke 14:25-34) (Respecting Our Husbands as Fathers)
  • She is affectionate (Titus 2:3-5)
  • She extends the truth, mercy, grace, love and forgiveness of Christ to her children. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

IN HER WALK WITH CHRIST

  • She holds nothing back from Christ. She knows He gave ALL of Himself for her, and now she delights in giving ALL of herself for Him. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for Jesus. He is her LORD. He is her Master. She is willing to deny self and sacrifice anything in this world for Him. (Luke 14:25-34, Matthew 10:37-39, Genesis 22) (Dying to Self)
  • She hungers deeply for God, His Word, His presence, His Spirit, His will, His wisdom and His power in her life and the lives of those around her. She has a very healthy spiritual appetite. (Matthew 6:33, Matthew 5:6)
  • She does not merely read the Word, she listens, prays diligently to understand properly and applies it to her life – allowing  God to transform her priorities, her heart, her soul, her words, her desires, her behavior and her attitudes. (James 2)
  • She fills her mind, heart and mouth with the praises of God. (Exodus 15:2, almost the whole book of Psalm and many other places as well)
  • She desires “to live a life worthy of the calling (she has) received (and to) Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:1-2)

—–

  • Her heart is soft, responsive and malleable in the hands of God, she does not have a hard heart against God and His Word or against others. (Ephesians 4:18, Hebrews 4:7)
  • She “(puts) off (her) old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of  (her) mind; and (puts) on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
  • She is open, receptive and tender hearted toward God. (Hebrews 3:15)
  • She has a sense of wonder about all that God has made and has done and will do. She is in total awe of Him. (Mark 9:15, Acts 3:10, Luke 7:16)
  • She is submissive first to Christ (James 4:7) and she practices biblical submission by honoring her husband’s God-given leadership (Ephesians 5:22-33, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:5, I Corinthians 11:3-16) so that the Word of God is not maligned.

—–

  • She leans on God’s wisdom, truth and understanding and does not trust her own human wisdom. (Proverbs 3:5)
  • She desires to live a holy life and to bring great glory to God. (I Peter 1:16)
  • When she sees sin in her life, she does not become depressed and withdrawn and paralyzed with worldly sorrow that leads to death, but has godly sorrow over her sin, mourning over her sin, rejecting her sin and turning to Christ in true repentance, longing to walk in obedience to Him in everything. (2 Corinthians 7:8-11, I John 1:9)
  • She is not overcome by fear, worry or anxiety, but has a Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
  • She prays fervently and continually – in a spirit of godly power, not a spirit of worry, anxiety or fear. (I Thessalonians 5:17, Philippians 4:4-7, Romans 12:12, Romans 15:30)

—–

  • She makes time daily whenever remotely possible to spend in deep prayer and study of God’s Word, asking Him to change her and make her more and more like Christ. (John 15)
  • She prays for her husband and others – not to tell God what to do or make demands – but to seek God’s will and His blessing for them and to seek God’s best for those she loves. She prays with godly motives, not selfish, greedy, condemning, self-righteous, prideful, malicious or vengeful motives – but with the love and power of Christ.  (1 Timothy 2:1-5, James 4:1-10)
  • She knows that she is more than a conqueror through Christ. (Romans 8:37)
  • She knows that nothing can separate her from the love of Christ. (Romans 8:35-39)
  • She savors and enjoys her blessings, her life and her Lord. In fact, she rejoices in Him always! (Philippians 4:4-8)
  • She is able to be at peace because she understands and trusts in the sovereignty, love and power of God to work all things for her good because she loves Him and is called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28-29)
  • She prays the promises of God into reality by her unwavering faith in Him and His Spirit working powerfully in her. (Daniel 9:4)

ENCOURAGEMENT:

God will develop these qualities more and more in us as He sanctifies us and grows Christ more and more in our hearts, minds and souls. This is a life-long process. It is not about us trying harder to be “perfect.” On our own, we are a branch that has been cut off from the Vine and we are laying on the ground. We cannot do ANYTHING unless we are attached to Jesus – the Vine – and His nourishing truth and Spirit flood our souls. THEN we will be fruitful in His kingdom. We cannot be perfect until we reach heaven. That is ok. But our God is so strong that He is able to empower us and to give us victory in sin and the power to walk in holiness as we abide in Him. This is all about us being in an intimate relationship with Christ and allowing His power to flow full blast through us and transform us according to His will for His greatest glory!

John 15:1-17

EXAMPLES OF GODLY WOMEN IN SCRIPTURE:

– Esther

– Ruth

– Rahab (a former prostitute)

– Hannah, Samuel’s mother

– Deborah

– the Proverbs 31 wife

–  Sarah, Abraham’s wife – sometimes she is an example of godliness, and sometimes ungodliness

– Mary, the mother of Jesus

– Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus

– Mary Magdalene after she came to Christ

– Priscilla, Aquilla’s wife

– Dorcas/Tabitha (whom Peter raised from the dead by Jesus’ power)

SHARE:

How is God working in your heart about the issue of godly femininity?

What is most striking to you?

How can we pray together for you?

 

39 thoughts on “Godly Femininity – Part 2

  1. Both of these posts are so good April, so much to think about. I’m bookmarking these both and am going to work my way through them. A few years ago I probably would have been able to see only a couple of these characteristics in myself, now I see many. What a change God has made in my life. He is so good. I’ve come a long way, but there its still a long road ahead.
    I have been struggling to give God all of myself, there are things that i just hold on to tightly to. I wish i could say that I give all of myself to Him and put Him before anything else, but I can’t. This is where I felt the most convicted, I’ve been feeling convicted of this a lot lately.
    Lots to think and pray about, thanks April.

    1. Sarah,

      I believe these two posts are some of the most important ones God has allowed me to write – along with the post about being an ungodly woman. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to get to share with all of my precious sisters! I can’t keep this treasure from God’s Word to myself.

      I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you. There will be things for each of us that we don’t want to let go of – but God will place his finger on those things and show us that we need to be willing to lay them on the altar. He will test us in this. He held nothing back from us that was most precious to Him. Now – are we willing to do the same for Him? He is worthy of any sacrifice we may need to ever make. He is worthy of us losing our jobs, being persecuted and even losing our lives!

      I used to trace my hands palms up on a piece of paper and write things in my life on each finger and mentally picture holding my hands open, palms up, yielding all of those things to God.

      That is a really important issue. I am praying for you to be soft-hearted and sensitive to God’s voice, and that you will be willing to release these things to Him. You cannot have close fellowship and intimacy with Him until you do. But when you do release all to Him – you will get to experience His amazing peace and joy! His wisdom is much higher than ours! The pain of letting go of earthly things is much less than the pain of being far from God. If you are willing to release your little earthly things that you think are treasure – He will place REAL treasure from heaven in your empty, waiting hands in His time. The spiritual riches of heaven and all that Jesus has belongs to you when you are in Christ. But you will not get to experience it until you release these things, whatever they may be and fully trust God.

      Much love!

  2. Thank you for another wonderfully written list, April. I love that so much of what we are to be, shows us God’s attributes. It magnifies Who He is. What a perfect Savior. We fall short, but He never does. How comforting to know through all the uncertainties of life, God is constant and always with us, patiently conforming us into His image!

  3. Wow, that is one extensive list. You must have done alot of research to do this post. Being a Christian lady takes work and study. I went through a lot of heartache in a bad divorce from a non-Christian man. I found a new guy who takes me to church each week, leads prayers at meals and prays with me for family, friends and even encourages me to pray for those whom I am angry or upset with. He reminds me of the conversion of Saul. I am now attending a weekly Bible study and seeking to getting closer to God and not be lead astray by the message from the media that being up on the latest fad or fashion will bring happiness, and that I am intolerant if I do not celebrate the behaviors of selfish, unGodly people, because some celebrity told me I should.

    1. Carolyn,

      I am so glad you are seeking Christ now!!! Woohoo! That is wonderful! I pray you will find that He is truly the Greatest Treasure there is and that you might fully trust Him and devote yourself to Him as your Lord. 🙂

  4. I think a big problem I’m having in this area is how I view myself.

    Femininity is not something that I learned growing up. My dad just treated us girls like another boy, every so often he seemed surprised to remember I was a young woman.

    I started wearing skirts everyday and covering my head while praying this summer. It helps me to have a daily, physical reminder that I’m different than my husband. That it’s okay to be different. Somewhere along the way I absorbed the idea that being feminine was weak and troublesome.

    If anyone has read “Created to be his Helpmeet”, my husband is classic Mr. Command Man. It helps to have such a great contrast between us physically, emotionally, and mentally. He is a no nonsense kind of man who processes information completely different than I do.

    1. Souternwifeintraining,

      I didn’t feel feminine at all growing up. My Daddy treated me like his “son” and my twin sister was the girly one until my brother, 7 years younger than us, got old enough to take over the son position.

      I am excited that you are seeking to embrace femininity and especially godly femininity. That is where the greatest blessings are for us as women. 🙂

      I think you will be amazed how your command man responds as you look and act more feminine, he will most likely feel even more masculine. It will be very interesting!

  5. April, these are two of the best posts you’ve ever written, in my opinion. I will save them and, hopefully, use them in some capacity to help other women locally. We all benefit by periodically checking ourselves against this godly measure of a good wife and spiritual woman, and I am so thankful to you for all your work in assembling them in one place. I plan to consider them closely one at a time to examine myself more closely first and keep working on what needs to improve in my own life. Much love and many thanks for all your help, encouragement, and love.

    1. Elizabeth,
      I am so thankful this series blessed you. How I pray God’s Word might work powerfully in each of us to accomplish His good purposes. He promises that His Word will not return to Him void. 🙂

      Much love!!

  6. April, do you care to share the process of how you put these lists together? Had you been adding to the list over a long time on and off? I feel like there’s something to learn from your process. Was a lot of it taken from your journaling?

    1. It really is so rich. I feel like there should be a ton more comments on these posts, but I suspect that everyone just has their mouths full, chewing on all the spiritual meat you’ve provided us. :^)

      1. Julie and April,

        I expected to see over a hundred comments by now, too, and really looked forward to reading them. I’ve read all the cited scriptures before, but it was so fantastic having April assemble them all in one place. What a wonderful goal to work toward!

        My husband gave me a piece of advice once that hit me between the eyes and that has helped me so often. He said, “Honey, just ask God to love that person through you.” When the assortment of verses might not pop up quickly in my memory, this does. Sending all my dear sisters here love and wishes for a wonderful day.

      2. Julie,

        I was hoping for a lot of comments on this series, too. I am praying that women won’t feel overwhelmed, discouraged or defeated. But that they will see there is so much hope in Christ and that He is powerful enough to change each of us in these ways. I am praying for God to form GREAT FAITH in every woman who reads this series.

        Much love!

        1. I’m sure the comments will come in time. 🙂 I have read this, but am still thinking and praying on part one. For me, I am taking my time. I’ve finally realized growth can be slow, and sometimes painful.

          April, thank you so much for your willingness to share all you have learned. Now that I’m finally ready to search with a more open heart, this will continue to be an invaluable resource for me. And many others. You are a blessing to us all.

          1. Becca,
            It is much better to go very slowly and carefully and thoroughly than to rush through and not dig deep.

            You are welcome to take all the time you need!

            You are most welcome. I am so excited because when a woman’s heart becomes soft and she begins to be vulnerable to God – I know that growth is going to really begin to happen.

            Much love to you!!!!!

    2. Julie,

      I have been writing about godly femininity and being a godly wife now for almost 3 years – many hours per week. I began listing qualities of godly women (and godly believers in general) as they came to my mind. And I would think of scripture along with each characteristic and look up the reference online. Some of the major passages on Christian living – I Corinthians 13, Galatians 5, many of the passages in Matthew and Philippians, I know by heart. Sometimes, I would think of a verse or passage and then write out characteristics based off of that. Other times I would think of the godly behavior first and then recollect scriptures. Then, for days – God would bring more and more things to mind all throughout the day and I would have to write them down or type them immediately so I didn’t forget them.

      I did a lot of Bible memorization as a child and had some extremely solid biblical teaching in the little Southern Baptist mission church when I was growing up near Pittsburg, PA. That gave me a good foundation. But I have to say, the internet made it much easier! I didn’t have to look in a concordance to find the references, I could just type a few words of a verse I wanted to use and it pops up on google or http://www.biblehub.com or http://www.biblegateway.com.

      I spend a lot of time in God’s Word. I try to soak it all in as deeply as possible. Many times, I re-write verses and meditate on them and savor them.

      I hope this helps!

      1. April,

        Thanks very much for sharing. I love this. I memorized scripture growing up, but have done very little as an adult. There really is nothing that takes the place of long hours directly in the Word, and I confess to spending more time reading books by godly christians. I know that’s been invaluable, but not interchangeable.

        Lately I’ve been getting better about preaching truth to myself. Piper introduced that to me and it’s great to have memorized scripture for overcoming sinful thought patterns.

        Getting back to the numbers of comments and the idea of readers possibly feeling defeated……a group of christian ladies and I had a brief discussion about flogging ourselves over sin. There is a strong prideful element to that and I think a lot of ladies could benefit from a post on the subject. I’m sure you could say lots on the subject that would be a blessing if you feel lead, April.

        Years ago, my mom gave me a strong rebuke in a letter. This was quite out of the norm for her and I know it was done out of love and prayerfully, but it stung badly. I was still blind to my disrespect in marriage and felt very self righteous over something and she sort of let me know where I was wrong in no uncertain terms.

        Here’s the thing…….Just before she told me she loved me and signed the letter, she warned me not to respond by flogging myself. Of course she knew me so well that I also needed to read those words. I think what she said was the proper response to sin is to confess it to God, and then accept His forgiveness in faith according to the scripture. (“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”)

        I wish I’d kept the letter my mom wrote because now she’s gone and that letter was so life changing. She was a much better, articulate, and wise woman than I am. So far. ;^) Excuse my long rambling……When I got over my initial anger and pretend scathing letter responses to her, God revealed to me that she right. I asked her forgiveness and she wrote back the most gracious and loving reply. But my point is that it wasn’t just her rebuke that I needed but the reminder that it is not okay to sulk over our sins and failures. Confess it and move on. Our thoughts should be on Christ and not ourselves.

        Much love to you…..Julie

        1. To clarify, there is a difference between appropriately sorrowing over our sins and just dwelling on them and not letting the thoughts go after we’ve confessed them to God.

        2. Julie,

          Yes, the Word is our source of nourishment, strength and power – along with God’s Spirit. We cannot starve ourselves and be spiritually strong. That is for sure!

          I’m glad you are focusing on God’s truth and replacing the lies and ungodly ideas with His Word. WOOHOO!

          Thank you so much for sharing about your mom’s letter! Wow! How we all need godly women in our lives like this. It is HARD to give a godly, strong rebuke. And it is HARD to receive one. But – we need this sharpening that our brothers and sisters in Christ can give us when we are blind to our sin.

          Goodness, I used to flog myself severely over any sin or mistake. Yes, there is a very strong element of pride in this, and an elevating of self above God – as if the blood of Christ may be good enough for God to forgive me, but it is not good enough for me. Of course, I didn’t realize that was what I was really saying to myself for many years.

          I’m so glad that she reminded you about having godly sorrow and not to flog yourself. And praise God that He used that letter to convict you of sin and to bring you to repentance.

          This is beautiful!!!!!!

          Much love to you, my precious sister!

  7. April,

    As you know, I am single. However, I can replace brother or sister in Christ with most of these in the wife section. Of course, not to be receptive or open myself sexually. 🙂

    Also, I am not a mother, but I do work with kids in the church, and I believer this a great resource to help me there. Quite a few of the kids are really close to me, and I desire to be an example of a godly women.

    When God opened my eyes to what is often seen as acceptable sin, my heart was broken. I would have been considered the epitome of disrespect. Not as a wife, but as a woman. I’ve always been taught (not just from Christians) that it is okay to talk down to men because they are child-like and should be treated as such, that it was okay to whine and pout to get your way, and it was okay to demand your way because you deserve it.

    I get so uncomfortable being around that now. When I see ladies do this to their husbands, especially in front of me, I want to cry. I am not condemning them, but once you realize the reality of sin, it makes you very uneasy. There are some friends that I don’t visit as often because it makes me so uncomfortable. I don’t say all this with a “holier than thou” attitude. I just struggle with tolerating what I know is not right. My facial expressions tend to say exactly what I am thinking, and I get very quiet b/c I don’t feel like it is my place to correct them…

    Do you have any posts on how to handle when you are around other women who are disrespectful to their husbands. Surely I am not the only one who gets uneasy… ladies, anyone else??? A lot a socially unacceptable sin isn’t done in front of me because others know my stance, and what my reaction will be. What on earth do you do when you are not in authority over them, and their eyes haven’t been opened? Especially when you aren’t that close to them??? I don’t want to just abandon the relationships, but I don’t want to tolerate what isn’t right in God’s eyes.

    -LA

    1. LA,

      Yes, much of this does apply to how we treat men in general, and to how we relate to children we are serving at church or in our neighborhood or extended family. It is good to practice the general godly mindset with everyone. 🙂

      Yep. We humans have sins we ignore or downplay as not being “that bad” but – sin is sin. Sin cuts off our fellowship with God, it hurts other people and it hurts us. The consequences of various sins may be quite different in society, but all sin is toxic, destructive and leads to death.

      We tend to gloss over the sins we are most prone to ourselves. Things like pride, self-righteousness, gossip, disrespect, control, perfectionism, people pleasing, manipulation with guilt, playing the martyr, complaining, whining, arguing, making demands, resentment, unforgiveness, hatred, bitterness, addictions to things like FB or phones, idolatry (of self, control, romance, happiness, beauty, health, wealth, marriage, children, etc..) and gluttony are things we don’t really talk about as being sin much these days. But these things are toxic.

      I think it is helpful to consider the first sin that was ever committed by Adam and Eve. They are a piece of fruit that God told them not to. One piece of fruit. From that single act of disobedience and sin, we have an entire planet that is cursed, death entered the world, thorns and briars originated, disease, war and natural disasters resulted. Every other sin we know of began with that one sin. A sin that, in our eyes, might be “small.”

      Sin is a big deal to our holy, righteous, just God. He cannot overlook or ignore one sin. He cannot tolerate any sin in His presence. Thank God that He loved us so much He was willing to sacrifice. His precious son on our behalf when we deserved nothing but hell.

      Yes, once God opens our eyes to sin that we used to deem “acceptable,” it is shocking to see how much disrespect there is for men in our culture, for husbands, for dads, for all kinds of God-given authority (government, church leaders, parents). Disrespect is normal and mainstream. For a woman to stand up for her man or praise him these days is “weird.” For her not to complain about men in general is strange. If a woman defends men and says they are not “all idiots” and that we should treat them with gentleness, respect and honor, just like we would want to be treated, other women get REALLY upset.

      If you begin to talk about biblical submission, then the rotten fruit comes out and starts to fly.

      It is extremely difficult for me to be around women who are disrespecting their husbands. I can see their husband’s pain very clearly and feel the wounds their husbands feel. There are times when I believe God desires me to speak to some women about this. There are times when it is obvious that a woman won’t listen and is hell-bent on destroying her husband and marriage. This completely tears my heart to shreds. I want to run to each woman I see doing this and say, “Stop!!! You don’t realize what you are doing!! You are going to tear down your husband and marriage and family if you keep doing this. You are sabotaging yourself! Please stop! I know you can’t see it right now, but you are going to regret this path. There are ways to approach your husband that are actually effective and not destructive. Please let me share what I have learned. God can heal you and your marriage. He has so much wisdom to offer to you, my precious girl!”

      I have approached women about this before, some of whom were very far from God and not believers. They ridiculed me and continued spewing venom and hate. It was almost unbearable to be around them. All day long they would speak words of destruction, disrespect, malice, bitterness, gossip, slander hatred and death. I couldn’t take it!!! I couldn’t leave. They wouldn’t stop talking. I don’t think they could stop. I pray for their salvation and for their ex husbands and children. The children are the ones I hurt the most for. None of them are remotely ok.

      I want to approach a woman about this now. I have actually talked with her about respect and biblical submission a few years ago. She is in the middle of a divorce. I want to talk with her again but Greg says for me not to, that she is too toxic. It breaks my heart. I pray for God to open her eyes. I cannot open anyone’s eyes. But God can.

      If you don’t know the women well, they will usually be less receptive to any attempt at addressing this issue. You could say something brief.
      “Goodness, wouldn’t it hurt if your husband said that about you?”
      “That sounded really harsh.”
      “I would rather not hear anything negative about your husband, please. Thanks.”
      “Ouch! Your poor husband! Do you talk like that in front of him?”

      This takes great sensitivity to God’s Spirit, in my view. Sometimes, women initially respond in anger, but, God may begin to soften their hearts and cause them to evaluate what they are doing because of something someone says to them.

      You can probably get away with saying a bit more if you are closer to the woman.

      Or, you can give them the name of my site. Or books about this like For Women Oly by Shautni Feldhahn or Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

      Most of all, please pray for them! Ask God to give you wisdom about what to say and when.

      If you confront them gently and respectfully and they refuse to change, you may need to try to limit time spent with them if at all possible. Those attitudes are contagious and toxic. But god can give you wisdom in each specific situation. I pray He might make you a bright light in your sphere of influence!!

      1. April,

        Thank you for the suggestions.

        Unfortunately, a lot of this comes from women in my family. My beliefs aren’t popular to begin with (total submission to Christ) and throw in marital submission (especially not having been married) and it is a bad equation. Part of this is because divorce is the norm for most of my family and when it no longer works for you, you bail. This has caused deep wounds, and defense mechanisms. This has created a numbness toward sin. I recognize the signs. I was headed for the same path. We truly are a product of our environment, and as you said, thoughts are contagious.

        I have had to relearn so many “truths”. My family is not bad, and they love God. They just don’t see the level of sin. That sounds so self-righteous and I certainly don’t mean it that way. I am saying it because I was there. It took/is taking a radical change from God. It was (as you have often said) the most painful experience. I had to swallow a lot of pride. I had to give a lot of apologies, and I have had to learn to extend a lot of grace.

        This is an area where I tread lightly. I have actually asked certain people to refrain from man-bashing in my presence. This has earned me the label of religious nut. I just wish they could the other side. Is it easy to stop man-bashing? It sure isn’t. To do so forces you to see your own sin and recognize your own faults. We like having folks to blame, and we like having others who are “worse” than us so that we can justify our behavior. When you have to learn to remove every other person from the equation, just leaving you and God, it is a humbling experience. I learned that my actions and reactions are appalling. I learned that my justifications were sinful. I learned that my desires were idols. BUT, I have found incredible peace. I have learned that people respond much more pleasantly when they know what to expect from me. They know that I will speak with compassion. People are less defensive when they realize that you are less defensive. They speak to me kinder and more gently. They trust me with their hurts. I don’t fear as many things and I don’t long for as many things. I know God is in control and has my best interest at heart. I feel as if I have traded worry, fear, bitterness for peace, contentment, and genuine love for others. Sometimes we feel the first prick on the painful pruning, and we run. Sticking it out is hard, but so worth it. I just wish I could convey that better.

        I want to be able to show the ladies that their husbands’ reactions are so often based on their actions. For everything there is an equal and opposite reaction. Yes and no. Sometimes the heart responds with the same hatred it received. It just seems worse when you are on the receiving end. I wish I could help them understand. This is where I have to pray. I want folks to learn from my mistakes. I want to ask, “How can you love God and hate His word? These are not my truths, but His”.

        Again, I’m sorry for all of my long comments. I am just somewhat alone in this journey. It is so nice to be a part of a group that knows the other side and encourages you in your walk.

        … Still praying for that book! What a great gift I could give folks. I know I say it over and over, but I mean it… Thank you for your work, the time and energy that this site requires, your boldness is speaking truth, your compassion and love in speaking truth!!! So many of us are so encouraged here, and I know it isn’t easy being the gatekeeper and keeping this a safe place. Thank you for taking the time to monitor comments. Your work and effort do not go unnoticed. Thank you for your work for the kingdom!

        -LA

        (PS. For the record, I am not as terrible at grammar as I seem on here. I am often in a hurry and do not have time to proof. If I use my phone, I can only see 2 words at a time :))

  8. I’ve never commented before, just read the posts. But i had to comment on this, this post was amazing. I keep rereading it to gain more knowledge.
    Thank you April (:

  9. Wow! These 2 posts have been an absolute blessing to me! I have decided to study the godly women of the bible and possibly make that the next bible study topic. This is just so spot on with scripture and who God desires us to be for Him and our husband’s/families and exactly who He can transform us to when we surrender to him! Yay! Just makes me so excited for the future.

    God has most certainly been working on my heart about this issue, and what is most striking to me is how much I used to not be “feminine” Or even “godly” but I so thought I was!!! It is encouraging to read some of these from the list though and realize hey that is me now! Of course I still have so much to learn and so far to go. But I’m definitely not where I used to be 🙂 I can tell how turned off and taken back my husband is when I start acting masculine.. Or speaking in a demanding masculine way, just like I can tell how drawn to me and loving he is towards me when I display these qualities. And to be quite honest, sometimes when I respond in that old way by accident, it feel so wrong and off and just not me… So I am getting better at apologizing right away now.

    I just love this topic so much!
    Prayers for all the wives on this journey!
    Thanks for the absolutely wonderful post April

    1. Learning wife,
      Thank you for sharing how this blessed you. This is the stuff I think we all need to hear and study as women. I am so excited about what God is showing you and all that you are learning.

      I also totally agree about how it begins, eventually, to feel awful to go back to our old ways. You could not pay me now to say some of the things I used to say on a regular basis. I know what those words really mean now and what they do to my husband, to my marriage and to God’s heart.

      I am excited that you recognize things quickly and apologize quickly. It is such a blessing when conflict begins to be over faster and happens less and less frequently.

      I appreciate the encouragement and the prayers for all the wives here! 🙂

      1. Could you guys help me see if Ian being sinful? I saw a female coworker give my husband a hug, so I immediately introduced myself to her. He is now furious with me and says I acted insecure and crazy. He says I embarrassed him. If I am not seeing my sin, I want to. Moles see help me understand?

        1. NW Girl,

          A husband hugging a female coworker isn’t always a sin. It may not be the most wise thing ever. Not sure what kind of hug it was and I don’t know either of their motives.

          Introducing yourself is not necessarily wrong. But – I guess we may need to examine, how did you introduce yourself? How did you act? What did you say?

          I’m so sorry this is such a difficult thing!!!

          Much love to you!!!!!

  10. I read the two posts. I wish you can pray April for me to become this Godly feminine woman. Sometimes I am but I have a very strong temper. And I know that God created me this way. If I wasn’t strong in God’s grace, I’ll be so miserable right now, facing so many challenges. I’m sick with sinusitis since 1 week 1/2 and had to go to the emergencies yesterday and have to come back there tomorrow.

    My husband is still in Africa to get our adoptive child. He is stuck
    right now with bureaucracy as we do have the adoption paper but the country authorities don’t want to let our son go. My husband was supposed to stay 1 month and it’s already 1 month 1/2 he is there and won’t be back before at least 3 more weeks. And I have to handle all the things he was doing like paying the bills, caring about his dependant parents above working. So praise God for the strenght in me or I won’t be able to survive all these present trials!

    But I wish also to be meek, soft and patient. Definitively God’s Spirit job!

    1. Sonadewonderful,

      Of course I will pray for you! The strong temper is not of God, of course. But your intelligence, your talents, abilities and personality are. God can harness those things as you lay them before Him to use them for His glory and to bless you and your husband.

      I’m so sorry you are so sick! That is no fun at all. 🙁

      How is your time with God going?

      How are you feeling today physically?

      What has God been speaking to you in this time that you are able to be with Him alone so much more?

      Praying for you, your husband and your precious new son!!!!!

      Much love,
      April

      1. Thanks April. I felt so sick this week and had to go 3 times at the emergency by myself. Last time was yesterday. I cancelled one of my private class today but did work at the school I work usually. I feel so bad again tonight, with huge headache, inflammation inside of my sinus…. and feeling overwhelm to have to pass everything by myself. I send some prayer request to some few friends I have but it seems that nobody care even taking time to answer me, it is just the Lord and I. Last week was so hard physically that my spiritual life suffered. This morning I took the time to praise and pray before going to work but feeling so bad tonight that it is hard to read my bible. Michel had delayed his coming back twice already. He is supposed to live Africa on November 3rd if he manage to get the other half of the plane ticket of our son which is till missing. We got his visa to get to Brazil but when he went to take the papers, the machine broke and he has to wait one more week in this other African country before to be able to go back to Niger. It is trials other there, trials here…. I’ve been so strong so far, praising God for each trials but I feel crumbling under pressure tonight…. 🙁 Please pray for me

        1. Sonadewonderful,

          I have had chronic sinusitis for over 20 years, so I definitely understand the pain and suffering that comes with sinus infections. If you can, sometimes washing with warm salt water in a anti Pot or rinsing bottle a few times a day can help a lot. And, sometimes acupuncture or acupressure can be really helpful, too. Lots of clear fluids, chicken soup, and decongestants may help if you can take them.

          Praying for you as you and your husband and new child are facing many trials. Praying for God’s will and His perfect timing and for none of this suffering to be wasted, but that you might have strength to look to Him and to hear His voice clearly. Praying for wisdom and safety for your husband and new son. I know you can’t wait to hug his neck!!!!!!

          Much love and a big hug to you, my beautiful sister!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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