The Essence of Femininity


A few weeks ago, Laura Doyle (author of The Surrendered Wife), had a post on her blog about that femininity can be summed up in one word, “receiving.” This is true physically in the marriage act. The husband is the giver and the wife is the receiver. It’s interesting to me to think about masculinity and femininity in these general terms.

But it goes farther than this… a wife gives back to her husband physically later by bearing children as fruit of her receiving from him. Then the husband receives that child with great joy.

It seems that we are being our most beautiful, feminine selves, when we receive graciously and joyfully from our husbands – whether it is sexually, financially, emotionally, or in many other ways. Then we give back to our husbands and they receive from us.

Both spouses will need to give and receive well (and at the right times) for a marriage to thrive – then there is a beautiful rhythm.


We can seek to joyfully receive:

  • their wisdom (not as superior to ours, but as different, and as a blessing)
  • their protection spiritually, emotionally, financially, physically, etc…
  • their desire for us, attraction to us, and sexual advances (for wives whose husbands are rejecting them, I have a post about that here.)
  • their financial support
  • their help, especially when they offer to help
  • their help when we ask for help
  • their compliments
  • their perspective that is so different from our own
  • their spiritual leadership, even though it may be different from our expectations (unless they are leading us into sin)
  • their feelings, ideas, suggestions, concerns, and dreams
  • their parenting for our children
  • their friendship
  • their presence (even if there is not a lot of talking going on, men tend to bond just by being together, not necessarily by talking)
  • their love in the ways that they express it (even if it is not the ways we would most prefer)

When we just relax with them, enjoy them, genuinely admire the good in them, accept them for who they are, and receive what they want to share with us – we and our husbands can experience the most amazing intimacy.


God created husbands to demonstrate the selfless, humble, sacrificial, loving leadership of Christ for His Church toward their wives. God designed wives to demonstrate the adoration, respect, and biblical submission of the loving Church for Jesus toward their husbands. The deepest meaning of masculinity and femininity are to display the mystery of Christ and His Church.

  • Jesus is the First Giver. He gave all of Himself for us and everything He had.
  • We, the members of the Body, are the first receivers. We graciously receive all that He gives to us with thanksgiving and praise.
  • Then, we give joyfully all of ourselves to Him.
  • Of course, He gladly receives us to Himself.
  • We bear fruit in our lives, the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and also we bear fruit of making other disciples.
  • Jesus receives the fruit from our lives and the new believers in the Body with joy.

Are we receiving all that Jesus has done and has provided for us? Are we receiving all of His Spirit, His goodness, His death on our behalf, His suffering in our place, His taking on the punishment that we deserved? Are we receiving all of His new life that He gives us? Are we receiving all of the love, acceptance, joy, peace, and security that He offers to us? Do we open up our hearts in total trust and faith to Him and invite Him in to be one with us in Spirit the way a wife would open up herself to be receptive and to invite her husband in on every level in a healthy marriage? Do we receive God’s wisdom? Do we receive His truth? Do we reject anything from the enemy to protect our hearts from him, resisting him and submitting fully only to Christ?

Jesus already died for us and already finished all of the work that was necessary to make us right with God. All we do is accept His work on our behalf that we could never do. Kind of like I can receive my husband’s gift to me of renovating our house and giving me a dream house. I receive his work on my behalf and enjoy it, even though I could never have done the work he did for me. My gift to my husband or to Jesus is to receive what they give to me with joy.

When I just relax with Him, enjoy Him, adore Him, accept Him for who He is (not who I want Him to be), and receive what He wants to share with me – I can experience the most amazing intimacy with Jesus.

I can receive so many things from Jesus:

  • His promises
  • His power
  • His Spirit
  • His healing
  • His truth
  • His love
  • His mind
  • His heart
  • His desires
  • His plans and purposes
  • His will
  • His presence
  • His love
  • His forgiveness and grace

The awesome thing is, when I am filled to overflowing with Christ and all that I have received from Him, I am whole. I lack nothing. Anything my husband does for me at that point is extra icing on the cake. I can be content whether my husband gives to me or not. The paradoxical thing is that as a husband sees that his wife is content,  joyful, smiling, and brimming over with goodness, he tends to be more motivated to give to her. Godliness in a woman is very attractive. Our husbands want to do things that delight us and make us happy, but sometimes we are not capable of being delighted until we are healed in Christ.

Let’s receive all that Christ has for us, then we will be able to best receive anything our husbands may have for us and we can most be a blessing to them, as well.

Last year, Radiant, who has written a number of guest posts for me recently, had a word for the whole year. It was, “receive.” She decided to learn to receive the good things God had for her, and to receive the love and good things from people in her life. I think that would be an amazing thing for all of us to focus on in 2016!

verses about giving and receiving