What is Femininity?

Society says that you are feminine based on how you present yourself to the world — perfectly appointed coif, immaculate manicure, flawless makeup, lilting voice and laugh, and a body with “well-placed” curves. Delicate, dainty, and poised… Well, at least, that’s what the definition of feminine grace used to be. The Marilyn Monroes and the Audrey Hepburns of a time forgotten reminded us of what it meant to be a woman — what secret power she possessed, what unique qualities God gave her that empowered her in ways no man worth his salt could deny. Femininity is often punctuated by the way a woman dresses – a flowing dress, a blouse paired with a skirt, and don’t forget the high heels. Heels are highly symbolic of a woman’s femininity, mostly because of the way they enhance and draw attention the physical features characteristic of the female body. They are considered a necessary staple in most every woman’s closet. And yet, in the wake of the feminist movement, and the blurring of the gender lines over the last 30 or 40 years, society seems less and less interested in what would be considered innate to the male and female genders, and more interested in an amorphous existence that flies in the face of the most basic principles of biology and furthering the human race in the most natural sense of the word. But that is a topic of discussion for another day.

So, what really defines femininity? It’s that innate quality that God gave to women. It’s the power of grace and elegance that a woman exudes when she enters a room in all her radiance and glory. It’s not what she wears or how she smells or the way she walks. No, it is the confidence that she possesses, the gentle contentment with who she is, and her being comfortable in her own skin. The external is ENHANCED by the internal. The quiet beauty of femininity — the way a woman carries herself with self-love and self-respect, the manner in which she deals with her fellow human beings, the tone with which she speaks, and the way she touches those around her — those are the characteristics that define a woman’s femininity.

A feminine woman knows she need not be loud and boisterous in order to be heard. A feminine woman understands the power and purpose of her grace and elegance. A feminine woman knows that, no matter what occupation she chooses, she is just as valuable and has something to offer. She is self-aware and self-assured of who she is and what she is about. Knowing her purpose as a woman in a world where the words MAN and WOMAN take on less meaning everyday becomes paramount to her very existence. It becomes the profound reflection of her Creator when she is unapologetically who she is, without asking anyone’s permission, or caring what anyone else thinks on the matter. It becomes less about being louder or more noticeable by those around her, and more about acknowledging and honoring who she is in the eyes of her Creator.  She is more concerned with empowering and encouraging others to honor themselves and their Creator by seeking Him out and learning what His purpose is for their lives. He ought to know — He made them with a specific purpose in mind.

[1Peter 3:3-4 NLT]  

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

This is what it means to be feminine, to be a woman, created in the image of her Creator, who loves her completely and unconditionally. And I have to admit that it took me the better part of my thirty years of walking this side of Eternity to understand that. I don’t have to push or shove or fight to be heard or seen. All that is required of me is to walk like the daughter of the King. I am created in the image and likeness of a perfect and loving Creator, and it is my charge to honor Him in all that I say and do because it is a direct reflection of His Spirit at work in and through me. I love being a woman and I wear my femininity with pride because it honors my Creator as I embrace my divine purpose and do all I can to walk in it.

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