Run like a girl. Thrown like a girl. These have traditionally been insults. As in “you run like a girl, instead of a boy.” “Boys run faster so run more like a boy.” Throw it like you mean it, with a strong arm. You can be proud to run like a girl and dress like a girl.
Women’s sports have come along way. While they don’t have equal status as men’s sports, dramatic growth has occurred over the last several decades. It has changed how women view and use their bodies.
Dress Like a Girl: Strong, Fast, Athletic
Girls are strong. Girls are fast. Girls are athletic. They are not pretending to be boys; instead they are girls living out who they are supposed to be.
Suddenly this empowering message slams up against a new message in culture.
The quest for women’s equality and rights, therefore, has often pushed the idea that women can do anything a man can do. Women can be doctors, lawyers, and soldiers. If given the opportunity, women will excel.
Dress Like a Girl: Women and Men are Not the Same
In the struggle for equal opportunity, we have also claimed that men and women are the same. Yet, we know that they are not. For one, women can bear children and men cannot. This has been part of the birth control and pro-choice movement. It consequently seeks to literally kill this distinction.
My experienced mother-self would love to go back to my early years of college. Classrooms full of young women and men without experience who, hence, naively buy into the argument that the differences between men and women are social constructs rather than biological facts.
Just as a seminary professor of mine once pointed out that your opinions on whether or not children are born with sin consequently change when you actually have children. When we experience their behavior daily, we have a front row seat to their selfish natures and the overwhelming responsibility to discipline them while we are still working on ourselves.
Two Girls and a Boy
Our first child was a daughter. She was such an easy baby. We finally were able to conceive and deliver another baby, another daughter. We joked that this girl was our tomboy. She was much more prone to destroying things and getting into messes. Then we had a boy. Boys are a whole different ballgame. He does things the girls never tried to do.
Did we nurture him differently? No, and yes. As the third child, he wasn’t lavished with toys. He has watched all his sisters’ cartoons because as the littlest you idolize your bigger siblings and frankly, bow to their will.
The boy has spent many hours playing with Barbies and dress-up clothes. He plays with Legos just as the girls have done. The girls had Nerf guns but never played with them with the same gusto that the boy does.
The boy plays with Avengers figures, but his sister started with them first. In fact, he shares a room with one sister. It is superhero themed. He plays with Jake and the Neverland Pirate toys, but they were handed down to him by his sister. The boy also plays with cars, but his first cars were ones that belonged to his sisters.
Influenced by two older sisters, he knows how to compliment you on your hair and purse. He is particular about his hair, but I think he gets that from his dad.
“We don’t hit girls.”
What have we intentionally done differently? “Don’t hit your sister. Use your words.” I have lost count of the number of times I have uttered this phrase over the years. Now with our son, it goes like this … “Don’t hit your sister. We don’t hit girls. Sisters are girls. Use your words.”
I also teach him to open doors and hold them open for others. Heck, this is hugely useful to me! He can open the doors, while his sisters and I are hauling in the groceries. He opens the doors for me when my hands are full. Of course, I had the girls do this too when they were young. I am intentional with him that this is a way that he is called to serve others.
Current gender conversation has moved beyond the struggle between the sexes to redefine our understandings of gender to mean that it is just a social construct, not a biological fact.
In our language, we created a separation between the biological and the social. We labeled the biological male and female. The social expressions we called gender, and we often use the terms masculine and feminine. Gender is based on our perceptions and stereotypes, and the other is rooted in science.
Advancement in medicine allows us to change the appearance of our gender to conform to what we desire it to be. We have done this for years with our genders, more curves here and less in other places. We have reshaped our bodies to conform to the vision we have of ourselves in our minds.
Dress like a Girl: Change the Body or Change the Mind
Faced with a disconnect between the vision in our mind of ourselves and the reality of our bodies, we are faced with a challenge. Consequently, we can either change the body or change the mind. Unfortunately, it seems the movement is to default to the idea that one’s vision of oneself is true and therefore that the body is in error. In other words, go with what you feel and not with what you can see.
How ought a Christian woman process these ideas? How do we raise our sons and daughters? What does the Bible have to say about sex & gender?
So God created man in his own image,in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
God created male. God created female. Both reflect the image of God. These distinctions are not social constructions but rather intentional designs by the God of the universe.
Proverbs 31 Woman
Godly women are smart, savvy, and strong. One only needs to study the Proverbs 31 woman to have a stereotype-shattering image of the things that a woman can accomplish and the impact that she can have. She doesn’t have to pretend to be a man to do these things. She doesn’t have to be single to do these things. In fact, she is an excellent wife “far more precious than jewels.” I admit that I envy her. (Maybe I need some servants. Wink, wink.)
Just as our culture has sought to destroy families, it now seeks to destroy the very genders that create those families. Hence, it is a counter-cultural protest to embrace being a woman and celebrate it.
It is a counter-cultural protest to embrace being a woman and celebrate it.
There are different ideas of what biblical womanhood looks like even among those who take the Bible seriously as the word of God. Wearing skirts exclusively or not is a challenge for some. For some, it has to do with the length of a woman’s hair. Others struggle with whether it is okay if a woman works outside of her home or not. In my opinion, those are all matters of personal conviction to be discerned with your spouse and your elders.
I do like skirts, but I don’t wear them exclusively. In skirts, I feel more beautiful and feminine in them. I also have more doors opened for me and a lot more help with lifting and hauling heavy things. Am I strong and determined and can handle most anything whether or not I am wearing a skirt? Yes! Yet, sometimes a huge blessing to have some unsolicited help.
Dress Like a Girl & Don’t be Afraid to Be Feminine
In conclusion, don’t be afraid to be feminine – it is how God designed you! How God convicts you in this area will be unique to you. It could be the colors you wear, the cut and style of your clothing. It could be your earrings or your perfume. All of those things really are external.
Femininity truly comes from the heart. Embrace that fact that there are biological differences and those are intentional on God’s part.
Do not wish that you were anything other than what God created you to be. Enjoy being a woman. You don’t have to be less or more – you are created in the image of God.
Preach the gospel by being the woman God created you to be!
I would love to know how you apply this idea to your life.