The woman today has typically become an ugly spectacle. Under the banners of “liberation” and “equality”, she has bound herself with shackles of unfemininity and of Godless rebellion. She has lost all true perspective of God, of His order for the home and society, and of herself.
We Christian women are not immune to this ugliness. Too often our sourcebooks for femininity are the world’s magazines on women or the world’s ideas as we meet them in our conversations, on the radio, in our newspapers. Wherever the world formulates our thoughts and stimulates our actions, the result will not be beauty but ugliness.
There is only one antidote to such spiritual ugliness: a return to the Scriptures. Only as we women submit to the Scriptures, studying them and submitting ourselves to God’s ordinances for us revealed in them, can we hope to live in spiritual beauty before Him.
And let’s not deceive ourselves: we are too often unscriptural and ugly in our feminine roles. We hear catchy feminine slogans which exalt our female ego and we adopt these slogans for our own. We truly believe we have “come a long way” and that our modern independence makes us more attractive than were women of the past. Our hearts deceive us into thinking that our ugly traits are actually our beauty.
These facts are the convictions underlying the formation of this new rubric in the Beacon Lights. It is not true that no one ever writes anything on the Christian woman. No, there have been various articles, often excellent articles on the Christian woman and on issues she faces. The Beacon Lights has often carried such articles. But the fact is that we as women need constantly to be facing our Godly calling and to be evaluating our thoughts and lives as women before Him. When we hear the world’s convictions over against God’s principles in a 100 to 1 ratio (or worse, even), then the world is going to have too great an influence on us. We need to hear less worldly propaganda, but also, more Scriptural truth and encouragement.
I have for some years had an interest in making studies on the Christian woman. I have often thought I would like to do a study of the women of Scripture and of passages in the Scripture dealing with women. Whenever I have read other such articles, they have always been special to me.
The main reason for this interest is undoubtedly the fact that I am myself a woman. As a Christian woman, I share the needs and problems of other Christian women. Every time I read articles by other Christian women, or on issues relating to the woman, or on Scriptural passages about women, I relate these to myself. And I find myself to be often wrong, to need correction and humbling, to need the Sword of the Scriptures to show me my ugliness and the only route to spiritual beauty.
But my main reason for turning this personal interest into a regular rubric is the conviction that I am not alone. I know that all of us women need constant encouragement in our lives as Christian women. I hear this need in many of the conversations I have with other of God’s women. I confront this need every time I read Good Housekeeping or Parents ‘ Magazine or read “Dear Abby” in the newspaper. Most of us women read regularly some sources of feminine propaganda, all of us are surrounded by its subtle influences, and the less we realize its impact, the greater is our need to have this impact exposed and critiqued.
One measure of our need for plain guidance from the Bible is our measure of contentment with our role as women. Do we often wish we were men, able to earn the pocket money? Do we wish the authority to make family decisions rested not in the men but in us! Are we content as married women with our imperfect husbands, not wishing we could trade them in for better models? Or as single women, are we content with God’s plan to let men be the leaders who ask us out for dates, who choose or overlook us at their option? Are we content to be women?
To the degree that we lack contentment, we lack beauty. To that degree also we need to hear God’s Word and learn to submit to God’s guidelines for feminine beauty. To that degree we need repeated encouragement. We can find such encouragement in the preaching on Sunday, in our own study of Scriptures, in our conversations with others, especially women, or in things which we read centering around the Scriptures.
In the two months since I have been asked to write for the Beacon Lights and since I have chosen the topic of this rubric, I have in my own life been blessed by the reading of articles and books on the Christian woman. Even though much of what I’ve read is not written by women of Reformed persuasion and is not 100% Biblical, yet the Scriptural guidelines have scolded me for my failings and have directed me to the path of femininity that I should be walking. And this has been to me a blessing.
I know that in my writing I will not be always 100% Biblical, either, despite my efforts to be that. But I pray that nonetheless this rubric and its following articles may be used of God to bless us, His believing women. If the study blesses only my own life, it will have been worth it for me to do the labor of writing. But if it also blesses other of God’s women, then it will have been worth the printing.
May God bless us, His women in this modern world, with His insights to oppose the world’s ugly ideas of femininity and to be content with God’s appointed ideals for beauty. May we learn and experience the truth of Proverbs 31:30: “a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”