What Makes a Woman a Woman?

Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya

On August 23, 2009, Caster Semenya broke the world record for the 800m with a time of 1:55.45 in the final of the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. She brought hope to the nation of South Africa and showed that talent does come out of SA. But this runaway victory was overshadowed by allegations that she is a boy, not a girl. Caster was so humiliated by these allegations that she wanted to boycott the medal ceremony.

“She said she did not want to go on the podium, but I told her she must,” said Chuene, President of Athletics of South Africa. “She is not rejoicing. She didn’t want the medal. She told me, ‘no one ever said I was not a girl but here I am not. I am not a boy. Why did you bring me here? You should have left me in my village at home’.”

Can you hear her heart hurting? One of the worst things you can do to a woman is question her femininity. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t the most graceful, beautiful, dainty person. You are still a woman. Your heart is still more tender and sensitive than a man’s. You are a nurturer by design and your makeup questioned as a woman is heart breaking.

The world has its own definition of gender. It decides the types of socially acceptable behaviors. To be seen as a “true” woman in today’s world, every woman should have a certain amount of gracefulness, fashion sense, beauty, charm, talent, independence, and culture. The list could go on and on. But all these characteristics are surface and physical. They lack any value in God’s kingdom and for eternity. So how does God define what makes a woman a woman? Because that’s what really matters.

~On a quick side note, humans cannot decide what gender they want to be. While Scripture does not exactly address the transgender issue, we do see that God knits humans together while they are in the womb (Ps.139:13). He is the one who designs us and He is the one who decides who is male and female. If you are a male, God has meant for you to be so and you cannot decide to become a woman. It goes against His design. The same goes for a woman wanting to become a man. The Lord does not and will not ever make a mistake. ~

Ok, so back to God’s definition of what a woman looks like. God looks at the heart of a woman, above any other characteristics that she may have. That is how He judges mankind and that’s how He defines men and women. How the world defines a woman doesn’t really matter. A woman in the eyes of the Lord is gracious, compassionate, dignified, faithful, virtuous, and wise. 1 Peter 3:4-7 says that she should have a gentle and quiet spirit. This is not to say that she can’t be funny, loud, and outgoing. I couldn’t imagine a world without women who can bring laughter and joy to our lives. We need those kind of personalities but a godly woman is not brash and attention seeking. This also doesn’t mean that she’s a woman without a backbone. So many times this verse is interpreted as a woman is to be weak and passive. What is really said here though is that a godly woman’s heart and soul brings peace to all who talk to her. She has the Spirit of God within her and she helps bring God’s light to this darkened world. It’s a spirit thing, not a personality thing.

A woman of God is also not angry or argumentative. That kind of woman is like constant dripping on a rainy day or a broken faucet going drip, drip, drip, drip. It never ends. It eventually drives you crazy like Chinese water torture. Would you want to be around a woman like that? I would want to run away as far as I could than be tortured with her bitterness and constant arguing. Proverbs even says that it’s better to live in the hot, burning desert than with a woman like that. (Proverbs 21:19) Doesn’t sound like a friend I would want.

You know that show Bridezillas? The bride-to-be yells, screams, or argues with everyone over the littlest things, like flowers. She wants control. She will do anything to gain control, at any cost and at anyone’s expense, even resorting to passive aggressive behavior. The other type of woman doesn’t yell at everyone to do it her way NOW. Instead, she controls things “behind the scenes” to get her way. She manipulates those around her. When you ask her what’s wrong she says, “You know what’s wrong” and gets upset when you don’t know and can’t read her mind. She even manipulates situations to make you look like the bad person and she’s the good one. These two types of women are contentious and angry. They want to keep everything in their hands instead of putting everything in God’s, under HIS control.

I know it’s so cliché but the Proverbs 31:10-11 passage is the epitome of what a godly woman’s
heart looks like. Modern feminists say a “real” woman should be liberated from her home and family but God’s Word says, in verse 11-12, that she brings good to her home. Her focus is helping her home and those in it, whether she is married or not. She is a trustworthy woman in whom you can confide. You can trust that her actions will do everyone good not harm. I think the end of the Proverbs 31 passage summarizes all the attributes of a godly woman.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
“Many women do noble things,but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Modern society often thinks of a good Christian woman as passive and weak. But NO, A Christ-like woman is actually a strong and dignified woman. She is not trapped in her home or debilitated because she decides to stay at home. She laughs at the days to come because she trusts in her Lord. When you speak to this woman, she will give wisdom and faithful instruction to you. Godly women are those you can trust because they will not be gossips or busybodies, as were the women in 1 Timothy 5:13. Instead, they give wise counsel and reliable instruction.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty if fleeting.” These are things the world considers to be the main attributes of a “true” woman but they will fade away. A woman who fears the Lord will have a lasting impact on eternity and the kingdom of God. So whether you are a tomboy, girly-girl, clumsy, or graceful, remember you are a woman who is defined by the Lord, not the world.

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4 thoughts on “What Makes a Woman a Woman?

  1. Pingback: What Makes a Woman a Woman? | Fashion e Music Blog

  2. I’d love to hear your thoughts/research on the news that came out about this poor woman having male organs. Not only does she know have to figure out a way to live with this, the whole world knows. Any insight into how this is handled Biblically? Thanks.

  3. Good question, Lauralin 🙂 If man/woman does not choose his/her gender, then when a person is born with both female & male organs,or in Semenya’s case they couldn’t tell because her testicals were internal and she had no uterus or ovaries and appeared to be a woman, how do we biblically handle this? Someone had to decide what gender a child is at some point. Parents have to know how to dress the baby, name the baby, & raise the baby. From what I have been told in the past when an intersex, hermaphrodite baby was born in hospitals, the doctor would suggest to the parents which gender that baby leans more to being and would put on the birth certificate that gender. Sometimes operations were performed to help that baby identify himself/herself with the chosen gender. Today, we can test a child and find out what gender they are by the XY chromosome, but even in that testing it could only mean that their organs are not functioning and that may be the reason for high testoterone levels. I read a good article from comcast.com on “When someone is raised female and genes say XY”. It raises a lot of questions and concerns, but has no real answers to the situation. We MUST, however, be compassionate to Semenya. It is clear that she was raised as a girl and now the whole world knows about her private sexual disorder. This has to be emotionally devastating to her and we all need to be praying for her.

  4. Thank you for your response. My heart breaks for this girl who has to figure all of this out in front of a judgemental world. I pray she finds peace from the giver of Peace.

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