This week’s question comes to us from Tatiana in Chicago:
Q. Is biblical femininity applicable to single women, because I most often hear it spoken of in the context of marriage and motherhood?
A. This question deserves a much longer and more thorough answer than I can give in a brief post. But let me say, emphatically, “YES!” Biblical womanhood is just as important for single women as for married women. Here are some excerpts from our book, Girl Talk, to more fully explain my answer.
“The important point here is that God created us. We are the planned and foreordained determination of an all-wise, all powerful, and all-loving God. It is not mere chance that we are female; our gender is not accidental. We were intentionally and purposefully created.
When God created the first woman and every woman thereafter, He made fully feminine creatures. You and I did not become feminine because our moms gave us dolls and put pink dresses on us. We were born feminine because we were created feminine.”
“[When] God created the first woman, Eve, [He] assigned her the honorable task of helper. As a fully feminine creature, she was stamped with a helper design. She was created both complementary to and yet distinctly different from man. She was created equal in worth and yet different in function…And your helper design isn’t something you cash in come marriage. For you were born feminine…Your helper role is called for today.”
So then, you may ask, what does it look like for a single woman (or teenage girl for that matter) to display biblical femininity? Jeff Purswell, the Dean of the Sovereign Grace Pastors College provides us with a definition for all women:
“Biblical femininity suggests an inner disposition that is supportive, responsive, and nurturing in its various roles, responsibilities, and relationships.”
Supportive — (Gen. 2:18) “an inclination towards giving help and assistance.”
“As women, we have been specially equipped to provide strategic, effective, and valuable help to those around us….So consider, whom God would have you assist and support in this season of your life.”
Responsive — (Eph. 5:23) “an inclination to cooperate with and respond to appropriate leadership structures”
“God has set up authority figures in our lives for our good….Spend a moment in self-evaluation. How well do you cooperate with and respond to the authority God has placed over you?”
Nurturing — (Prov. 31:27-28, Titus 2:3-5) “an inclination to provide care and strength to others.
“God has created us with a heightened sensitivity to the needs and pain of others and a large capacity to express compassion.”
The bottom line is this: “Although femininity may look a little different for a teenage girl or a single woman than for a married woman, we are called to fully express our helper design, no matter what our age or marital status is.”
All quotes taken from Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Mahaney Whitacre, Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood (Crossway Books: Wheaton, IL, 2005) pp. 105-111.
On this note, I want to highly recommend an outstanding book on this topic by our good friend Carolyn McCulley, Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?: Trusting God with a Hope Deferred . Carolyn’s life and example backs up the message of her book which provides a pattern of biblical femininity for single women to follow.