Saturday, November 18, 2006

the desires of the feminine

This week, I quietly participated in the challenge presented by Charming the Birds from the Trees presented to try to be more feminine. For the record, this is what I did.

1.) I decorated our dining room table with pretty cards held in floral frogs.
2.) I bought a nail buffing kit and buffed my nails. I do so many crafts that it seems ridiculous to grow our paint my nails. I must admit it makes for lovely hands to simply take care of the cuticle and buff the nails.
3.) I bought a pretty pair of matching underwear. I am afraid I've been sloppy in that regard.
4.) I was careful to try to move more deliberately.
5.) I made share to wear pretty pajamas at night.

The exercise has been good and has challenged me to find more ways to be feminine. However, this morning in my reading I discovered a thought reminds me what should be in the heart of women when considering their relationship with the man in their life.

In 'Heart to Heart About Men: Words of Encouragement for Women of Integrity' by Nancy Groom, she writes:

"Our first parents, created to image God desired one another for mutual blessing and enjoyment.

That all changed, however, after their fall into disobedience. When God addresses the woman's desire for husband outside the context of perfectly imaging God's own selfless love, her desire is tainted in two ways. First, the energy of her desire is no longer other-centered, but self-centered. No longer, would she long for Adam in order to receive and bless him in her responsiveness; now she would desire that he meet her needs for love.

In addition to tainting Eve's motives, the fall also depraved her method for getting what she desired. No longer, would she invite her husband to come to her; she would try to somehow make him come to her. Her movement would be to control and possess him--to 'desire to have' him...That feminine inclination to possess and control men has contaminated Eve's daughters ever since....

The only way any of us can experience love is to receive it, not demand it. Men's movement toward us must be their free choice, even as our responsiveness to their love must be our free choice. In both of these -- the free giving and the joyous receiving of love -- we live out of the image of God's love within the Trinity."

For the past several days, I've been reading in Proverbs. Both the calls of Wisdom and Foolishness are described as women. Both seek to bring the seeker to them both attempt to bring men them but for different reasons. Wisdom seeks to give; Foolishness seeks to take and to trap. I see a great deal of feminism in the images of taking and trapping and it led me to some interesting thoughts.

Feminism embraces much that is masculine it takes away the strength of men and seeks to trap them in their own foolish desires, which is how feminists can both glorify the 'butch' woman and the wanton and promiscuous woman. Both work in the realm of foolishness. The butch woman takes away the man's role the wanton woman traps him in lascivious desires. And ladies, this is something I want to point out. Feminine dress, nice hair (often long), and good manicures are feminine but don't forget many promiscuous women use those same devices to lure men to them. Women in pornography are seldom seen with short hair they usually have long lovely hair. You never see pornographic women with ragged nails. And while the issue of dress length is a legitimate line of division, some women wear dresses to lure men.

Now before you ask why I know that women in pornography dress and act like this. You can not tell me you have never seen a woman on the cover of a 'health' or 'biker' or a 'fashion' magazine that is not pornographic. There is no difference - one is legitimatised by our society, one is not.

I would hazard a guess that some women who are extremely feminine externally are feminist in intent. I know of one in my own life who is. The house is beautifully decorated in a very feminine style. She favors manicures, beautiful jewelry, nice hairdos, and when she dresses up her cloths are always nicely feminine. In fact, she is old school in that she 'allows' her man to fill the car with gas, do the heavy lifting, tend the grass etc. However, the man in her life lives with the proverbial ball and chain.

I think those that discuss feminism and feminity should always be clear - it is in the intent that defines us not the result or external appearance. Because we all start out with the same tools, we need to realize how we use them and the results are a matter of the heart. What is truly feminine is 'free giving and joyous receiving.'

I have caught bits pieces and even huge bites of this in various things I've read but I just want to reiterate - don't become so hung up on the appearance of feminism that you forget the heart of it. As so nicely quoted by Plain and Simple her post Provision and Protection: "Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave." Martin Luther

I hope I have not offended anyone who writes the lovely and charming blogs that consider the realm of home, house, family, and feminity as I did not intend to. I find that writing clarifies my thinking and I might as well share the things I consider important.


  1. This was a great post and I agree with everything you've said here. We can get *so* caught up with external issues, when it is what is in our heart that truly matters.

  2. Anonymous12:58 PM

    I loved plainandsimple's post too. And I agree we can forget that even if we are in overalls and wellies that it is our heart that matters most; celebrating femininity in seeking God's will for us as women is in our hearts and in our relationship with our Father in Heaven. The outward change must only come after the inward change otherwise it is meaningless. I think it is also important that we should never judge a person by what they wear or how they act because unlike God we don't see the heart and the journey they are travelling. I enjoyed the femininity challenge too, the things you did sound great, I only got as far as lighting a candle and wearing skirts and makeup :)