A Woman’s Heart [part 3 of 3]

For her

Women, especially, are called to demonstrate modesty and pure character both within the church and outside it.  We are exhorted to dress “modestly and discreetly” and to let our godly behavior shine more than our style and adorning (I Timothy 2:9, see also I Peter 3:1-4).  It is really important to place these writings in their historical context.  In Ephesus, for example, scantily clad priestesses of Artemis (Diana) were respected as they ‘ministered’ in the two-story brothel where the goddess was worshiped [1].  Some of these women had begun to accept Christ as Lord and were leaving behind what amounted to prostitution.  However, some had apparently not yet changed their manner of dress.  They had become children of God but still looked like priestesses of Artemis.  They needed to be transformed in every part of their lives including what they wore.  Our challenge as women in this culture is no different.  It makes no sense to worship with pure hearts and to dress and simultaneously carry ourselves provocatively.  Christ gave Himself up to set apart a church, a Bride, that was, “in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing…

For him

holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27).  As women, we have the distinct privilege to lead in this by our purity and restraint.

One of the things I love about being a woman is the opportunity to unite the heart with the mind.  Of course men feel and of course women think rationally (no matter what Freud may have believed).  And yet, women are often especially gifted at being tuned into and expressing the heart even as men are often wired to be more focused on logic and rationality.  God gave women the honor of upholding compassion and mercy in some unique ways.  It is no accident, for example, that we are the child-bearers, the ones who nurture and sustain our offspring for the nine months before their birth and in the earliest days of theirs lives.  In the postmodern world compassion has become a lost art.  This has much to do with misguided notions of feminism[2] that have sacrificed mercy and a servant’s heart for a self-centered quest for status, power, and wealth.  It is my hope that our generation, who has begun to question this mantra, will reunite heart with mind and restore Godly compassion among men and women.  “Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.  Truth springs from the earth; and righteousness looks down from heaven.  Indeed, the Lord will give what is good; and our land will yield its

For them

produce.  Righteousness will go before Him, and will make His footsteps into a way.” Psalm 85:10-13.

For young ones

[1] Kay Arthur, International Inductive Study Bible notes on Ephesians, p.1903.  The temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  Silversmiths made their living selling statues of the goddess and of the temple.  This explains their violent anger at Paul’s preaching the gospel there: he was endangering their source of income (Acts 18-19).

[2] There are many strains of feminism.  The most vocal feminists seek to erase any and all distinctions between genders but there are others who simply desire more educational opportunities, comparable salaries, and the like.  There are even Christian feminists (see http://www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2003/0902.html ) with a women’s studies program at Vanguard University.

For the Body...may the Spirit guide us to live in community more fully and freely by living these truths more completely.


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