Friday, November 24, 2006

Single & Biblically Feminine

Biblical Womanhood, whether married or single is the latest discussion in the recent edition of the Journal for Biblical Manhood & Womanhood. "When You Don't Have a Better Half: Encouraging Biblical Roles as a Single Woman by Carolyn McCulley is probably the more unique of the articles in that it tackles the issue of how a single woman can exhibit biblical femininity.

In it she describes her journey from feminism to a fully fledged position of: "sign me up" to this "biblical womanhood thing." Admittedly, Carolyn then looked for that other half to complement her new found perspective on being a female, but soon found that no husband came calling. She writes:
"Over time, I began to identify more with an adjective than a noun. I was a single woman. Singleness dominated my perspective. In fact, I just became a single. As in, “So what’s going on with the singles these days?” Or, “Let’s invite some of the singles over for dinner!” Or, “The singles are going on a retreat next weekend.” Thus, the church became a collection of husbands, wives, and singles—the gender-neutral third wheels that messed up the seating arrangements wherever we went.
In the LORD’s rich mercy, this perspective was radically altered when I was asked to work on a project mining the gracious truths of biblical femininity. As I studied, I realized that Scripture’s emphasis was on being made a woman in the image of God. My marital status informed how that would be applied, but I was to be more preoccupied with my femininity than my singleness. The lingering whiffs of feminism’s androgyny were thereby extinguished. I was not a female form outlined in dotted lines, waiting for one man to fill me in and therefore complete my femininity. I was feminine because that’s how my God made me, and there was something of his image that I was to reflect as a woman—even a single woman."
In the rest of her article, Carolyn goes onto to explore how single women can cultivate femininity in non-romantic relationships, while encouraging the men around them in their application of masculinity. It is an article well worth taking the time to read, informative and encouraging for many who don't, as yet, have a proverbial "better half." You can read the article here.

(HT: SGM)

1 comment:

lilrach said...

Thanks so much for linking to Carolyn's paper. I'm actually a young (21) woman who has recently got married, but I'm in my final year at uni and am finding myself mentoring and frequently advising younger Christian girls at my uni, especially about relationships and preparation for them. This is going to be a hugely valuable resource as I seek to faithfully guide them in Biblical womanhood, and indeed as I learn and grow in it myself. Please post more!

I'm only a new reader of your blog, but I want to thank you all for your wise words and helpful guidance. Thank you and may God bless your work, marriages and families.

Rachel