What makes a girl a woman? Our culture says we’ve arrived when we grow our shapes, or when we get our first real job, or when we have sex for the first time, but we’ve all known girls who have done all these things but still have grown very old without ever growing very womanly. High self-esteem and self-confidence look like attractive options too, but there are enough rock-star diva four year olds to disprove them. And we’ve all heard that we have to “find ourselves” on a great journey of introspection – but no, burrowing deeper in our own heads only leads to being self-consumed, and the self will consume itself until it is spent.
We become women when we become lovers. Not the lover of one man, but lovers of all men and women, lovers of our brothers and sisters, lovers of the lost, and most of all, lovers of our Holy Sweetness. Love is the call of the mature Christian and the mature woman.
As women, we can love with power. We can encourage and inspire, influence and heal. Our love is perhaps its most potent when we use it to build up the men around us, inspiring them to embark on their great adventures – and perhaps someday becoming an irreplaceable companion in one particular man’s great adventure. We, through God’s perfect love and through Christ who strengthens us, can comfort, touch, and renew. God loves to use us as part of His transformation plan for other peoples’ lives – not by us trying to change someone into who we think they should be, but by sacrificing ourselves so completely that those around us see Christ – and what a transforming vision He is!
We learn to love by coming to the feet of our Holy Sweetness. We love because He first loved us. If we get what it means that He walked our earth, held our hands, washed our feet, then was killed on a cross by us and forgave us anyway – if we can get that not only did He forgive us for killing him, but He forgave us every sin we’ve ever committed, freeing us from shame forever – if we can get that He’s not just a get-out-of-hell-free card but a relationship that digs deeper and deeper until it claims all of us – then how can we do anything but respond with love?
We can’t. In fact, if we aren’t overflowing with love, we have to wonder if we ever listened to Jesus’ story at all.
But don’t be afraid! Perfect love casts out fear, and God is love.
Bible Reading: 1 John, especially chapters 4-5.
Book Recommendation: Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge. This book may do more for your recovery than any eating disorder focused book.
What is love?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
- 1 Corinthians 14: 4-8