The Washington Post recently reported on a rise in female student violence on college campuses. They reported on this because of two recent homicides on two separate campuses in Maryland. In one case, a girl tried to break up a fight at a party and was fatally stabbed by another girl. In another case, two girls fought over music in their shared suite and one fatally stabbed the other. The article also mentions other violent altercations between girls on campuses where arguments escalated into violent attacks. At Howard University, one girl threw a pot of boiling water on her roommate. There are many other incidents across the nation of violence between girls. The article raises the question, when did it become socially acceptable and appropriate for girls to behave so aggressively and violently? It suggests that the rise and popularity of TV shows like The Bad Girls Club, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and Basketball Wives, shows where women are constantly coming to blows, are shaping society’s view of womanhood. First, the escalating violence amongst girls and young women demonstrates that society is failing when it comes to teaching our children ways to resolve conflict that don’t involve a shouting match or punches, and it shows that women are failing when it comes to modeling true womanhood and femininity to girls.
Now, this issue of womanhood and femininity goes much deeper than a skirt versus pants or long hair versus short hair. It’s also deeper than traditional gender roles—a woman cooks, a man works. It’s about embracing who God has created us to be as women. It’s about recognizing our God-given power and value as women. We are the first to nurture and teach children. We shape the environment in the home. We have a span of influence that men do not have. Christian femininity and womanhood is about allowing Jesus to shape and mold us into women who will glorify God.
Generally, we hold up Proverbs 31 as the standard of Christian womanhood, and it is a great start, but there are many other examples of Godly women in the Bible that we can use to teach our girls what it means to be a Godly woman. Here are a few:
1. Deborah – A wife and prophetess in Israel who led the men into battle when they were afraid to go (Judges 4).
2. Esther – Her beauty helped her obtain favor from the king and she saved her people from annihilation (Esther).
3. Naomi & Ruth – They didn’t allow tragedy to stop them from moving forward and their relationship demonstrates what it means to be faithful in friendship (Ruth).
4. Anna – A prophetess who spoke a word over Jesus while he was a child (Luke 2:36).
5. Mary – She nurtured and raised our beloved Jesus (Luke 1).
6. Lydia – Believed in the Lord and her whole household was saved (Acts 16:11-15).
And there are so many others! There also women in the Bible that you can use to teach your daughters what not to do. Talk to them about Delilah (Judges 16), Jazebel (1 & 2 Kings), Michal (2 Samuel 6:16), and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) to name a few. We can also teach our sons what kind of women to look for. Remember, Proverbs 31 is King Lemuel’s mother teaching him what kind of woman to marry.
God doesn’t receive any glory when our young girls don’t understand their worth and value and throw their lives away via senseless acts of violence or by living outside of God’s will. It’s time for us to do what the Bible suggests—the older women teach the younger. We need to teach girls what type of woman Christian men are looking for. We need to teach them what kind of woman excels in the home and workplace. It’s time for us to be the light that Jesus calls us to be!