WONDER WOMAN, FEMININITY AND SPANX
Wendy Perez | ChurchLV | Las Vegas, NV
Isn’t it so much easier to put people in boxes? To clearly define a dedicated set of expectations of how one should act, talk and behave. To say: because of your gender this is who you should be. Easier, maybe, but entirely devoid of beauty, genius, creativity and that’s not the kind of God we serve. So what does it actually mean to be a woman follower of Jesus? What does a female leader look like?
In the life of Jesus He’s constantly editing and tailoring his approach to different people. We see him several times dealing with individuals who were blind and each time the interaction is different. His approach to people was as creative and unique as the human being He was relating to.
The feminine voice has long been described as soft, kind, nurturing; comments that are not necessarily critical but definitely incomplete. Even comments by good hearted people when categorizing an emotional man say he’s acting “like a woman”. Or a woman who is a strategic minded leader is said to be “like a man”.
I can’t help but think, that we as followers of Jesus have added to the gender confusion of the day, by ourselves being confused with inaccurate and incomplete descriptions of both men and women. God didn’t create us the same. He not only made us male and female; He then also created us for unique purposes and responsibilities.
We each have characteristics designed on purpose. The totality of who God is is expressed in us, His creation. We are created in His image. He encompasses both the masculine and feminine characteristics. If we silence the feminine voice, we’re missing half of the expression of who God is.
I don’t have the answers to all of the questions of how we got here; nor am I interested in explaining the “why” behind why women don’t always have full expression in the church.
But we are here now, and we have a very confused world of women who need clarity. They need strong, passionate, confident, competent, kind, nurturing, soft and loving women, who together express a vast pendulum of the beauty of our gender.
They need women who lead and women who nurture. They need women to speak and women who pray. They need you, they need me, they need us. Not to do anything other than to simply be. To be the woman we were meant to be; the mother, the teacher, the leader, the pastor, the wife, the professional, the entrepreneur, the missionary, the evangelist, the nurturer, the _______.
We could argue for days the reasons why we can’t be all that God created us to be; counting up our shortcomings and unworthiness. We could rehearse and build monuments in our minds to injustice and pain. Or we could determine in our hearts that no young woman in her life should have to experience what we have walked through. No young lady should be held back or objectified; and instead of allowing the shackles of the past chain us to regret and bitterness, we become what we were always meant to be; the key to change. The key to laying the groundwork for our daughters to walk in rooms, to stand on stages and sit down at tables we only dreamed of; but we must first live free.
So instead of trying to create a new box of who a female follower of Jesus is; what if we just WERE the women God created us to be. The messy, imperfect, flawed, beautiful, bold, sassy, gorgeous, ‘wonder women in spanx’ women that we are. Women who are far less concerned with labels and far more concerned with people. Women who are so full of grace we are free to express the facet we were always meant to reflect on the earth. Not comparing callings, pathways or gifts with our sisters or brothers; but recognizing together we amass the beauty of God. Together we reflect the vastness of His glory. Together we more clearly display the colorful and creative expanse of who women are.
Who is the female follower of Jesus? She is incomparable; without possibility of being entirely defined because she is free.