Introduction: The role of a female believer has been a topic on my mind lately, even though I’m just a year into being a teenager. Despite my youth, I wanted to essentially condense a few of my thoughts on the topic. Because a lot of what I’ll be talking about is my understanding from my point of view, this post could be a little irrelevant to women in completely different situations than my own–like mothering, running a house, working, and the tons of other amazing things women do that I am currently oblivious to and probably don’t appreciate as much as I should. But my hopes and prayers are that this post will affect young women and teens, and that this message can even touch the believing females who are nearing the end of their race.
First off, I’d like to clarify a point of conflict–women in ministry. Though I would not like to entirely elaborate on my point of view, I’d like to summarize it: females of each and every age have a precious, unique, and indescribable position in ministry.
I think females really need to step up to the calling and commission that is set before us. It is special, and trying to defend ourselves through acts of “feminism,” as though we’re trying to prove we can do everything a man can, is actually belittling the joy of being female.
That’s not to say females should be belittled or looked down upon–no, quite the opposite! Women ought to be treasured for who they are, encouraged to minister, and loved–not because they are less than men, and not because they try to be equal to men … but for who they uniquely are as a woman.
Does this mean women should not preach? No, I don’t believe women should not preach. I can definitely see what Paul was addressing, and I am actually staunchly against what he put himself out to be against in those passages. (I’m not referencing those here because, as I said, I’m not going into much detail–feel free to check them out on the internet) What did he put himself out to be against? To me, it was the Jezebel spirit that can operate in women (and sometimes men) through control, manipulation, seduction, and pride, just to name a few.
Women still have a uniquely valuable role in the Kingdom of Heaven that may include preaching, exhorting, ministering, and laying hands on people. If a woman (or a man, for that matter) is oppressed by a Jezebel spirit, it may not be a good idea for them to preach or minister publicly until they are delivered of that–and that is what I believe Paul was specifically coming after.
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
Here in 1 Peter 3:3-4, we find instructions on how to live a godly life as a female. Let’s examine these further.
Many times we find ourselves focusing on the tangible. That’s a natural human tendency, considering we live in flesh suits in a tangible world. Is it a godly tendency? No! You see, we, as humans both male and female, often try to satisfy this “tangible tendency” in various ways, like wanting to lift up man, qualifying salvation by outward appearances, and wanting to validate our worth through looks.
Due to the tendency to gravitate toward what we can see and feel, we often try to be accepted because of various things we wear, do, or say. In that day, it might have been arranged hair, gold jewelry, and fine clothing. In this day, it could be bathing suits, body figures, and cute clothes. Or maybe social media, the latest iPhone, and painted nails. It could be makeup, guys, and food.
Not to say that any of the above things are outright sins–but rather, to say that our focus should never be on such things, and that we should use the Holy Spirit’s lead on such things.
For example, I wear bathing suits to swim. I find that, while bathing suits themselves aren’t evil, what our society says about them is absolutely wrong. For that reason, I am very careful about what kinds of bathing suits I wear. Sure, men lusting after me may not be on my head if I’m being modest, but I would never want to make it easy for my brother (or sister!) to stumble in their mind. Why would I want to lead anyone astray?
To avoid such a focus on the things I listed, some people, including myself, have personal convictions against one or two or more of them.
Rather than focusing on such outward adornments, we as females of any age should focus on our inward adornments: a gentle and quiet spirit. Instead of pushing back from this calling, I believe we should embrace it with joy! This type of beauty is incorruptible. We have the immense privilege of having an incorruptible beauty–that means it cannot be corrupted by lust or pride as outward adornments can be.
Not only that, but this type of beauty is very precious in the sight of God. If nothing else, this passage should show us the vast honor of being a female.
Note: A man can even have this type of beauty! Most of the things in this post can actually apply to males, provided examples are adapted.
This gentle and quiet spirit doesn’t mean we as females must shut up about the Gospel–quite the contrary! Rather, we are to share the Gospel to others with that gentle and quiet spirit, which will bring others to the Lord as we represent Him well.
That said, I hope and pray this post ministers to women (and even men). Please feel free to comment if you have any thoughts!