Up 4 Discussion

Women, Stop Acting Like Men

So I was listening to a message by Lisa Bevere and she made this statement, “Being a confident woman is not acting like a man.” I almost fell over, because that is the truth that so many ladies fail to understand. Furthermore, it picks at the implication of many feminists. Tony Evans put it like this, as far as value is concerned, men and women are equal, but their function is different.

God knew what He was doing when He created man and woman, if they were to be the same, He would have given them the same function, or created two men first or two women. Especially in the Epistles written by Paul, he lays out the function of each. I was actually at the nail salon and they had “The View” on and I was watching it (not a fan) and they brought up a quote from Kirsten Dunst (I believe) about how women need to be more feminine and take more of the female role and how it was a lost art, in a nutshell. So of course they talked about it, but really none of them agreed, and said that there should only be a difference in the bed room, and that a man and woman share responsibilities, and one of them is a lesbian so her view point is already tainted. Pause. I would have to agree with Kirsten Dunst, because feminism is a lost art and being a confident women has become all about being independent, stubborn, self-ambitious, with an “I don’t need a man” mindset. First off, Paul explicitly says that men and women are interdependent on each another, and as my Uncle Jeff put it, you have never heard any man of any sort say, “I don’t need a woman,” but far too often you hear a woman say “I don’t need a man.”

It actually makes me think of the Taraji P. Henson’s character in “Think Like a Man,” when it was hard for her to have a healthy lasting relationship, because she was always acting like the man. Women are called to be women, act like ladies and not be afraid to be feminine, and if you read the last article you will see some qualities that make up a confident woman. But you may be asking, “So what is acting like a man?” From my understanding, it is a matter of seeking to be domineering, too strong-willed, and forcing their independent life on others, while your home life is suffering. We should not be always battling men to try and prove our worth, that disproves our confidence in who we are; being a confident woman is being confident in who it is that God created you to be, a woman, a lady. Now is this to say we are not individuals of different personalities and livelihoods? No, we are each unique with our styles, our own strengths and weaknesses, and we definitely can be independent and be passionate and strong leaders in our communities, and in many cases women and men can share the responsibilities. However, there are certain things that distinguish us from men and praise God for that! The way the culture and mass media sets it up, it’s hard to draw those lines just considering homosexuality that forces women to be men, or the reality shows that my last article discussed. So as you seek to be a confident woman or you seek to find a confident woman, desire to be or find a woman that understands who she is as a woman and finds her identity in Christ, it really is a beautiful thing. It’s okay to be strong but you have to be willing to be soft, it’s okay to be independent but you have to be willing to submit (it’s not a scary word). Men are more confident, able, and happy to be men most when their women are acting like women, not men, that’s when problems begin.

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Vashti

Empowerment comes with the idea of being confident in who you are no matter how much a person or a circumstance could persuade you to compromise you dignity, respect, or worth. The story of Esther in the Bible is all about women empowerment and rising above to change a generation, but for the sake of this article, there is one character I want to draw attention to: Vashti.
If you are at all familiar with the Biblical story of Esther, Vashti is the queen in the beginning of the story that lost her crown, because she refused to come down to the king’s banquet. Now it is unclear exactly her reasoning for defying the king’s command, but many believe she didn’t want to be paraded around in front of a whole room full of drunk men. There are so many things that can be called into questioning as far as how it all happened, but still considering, I would have to say that Vashti was a women of confidence, self-respect, and dignity. Even with the pressure of disobeying the king and fear of losing her crown, her position as queen, she was not going to sell out.

Just thinking about that aspect of the story, more of us women need to be like that. Too often we sell out and devalue ourselves for money, possessions, attention, love, sex, work, or a variety of other things. I just want to encourage you to stand your ground, your worth is so much more than superficial or counterfeit love, so much more than new shoes or you bills paid, so much more than a job in this not so good economy. God has created you to be treasured and treated like a queen, not misused, taken advantage of, or abused; so any person that treats you or makes you feel otherwise, no matter who they are to you, it’s time to get out of that situation.

Like Vashti, yeah, standing up for what you will and will not accept, for your worth, or your respect, it may cost you a job, a boyfriend, a relationship, or even money, but God will never leave you hanging and will set you up in His time and in His way, if you let Him, to be the greatest you that you can be, surrounded by people that value and appreciate you.

In the same breath, when you see all these reality television shows (i.e. Bad Girls Club, Real Housewives of…, Love & Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, etc), TV dramas (I Am Mary Jane; Scandal), and a lot of these videos spiraling across the web (i.e. Sharkesha, World Star Hip Hop), an empowered woman is so far from what they promote. Furthermore, these videos constantly show women fighting and battling one another and just being obscene and anything but lady like. We have dishonored our name and womanhood by this disunity that has corrupted our culture. It’s time to break away and break free from that curse of bad chick, loud, rude, fake everything, angry, needy, side chic stigma that we are up against and is shown so often. We have to show that we are better than that. We can work together; we are intelligent; we are strong; we are forgivers; we can let it go; we can smile; we can pray; we can make a difference; we do have something to offer this world; we are gifted and unique; we are confident in who we are even without the make-up, weaves, nails, heels, and hand bags; we truly live as if we fear the God we say we believe in; we know how to hold our tongue; we can be leaders; we can have a solid family; we are not afraid to go against the mold; we are awkward at times; we are individuals; you can show us off to your mother; we have morals and standards; we can be submissive; we are self-controlled; we can keep our legs closed; we can keep our hands to ourselves; we can work together; we can be positive; we can be happy and celebrate one another; we are world changers; we are powerful; we are resilient; we have dreams, visions, and ideas; we are fearless; we are teachable; we can make sound and wise decisions; we can be an example; we can be empowered women. We can. We are.

To Be a Woman

Being a woman, there is nothing like it. For so many reasons I can say that I am so happy that God created and chose that I be a female, although I can’t lie, because there are times I wonder what my life would be like if I was a man. Nonetheless, as a woman, we have so much at our feet. Just on a superficial level, I am proud to be a woman because of all the option in make-up, hair, accessories, clothes, shoes; men don’t have those option to choose flats or heels, short or long dress, studs or chandelier earrings, or a bronzy or colorful eyeshadow look.

As a woman, we are what the man is not, soft, delicate, feminine, tolerant, the voice of reason, nurturing. We were made differently, we think differently, we give and receive love differently, we feel differently, and we operate just in a whole other dimension than men. Now is that to say that sometimes things don’t overlap, of course not, because we are each unique, various personalities, cultures, education levels, desires, interests, strengths, weaknesses, gifts, and talents.

In today’s society, women are often times scene as sexual beings with little intelligence or intellect, but I beg to differ. Yes, we are sexual creatures, and done in God’s design, we are to use our sexuality to bring pleasure to our husbands. However, God gave us a mind, reason and emotion to make up for what a man can’t produce. In ministry alone, it is said that a 75% of ministries that fail, fail because a man didn’t listen or take the advice of his lady. James Brown wrote the lyrics “it’s a man’s world, but it would be nothing without a woman or a girl,” and I’m sure you heard the statement, “behind every good man is a great woman.” You see, we are women, we hold so much power that many of us fail to realize. The insight we have to offer, the wisdom, the finesse, the awe factor, the extra something, the “it” factor, that’s who we are. God created us to keep this world going. What we are given we turn it into something great, whether taking a sperm and making a baby, a house and turning it into a home, or a smile and create a love that won’t falter.

In the same breath, we are the backbone. We are the neck, which means we have the ability to turn the head any way we want, with discretion of course. I just love being a woman. God has a special place in His heart for women, just look through the Song of Solomon. God has a special purpose for his princesses, his daughters and he wants them to stand up and rise up for what He wants to accomplish that requires a woman’s touch. Have you noticed that even in prayer, yes it’s great to heat men pray, but it’s like the heavens open when women cry out to God in only the way only they can.

As a woman, there are perks that I love, like having doors opened, having meals paid for, being pampered because that is a lady. If nothing else, if God allows, we have the opportunity to give birth, that in and of itself is a miracle.

I just want to encourage women to be proud and confident in your womanhood. There is enough bad press going around, it is time for women to be bold and release the power locked inside and break free from the chains and bondage so many of us are trapped in, which was not God’s intention. God created you for such a time as this, recognize your place and acknowledge your womanly role and function at home, in work, in ministry. It’s all worth it. You are worth it. You are the gem of man, and to let any man or any other person or thought to creep and tell you otherwise is destroying what God purposed and undermining what He feels for you and what he has called you to be.

Be Careful What You Pray For

The funny thing about this Christ race is that the individuals that fall into this category, we have our own clichés and or common phrases. However, many of the things we say or the songs we sing we fail to understand the implication of our words or even believe what we say or sing to be true, rather we just say it just because that’s the trend of the day.

For example, many times you will hear a person say that Jesus is enough, and let me be the first to tell you, that is easier said than done. In this culture we try so hard to get, get, get that when we don’t, we think we won’t survive with just Christ alone, which is a segway to another popular confession: I believe in God and have faith that He will supply all my needs. Again, in one way or another we have heard or said that a million times, but when life is anything but sunshine and daisies, do we live as if we truly believe what we said on Sunday?? There is a song called “I Don’t Mind Waiting,” which is pretty much 95% of the song’s lyrics. Do you understand how dangerous of a song that is?! Waiting is not for the weak, at all! But many will sing this from the mountain top, yet only mean it to a certain extent. As you walk with God, you will soon learn that by no means does he operate on our time table, and we will often times find ourselves waiting. The question is did you really mean what you said??

Just with in the last year, I have learned in my own experience and by others, the need to think about what we say, because what we say will be tested and furthermore, the Lord does hear our prayers and operates in ways that can make all but happy. What do I mean? Be careful what you pray for. Prayer is an integral part of this Christian race, it’s our direct communication with the God of the universe, so when you pray know that God has every ability to answer your request, many times in ways we never take notice of. For example, you pray the Lord to protect you in your travels and the Lord says “yes.” What we sometimes fail to realize is that in protecting us God will cause us to misplace our keys, have to turn around and go back home because we forgot something, or traffic puts us 30 minutes behind schedule, and of course we get upset, but we forget what we prayed and many times God is just honoring our requests through these situations. Or if you ask God to send you that perfect boo thang to marry. He says “yes, that is a part of My plan for you,” but until we meet who God has for us, He has to mold us and him or her, which means we will have to go through some other relationships, good and not so good to purge us and make us ready for the one we will spend the rest of our life with. Or if you pray for more love or more patience, and the Lord will always say yes, but it doesn’t just happen; a prayer like that will automatically initiate some awkward and or upsetting situations to test and stretch your patience and love. Even more awesome, if you pray and ask the Lord to bless you and to do in, by, though, and for you all that He can for His glory, understand that God would love to do so. The only question is, are you really ready for Him to do it? Because if you really mean it and give Him full reign to do as He pleases, I guarantee He will blow your mind and rock your world something serious.

The overall idea is not to scare you or have you walking on eggshells, but just to know that you serve and awesome and powerful God that loves and listens even to every seemingly nonchalant prayer, even when we forget. We just have to remember that His ways are not our ways, nor is His time as our time. Likewise, in everyday speech with whoever, if you speak it, be able to back it up or prove it to be true when the time comes, because your word is bond, and the actions behind those words will solidify or nullify you and what you said.