Gospel Grounded Femininity

Gospel Grounded Femininity

The True Source of Set-Apartness

by Lydia Covey, Guest Writers | January 1, 2014

I settled down in a small corner of the café with a steaming bowl of soup, ready for a quiet hour to journal after a busy day. Quickly I realized it wouldn’t be very quiet as a loud group of women began gathering near me. I tried shutting their conversation out but couldn’t help overhearing the dynamic conversation. A few of the women seemed to be leading the group and selling them on some incredible healing drink that cures everything. According to them this miracle drink heals everything from headaches to cancer. The ladies went on to give personal testimonies, vividly describing how it changed their lives in radical ways. They went from feeling dead and depressed to now having energy, joy, and purpose. 

My mind was no longer on my journaling but thoroughly intrigued by the passion with which these women spoke . . . about a drink. One lady commented that once she experienced the change in her life she couldn’t help telling every single person about it. Another joined in saying her whole reason for being a saleslady for the drink was not for selfish gain but solely for the good of other people, that they might experience such a new life. They nodded in agreement that this was their new purpose and responsibility—to tell others about this miracle drink and the new life it gives.

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Sitting in that corner, I was literally astounded. Everything these women were saying sounded as though they were talking about the Gospel! The descriptions and testimonies they shared were so powerful all I could think about was the Gospel; the incredible work of Jesus. He who heals, gives life, and so radically changes a person.

As I drove home, the whole scene continued to replay in my mind and a deep, convicting sadness washed over me. Am I sharing the gospel with such passion? Do I truly live with a new purpose to tell others about the life Jesus gives? Have I ever gathered a group of ladies with the sole reason to share the Gospel? The words of one lady rang through my mind, “I can’t help but tell every single person I talk to about this life changing drink.” Is this my outlook on every person I meet and speak with? Is my one true goal to share the life-changing Gospel? Oh, how I desire that to be the marked definition of my life. There is no other reason to live. “…woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” 1 Corinthians 9:16

As I continue to recall this scene, God has used it to give me a better understanding of the high calling we as believers have to preach the Gospel. We are given the privilege and duty to spread the incredible good news of Jesus Christ. And our lives are to display the transforming power of the Cross. Understanding these facets more fully and deeply leads me to see how, as women, they not only affect our femininity but are the foundation of it. In the past, I would have never really put the Gospel and femininity together in the same thought. But without the Gospel, femininity becomes a twisted, man-centered, selfish attribute. A modern definition of it is simply “the quality of being female.” True, godly, set-apart femininity stems from one thing—the work of Jesus Christ transforming our lives and breathing life into dead hearts. 

I find it is often far too easy to go right into the specifics and how-to’s of being a set-apart girl: how to dress, speak, act, have relationships, spend our time, etc. Those things are absolutely important! But they are to be an outflow of a changed heart that is passionate for the glory of God and the preaching of the gospel. As we correctly align our hearts with God, our purpose and desire in everything must be to display the gospel. Just as that one lady said she couldn’t help but tell every person about the special drink, so must our purpose be to share the glorious news of the gospel. As we continually taste and live in the saving grace and life that God has given through His Son, I believe it will automatically become the desire of our heart to tell others of it.

It is incredible to me that we are able to share the gospel with our lives, not simply our words. Yes, I absolutely encourage you to speak of the gospel, to proclaim that we have a Savior, and to share your testimony! I was deeply convicted of this as I overheard those ladies so excitedly sharing with others. Practically speaking, we can’t vocally share about Jesus to every person who crosses our path. This is why our outward appearance and life must flow out of our purpose to preach the gospel.

A favorite verse of mine is 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” This reveals that there must be a reason on the outside for someone to ask about the hope that is within us. Let us continually seek to radiantly display the life—the hope—of Christ within us. 

With the wisdom that comes from God alone and the guidance of the Spirit, every inch of our lives are able to declare the glorious hope of the gospel. Following are a few specific examples of how our femininity can either draw people to ourselves, or point people to the hope of the gospel within us. 

- The way we dress can vividly show confidence in personal style and fashion, drawing attention to ourselves, or it can be an opportunity to display the beauty of Jesus. We can either use it to openly share our womanly charm, or portray that “ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3

- Our choice of speech, be it word usage or content, can either display acceptance of the world and our own great knowledge, or show forth that true wisdom is the fear of God. It can bring great attention to ourselves, or reveal that we glory in nothing but Jesus. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14

- How we spend our time reveals our heart’s true desire. It’s easy to see how spending hours in entertainment, fleshly indulgences, and selfish gain clearly cannot display the gospel. But simply avoiding these things isn’t enough. We display that our life is not our own by boldly going against the culture and using our time to serve, love the least, be poured out in prayer, and minister to the needy. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” Mark 8:35

- Our countenance can quickly disclose our inward hope, whether it’s founded in ourselves, the world, or our Savior. Our face easily reveals everything from pride to depression, or it can pour forth the fruits of the Spirit and our abundant life in Jesus. “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:1 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” Galatians 5:22-23a

So I urge you to ask yourself what your femininity is grounded in. Does it stem from a desire for self-acclaim? Are you simply enjoying the quality of being feminine? Or does your femininity flow out of a heart passionate for the furtherance of the Gospel? Allow the Spirit to bring conviction and wisdom. Join me in asking the Lord to purify our femininity and align it with the purposes of the Kingdom of God. May our femininity be one that boldly and unashamedly declares the gospel, no matter what society tells us or the world thinks.

Little did I know that evening in the café would bring such conviction and clarity to godly femininity. It urged me to thoroughly check my heart and actions. But most of all it led me to a deeper love and joy in the saving power of the gospel—the gospel that trumps everything, wins in every situation, and is the fountain of healing, joy, peace, and life! How humbling and amazing it is that God would choose us to be vessels that display such a marvelous mystery.