|jadyn noelle photography|
We left off asking the question, what should our focus be? Who are we supposed to be as females?
There are so many strengths of females, but we'll just touch on four.
When I spoke on this subject a few days ago, the audience was from age 9-92. As I thought about adapting the subject to the audience, I realized that these strengths are true whatever age or stage you are currently in. So it applies to any age! On the subject of tween and teen drama (or mean girl stuff at any age), because I have studied the subject for awhile now, these four at at the top of my list, because of one thing I've noticed.
For every conflict that is common among females, it is in most cases a strength that is misused.
Each of these wonderful strengths has a common misuse. What if we as females, of all ages, could recognize this, and operate in our strengths? So what are these strengths?
1) We are made to have close relationships. We are made to want and are able to have deep friendships, relationships, and intimacy with God. It's been said that we have an inner relationship manual inside of us. We know when something is wrong and we generally want to do something about it, even if we don't necessarily know how.
The misuse? Females will often compete to be the closest person to others. Or we'll fight to keep our spot of closeness among friends. Much girl drama is fought over this good strength gone bad. Who's the BEST friend? If a new girl enters the scene, often girls will be mean to her, in fear that she will "steal" her friends away. This misuse shows up in other ways in older stages in life as well.
2) We are made to be life givers. We can give birth yes. But we are also able to give life in other ways, at every age young and old, with our words, actions and love. Can you think of a time you felt "brought to life" by someone else's words or actions? What do your words do, benefit others or tear them down a little?
The misuse? Our enemy will fight against this strength by influencing us to do the opposite. Often we use our words and actions to tear others down instead of bringing life. Once again, this is especially true in mean girl stuff, but it applies to many other life situations too. Females can be our biggest support or biggest hindrance. You have to decide how you want to be used- to bring life to others or to tear them down? Listen to your words and see what you hear.
3) We are influencers. We can affect and make change. We can change a culture slowly by how we birth and raise godly character-filled children. We can change situations by our prayers. We can change feelings of those around us by our encouragement. We can stop mean girls by speaking up, or by sticking up for a friend, by understanding why people do what they do. You can be a godly example to your sphere of influence.
The misuse? Females are able to influence in ways that are negative. Manipulation is a distortion of influence. But also, think of females who have used their influence in ways you wouldn't choose. Many use their femininity in ways that affect culture and girls in ways that aren't godly. They definitely have power and influence. Girls often follow and want to be like them. On a local level, have you ever been to a school that has an atmosphere affected by the cattiness of females there? They are influencing for the negative, but they are influencing. The good news is, if a few girls decide to be different, they also can affect the atmosphere of a school by standing up against the competitive mean nature of some girls.
We have to choose how to use our influence. For the good of others, for our own selfish motives, or to be used by God to make life better for others?
4) We are made to reflect beauty. Women love to create beauty. It is evident, in how we make a house a home, decorate a room, or create beauty in centerpieces for women's events. In another angle, we all want to know if we are beautiful. What happens when girls take a picture on their phone? What is next? They all want to see what they look like, then decide if it needs to be taken again. We are all looking to be beautiful. If you are among the ones hiding, not wanting to be in the picture, or not wanting to see the picture afterwards, what are you avoiding? Not appearing beautiful? It's a natural inborn question that we need the Lord to answer- Am I beautiful? If we don't let the Lord answer it, we will look for the answer in many other sources, but we'll get it answered.
Our beauty is not only in our appearance, but even more in our confidence and godliness. What if we stopped obsessing over physical, still took care of ourselves without obsessing, and decided to be confident about the goods we were given? The hair we have, the eyes we have, the body shape we have naturally. What if we asked God what was truly unique about us from His perspective, then ran with it?
The misuse is rather obvious in today's world. We have a cultural obsession over looks, unattainable perfection that we can never measure up to. We have paranoia over how we look and how others see us. We misunderstand beauty and focus on the wrong things. True inner beauty is the best makeup anyway (and I definitely still wear makeup!!) True beauty transforms how we look.
In a world that shows females in so many negative ways, we have to be proactive in helping girls and women know their true strengths and purposes, and see value of being female.
We can't forget, Jesus is our core, our center, our stability, our anchor. Without relationship with Him, and without understanding how He created us to be unique and amazing, we will use our strengths as weaknesses. He takes away insecurity as we grow with Him. He takes away competitive selfishness, as we understand our value in Him. As we grow in our relationship with Him, He makes us more able to see others in a better light, When we aren't busy battling for our own position, we are able to help people get into theirs.
On Mother's Day this year, no matter what age or stage you are, not only celebrate moms, but you can celebrate being female. It's a good thing!