If you’ve read anything about my love story with Zack, you know that there was quite a bit of time between when we met and when we actually got into a relationship. This was an extremely hard time for me. For three long years, I wondered if anything would ever happen between us. We were slowly growing in our friendship during this time, but Zack wasn’t making any moves. I could tell he was interested, but for some reason unbeknownst to me, he didn’t initiate a romantic relationship (more on that here).
This is where things got tricky for me. Being a go-getter kind of girl, I desperately wanted to initiate things and get the ball rolling. I wanted to take our friendship to the next level. I was tired of being patient.
As I wrestled with my inner struggles and feelings, I remember going on a walk one day to clear my thoughts.
As I walked, I turned on some Christian music. As the first song played in my ears, the lyrics pierced my heart. The band sang about surrendering everything to God. They sang about following God and trusting Him no matter what. They sang about the goodness and faithfulness of God’s timing.
Tears started welling up in my eyes as I listened to the words. I prayed silently and confessed my lack of trust to God. I confessed my impatient and anxious heart and asked God to forgive me. And lastly, I prayed for strength to trust in God’s good timing, no matter what.
My heart found peace and rest that day. And little did I know that Zack would initiate a relationship only a few months later.
In this modern day and age, my choice to be patient and surrender things isn’t what we’re encouraged to do as women.
When it comes to romantic relationships, we’re encouraged to initiate, pursue, speak up, make it happen, and take the reins. As tempting as this is for all of us, we need to view our femininity through a Biblical lense.
As we say in our book Love Defined, “Biblical masculinity and femininity are rarely viewed as positive things anymore. We don’t like the idea of the male and female having differing roles and distinctions in a relationship. It is often assumed that being different must mean being “less than.”
Thankfully, God shows us in Genesis 1 and 2 that we aren’t “less than.”
He created the male and female to be completely equal in value and worth, but purposely different in roles and function. Even our physical bodies testify to this complimentary design. I love the way Elisabeth Elliot describes this:
“By the grace of God we have not been left to ourselves in the matter of who is to do the initiating. Adam needed a helper. God fashioned one to the specifications of his need and brought her to him. It was Adam’s job to husband her, that is, he was responsible—to care for, protect, provide for, and cherish her. Males, as the physical design alone would show, are made to be initiators. Females are made to be receptors, responders.”
In the New Testament God unpacks this design even further by revealing the “mysteries” of marriage.
The man is called to be a loving and sacrificial leader to his family, while the wife is called to respect and receive his leadership (Ephesians 5).
“When a woman chooses to take her femininity into her love life, it’s a reflection of God’s good and intentional design. Gender distinctions are a beautiful reflection of Christ and the Church. Marriage is ultimately a reflection of the gospel. Our femininity isn’t really about us anyway; it’s about us embracing this distinction for God’s glory.” —Love Defined
Taking femininity into your love life is a choice. And although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all mold in how to do this, there are helpful Biblical truths that we can embrace.
Here are 4 practical ways to bring femininity into your love life right now.
1. Let Him Initiate.
As hard as this is sometimes (trust me, I know!), we must choose to be patient. It’s easy to manipulate things to get what we want. But this doesn’t usually end well. Not in the long run. As you think about your future marriage, what kind of husband do you want? One who is passive and unassertive? Or one who can lead and pursue? If you don’t give the guy space to initiate now, you’ll never know what kind of man he truly is.
2. Encourage Godly Leadership.
The words we speak are powerful. They will either do good or harm to those who hear them. Another great way to embrace your femininity is by being a woman who speaks words of life. Whether you’re single or married, choose to encourage the guys in your life in God-honoring ways. Compliment the godly qualities you see in them. Thank them for being leaders when they initiate.
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
3. Promote Purity.
In this day and age, society tells us that beauty and seduction are the same thing. If we want guys to “notice” us, we’re encouraged to flaunt our bodies and be sexually alluring. But when we step back and view this from a Biblical lense, we quickly see how selfish and sexually impure these actions are. Rather than being like the seductive woman of Proverbs 7, God wants us to promote purity in the guys around us (1 Thess. 4:3-5). Whether it’s our body language, touch, words, or dress, we can embrace our femininity in ways that encourage guys toward purity — not away from it.
4. Point Him to Christ.
When it comes to romantic relationships, so often our focus is rooted in one thing — ourselves. We’re consumed with our own needs, our wants, and our desires. Instead of using our lives to point the guy toward Christ, we draw his eyes toward us. This is ultimately stealing from God’s glory. Instead, we need to pray that God would change our hearts. The greatest thing that could happen between you and any guy is this: That your love for Christ would increase as a result of your interactions with one another.
When it comes to the romantic interests in your life, you have a choice to make.
Will you take your femininity into your love life? Or will you charge ahead, take the lead, and manipule things to get what you want? I pray you will choose to trust God. His design is good for us. His plan for our femininity is beautiful. He will be most glorified in our lives when we live according to his design.
For more on this topic, I encourage you to read chapter 6 of Love Defined: Embracing God’s Vision for Lasting Love and Satisfying Relationships.
What do you find most challenging about bringing your femininity into your love?