© 1999 James A. Fowler

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I. The words "feminine" and "femininity" are not used in the Bible.

II. Defining "femininity"

    A. Modern feminism has cast "femininity" into political sphere of women's rights, freedoms and
    B. Radical feminism often posits the superiority of the female as the epitome and center of
         reference for humanity, even projecting the female as a goddess, which has contributed to
         family breakdown and lesbianism.
    C. This study will consider "femininity" as referring to what it means to be a "female as God

III. Spiritually

    A. Male and female equal before God - Gal. 3:28
    B. Functional humanity, male and female, requires spiritual exchange - Acts 26:18
    C. The life of Jesus Christ is the essence of functional femininity.
    D. A woman who fears the Lord will be praised - Prov. 31:30
    E.. Only when we are "in the Lord" (I Cor. 7:39) can anyone love others with the agape love of
         God - Rom. 5:5; I Cor. 13; Gal. 5:22.
    F. Spiritual maturity develops divine character expression of femininity
         1. "imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit" - I Peter 3:4.
         2. "faith and love and sanctity" - I Tim. 2:15

IV. Socially

    A. Industrious, not idle. Prov. 31:13-20,27; I Tim. 5:10,13; Titus 2:5
    B. Engaged in homemaking - Prov. 31:15,27,28
    C. Dignified - I Tim. 3:11
    D. Not engaged in gossip - I Tim. 3:11; Titus 2:3
    E. Not controlling, manipulating, dominating conversations and situations - I Tim. 2:12
    F. Not brash, boisterous, assertive, aggressive, pushy, bossy, contentious - Prov. 21:9,19
    G. Accompanies her husband socially.
    H. Other men regard her husband as fortunate to have a wife like her - Prov. 31:23.

V. Culturally

    A. Cultural concepts of "femininity" primarily concerned with externalities
         1. Physical body
             a. height, weight, skin texture and color, hair style (I Cor. 11:5,6; I Tim. 2:9; I Pet. 3:3),
                 breast size, shape and measurements, enlargements, reductions, facelifts, diets, body
                 piercing, tattoos, shaving, hygiene
             b. comportment of body - movement of head, eyes, mouth, hands, how she stands, sits,
                 walks, talks, self-confidence, self-image, assurance, flirtatious, "sexy", wise to man's
                 orientation of visibility
         2. Apparel and clothing
             a. lingerie, bras, shoes, high heels, hosiery, dresses, pants, hemlines, necklines, form-fitting,
                 loose, head coverings (I Cor. 11:5,6), contemporary fashions, fabrics, colors, cosmetics,
                 jewelry, perfume
             b. range from prudish, veiled, matronly, to frumpy, dowdy, slovenly, too revealing,
                 ostentatious, cheap
             c. Avoid undue preoccupation and priority - I Peter 3:2,3
             d. Cultural acceptance of propriety and modesty - I Tim. 2:9,10
         3. Social involvement and roles
             a. homemaker, mother, barefoot and pregnant, naked and nursing, seen but not heard.
             b. vocational, working woman, executive, personal wealth
             c. political involvement, women's rights and freedoms
             d. church leadership, teaching - I Tim. 2:12; I Cor. 14:34
             e. competitive, aggressive, assertive, brash, bold, bossy
             f. flirtatious, harassment
    B. Attitudes about what is attractive and appealing about women's appearances and "femininity"
            are inevitably influenced by the culture we live in.
    C. To what extent should we/do we accept culturally defined "femininity"?

VI. Maritally

    A. Functionally
         1. Helpmate, helper, assistant, supportive, adaptive, encouraging, complete rather than compete,
              help husband to be all God desires - Gen. 2:18
         2. Subordinated to husband. Gen. 3:16; I Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18; I Tim. 2:11; Titus
             2:5; I Peter 3:1,5,6
             a. Not subservient slavery, forced subjugation
             b. Not a matter of value, worth, honor or superiority; but of function and order.
             c. Dependent?
             d. Attitude precedes functional action.
         3. Priorities in order - I Peter 3:4
    B. Psychologically
         1. Faithful to her husband - Exod. 20:14; Ruth 1:16; I Tim. 3:11
         2. Trustworthy - Prov. 31:11
         3. Loves her husband - Titus 2:4
         4. Respects her husband - Eph. 5:33; I Pet. 3:2
         5. Admires her husband - SoS 2:3
         6. Desires her husband - SoS 1:2,4; 2:5; 5:8
         7. Seeks to meet husband's expectations, preferences, desires and needs - John 8:29; Matt.
             17:5; SoS 7:9
         8. Appreciates her husband; doesn't take for granted - Prov. 31:12
         9. Femininity encouraged by husband's praises - Prov. 31:28
    C. Sexually
         1. Availability
             a. Duty to husband - I Cor. 7:3,5
             b. No excuses - SoS 5:3
             c. Complete willingness - Phil. 2:8
         2. Visibility
             a. "naked and not ashamed" - Gen. 2:25
             b. Put aside inhibitions, hang-ups, what others think.
             c. Open exposure and exhibition - SoS 4; 6:13
         3. Creativity
             a. Novel, unique, inviting, exciting, evokes anticipation
             b. Don't get in rut or routine without variation.
             c. Seductive, sensual, coy, initiating - SoS 4:16; 7:11-13
         4. Not just a "sex-object"

VII. Parentally

    A. Femininity preserved through childbearing and child-rearing- I Tim. 2:15
         1. Woman "made safe" to function in femininity.
         2. Learns to be available, a servant, to put aside selfishness, to love, nurture, give and protect, so
             she does not become a pushy, arrogant feminist seeking to dominate, rule and function as a
    B. Femininity honored by children's lives.
         1. Children rise up and bless her - Prov. 31:28
         2. Gladness and rejoicing - Prov. 23:22,25

VII. Conclusion

    A. Fullness of "femininity" requires balanced attitude and function in foregoing areas.
    B. Differing definitions of "femininity" between husband and wife creates discord.



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