I used to think that to be femininity meant pink and frills (though not in those exact words). I thought it meant being prim and proper – never running, never getting your hands dirty… and when I was 10, the idea of that was horrifying. I loved (and still do love) dirt and (some) bugs and snakes, loved basketball, soccer, and baseball (but I didn’t know what a Frisbee was yet!). I liked wearing skirts and dresses, but only sometimes, and I’d often wear capris, not a slip, under my skirts.
Then there was Cait. She always did, and always does, look regal and beautiful. She didn’t like getting dirty and didn’t like bugs or sports (though soccer was ok).
I told myself that although I liked being a girl, I didn’t want to not like bugs or give up getting dirty or hitting baseballs. For a long time, it didn’t connect in my mind that feminine does not neccessarily equal girly.
Feminine does not mean you always wear pink, frilly dresses.
Feminine does not mean you don’t get down and get dirty in the kitchen or outside.
Feminine does not mean you can’t like bugs and snakes.
I’m not saying that dirt and bugs should be the extent of my life – not at all. I’m also not saying that we should never wear pink or frills or dresses.
The Proverbs 31 woman dresses herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. She works, and often hard. She doesn’t eat the bread of idleness. Strength is her clothing… but so is dignity. The strength part has always been easy for me. I like exercising. I like carrying babies and kneading bread and carrying buckets. The dignity part has always been hard for me. I still have trouble sitting still. I never look as nice or as dignified as Cait.
Daddy and I were talking about that one day. He described Cait as being aristocratic. I thought for a minute, wondering what I was. Country girl. I decided at last. Give me sunshine, a field, a garden and I’ll be happy any day.
Daddy helped me see that day that it’s not that she’s right and I’m wrong. It’s not more or less feminine to be either one. We have different interests, and a different calling. We’ll be doing different things.
This doesn’t mean that I should run around like Pig Pen in Peanuts, constantly dirty without a care of how I look.
No – dignity is also the clothing of the woman in Proverbs 31, and being always dirty won’t be a great Christian witness.
But femininity can look different. People have different styles. Some may be pink, some may be bright colors, some laden with designs… others more simple. I used to think that because I liked wearing simpler things, I wasn’t as feminine as other girls who dressed up more.
I’m trying to find the balance in what I’m saying – I’m not saying that we should walk around in whatever we feel like, regardless of whether or not it shows that we embrace God’s design for women. But I’m also not saying there’s a cookie cutter for femininity.
To be feminine isn’t pink and frills, but strength and dignity.