I remember a time growing up when I resented the fact I was a woman. Whether it was because of incidents in my life, relationships with women or encounters in the church, I disliked the vulnerabilities associated with womanhood. I was a tomboy in my childhood and had more male friends than females. When puberty hit, I felt like an alien forced into a world of pink and beauty. Girls spoke a language of hints and whispers that I didn’t understand, and they moved with a grace and beauty this gangly girl did not possess. Throughout high school I dressed in jeans and overalls in large part to cover my lack of feminine shape and to hide my painful self-consciousness.
When John and I got engaged, I tried to carefully explain to him that I was a woman’s body with a man’s brain. John immediately told me this was not an option!
Thankfully, God took me on a healing journey. He whispered intimate value into my womanhood. In His presence, all the shame that religion had coated the image of women with was replaced with garments of splendor. I learned to love my body not merely for what it looked like but also for what it could do.
But what if I had found myself struggling with my femininity in this day and age when gender reassignment is encouraged and even applauded? Our culture would have told me to take matters into my own hands and actually become a man! But by doing so I would have averted God’s healing process and all the lessons I learned along the way.
Many are attempting to heal themselves by changing their gender or embracing androgyny. But read the words of God through the prophet Isaiah:
You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”? (Is. 29:16 ESV).
The question remains, do we trust God? Do we believe He is good and wise and did not make a mistake when He fashioned us as daughters?
Believe me, I understand the struggle. I also realize that for many the pain goes far deeper than I have known … and yet God can reach in and touch what human hands can never heal.
So what steps can you take to see the healing begin?
- Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you an undivided heart and reveal any wrong thinking or areas of disobedience. Gender prejudice and resentment can creep in and taint our perspective of ourselves and one another. Pray to be a minister of reconciliation, not of division.
- Submit your will to God. Perhaps you have held back or hidden behind the rules of man rather than obey what you have known and seen in the Scriptures and what’s been revealed to you in prayer. Maybe you have allowed the fear of man (or the fear of being a woman) to keep you back from the will of God. Ask God how the Great Commission should look in your life and in this season with the understanding that it may look different in the next season.
- Know your enemy. We are not wrestling with flesh and blood. And when we are double minded, we behave like double agents. James tells us that once we have submitted to God we are to resist the devil and he must flee.
- Examine your life and conversations. What are you saying and doing that might be feeding gender prejudice? If the Holy Spirit revealed areas of your life that have been compromised, then it is very likely these prejudices or resentments have been communicated.
- Take a stand. People who do not stand for anything run the risk of falling for everything. Those who oppose women and men working together have unintentionally set themselves at odds with God’s original mandate.
- Fight for unity in the body of Christ. Men and women are not rivals. We are brothers and sisters, guardians and intimate allies. We are to walk together with the fellowship, mutual respect, and affection of brothers and sisters. And we are to encourage the gifts of each other. God would never have granted women a voice if he intended for them to remain silent. God knew that Adam, and our world, would need the voice and influence of women.
Lovely one, I promise the journey to healing is worth it.
To learn more about our unrivaled God, check out Lisa Bevere’s latest book Without Rival. Lisa is an international speaker, best-selling author and co-founder of Messenger International. In her transparent style, Lisa shares God’s Word woven with personal experiences to empower lives with freedom and transformation. Her heart breaks over social injustice. As an advocate for change, she rallies others to be an answer to desperate problems near and far. Lisa begins her days with mochas and ends them laughing around the dinner table. Lisa lives in Colorado Springs with the love of her life, author and speaker John Bevere, and their family.