Strong Like Woman

Day 3 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Holy Femininity


I am a woman that works as an Inventory Control Associate for a company that sells orthopedic devices. My role within the healthcare industry is typically defined as “man’s job”. It entails quite a bit of heavy lifting and thinking quick on your feet. 


Working in a warehouse with orthopedic implants most days, I often swap out my heels for tennis shoes and get to work. It can be grueling work that requires a little bit of sweat and a lot of “keeping up with the boys”. Almost all of my coworkers are men and I often find myself working to overcome the weak, soft-spoken stereotype of a woman. My challenge is to overcome this narrow-minded stereotype of women while also maintaining my femininity. 


Even engulfed in this fast-paced, strong, male environment, I try to remind myself that I can still be my sweet-natured self, while balancing a firm, business-minded personality in order to accomplish my job efficiently and effectively. 


The woman discussed in Proverbs 31 is a great example. The passage describes a woman of noble character. In this scripture we see that no matter where a woman’s job is, either out in the work world or in the home, “she sets about her work vigorously.” This passage of scripture also reveals to us that she works vigorously while also being “clothed with strength and dignity…[speaking] with wisdom, and faithful instructions is on her tongue.” What is amazing is she does all of this and is seen as blessed and honored while being “clothed in fine linen and purple.” The woman of noble character teaches us that we are able to maintain our femininity while accomplishing many things at our places of work or home.


It is important for us to not dismiss the characteristics that define us as women while at the same time proving we are able to work just as hard as men. For example, a study released in 2017 by Stanford University revealed women’s brains have more neurological connections between the two hemispheres of their brain than men. The two hemispheres of a human brain are the left side of the brain, which is the creative side, and the right side of the brain, which is our logical side. This information illustrates that women are able to function on different levels than men and link ideas together more fluidly. This is an encouragement that even though women are different from men, our differences can serve as advantages in our daily/weekly tasks at work and home.


In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about the human body and how it operates much like the Church. Paul explains in this passage that while we all represent a different part, together we make up a complete body. All women are unique, playing different parts of the body, but as a whole play an important part of how the body functions. As women, God asks us to use our different strengths he has provided just as the body of Christ works together to glorify the Lord and benefit the church. 


In Romans 16:1-2, Paul explains the importance that a woman by the name of Phoebe has in the work she has completed for the Lord, church, and Paul. She is described as “worthy of the saints” and “a patron of many”. The reason why Paul is writing this letter mentioning Phoebe is because women were not as valued during that time and Paul is wanting to communicate her significance. Phoebe is one of the few women that was made a leader in the early church because of her willingness to help through difficult times. In some translations she is called a servant which translates to being a deacon “of the church in Cenchreae.” It is not known if she was given her title by formal recognition or out of her service but it was a very prominent position and not held by many women. Phoebe is a great example of a woman of noble character and one who recognizes her importance as a piece of the body in Christ.


In whatever we as women are called to do according to God, I ask that we remember both the woman of noble character and Phoebe. These women and how they used their God-given gifts should serve as encouragement for us in our daily lives. I would like to challenge you to answer two questions. Is being a woman keeping you from picking a career God is calling you into? How will you keep your femininity while becoming a leader in your place of work and home? 


-Ashley