What is a Godly Woman, Anyway?

For as long as I have been a Christian I have felt as though I didn’t quite belong.

Every subculture has certain archetypes that it holds on to and within my subculture I have been drawn to the Christian archetype of what it means to be a godly woman.

Meek. Lowly. Servant. Humble.

Over the years countless biblical films, sermons, & Sabbath school quarterlies have left me with this unfortunate picture of what a woman of God should be.

For whatever reason, I have long felt that in order to be what God has required I must be silent, subservient, passive. I tried to bend myself to fit into a box, and I never quite fit.  I understood that I needed to educate my children in the ways of God, care for the home & closely monitor the food that my family ate. I needed to be always patient, love to cook & clean, and volunteer for things at the church.

But when I look at the list of qualities I find that I do not fit.  I am imperfect to be sure—but I am an independent, career-minded woman that is not only passionate about my family, but also about the greater world in which I live.

I hate oppression. Not in a volunteer-at-a-soup-kitchen kind of way, but a fierce hate.  I read about others suffering and I am moved to extremes. I want to travel there, meet them, free them, help. I dream of writing their stories, exposing their pain to the world in order to evoke change.

I love politics. I believe in our American democracy and I think every citizen should be well informed and politically active.  I care—deeply.

I am passionate about my family—but I am not a stay-at-home mom. I love my work. I love creating interesting ways to present amazing information to my students. I love to read the words of the great thinkers of history. It may seem nerdy, but I love it. Most days, I enjoy with relish every moment of my graduate classes.  I am better as a mom when I am fulfilling my own dreams.

I am opinionated—and I have been blessed enough to have a husband that loves me more because of that. I challenge him; he challenges me. We are intellectual equals and it makes us more powerful together.

I have spent a great number of years feeling as though I needed to somehow weaken myself in order to fit into the mold of a godly woman.  But I now realize that I was wrong. God doesn’t ask for weakness; he asks for strength.  He asks for servants, but he calls them to lead.

I want my three girls to grow up knowing that being a strong, well spoken, intelligent, independent, motivated woman is exactly what God requires. We don’t live in the 1600’s and there is no need for them to feel they have to choose between who they are, and who God has designed them to be.

So let me, if I may, interject a few of my own adjectives for a truly godly woman.

Strong. Smart. Decisive. Loving. Loyal. Passionate. Driven.  This is the picture I will paint for my girls.

What do you think a godly woman looks like?