Made for More
by Emily Sitzler
This article first appeared in the September/October 2014 print edition of Daughters of Promise.
LURKING IN OUR MIDST IS A GREAT THIEF. He is the enemy. Can you see him? Do you hear him calling your name? Is he tantalizing you with forbidden fruit? Eve, the mother of all creation, knew him as the serpent. Cunningly, he deceived her by offering eternal life, but in turn, she found death. Presently, you may be deceived by the unnecessary pressures of measuring up: wearing the best clothes, driving the newest car, having the most fit body, and the list goes on. If you are facing these unnecessary pressures, you are not unaccompanied. Women throughout the ages have been warring with the enemy. The modern church is not alone in the battle of true femininity. From the days of Eden until present, Satan still seeks to destroy the beautiful design of women. We find ourselves with tainted hearts and mixed desires. Within us a war is raging. Our desires are contrary to our nature, and thus, we constantly fight the battle over truth and pleasure. Find a place of solitude, and seek to unveil the freedom found in being the woman God desires and has designed you to be. May we find ourselves refreshed as we being to unlock the life-giving freedom God offers in His design for women.
You are beautiful. You are so loved by the Creator of the universe. The enemy speaks lies to those truths so often. You may stand before the mirror and complain with, “If only…” or “Why this…” Trying the newest workout, latest diet plan, organic only, or whatever our culture is promoting at the time, we come up empty time and time again. Striving for more, and feeling more empty with each step. One of my favorite hymns states, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in light of His glory and grace.” What a beautiful truth!
Proverbs 31 praises the virtuous woman. In Hebrew, this word virtuous means: “Might, strength, power; able, valiant, valor; army, host, forces; riches, substance, wealth.” (Note: This form of the word is only used three times in the Old Testament, and is only used in reference to a wife [or woman] of excellence). Lemuel’s mother is stating that it is difficult to attain a woman of valor. This comes through seeking and savoring Christ, the Beloved. Lemuel’s mother then goes on to write that her value is far above jewels. The most beautiful jewel cannot compare to a woman of virtue, of valor. The valiant woman finds her identity in Christ, thus making her valuable and rare. Daily, the world bombards us with its ideal image of a woman. Yet, if we revolve our lives around Christ, we can find 16 ourselves flooded with His image. A woman pursuing the heart of her Beloved is not easily distracted by the world, and places Him as the lens through which she views the world. In doing so, her character aligns with God’s design, and others rest in her presence.
Proverbs 31:30 states, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” In Hebrew, ןח is the word for charm, and its literal meaning is favor. Praise among people can be deceitful, especially in our fallen world. Beauty is empty, for eventually it fades away. Yet, the woman who fears the Lord is to be lifted up. She seeks to please Him by loving and serving others well. Her heart is not bent on a focus of her own self, but rather she is focused on how she may be please the Lord in both her conversations and her actions as well.
1 Peter 3:3-4 states, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” Adorning comes from the Greek word κόσμος, literally meaning the world or totality. Therefore, the first portion of verse three could be stated as the following: “Do let your totality be external…”
A freely feminine woman does not dress poorly or untidy, but her she places her totality in Christ. Her emphasis is not on the external and material but on the internal and spiritual. In verse four, the word ‘hidden’ comes from the Greek word, κρυπτός, which means secret. In the eyes of our soul’s Husband, a heart considerate and humble toward others is very precious and most beautiful. A woman pursing the heart of her Creator does not seek to draw attention to herself, but rather she seeks to point people to Him through her actions and her heart of grace.
Remind yourself once more of Eden. Walk with your Beloved in the cool of the day. Look around at His beautiful creation. Draw near to the forbidden fruit. Now, my friend, discard the fruit; run from the forbidden straight to your Beloved.
Oh, that you would instead taste and see that the Lord is good! Resist the Enemy; he will take flight. Once more enjoy the freedom of fellowship with your soul’s Husband. It is He who came to rescue your soul. It is He who longs for you to live in the redemption. Your Beloved longs for you to come away with Him; He desires for you not to settle for the fall but to live in redeemed Eden. At every turn, we are bombarded with images declaring our bodies should appear a certain way, our clothes must meet the latest fashion trends, or we are failing if we do not appear a certain way.
Once more we are plagued with lies, and the enemy is still seeking to destroy. Oh, but Jesus! He came that we may have life more abundantly. May your journey continue as you seek to love your Prince of Peace more! May you enjoy the loving fellowship He offers you! For ultimately, God’s life giving design for women is found in the freedom of fellowship as you love Him more and more; it is found in Eden redeemed. Enjoy the journey of life abundantly, my friend. Enjoy the Beloved! Yes, enjoy Jesus more and more.