Femininity is something that is, according to the Bible, what God intended for women to be. So, let’s discuss some important femininity traits.
Titus 2:5: Discretion and Chastity
In this verse Paul instructs wives (and really all women),
“To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Gotta love Paul’s frankness.
He tells women to be discreet, meaning careful with words. If you’re like me, this can be incredibly difficult which is why we need the help of the Holy Spirit to keep our mouths shut in moments we really don’t want to.
Chaste means no hanky-panky before marriage. Paul also instructs women to be restrained, or self-disciplined, keepers at home, good, and obedient to husbands.
A hefty list, but again, with the help of the Holy Spirit, that list becomes achievable.
Proverbs 31: An Ode to the Virtuous Woman
In this ode to a virtuous woman, we learn a plethora of femininity traits!
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”
Some things to note: the virtuous woman has many great femininity traits: she is trustworthy, her husband trusts her, good, hard worker, early riser, considerate of others, diligent, disciplined (she exercises), cares for household, wise, kind.
Please don’t think this woman was born virtuous, kind, hardworking and trustworthy. Just like the rest of us, I’m certain she had many failures, and had to push herself to be the virtuous woman she is. Just like we do.
Physical appearance is important for biblical femininity and the way we look and dress ourselves matter to God. As evidenced when Paul instructs women in 1 Timothy 2: 9-10,
“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
Pretty straight-forward verse. Paul instructs women to not spend too much time focused on physical appearance, but rather their own inward appearance was most important.
Encouraging women to “adorn themselves in modest apparel” instead of “gold, or pearls, or costly array.”
But rather to adorn oneself with the femininity traits of “shamefacedness,” or reverence to others; sobriety, defined as being sensible, and lastly to do good works.
1 Peter 3: 3-4: Gentle and Quiet Spirit
“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.”
This verse reminds me a lot of 1 Timothy 2:9-10. With two early Christian leaders teaching literally the same things almost word for word, it is clear God wanted gentleness and meekness to be apart the femininity traits in women in early Christian culture.
Peter, much like Paul, encourages women to swap elaborate hairstyles, gold jewelry and nice clothes for the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit”-precious in God’s sight.
It’s important to note the backstory of the book of first Timothy. Timothy lived in Ephesus around AD 50-60. At the time, this town was a wealthy trade city.
Making Paul’s comments about not indulging in fancy clothes or jewels all the more salient. As well as rampant moral depravity which led women to dress extremely provocatively in the name of female empowerment and Artemis/Diana worship.
Although my journey of modesty may look different than yours, the origin is the same for everyone: the Bible. God made males and females with different gender roles. I encourage you to study these verses and pray what your femininity journey will look like.
Blessings and love,