My Princess Be Valuable

Sweetheart, you need to make a clear distinction between being “beautiful” and “valuable”. I want you to be extremely valuable. Let me tell you why.

God created you to be protected, and as your daddy, it is my responsibility to guide you in paths that will keep you safe, even once you’ve grown into adult life. That’s why I want to explain the difference between being ‘beautiful’ and ‘valuable’.

Women Have Value

God created women to be highly valued. Women have great value and a godly woman is highly prized. The worth of a “virtuous woman” is more than precious jewels (Proverbs 31:10).

The objective of every young woman should be to rise to her highest value. I want you to be so highly valued that everyone recognises that you are among the most special women in the world. It is up to you to create and to maintain that value, so your husband, your children and all you come in contact with will know that you are a rare and most valuable person.

Beauty Cheapens Women

It sounds wrong to say that beauty cheapens women, but it proves to be true for many. Natural beauty, while it is a wonderful thing to have, causes a woman to be looked upon wrongly. A woman can have natural beauty, but also have an evil heart, a cruel tongue, a selfish attitude, an enslaved life and an unhappy future.

Yet if a woman has beauty others will give her credit for having character and worth, even if she does not have them. Lustful men will pay her attentions which will flatter her heart and give her power to manipulate others.

Beauty, on its own makes no guarantee of happiness, success, godly character, fulfilment or true value. That’s why I want you to focus on your value, not your beauty.

Proverbs warns us that “beauty is vain”, which means it does not guarantee anything. It has no lasting value in itself.

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the LORD, she will be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

Beauty must be a secondary consideration, not a primary focus or distraction.

Character Before Beauty

If a woman has beauty, but not godly character, she will be tempted to become vain about herself, thinking she has value which she does not have. Some women seek to make themselves look alluring to men, as a way to give themselves value. They think that if men look at them or lust after them their value as a woman is confirmed.

King Solomon makes it clear that a beautiful woman who does not have character does not have value, but destroys the potential value she should have developed.

“As a jewel of gold in a pig’s snout so is a beautiful woman with no discretion.” Proverbs 11:22

Ugly Duckling

You will remember from the delightful play, “Ugly Duckling”, by AA Milne, that the princess was thought to be plain to all except the one who was to be her prince. This is a very good situation to be in.

The Princess had been under a spell by a caring godmother, to look plain until her wedding day. This was done because the godmother “didn’t want me to grow up spoilt and wilful and vain, as I should have done if everybody had always been saying how beautiful I was.” “The best thing in the world was be quite sure of yourself, but not to expect admiration from other people.”

By being thought of as the Ugly Duckling, even though she was really quite beautiful, the princess was able to explore life without distracting concerns about her beauty, or of having to deal with shallow attentions from those who only saw her beauty.

The Prince saw both her beauty and the delight of who she was as a person. That’s an ideal situation.

Remember, you will only have one husband. He is the only one who need think of you as beautiful. If everyone else pays you no attention for your beauty you will be spared the process of being cheapened by the cheap self-interested attentions of shallow men.

Find Your Value

Girls who fear that they may not have real value will easily become sidetracked by their attempts to look attractive. They will focus on their external appearance rather than their internal worth.They will compare themselves with other women only in terms of appearance, not in terms of character.I don’t want you to do that. I want you to find your full value and live it to the full.

Find your value by being a woman of God. Be a virtuous woman, for there are too few of them. There are so few of them that all who fit that description gain the highest value.

If you find your heart being drawn away to thoughts of your own beauty or your power to attract  attention from men, then you are in danger of losing your true value.

Be a woman who fears God.

I have more to say about this topic, but I’ll save that until next time.

Note: These “My Princess” posts are for all those young ladies who are preparing for their adult future. I am writing them with my own daughter in mind, so they come from my heart and contain matters that I consider very important. Dads are welcome to use these articles with their own family, and young ladies are welcome to look for them to receive godly counsel they might not find elsewhere.

Equality of Men and Women

A question I get asked around the world is how women can be expected to be under the authority of their husband when the Bible says that men and women are equal. This is an important question and one that I have an answer for.

The Problem

The Bible clearly teaches that women are made to take a different role on the earth than that of the man. Yet today’s egalitarian and feminist motivations resist that Biblical position. Then there is the Bible text which teaches that men and women are equal before God.

How do we reconcile those seemingly contradictory Biblical positions? How can a woman be expected to take a place different to the man while the Bible says there is no difference between the man and the woman?

The Woman in a Different Place to Man

The Bible repeatedly reveals that men and women are different, in both the Old and New Testaments. Men and Women are different in their creation – Adam from the dust of the earth and Eve from the side of the man. They are also different in their purpose – Adam to be in the image of God and Eve to be as a helper for her husband. When God cursed the man and woman after the fall He gave unique and distinct punishments to the woman to the man.

In the New Testament we find that wives are asked to behave toward their husbands differently to the way husbands are asked to behave toward their wives. Instructions are given to the men to pray with uplifted hands and the women are given instructions about their beauty. Men and women are treated differently in both the old and new testaments.

God’s Hierarchy

I often refer to the authority hierarchy which God gives us through the Apostle Paul, in 1Corinthians 11:3. There we see that the man and woman are put in a completely separate place under God’s authority.

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Apostle Paul, 1Corinthians 11:3

On the strength of this hierarchy and the other Bible texts about women a case has been made throughout church history for a different role for women in the church to that of men. That is still a hot issue today.

The Equality Issue

Apart from feminist notions and demands for equality the Bible gives a proof text to support the idea of equality between men and women.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

Some people have been taught, on the strength of Galatians 3:28, that all distinctions between men and women have been done away with in Christ. A Christian woman should be allowed to do all that a Christian man would be allowed to do.

So how to do we reconcile the distinction between these two competing truths? Women have a different place to men, yet women are equal. How can that be?

The Setting

The simple answer to this dilemma is in the setting these two seemingly competitive truths refer to. In Paul’s statement about the equality of men and women he also mentions other things which are now equal in Christ. He mentions Jews and Greeks and slaves and freemen. Slaves and freemen are equal in Christ, yet when a slave becomes a Christian he or she is still a slave. When a Greek becomes a Christian he or she is still a Greek.

Before the throne of God Greeks and Jews are equal in Christ. Yet in the setting on earth the Greek is under Greek customs and government and the Jew is under Jewish customs and government.

Standing before the throne of God a slave and a freeman have the same rights to enter into relationship with God and to expect God’s grace and power on their behalf. But in the earthly setting the slave must get up each day and do the will of his master/employer.

So there are two settings in which our personal reality is worked out. Those settings are the setting of heaven and the setting of our earthly circumstances. We can be one thing in one of those settings and yet have a different set of constraints in the other

The Setting for Women

Women operate in two settings. On earth they are created to be a very effective part of their husband’s world. They are created as helpers and put in a place under the care and authority of the husband. That is their earthly setting.

In Christ, however, before the throne of God, a woman has the same rights to God’s forgiveness, grace and blessing as any man could hope to have. Before God’s throne there is no difference between a man and a woman. They are equal and indistinguishable. That is the great elevation of womanhood that comes through the ministry of Jesus Christ.

Equality is God’s Gift to Women

God gives women equality that they are often denied in homes and cultures. While women have responsibilities for which they are accountable before God, they also have full and undiluted personal status before God’s throne. The prayers of a woman are as valid in God’s ears as the prayers of any man.

Positionally, before God’s throne, women enjoy wonderful liberty and equality. Functionally, in the various roles they are given on earth, each woman has a place to take and a part to play that is under the authority of her husband.

Christ in You the Hope of Manhood (and Womanhood)

One of the challenges men face in entering into their true calling as ‘men’ is to have some level of modelling or mentoring to influence them. I have even coined the term ‘MEN-toring’ in some of my Manhood events. There is real need for leadership in the area of manhood.

However, I find a Bible truth to be very encouraging on this issue. It is the truth that Christ lives within us. The Apostle Paul spoke much about the “in Christ” relationship and he also uses the term ‘Christ in you’. He speaks of ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’, Colossians 1:27. (see also Romans 8:10). Jesus Christ talked about coming into the believer and making his home there (John 14:23).

Now, just consider that for a moment. Jesus Christ will come inside a person and live there. Jesus Christ will be “in you”. How does that affect a man’s ability to be a true man? If the greatest man that ever lived were living inside you, you would have a good chance of being a better man! If the one by whom all men are measured were to come and live within you, then you would have to be a better man for such an experience!

While Paul says that Christ in you is the “hope of glory”, for men it must also be wonderfully true that Christ in you is the “hope of manhood”. Christian men have incredible advantage in discovering the true meaning of manhood – by being occupied by the perfect man, the man, Christ Jesus.

Jesus Christ is a Real Man – so He can empower me to be a Real Man! Praise God for that. As we submit to His Lordship and rule over our lives, each man is able to access levels of authority, boldness, victory, destiny and purpose that they would not find any other way.

Now, that does not leave the women out. God created womanhood to be directed by godly manhood. A daughter is to be directed by her godly dad and a wife by her godly husband. Jesus Christ is the perfect husband. Every Christian woman, having Christ living within her, has access to the most wonderful ‘husband’ in all the universe. The impact of having internal access to such a holy, loving and powerful input for her womanhood must be truly amazing in her ability to be the kind of woman she would never otherwise be.

When a woman has the Real Man, Christ Jesus, living within her, she is able to access levels of her womanhood that others will never know. When a man has the Real Man, Christ Jesus, living within him he will is able to discover levels of his manhood that were previously unreachable.

Christ in you – the hope of your Manhood and Womanhood.