re·form: (r-fôrm) v. re·formed, re·form·ing, re·forms v. tr. 1. To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition. 2. To cause (a person) to give up harmful or immoral practices; persuade to adopt a better way of life.
ma·ma or mam·ma also mom·ma: n. (also m-mä) Informal. Mother.

8.01.2006

A Small Struggle

When I was in seminary I very quickly came to understand that pastor's wives were to be a certain type of person. Pastor's wives wear big hats and floral print dresses. Their hair is always "done" and their makeup is perfect. Their shoes match their handbag and they never sleep in anything other than a pretty nightgown.

Their homes are perfect; decorated with beautiful antiques. They serve dinner on beautiful heirloom china and their meals are always homemade and perfect. They entertain guests frequently and use linen napkins -- paper napkins are beneath them. They iron their clothes and never fight with their husbands. Their children are not kids and always wear matching outfits.

She is sweet and kind. Always smiling and never saying a mean word.

In short, pastor's wives are feminine. I am not.

While those things are not necessarily true, the ideas I had about pastor's wives made me thankful that I was never going to be one. LOL!

So why am I rambling on about this? When I was a girl I used to like the idea of being the wife that I just described. Then something changed. I don't know if this change came about after I went to college or if life just jaded me or what.

I read things in various blogs about femininity and wonder where I fit. There's one blogger who I just outright envy. She has it all together.

Here's the problem for me. I don't like flower printed clothing and big hats. I don't iron unless absolutely necessary. I cook from scratch often, but not all the time. I never sleep in anything pretty anymore.

My son has never worn shoes. I don't like shoes and I rarely carry a "handbag."

I speak my mind and I don't smile if I don't feel like it.

None of the things the pastor's wife does fits my personality at all.

So if I don't like the things that are "feminine" where does that leave me? I wouldn't say I am masculine -- not really at all. How does one grow to appreciate those things? How do you become feminine without giving up who you are? I know Scripture teaches that women should not look like men, but can't you do that without being "feminine" -- at least my idea of what feminine is?

Anybody got a book on the topic? I need some help here.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Stacey said...

I decided a while ago that being feminine is more than what you wear, carry, or look like. It has more to do with who you are. While I decided a bit ago to buy some casual dresses, which are IMPOSSIBLE to find, those dresses will not make me any more feminine. I think it's the way you carry yourself, the way you behave, the grace, wisdom, and love that a woman shows which makes her feminine. Not her clothes, or linen napkins. While I do not dismiss the beauty in some floral dresses, a woman's true beauty comes from within, and her love for the Lord. God made you who you are, and if you do not have a hankerin for a dress with flowers, little heels, and a handbag draped over your arm I would NOT stress. :D

6:52 AM

 
Blogger Carrie said...

Oh dear, I could never be a Pastor's wife! I sound a lot like you except I don't really struggle with it.

Okay, I do feel bad sometimes that I am not a good homemaker (cleaning, cooking, etc) but when I tried to force myself to be those things, I was very unhappy.

Stacey made some great points and I think they line up with the Proverbs 31 woman idea. It's more about what is inside, the outside manifestation may be different for everyone. Don't we have freedom in Christ to not be yoked to any idea of the perfect women?

Just thinking out loud.

7:26 AM

 
Blogger Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

Femininity stems from the heart, not flowery hats :) Although, I like me some hats!!! (so we're different on that one, but that is about it!!! I hate to iron too!)

I'll have to see what I can come up with as far as books. I've read so many they all blur together.

8:58 AM

 
Blogger mammasquiettime said...

I had a baby girl...that changed everything for me

10:53 PM

 
Anonymous MInTheGap said...

Being a guy, I do associate feminine things with girly stuff-- like dresses, lace, shopping, things of that nature. It's hard to separate.

When God said that he wanted the sexes to look different, though, I think that He was implying that He created the two different for a purpose-- for the wife and man to complete one another and to be different.

So, I wouldn't think dressing like a guy is a good thing, and I don't think that you always have to wear pink/lace/big hat, but you do have to have a heart for God and look/act in some way like a lady.

11:02 PM

 
Blogger Reformed Mama said...

thanks for the input. while i know in my head that wearing a pink (YUCK) dress with big flowers on it with a white hat and matching shoes doesn't mean a thing, for some reason I always fell like that's how I am supposed to look.

maybe that's one more way seminary ruined me. lol!

11:22 PM

 

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