The Controversy About Woman (II)

Smiling womanCONTINUING again on the Controversy about Women, today I would like to deal with the image a woman creates for herself. Unfortunately, one of the ways a woman’s image is formed is from her romantic relationships and her interests – most of which seems to be pushed on her by society. Unfortunately, a lot of women are exposed to it at so young an age when their personality is just coming into shape. How can a woman be true to herself without shutting the world out?

The pressures of relationships and expectations
One of the most deceptive pressures that society puts on women is the pressure of fashion – not just when it comes to the clothes one wears but the relationships one is expected or required to keep. With the movies and all the unqualified role models of society that the ordinary woman is plagued with, she grows up believing that a young woman should dress a certain way, should have certain items, should have a man keep her and should essentially spew sexuality. Unfortunately in this case, since women seemingly are wired to be a part of a man, her personality and thought process is conformed to the ideals and taste of the men she dates from a young age.

Very often, her image is now shaped by some young man’s unrestrained desires or an old man’s mischief – her image is confirmed to their ideals and tastes – someone she thinks is right for her but most likely is not (How can she tell when she is just discovering herself!)

Of course this is not the only way that a woman’s image is formed – or conformed but it remains one of the most effective and vicious modes that causes a lot of women not to arise to their potential. This happens especially in societies where women aren’t respected or valued quite like they should be.

How can a woman grow into the woman she ought to be instead of the woman her male and female friends think and want her to be?

Nurture other interests
First of all, if she is always thinking of herself in relation to a man, (like young girls in school thinking of marriage or romantic relationships so early in age), she needs to find out that there are other things in life – other ways to be happy and at peace without the causative influence of a romantic relationship. Oh, I do not mean that she should give up on marriage, no.

There is no set time when every woman should marry; it is hoped that one gets married early enough to have children safely and enjoy their youthful vigour as well as keep up with their energy, however, love (which ideally should be the catalyst for lasting relationships) is something that comes when you are ready to receive it. Let it not be confused with infatuation or idle imaginations, the deceptive intimacy of romantic escapades or sexual intercourse; When love stirs within you, you will know.
“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem… Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases” – Songs of Solomon 3:5 NKJV

Keep clear boundaries
Nonetheless, how can you tell what love is and when it does come if we stir up the feelings and activities that were always meant to follow love? How can we discern honourable men from dishonourable ones if we do not have limits that will help us spot them from afar? For example, a man who desires only to see you at night or hang out in the dark clearly desires you in a way that is both unbecoming and exploitative of you. Etc.

The sad truth is that we are often unaware that the grave mistakes we make concerning relationships and other decisions in life often come to haunt us; the image we have of ourselves becomes demeaning. When we see ourselves in an image less than what it should be we most often will make more wrong choices. Having said that, I do not believe that there is an image beyond repair nor that one will have no image issues if one has kept pristine relationships; anyone whose mind is renewed by the word of God can experience peace and grace beyond what she deserves or thinks possible.

Enjoy every moment
Whether you’re single, married, young or much older; cultivate healthy interests in other things; hobbies, serious interests, enterprising skills, etc. Do not forget to enjoy your relationships too! No matter how imperfect your life is, enjoy the good things in it. By all means take your mistakes to God and let the Word lead you out of them. If you have decided to work on yourself, great! You’ve taken the most important step…remember that it is also, only a step; an upward climb is not for the faint hearted but it is that upward climb that toughens the faint hearted if they trudge on!

Keep your goal in view and don’t sweat the bad stuff. Remember how the bible says that God and the angels in heaven rejoice when a sinner comes to Him? Even though that sinner doesn’t know squat about how to live a righteous life, he or she has made the decision to start and God rejoices in this small beginning. Why shouldn’t you rejoice in your small beginnings as well?
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” Zechariah 4:10 NLT
Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. Luke 15:10 KJV

Image and Etiquette: As a young lady, I suffered much from inferiority and timidity. I had an unhealthy distrust of myself and God-given beauty. By God’s grace, I found answers in the Bible (especially the Songs of Solomon) which transformed me. His Word transformed me from a bitter, angry teenager to a cheerful, content, peace-filled and purposeful woman; Jesus changed me from the inside out. I have a passion for etiquette and image and I know that our outward image and our attitudes are influenced by our heart; therefore, image and etiquette is spirit, soul and body – just as it was in the beginning! Having been given the knowledge, experimental application and experience through His grace alone, this is what I teach. Unconventional…yes, but it remains the truth to the degree that I have understood it. For this, I make no apologies.

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