It might seem like an odd trait to cultivate, but I’ve been thinking lately about how “softness” is missing in a lot of today’s women, why it’s a powerful trait, and why I’m purposing to become a softer woman.
The pursuit of equality has robbed us of more than it gave. With all the hear me roaring going on, and the clawing our way up the corporate ladder, proving that “anything you can do I can do better” to all the men who want to “hold us down”, we’ve become hard, tough, independent women, and in our own delusion, we applaud ourselves for these qualities instead of mourning the death of our naturally-powerful attributes.
Equal doesn’t have to be the same. That’s where we got sorely misguided. To become more like men doesn’t make us equal any more than wearing a wig makes them more able to bear children.
We are already equal. Just different. That difference is (was?) incredible! Femininity is a unique gift that only we were given. Our softness and all that encapsulates is a powerful force and it is a strength we already possess and don’t have to fight for.
I have found that even those of us who would never think of ourselves as trying to act like men, have still been subtly influenced and tempted to throw off our feminine traits in favor of tougher, more manly ones.
Realistically, and ironically, true femininity is strong. A woman can be soft and strong, tender and tough, deferring and dignified, all at the same time.
She can “laugh at the time to come”, live fearlessly, be in shape, be a sharp business woman, manage her home with wisdom and be her husband’s most trusted companion, all while seeking to be soft, feminine and lovely.
I think a woman’s countenance reflects her heart’s attention. That is, what she studies, reads, thinks about and seeks after is an innate part of her and will manifest itself even in her physical demeanor. In the way we dress, carry ourselves, the words we use and even in the volume of our voices.
Now for a bit of confession. I am writing this post to myself more than for anyone else, I’m just hoping it may resonate with you too. I struggle, and always have, with a reactionary personality, raising my voice and answering harshly. I overreact to things more than I should and do not choose gentleness when I should.
It is deeply rooted and I know each day when I get up I am fighting a battle against myself. One in which I will likely lose a couple of wars.
But just like weeding a garden, I will not stop pulling the weeds and cultivating the soil of my heart.
My aim is gentleness and softness. I want to be known as a woman who had “the law of kindness on her tongue.”
I want to be known as a woman who spoke well of others, honored others even if they weren’t present, found the beauty even when it was hidden, and inspired those around me to live more intentionally.
I want to be a steady mom, expecting much, forgiving much, leading my children into adulthood with firmness and resolve, love and laughter, determination and perseverance.
I want a constitution as strong as steel, and a demeanor as soft as a dove.
I’m thankful God didn’t make me the same as my husband. I can assure you, our husbands are thankful too.
Equal but vastly different. Praise Him.