Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Single and Feminine

Leslie Basham: Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I think it's easy to slip away from realizing the importance of the fact that we are women, and we need to be women and enjoy being women--to cherish and to express our femininity. And that doesn't all happen just within the context of marriage. It can happen, or should happen, whether we're married or single.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It's Tuesday, June 10th. A woman doesn't have to be married in order to reflect the beauty of God. Today, we'll hear about ways single women can model femininity. It's part of a series called, "Seven Secrets for Singles." Here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Well, for the past week or so, we've been talking about some important choices for us to make as single women and not only as single women. But many of these choices apply to married women.

So if you're married, I hope that you'll be listening carefully as well, because, you know, the issues of the heart really aren't so very different whether you're married or single.

I'm a single woman, and I've spent most of my ministry life ministering to married women. And sometimes women will say, "How do you relate so much to us as married women when you've never been there?"

And I would say that the issues of the heart are pretty much the same. I mean, flesh is flesh and temptation is temptation and relationships are relationships whether you're married or single. But we've been trying to apply some principles from God's Word to our walk as single women, in particular.

Today, I want to focus on a final choice that has been so important to me. There are others that we could talk about, but one that I think is so very important, and that is this one:

I choose, as a single woman, to cherish and to express my femininity; to cherish and to express my femininity.

Let me share with you something that I don't mean by way of criticism, but I do mean it by way of caution. It's been a caution to me, and this is particularly for those of you who are perhaps older singles. And you decide if you fit in that category. I've decided I fit in that category.

I've noticed that, frequently, women who are single for a long time become less feminine, at least in ways that are visible. Now, I'm not saying that's true of their heart, but I'm saying that in ways of appearance and manner, sometimes they become less feminine.

Now, I think it's easy to slip away from realizing the importance of the fact that we are women and we need to be women and enjoy being women, to cherish and to express our femininity. And that doesn't all happen just within the context of marriage. It can happen, or should happen, whether we're married or single.

So how can I choose to cherish and to express my femininity? And I'll tell you, if I taught this five years from now, I'd probably have a lot more to say because it's something that I'm learning as I walk through life as a woman of God. But I've asked the Lord, "Help me to be womanly. Make me a godly woman, not just a godly person, but a godly woman."

What does it mean distinctively for me to be godly as a woman? Well, let me just tell you several areas it affects, and we'll just touch on these areas and then ask the Lord to show you where you need to develop some of these.

I've asked the Lord to give me a womanly and a Christ-like spirit. I want to cultivate qualities and attitudes of biblical femininity. So how do I do that? I go to the passages of God's Word that deal with women and I say, "Lord, show me how to be this kind of woman. Show me what qualities matter to You."

I'd go through the Book of Proverbs, and it talks about foolish women and about wise women. I look at what qualities should I avoid as a woman and what qualities I should embrace and seek to emulate as a woman.

I go to 1 Peter 3 where it talks about the beauty of a gentle and a quiet spirit. The woman who has a gentle and a quiet spirit is not manipulative. The woman who is beautiful in God's eyes, that passage says, has a submissive spirit. That means she's not resistant to authority. She's not combative. She's not"¦she doesn't have an independent spirit.

James 3 talks about the importance of having a peaceable and humble spirit. That means, as a woman, that I won't be contentious; I won't be argumentative. Proverbs says that a man would rather live out in the desert or on a corner of a rooftop than to live with a contentious or an argumentative woman.

And I'll tell you that if He doesn't want married women to be contentious, then He doesn't want single women to be contentious. Whatever kind of woman you are as a single woman is the kind of woman you're likely to be as a married woman.

Now, when I have the right kind of heart attitudes, then I will speak words that are appropriate for a woman of God. Proverbs 31, verse 26, says of the virtuous woman that "she opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue, is the teaching of kindness." So I pray, "O Lord. Help my words to be wise and help them to be kind."

And then I want to be womanly in my dress and in my physical appearance. It's a very sad thing to me today to see that so few women seem to enjoy dressing like women. And there are so many clothing styles today that you could put it on a man or put it on a woman, and it wouldn't make a difference.

Could I say that if you cherish your womanhood as a gift from God that it will affect the way that you dress? Now, I'm not saying that means you will always wear a dress, but it may mean that sometimes you wear a dress. In whatever you wear, there will be a desire to look feminine, to look womanly, to have an appearance that is feminine.

As a woman, one of the things I can practice as a single woman is domesticity. Domesticity.

Do you know what that means? It means being a homemaker. You say, "Single women being domestic?" Yes, it's one of the ways that we can express womanliness. You can show hospitality; you can cultivate beauty and order in that home.

And then one very important area for us as women, a way we express our femininity, is in our attitudes and our approach toward men.

Let me just point out a few of those areas: One, I think it's so important for us to show honor and respect for men.

It's very 'in' today to tell men-jokes. Now, men can't tell women-jokes, but women can tell men-jokes. And let me just say to you, "I believe it's really wrong, that there should be, among Christian women, no men-bashing, no making comments about, 'Oh, all men are just like this.'"

Now, you may have been hurt by men; you may have not felt treated with respect and honor by some of the men who been a part of your life. You can't control that, but we can control the way that we respond to men. That doesn't mean that all men are equally worthy of honor and respect, but it does mean that we speak respectfully and we show honor to men.

I think it's important, as women, that we accept expressions of gentlemanliness from men. If they want to open the door or pull out the chair for us at the table, stand when a woman comes in the room, women, don't be a shrew. Don't do as so many women have in our generation and reject those expressions of manliness.

You know what we've done? We've beat the men down; we've beat them back, and then we get mad at them because they don't act like men. If we want them to act like men, one of the things we can do to help the process along is to let them be men.

Women whine today about how men are so passive, and there's a lot of truth to that in our day. But I think one of the reasons is that we, as women, have not encouraged it when men do take leadership.

So when a man has an idea, don't be quick to throw water on the idea. If you do, it's going to be a while before he comes up with another idea that he is willing to risk sharing with you. So affirm leadership when you see it in men, and it's appropriate to do so as a single woman.

Then, finally, a way we show our femininity is in being willing as women to be bearers and nurturers of life.

What do I mean by that? God made women to be mothers. You say, "I know, I'd like to be a mother, but I'm single. I can't be." I believe God made all women with a mothering instinct and capacity.

And even as a single woman, you can take younger women under your wing. You can mentor; you can disciple; you can be a model to them of what it means to be a woman of God, be a woman who nurtures life in others.

There's a wonderful passage in Isaiah 54[:1] that's been a great encouragement to me along these lines. I'm taking it a bit out of context, but I think, by way of application, it's appropriate for this to be an encouragement to us as single women.

The passage says, "'Sing, O barren women, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor." He says, "''because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,' says the Lord."

"So enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes...for your Maker is your husband--the Lord Almighty is his name."

God used that verse in my life several years ago to show me that He wanted me to make room in my life for nurturing, for leaving a legacy, for investing in the lives of others, that I needed to be willing to embrace the responsibilities and demands and privileges of being a mother--maybe not of physical children but a mother investing in the lives of others, leaving a legacy, investing in the next generation.

And the Scripture says that, as I do that, though I may be physically not able to have children, though I may not physically have a husband, I will be a woman of joy, a woman of freedom, a woman of fullness and a woman of fruitfulness. That's what God calls us to be, and we will be, as we make the right choices.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss reminding us that we all have a responsibility to pass on biblical truth to the next generation, whether we're married or single. Nancy has written about the importance of leaving a legacy, in the booklet, Singled Out for Him.

This booklet will help you as a single person align your thinking with the Word of God. It'll help you find purpose in life and approach relationships with other people from a biblical perspective.

You can order a copy of Singled Out for Him for a suggested donation of $5 by visiting our Web site ReviveOurHearts.com. Or give us a call at 1-800-569-5959.

Have you gained some new insights during our series on singleness? Would you write and let us know?

How can a single woman display femininity while working in a highly competitive, aggressive business environment? We'll take up that question tomorrow. Now, let's pray with Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Father, I just want to say thank You for making me a woman, and thank You for the privilege of glorifying You, as a woman. And thank You for giving me the gift, at this season of life, of being a single woman.

I pray that You would show me and show us how to cherish and express that femininity in ways that reflect Your beauty to those around us. O Lord, may our lives bring You glory and may we receive the joy that You have for us, as we express what it means to be a woman of God. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.