The LORD says, "The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles." Isaiah 3:16
I have been thinking, which is always somewhat of a worry & with the girls away I've been free to indulge the practise. Gave me something to do while I turned out Star's room.
I have had the above passage in my mind ~ one of those ones you just can't shake off, dontcha know ~ for a couple of days thinking all sorts of things, not in any particular order, about what it means to be a woman of God.
As my girls will tell you, I read books backwards. Consequently I often find it easier to think my way backwards from the opposite point of view & Isaiah was pretty riled up. A bit further along he's prophesying baldness & other disasters on the women of Zion. He gets stuck into the men as well & it's all gloom & doom for the nation itself.
Haughtiness, lovely Middle English word, which contains all the elements of scorn, arrogance, superciliousness, pride & snobbery ~ which is a pretty ugly combination. The next bit always makes me giggle. Ever seen a gaggle of geese in a hissing frenzy walking along? Their necks are outstretched all right, heads swinging from side to side, beady little eyes pecking at everything, bottoms waggling crossly. That is the picture I get ~ as opposed to a more stately walk. The flirting eyes & mincing steps, well that speaks for itself but as I never was able to master either I'm not quite sure how it's done. Anklets are cool.
Now this is how it's not done. I always think of Solomon's brawling woman in a wide house. These women are brazen, bold, & flaunting their sexuality & availability. Not the meek & quiet spirit that God so values but the pride that He hates. What it speaks of is an outward hardness that reflects of hearts of stone.
Now we all know that anything a man can do, a woman can do better. She has to if she wants to be taken seriously. The question is not whether she can, but whether she should. Now I will side track for a minute here because the best analogy I have in my own head is the soccer pitch. My middle three were soccer fiends. They all played. They played hard & they played to win. I have spent more freezing nights standing in the wind on the sidelines watching my lot hurtle up & down the pitch after that little round ball than I care to remember. They played at the highest levels for their grade & I will tell you straight up: girls do not play like boys. No matter how aggressive they are, no matter how skilled they are, no matter how big they are ! I have yet to ever see a girls team succumb to the sheer thuggery boys operate on as a matter of course. They do not abuse their team the way boys do. I have watched with growing hysteria female opponents stand & chat about which of them is actually going to kick the ball. The girls teams often get the best coaches because the girls are better & easier to work with: they listen; they do as they're told; they work co~operatively ~ straight from the coach's mouth.
The world has all it can handle in the way of hardness, aggressiveness & boldness in our men. To stay in balance, to restrain men from their more primitive inclinations & bring out a protective streak for the weak & vulnerable we need more of gentleness, lovingkindness, humility, self~effacement, quietness. Men can't provide this. A man displaying these qualities too overtly is perceived as weak ~ by both men & women!
When women start acting like men, as a nation, we are in trouble. We are in trouble because women wield far more influence than the feminists have ever given them credit for. They wield their influence because of the way God made men. He made men to be attracted to women, to desire women ~ & we train them! By how we dress, by how we act, by what we hold valuable. We have an absolute epidemic of pornography just now but is it any wonder? For decades women have been pushing the boundaries of what is decently acceptable in public: in language; in dress; in behaviour. Now we are reaping what we have sowen.
This is not about whether women should work outside the house or not. It is not a question of dresses verses pants. It is not a question of rights ~ we have no rights as God's chosen vessels. It is a question of the heart. Of humility. We need more women of God who open their mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on their tongue.[proverbs 31:26] There is no place for the brash, the strident, the arrogant. There is a reason Peter said an unbelieving husband may be won for Christ without a word by a believing wife. Our actions scream louder than any words. St Francis says it well: Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary use words.
We need to study to find ourselves approved unto God, not judging ourselves by the outward things, which will pass away, but by the things of the heart for it is what comes out of the heart that stains our souls.