Women are one of God’s most precious creations. Though there are many examples in the media of women being hypersexualized and devalued, there are many other examples to the contrary. For instance, gratitude for women is expressed in songs such as “A Woman’s Worth,” by Alicia Keyes, and through the opinion of author and radio and television host Steve Harvey, who reminds women to preserve ourselves in order to attract men who respect our worthiness.
Recently, I heard “Afeni,” by Rapsody (featuring P. J. Morton), a song about the value of women, as well as sermons preached by Andy Stanley regarding dating and relationships. Rapsody’s song and Stanley’s sermons collectively have elevated my thinking regarding our value as women and how, too often, we are ignored. But there are so many brilliant characteristics that women have to offer. Our innate internal beauty and God-given gifts fuel our ability to positively shape our future.
In Ephesians 2:10, Paul establishes the value of all Jesus’ followers:
For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life, which He prearranged and made ready for us].
The Scripture states that we are His workmanship created in Jesus Christ, prepared for good works. We’ve seen evidence of the wonderful works of women in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. As His workmanship, we are among those equipped to use God’s power within to support and encourage ourselves, our children, and their offspring to do good works as well.
With God’s love, many of us are empowered to spread that love to our children. With or without the help of our partners, women are the nurturers who often are the first to show love to our offspring. In fact, a mother’s love often manifests itself in many ways before a baby is born.
In most cases, when a woman discovers she is pregnant, the unconditional love she develops leads her to change her diet and behavior in favor of her baby’s health. As soon as the child is born, there are ways that only a mother’s love further manifests itself. For instance, human developmental psychologists have taught us the importance of immediate and frequent skin-to-skin mother-baby contact, as it releases a love hormone called oxytocin. Furthermore, many new mothers nurse immediately after the birth of their babies to provide them with the colostrum needed to promote their babies’ health with its nutrients and antibodies.
God also empowers women through our ability to make beneficial choices for ourselves and our future. Specifically, one of the most important decisions that a woman will ever make is in her choice regarding a mate. But before she chooses, not only should a woman’s partner meet a certain standard, but she must meet certain standards as well. Proverbs 31 (AMP) describes a “worthy woman” as someone who is an encourager; prepared; benevolent; strong; dignified; and, most important, God-fearing. However, all of us are flawed, perhaps falling short of what the proverb describes.
When seeking a mate, a woman may have a lengthy list of qualities that her potential mate should embody in order to avoid a relationship with someone who has too many flaws. But women have flaws, too. We can choose to look introspectively at ourselves to ensure that we embody the same desired qualities. For instance, a man may also prefer for his future wife to be a good role model for their children and to be loving of all people in order to eradicate hatred. Maybe a man wants his future wife to revere him, to be level-headed, and to be open to his opinions. Perhaps he also wants a wife who is healthy, respectable, patient, good at listening, and open to changing for the better.
Women are empowered to do the work to improve ourselves, seeking professional counsel if necessary, just as we would want our mates to do. Doing the work of self-improvement shows self-love. Committing to a mate who is willing to seek help creates a blessed, positive example of a strong couple and a good foundation on which a family can be built. In turn, our children are more likely to follow the same path, benefiting themselves and their offspring, thereby positively shaping our future.
As God’s workmanship, women are equipped with the capacity of unwavering self-worth and the ability to love ourselves as God does. As such, we are intolerant of mistreatment and unaccepting of anything that is beneath His workmanship. In God’s self-love, women are free to spread His unending love to our life companions and our children, equipping them to be as self-loving and respectful as God teaches us to be.
A community that realizes that women are God’s workmanship sees us as a gift due to our innate impact on its young, the community’s future. When we regard women as worthy, we build stronger families; stronger communities; and, ultimately, a stronger future for society, a sentiment that I pray all will collectively share.
by Tifini P. Williams