They Do Exist.

A Thank You To Women – From A Man.

Editor’s Note: It saddens me greatly that we as women hear very few men thank and praise us for who we are, or who we are striving to become. It’s a brutal world out there, and the fight to live as new creations in Christ is just as hard on both sides, for men and women. I chose this month’s topic in hopes of a reparation of sorts between the sexes – apologies on both sides are needed, as is encouragement from both sides. Today’s post is a thank you to women from Aaron. He tweets at @voluntaryaaron. – Lauren

You were often the protagonist in my story; the woman taking the risk, living in faith, moving beyond her past, living on love and embracing your identity as a new woman in Christ. I want to tell you that your story mattered. Your life was at times exactly the inspiration that I needed. The character of a young woman, perhaps scared of what life was really like, apprehensive of what her future might hold, of what her past might have meant – but all the while stepping out into the life she could live in Christ.

You were brave, faithful and encouraging.

When your story was revealed to me, not as a creation of Victoria’s Secret or Cosmo or Hollywood, but as a product of your own real life, and now real grace, I was filled with some hope, and I’ll admit, some attraction too.

So I want to say thank you, good women. In the past year my own life has experienced growth, and I must thank God for the way he used the unique heart and nature of some Godly women to speak truth into my life. I may not have always been as active in your story, in helping you in your journey as I could have been, and as I should be as a brother in Christ, but I was observing and learning and growing. I needed good women. Real women. Women who had hurts, yes, but also victories and hearts and humanity and emotions and who were willing to be vulnerable by sharing and living their story. By allowing me in, if it meant seeing you both in joy and sorrow, but most of all in reality.

I may have just listened, only offering you my silence, but maybe that’s all you needed. I feel like I grew and learned so much about you, about me, about who we are becoming in the love and peace of Christ. So to the good women who are living out their transformation, living out love, living out faith, and doing it all in a world that desperately needs rescue and restoration, I thank you.

It’s not easy being a woman. And it’s not easy being a man. But it becomes easier when we communicate, share and help each other – even if that just means our interactions and relationships with each other, in whatever ways those take place, are lived honestly and to edify each other, to both our benefit and to the glory of God. By being and living as the woman God made you.

Your heart, your emotion, your brain and your sexuality – they are all in some way a gift to you. When I started seeing them as gifts to you, to me, to us all and from God, it was a catalyst for growth in my life. Your unique heart, emotion and nature were revealed in your faith, worship, and prayer, the smile on your face and the daily life you were living. It was all beautiful and good; a glory to God and a blessing to me.

Now, when I think of those times when I felt the most masculine, I realize it was often in my observation and admiration of you, how God made you. Differently, indeed –  but different was good, helpful, encouraging.

Seeing you as a beautiful woman of God’s creation, both of us with roles to play in bringing life and hope to this world in our own unique ways brings me closer to agape love, closer to respect, and it is here where lust and greed are driven out. Your burden is not to conform to a beauty standard, and it’s not to bear the responsibility of my sexuality or the behavior or misbehavior of men. My heart truly breaks when I think of those times when you were made to feel ashamed to have the body of a woman, her heart, and nature. When men, when I, twisted those gifts of your sexuality into my entertainment, my self-worth or my possession, and then used that to define your worth, it was all to cover up so many sins of our own. The blame and the shame weren’t yours to be burdened with.

However, we are getting back to hope. The hope you gave me as a woman living out a good story, the hope that good women were also real women. Women I knew. This hope was also that your own good woman story is not only your story, it is really our story. In our new creation lives the love of God.

You and I become more similar, unique in our respective natures as man and woman, but with a task to encourage each other to live these lives as good women and men. It is also these “new creation lives” as good women and men that give glory to God and bring hope in love to this world in our relationships, restoring our sexuality and rescuing love in a world that is desperately in need.

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15 Responses

  1. Kay

    "By allowing me in, it meant seeing you both in joy and sorrow, but most of all in reality." This is such an encouragement and reminder to me that God has uniquely formed men and women to be helpers to each other. Thank you for this incredibly insightful article! it has blessed me a lot.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:53 am

  2. "Now, when I think of those times when I felt the most masculine, I realize it was often in my observation and admiration of you, how God made you." — This is so beautiful.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

  3. cecily

    This is so needed. And so beautiful. Thank you Aaron. I saw a glimmer of hope for myself of being a good woman. At twenty three I still struggle to see myself as a woman instead of a girl, largely because I still live with my parents but also because I’ve struggled with issues that aren’t so “womanly” and destroy my feminism. To hear that you heard a woman’s story of her struggle and restoration helped you become a better man makes me feel like I could do the same with my story for other men. Like Im useful to them for more than my sexuality or looks. Like a woman who’s heart they could admire.

    March 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm

  4. Thanks for writing!!

    March 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm

  5. This post is very honoring toward women and that is a voice in writing that you don't hear very often. Thank you for what you've written, it is beautiful. It makes me feel beautiful.

    March 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm

  6. joan

    thank you for this article. this gives me hope. :)

    it is very interesting to find a real-life testimony that as we women embrace our femininity in Christ, we affirm men's masculinity and so live out who God designed us to be.

    much praise and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ –our Restorer, our Hope. :)

    April 5, 2012 at 4:25 am

  7. really nice

    April 13, 2012 at 8:25 am

  8. God created men and women as complementary and necessary partners. In this broken world, our differences become divisive. With a change in perspective by taking time to appreciate the intentional differences, we can experience more of what God intended. This seems to be true for Aaron in this post.

    August 22, 2012 at 10:03 pm

  9. Mel

    This brought me to tears. It gave me so much relief and hope. All I can say is thank you. Hearing this is just so nice and gives me peace- I guess the best way to describe how it makes me feel is it gives me rest and joy. Thank you Thank you Thank you. For so long (until I was about 19) I had thought that men could really only do a lot for the kingdom of God, and I was, in a way, angry that God made me a girl and not a guy because guys were the "leaders" and I had seen godly guys in my life bring me as well as others to Christ. As I looked into what the role of women play in the story of God I realized what an asset God has made women and I not longer have a wish to be a man (that sounds so weird/transgenderish, but it had NOTHING to do with sexuality). I am almost 21 and for the past 1.5 years I have been really digging deeper and discovering what it means to be a Godly women and embrace how God has made me, unique and as a WOMAN. This article was just very affirming and again, I just thank you so much for it :)

    January 28, 2013 at 12:13 am

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