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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