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October 14, 2010

try a little tenderness

I don't meet a lot of six-foot women. Even from a distance, the blond stranger I met this summer conveyed an air of confidence. Standing next to a bonfire, listening to her speak, it didn't take me long to notice that she was a very hard woman. Cursing, she spoke of how she uses her womanly charm to help her with business deals with men. She flippantly discussed her divorce and the dating game. From what I later learned, she had just left her controlling, live-in, alcoholic boyfriend. My heart grieved for her. A woman of the world, covering up her hurt with a hard facade. Or so I thought.

Around the bonfire, people shifted, and most went to play Frisbee. A few of us were left and I began to ask the blond lady—who I learned was 30 years old—about her about her life and travels. It didn't take long to discover that she'd attended Bible school for a few years. Her younger days were full of missions trips and her parents were graduates of the same Bible school as she. This woman knew much more Scripture than I ever would have imagined.

It struck me: this could be me. This domineering woman grew up in a Christian family, did the Bible school scene, and married a purportedly Christian man. But less than a decade later, this woman stands so hardened that I thought she never knew what Biblical womanhood was. It was a sobering reminder to me of the importance of keeping close to the Saviour, and it got me thinking about this: if the world's woman is hard, what is God's woman like?

From general and specific revelation I gather that women were created to show tenderness. This is seen in woman no matter if she is redeemed or not—even our bodies and voices were created softer than men's. But in the redeemed woman, God develops that "gentle and quiet spirit" which He so values (I Peter 3:4). Alistair Begg says: "Women don’t have the exclusive ownership of the characteristic of kindness, but often they do a much better job in expressing compassion than most men. If you think about it, women that have marked our lives have often marked our thinking on account of their tenderness."

Oh—to reflect our humble, gentle Saviour in a way that is womanly! Don't let the world's scorn undermine your godly desire to be tender toward the Lord and others. Cultivate tender-heartedness (Eph. 4:32, I Pe. 3:8).Value the vulnerability and purity of holy marriage as an exclusive expression of that tenderness. Don't think you're beyond becoming a hardened woman. The blond wasn't, and neither are we. Just on the other side of the glorious gospel there is a cutting, brazen, hardened woman who could be me, or could be you, if we lose sight of tender Jesus. So help us God!


  1. Good post sis. :) I guess it wasn't "random" that you met her, hey? ;)

  2. No randomness anymore in my life! :)