Faith

Am I feminine enough?

Jiamin Choo-Fong // November 17, 2021, 11:08 am

Am I feminine enough

Growing up, I often wondered: “What does it mean to be feminine? Am I feminine enough?”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines femininity as “the fact or quality of having characteristics that are traditionally thought to be typical of or suitable for a woman.”

The fashion magazines I read during secondary school days portrayed femininity through women who were tall, thin, independent, bold and sexily dressed. On the other hand, some older ladies taught me that femininity meant being sweet, gentle or good with kids, so as to be marriageable.

But femininity must mean more than these idealised qualities or stereotypes. 

Among Christians, there are also various ideas about what femininity should look like. Some may think of the wife described in Proverbs 31:10–31. But if she is the ideal godly woman, the bar is set so high that I can never reach it.

What if I can’t be the superwoman in Proverbs 31?

Others may think of Ruth, Queen Esther and Deborah the judge. But such angles tend to focus only on the strong, successful parts of their lives to emulate as godly women. 

When I look at my own life, I feel far off from meeting such high standards. I remember struggling as a single throughout my teens and 20s.

As I watched my friends get married and start families, I wondered: “Am I less feminine if I don’t have a boyfriend, a husband or kids? And even though I’ve made mistakes and don’t have a beautiful track record, can I still be a godly woman?”

What brings me assurance is the example of the nameless woman in Luke 7:36–50.

Her reputation was tainted as an immoral woman. But when she knew Jesus was having a meal at the house of Simon the Pharisee (an expert in Jewish laws and traditions), she braved her way there to meet Jesus with a special gift for Him.

In her hands was a rare, expensive and precious alabaster jar of perfume.

“As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” (Luke 7:38)

It was a selfless act of giving Jesus the highest honour.

Passion Week: How much are you willing to spend on Jesus?

However, Simon looked down on the woman, thinking how unclean she was to touch his guest.

So Jesus told Simon a parable about love and gratitude for the forgiveness of sins, then proclaimed that the woman’s many sins were forgiven because of “her great love”. Jesus then blessed her with these words of affirmation: “Your faith has saved you; go in peace”. 

To me, while this woman may have represented the sexualised version of femininity in the past, she became the most feminine when she became a woman after God’s heart, reflecting the image of her Creator.

She desired to draw near to Jesus at all cost, even though others judged her.

She had the courage to be her true self, not hiding behind a mask but honouring Jesus in public. She humbled herself in faith, bringing her brokenness and tears to Jesus. And she poured out her love by offering her best to Jesus, not leftovers.

She was truly a daughter belonging to the Heavenly Father.

Who I am is because of Whose I am.

Like this woman, I too have been forgiven of my sins through Jesus and this is why I love Him much.

I am not held captive by a broken past, nor defined by peoples’ comments, or social expectations about how I should look, dress, or behave. Who I am is because of Whose I am.

I no longer have to doubt whether I am feminine enough, because I can rest secure in my identity as a daughter of God, fully loved and accepted by Him.


This devotional was first published by Kallos in A Daughter’s Faith and is republished with permission. Liked it? The book will be sold at an exclusive pre-order price till November 30 on the Kallos website

You can also join the virtual launch of A Daughter’s Faith with Jiamin, as she shares some journalling tips and invites us to reflect on Christmas together. She will be giving away 3 books too! 

Book launch details:
Dec 1, 2021 (Wed, 8–9pm)
Register here: tinyurl.com/adfbooklaunch

THINK + TALK 

  1. What does femininity mean to you? 
  2. How do you usually express your love for God?
  3. Read up on women after God’s heart here: 1 Samuel 1:10–28, Luke 1:45, 2 Timothy 1:5
  4. Pray: Heavenly Father, teach me what it means to be a woman after Your own heart. In times when negative thoughts make me doubt whether I’m good enough or worthy to be loved, remind me of my true identity in You. Amen.