Always A Woman

Those who know me know that I’m not a frilly, girly kind of woman. I never have been. There are both positives and negatives to this. Not being that way has kept me from many things that may have been difficult or harmful. It also means that some would consider it a total negative that I am rather cynical when it comes to matters of the heart. Love songs ordinarily make me want to throw up. For a long time in my life, I believed that love was an illusion, something we made up to sell flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day. That has been challenged, but I can’t say it wasn’t challenged without a long and intense fight.

There are only a few “love songs” I like – because I look for something real in my musical choices. I want to hear a song that is beyond emotions and immediate feelings, and hear about something true. “Always A Woman” by Billy Joel is one of the songs I have always liked. Someone gave it to me many years ago and proudly pronounced, “This is you.” At first, I was offended. The woman in the song does all these less-than-stellar things to the guy. Over time, I came to see what the man who gave me the song was trying to tell me. In Billy Joel’s song, she does both good and bad things. She’s not good all the time, nor is she bad all the time – but she is always a woman to him, and he loves her despite her faults – or maybe, even more because of them.

One of the things that strikes me about “Always A Woman” is the fact that no mention is made of her physical appearance. The only physical attributes referenced are her smile and her eyes. He’s not singing about her beautiful body, or which part of her body he prefers (legs, behind, chest, etc.). He is singing about her – knowing her – loving her – being with her – and that she is always a woman – not because of her physical attributes, but because of who she is.

When we are still teenage girls, we learn that our looks, our bodies, our physical attributes equate to a certain sense of power. We know exactly how to look, glance, move, dress, and attribute oruselves to attract and even control the opposite sex. I remember the very second day after I started dying my hair blonde I was walking on the side of the street and a car full of guys (about my age) ran off the road because they were looking at me. Oh, the feeling of being noticed!

Over time, that feeling became one of objectification – as if that was all I was good for. Flaws were seen as deal-breakers and my true anti-girly, sardonic, sarcastic, and often downright cynical personality led to the end of relationship after relationship. I knew how to use what I had to get what I thought I wanted, but when it came down to it, there was nothing else there.

As I get older, it’s still nice to know I can turn a head. As we age, our bodies change and we often do not recognize ourselves anymore…so it’s nice to still know someone likes what they see. However…as a Kingdom woman, I also know God seeks and desires to do much more in us than just paint the outward vessel.

For years, women have cried out to be more than sex objects and more than objects for visual or sexual appeal. This means that if we want to be seen as more than these things, we must want to be more than this. Being a woman is more than having babies, having female organs, contending with our “monthly visitor,”or being sweet and cute all the time. It’s also more than being a sex object, and using that concept of sex to get what we think we want. If we want men to see us differently, we must feel differently about ourselves.

In Jeremiah 31:22, it says: “How long wilt thou wander about, O daughter turning away? for Jehovah created a new thing in the earth: A female shall go about a male.” (Smith-Parker Bible) There is much in this passage we could study, and in kind, discuss. It is a loaded prophecy, speaking of many different things. I think the immediate thing we must recognize is God is doing something new in His women. It doesn’t mean it’s not something that should have been from the beginning but was not, but it does mean it is different. It is both a culture shock and religious shock, and something that shakes up the entire foundations of our own understandings of propriety. He is raising us up with the understanding that we are to identify ourselves by more than our reproductive ability, our looks, and truly see ourselves as spiritual equals with a word and deposit from the Lord.

We need to know ourselves without make-up (I have had one man in my life who told me he preferred me without make-up and I almost fainted), without using our beauty or charm, without relying on our bodies, but just by being ourselves.

I have heard from many men that while they have their preferences (as do women – we are not without sight), real men do look for things in women to compliment them, love them, and raise them up. They are not looking for a pair of ovaries, a body that never changes, or a constant sexual distraction in life. No, they seek someone who is both the best and the worst they can be, someone who has both good and bad about them, and someone they can truly love. Our God in heaven seeks the same from us as women. When He sees us, He sees all that we are, but no matter what stage of life we are at, we are purposeful and planned in His grace.

We are more than objects. We are more than physical attributes. We are more than a body to get attention. And yes, we are…always a woman.

(c) 2013 Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.

Always A Woman, Billy Joel

She can kill with a smile
She can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child,
But she’s always a woman to me

She can lead you to love
She can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth
But she’ll never believe you
And she’ll take what you give her, as long as it’s free
Yeah, she steals like a thief
But she’s always a woman to me

CHORUS:
Oh–she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
She’s ahead of her time
Oh–and she never gives out
And she never gives in
She just changes her mind

And she’ll promise you more
Than the Garden of Eden
Then she’ll carelessly cut you
And laugh while you’re bleedin’
But she’ll bring out the best
And the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause she’s always a woman to me
–Mhmm–

Bridge

CHORUS:
Oh–she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
She’s ahead of her time
Oh–and she never gives out
And she never gives in
She just changes her mind

She is frequently kind
And she’s suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases
She’s nobody’s fool
And she can’t be convicted
She’s earned her degree
And the most she will do
Is throw shadows at you
But she’s always a woman to me
–Mhmm–

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