Cultivating Femininity: Our Character
Good morning friends and welcome back to the blog!
I am forever thankful for all of your views, interest, and readership. I think my favorite part about this journey is that I've gotten to read SO many wonderful messages from you guys, sending encouragement and love, but also sharing your heart and thoughts on these topics.
I'm trying to think of ways to connect you all together, so you can meet other traditional women and feel supported. Perhaps we create a Facebook group or a subreddit? We will see. Let me know if this sounds nice to you.
But back to why we are all here: the finale of the "Cultivating Femininity Series." These past 5 weeks have been an incredible journey for me as I've had to hone in on these ideas and really dig deep into what we can be doing to practically live into femininity. I still feel like I've barely scratched the surface and am definitely thinking I need to write a book on all of these ideas.
But as we are here for the final installment, I thought we would save the best for last: cultivating femininity within our character.
Character & Femininity
It is from the character where everything else in our life springs out of. A strong and beautiful character does not happen overnight however; it must be nurtured over a lifetime. As we nurture our character, we can lean into our naturally feminine traits and instincts to further cultivate femininity.
A strong and well-developed character is the capstone in a feminine woman's life. Her character unites all aspects of her femininity and enables her to nurture the things in her life with the utmost precision, energy, and faithfulness.
We instinctively have the ability to nurture as women, but that does not mean a strong character will not help us nurture BETTER. In fact, a character rich in the virtues of discipline, kindness, faithfulness, and loyalty will allow us to nurture more effectively than one lacking in character altogether.
A woman of character nurtures her children in the way they should go, encourages her husband and supports his ventures, and of course nurtures her own beauty, dreams, life, and relationships. This woman is disciplined, faithful, loyal, and kind. She is effective in her community, and her femininity shines brightly.
The character is what we can fall back on when times are tough. Character helps us get through tough situations and moral conundrums. Good character built upon solid morals helps us make life-giving decisions so that we can live a stable, and positive life, fit and ready to nurture those around us and ourselves.
Character is different than your "Heart"
I see a ton of Women's ministries focused on our "hearts." We try to nurture our hearts, listen to our hearts, follow our hearts, and speak from the heart.
This advice has good intentions, but part of the problem is that hearts are wishy-washy. They are prone to emotional ups and downs, frivolous desires, constant confusion, and weakness. The heart should be relied upon sometimes in life, but I think that if you are going to put a ton of energy into nurturing anything in your life, let it be your character.
Why do we need to develop character?
It is from our character where the rest of our life will spring out of. Our decisions, for the good or bad, our behaviors, our attitudes, our careers, the way we raise our kids, the way we relate to others, or whether or not we follow our dreams. The character is what drives us to move forward: not our motivation, and not our hearts. Out of character we find the ingredients needed to nurture others.
Character can be created, nurtured, and forged through adversity, pain, and discipline. Through choosing the right way, the moral way, and the strong way, we will be able to forge strong character, and in turn, live effective, successful, and beautiful lives.
Character doesn't just affect us: it affects everyone in our lives and our relationships. Character affects the way we relate to others. It affects our children, and it affects our spouses. Our character can make an impact on our communities, and the way we inspire others.
A person of good, upstanding, and moral character will attract an equal partner for marriage Together they can build a life together fit for raising children, and achieving their dreams.
Character will draw us towards our dreams. No one achieved their dreams without hard work, grit, and determination. These character traits and a strong sense of self will lead us forward.
My dreams of being a mother will have to be achieved by grit and fortitude because childbirth honestly terrifies me. This dream of being a blogger would have never have even begun if I had not put discipline, courage, and faithfulness to the test. I also need to add that my marriage would not be as happy without the wonderful character of my husband, who leads us in a positive and life-giving direction.
First, identify your strengths & weaknesses.
I always say that we need to take a good look at ourselves: warts and all. It's important to view ourselves not through rose-colored glasses, but as realistically as possible. Through this realism, we can begin to see our weaknesses and our strengths.
This is an important part of character building: we must take an accurate evaluation of what our "problem areas" are so that we can effectively grow in those areas. It is true that each individual on earth has a different set of inclinations towards certain issues, and for me, I find that I mostly struggle with laziness, envy, fear, and a lack of discipline.
Because I know this about myself, I have been able to take steps to address these issues in my everyday life. I have noticed since working to build discipline in my life that I have been able to achieve TEN times the amount of work than I was able to before.
Knowing that I am lazy helps me push myself when I want to just relax. Knowing that I struggle with envy has made me put constraints on the type of media I consume. All of this knowledge about my flaws has improved my life because I take that knowledge and create a game plan around it. Once you are aware of your flaws, begin constructing a way to address them.
Likewise, begin writing down and naming your strengths. These strengths are what will help you build your weaknesses. My number one strength is that I am creative. I used this creativity to construct ways that I could build discipline in a fun and exciting way. This creativity has helped me find ways to get going when I feel like stopping and being lazy. I use my strengths to overcome my weaknesses, and grow new levels of character.
Get to work.
Building character sounds so vague, but there are actually ways to do it: basically you need to immerse yourself in situations where you are forced to use your "weak muscles." Force yourself to push against your weaknesses and go the opposite direction.
Read articles, books, and think-pieces on the character traits you wish to develop. Practice using your strengths to overcome your weaknesses, as I just mentioned. Figure out what you are supremely good at, and use that energy into your weaknesses.
Remember, cultivating femininity doesn't mean that we are going to be experiencing pink and fluffy fun times 24/7. Nurturing can mean some tough love with yourself, and that's okay. Just push forward.
Remember that you are identifying these areas for the purpose of honing in and growing as a person. The purpose is for your own nurturing, but also for the future nurturing of other people, including children.
This future hope keeps me strong when I feel like I just want to give into my weaknesses. Remembering that I want to be a faithful and nurturing mother has given me the strength to get healthy, put myself first, and begin building this blog community. I want to give my children a mother who is strong in her own character, and NOT dependent on them for love, validation, or other unhealthy dynamics.
Be encouraged by the reality that every move you make forward in your journey to greater character will bless your future children, your present relationships, and your eternal soul.
Building character is a worthwhile and noble pursuit that should not be taken lightly. Try to stay encouraged by the intense importance of what you are doing, and remember that you are not alone in your weaknesses. Everyone has weaknesses.
Message me if you need encouragement, have questions, or any thoughts. I love you all!