31 Days of Femininity: Feminine in all the wrong ways and a link up!!
This will be the last entry in the "Scriptural Examples of Femininity" portion of Caroline's 31 days of Femininity series, and she has assigned it to me, her husband. Unfortunately, my wife has saved the worst for last and it is my lot to write about one of the most loathsome women in all of human history - Queen Jezebel.
Obviously, Jezebel is a perfect case study on what not to do if you want to be a godly, feminine woman - scripturally speaking. I say "scripturally speaking" because, in another sense, Jezebel was the supreme incarnation of each one of these characteristics in all the wrong ways. There perhaps was no more godly woman in all of Israel during her reign - in the worship of Baal that is. Her zeal and devotion to this "dumb stone" (Habakkuk 2:19) was so great that she orchestrated the murder of the prophets in Israel and saw to it that they be replaced by 450 prophets of Baal and 400 of Asherah. Her plans were later to be sorely disappointed by one who was chief among the prophets of Israel at mount Carmel - Elijah. After embarrassing her prophets before all of Israel (I Kings 18) Elijah proceeded to reverse the Queens decree by having all of Baal's prophets slain.
Jezebel was a devout, passionate, zealous, dare I say "godly" woman. There's just one problem here - she did not worship the true and living God, and on account of this none of these qualities may be counted unto her as virtues. Strike one.
Was she feminine? Well yes, but again, in all the wrong ways. Speaking of appearances, I imagine it was not at all difficult to distinguish Jezebel as being separate from her male counterparts. That would be seen as a positive in conservative Christian circles today. However, the scriptures are express in the way in which they describe her vanity. After all, when she learned that Jehu had come to Jezreel (she knowing full well what his coming meant - her demise) she actually takes the time, in her typically defiant way, to "paint her face" and "tire her head." My purpose here is not to denounce the use of make-up or hair styling (my wife does both) but to cause you to envision this supremely vain and obstinate woman prepping herself just to taunt and deride Jehu, despite the fact that she knows her death is imminent!
Jezebel was feminine in the loosest sense of the word. This did not, however, make her humble or modest either in her deportment or appearance. Strike two.
Was she a helpmeet to her husband, King Ahab? Well, she certainly helped and encouraged him - to commit wickedness that is. Recall Naboth's vineyard and Ahab's covetous desires towards it. Jezebel discovered her husband, like a child, pouting upon his bed for having been turned away by Naboth when he requested the vineyard of him. Jezebel responded by consoling her husband, as any good wife would, except her methods were corrupt in the extreme. She blackmailed Naboth and had him stoned, thus freeing up the vineyard for Ahab's possession. However, these actions also effectively sealed both her and her husbands fate as the word of the Lord to Elijah soon after declared.
Jezebel's submission to her husband was the most undesirable sort of submission there is - submission to wickedness. She seemed to have a peculiar talent for bringing out the worst in him. She was still submissive, but her sin lay in the fact that she delighted in submitting to the worst tendencies and sinful weaknesses in her husband, actually going so far as to encourage them and help bring them to pass. Such women do a terrible disservice to their husbands. Strike three.
Queen Jezebel is the very antithesis of what godly femininity is and ought to be. The example of her wretched life displays so many of the things women ought not to do if they would live godly in Christ Jesus (though they be not queens, Jezebel's actions still find application in even the mundane scenes of life). Likewise, her ignominious death serves as a warning to all those who would seek to emulate her for, truly, her ways are death; not only to such women but also the families they serve.
This post was written by my husband Sean, and I'm grateful he took the time to share with us!
Next week we will be focusing on being feminine towards our husbands.
There will be a link up available each Saturday of October to share your posts on femininity, modesty, marriage, mothering, or godly womanhood. Please use the button below to link back here. Thank you!