from Virtuous Daughters, February 2015~Volume 14, Number 11
During the summer months I really enjoy hiking. I particularly enjoy hikes that lead uphill and into the mountains because the view at the top is so beautiful and rewarding. Living in Alaska, there are plenty of such hiking trails. In addition to the majestic views from high mountainsides, I also enjoy seeing all the wildflowers. Although there are many varieties of wildflowers to be seen on almost any hike, there is one flower that I have admired hike after hike for a few years. It is called the windflower.
The windflower itself is rather plain. It grows just a few inches tall and has five simple, round, pure white petals. I have taken notice of this flower not so much for its appearance, but for where it grows, as it seems to grow in the most unlikely of places. I see this flower growing well above tree line fully exposed to the driving winds and sometimes harsh weather conditions we experience even during the summer. Besides this, it grows in some of the rockiest soil, oftentimes having less than half an inch of soil to grow in atop massive boulders. And yet these small windflowers bravely put forth their blossoms adding delicate beauty to the rugged mountain terrain.
As I have thought about the windflower I have realized that it provides a beautiful picture of godly femininity. The windflower grows in some of the most challenging conditions, yet it displays purity, strength, and delicacy. Just as the windflower, we live in a very harsh environment: a world that embraces immorality, scoffs at traditional values, rejects biblical instruction, and mocks true femininity and godly womanhood. In the face of this harsh environment we must be strong and bold to grow where God had planted us.
This flower’s white petals are a symbol of purity. God has called us to be set apart and pure: Leviticus 20:26 says “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” We need to be pure both in our hearts and in our actions. It is so important that we use great discretion in those things we look at, listen to, and think about because what we see and hear feeds our thoughts, and it is our thoughts that will eventually come out in words and actions.
There are so many Scripture passages on the subject of purity! A few of my favorites are Proverbs 4:23 - “Keep thy heart with all diligence: for out of it are the issues of life”, Psalm 19:14 - “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer”, and Philippians 4:8 - “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things”. The world takes notice of our purity, perhaps more than we realize, and because they do it gives us a wonderful opportunity to be a testimony for Christ.
The windflower also is a symbol of strength and delicacy. It seems almost paradoxical that a flower can be so delicate and yet so strong, but this is a picture of how God made women to be! We are called the “weaker vessel” but the description of a virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 indicates that we need to be strong as well: “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms” (verse 17). Not only do we need to be physically fit, we need to be strong in spirit and mind too. Ephesians 6:10-11 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” 1 Peter 1:13 also exhorts us to “gird up the loins of your mind”.
Think of Esther who, with courage, put her life in danger to save her people from death. Think of the pilgrim women who gave up nearly all their material possessions, traversed the stormy Atlantic Ocean, and then set about building new lives amid illness and starvation so they might have religious liberty. Think of the all the missionary women who left the comforts of their native homes and went abroad, often in the face of danger, to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Each of these women had to be strong physically, mentally, and spiritually in order to face the challenges they encountered, and while exercising strength, they still embraced femininity. For some girls it is easier to demonstrate their strength and be “tough” and leave off femininity while for others it is easier to be “girly” and lack strength – whether that may be physical, mental, or spiritual strength. As God-honoring young ladies, we need to strive for a healthy balance of both strength and femininity.
So, dear readers, I encourage you to grow where you have been planted. Perhaps you feel alone, as I believe many conservative Christian girls do. Maybe the soil of fellowship around you is very shallow and the storms of this world beat heavily on you. Place your roots deep into Christ and you can thrive in the shallowest of soil. Pursue purity and choose to carry on in strength with femininity. Be a little alpine windflower, boldly adding true beauty to the harsh environment of the world around you.
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