Everyone is defining what it means to be a woman. We used to think it was painting and playing piano in a big expensive house. We used to think it was gathering and gardening while the men went out hunting. We used to think a lot of things.

Now we realise women can hunt too. We realise women can be scientists and engineers and Mothers and artists. We’ve let Marilyn Monroe tell us we can be fun and curvy. We’ve let Margaret Thatcher show us we can be brave and forthright. We’ve let Oprah show us we can be millionaires and philanthropists. We’ve let Beyoncé tell us we can be sexy and successful.

Let me ask you, what does it mean to be a woman?

I am a woman. And, I am a proud woman of God. As women, the essence of who we are comes from the Creator. I believe my role as a woman is to reflect God’s beauty. This may, or may not be the trend of the moment. This may or may not fit with cultural expectations, but I believe that long before gender debates my maker defined me when He formed me. He said I was unique, lovely and created to show His beauty to the world.

How do I reflect God’s beauty today?

Every single day each of us is given the task to reflect God’s beauty. This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect, but it does mean we make different choices with our lives. It means we select kindness over impatience. We select care and compassion over anger. It means we are beautiful on the inside and the outside.

Many times, as women, all that God made us to be is stolen and warped. We sell His glorious picture for something so far from what was intended. Or we believe ourselves to be less than what we were created to be.

We believe we aren’t beautiful

Each and every woman is given beauty. The world has taken beauty and stamped it with different colours, but beauty is undeniably a part of who you, as a woman, are. Don’t listen to television adverts who tell you anything different. Don’t listen to images on the internet who try to set some impossible standard. You, as a woman, are beautiful.

We believe that who we are is not enough

This is a big, big lie. So often women think they are not intelligent enough, tall enough, funny enough or whatever it is you believe you lack in order to be of value in this world. You are enough. Just as you are, with no extras added. No plastic, no fake hair, no surgery.

We pull other women down to feel good

We don’t actually feel good when we do this. No matter who you are, if you feel bad about yourself then your hole won’t disappear because you created one in someone else. As women, we need to stop competing and start encouraging. We need to look at our neighbours and pull them up, not down.

Treat your body with respect

If you knew how valuable you were, would you go getting involved with any and everyone who popped onto your radar? I doubt it. Reflect God’s beauty by treating your body as though it is something worthy. Don’t drink large amounts, make sure you exercise and don’t get involved in unhealthy relationships.

True womanhood is living with dignity and excellence. Being a woman is so much more than the clothes you wear or how you wear your hair. True women hood is found in character. The women I know who have exemplified true women hood are faithful and good. The ripples of their faithfulness have touched my life and I believe the lives of many, many more. Rise up and ask God for help to be the woman you were made to be.