The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood -- By: John Piper

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 15:2 (Fall 2010)
Article: The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood
Author: John Piper


The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood1

John Piper

Pastor for Preaching and Vision

Bethlehem Baptist Church

Minneapolis, Minnesota

My aim in this essay is to clarify from God’s Word the ultimate meaning of true womanhood, and to motivate women, by God’s grace, to embrace it as their highest calling. What I will say is foundational to the “True Woman Manifesto”2 which I regard as a faithful, clear, true, and wise document.

I would like to begin by stating one huge assumption that I bring to this article. I mention it partly because it may give you an emotional sense of what I hope you become. And I mention it partly because it explains why I minister the way I do and why this message sounds the way it does.

My assumption is that wimpy theology makes wimpy women. And I don’t like wimpy women. I didn’t marry a wimpy woman. And with Noël, I am trying to raise my teenage daughter Talitha not to be a wimpy woman.

Marie Durant

The opposite of a wimpy woman is not a brash, pushy, loud, controlling, sassy, uppity, arrogant Amazon. The opposite of a wimpy woman is fourteen-year-old Marie Durant, a French Christian in the seventeenth century who was arrested for being a Protestant and told she could be released if she said one phrase: “I abjure.” Instead, she wrote on the wall of her cell, “Resist,” and stayed there thirty-eight years until she died, doing just that.3

Gladys and Esther Staines

The opposite of a wimpy woman is Gladys Staines who in 1999, after serving with her husband Graham in India for three decades learned that he and their two sons, Phillip (10) and Timothy (6), had been set on fire and burned alive by the very people they had served for thirty-four years, said, “I have only one message for the people of India. I’m not bitter. Neither am I angry. Let us burn hatred and spread the flame of Christ’s love.”

The opposite of a wimpy woman is her thirteen-year-old daughter Esther (rightly named!) who said, when asked how she felt about her father’s murder, “I praise the Lord that He found my father worthy to die for Him.”4

Krista and Vicki

The opposite of a wimpy woman is Krista and Vicki, friends of ours in Minneapolis, who between them have had over sixty-five surgeries because of so-called birth defects, Apert Syndrome and Hypertelorism, and who testify today through huge challenges, “I pra...

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