March 8 is the socialist holiday “International Women’s Day.” Celebrated, canonized, and popularized by the socialists, this holiday was a Soviet favorite and remains sacrosanct among feminists and Marxists of all varieties. Today, therefore, I want to hone in on women and give you three things women can do to be genuinely appealing to men and of true worth to society.
Implicit in that statement is the idea that there are not many quality women in the world. I stand by that notion. There are also very few quality men – perhaps even fewer than women. But today we’re going to do what the feminists love and make this all about women. The men will get their comeuppance a different day.
You may recognize that the title of this article comes from Disney’s Mulan. In the film, the Chinese soldiers march off to war singing a song that says: “What do we want? A girl worth fighting for.” Today, I’ll tell you, from my perspective, what a “girl worth fighting for” looks like. Specifically, I highlight three qualities: Virtue, submissiveness, and femininity.
The first imperative in being a girl worth fighting for is being godly and virtuous. Being righteous should be the number one thing any person looks for in a spouse. But what precisely does being “godly” and “virtuous” mean? I like the description given by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on their website:
“Virtue “is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards.” It encompasses chastity and moral purity. Virtue begins in the heart and in the mind. It is nurtured in the home. It is the accumulation of thousands of small decisions and actions. Virtue is a word we don’t hear often in today’s society, but the Latin root word virtus means strength. Virtuous women and men possess a quiet dignity and inner strength. They are confident because they are worthy to receive and be guided by the Holy Ghost.”
Similarly, being godly means to adopt the characteristics of God and to walk in His footsteps. It means being faithful and committed in all times, in all things, and in all places. It means to do as Peter enjoined:
“[S]anctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
“Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ” (1 Peter 3:15-16).
Whatever good traits a woman may have, she’s not a keeper if she’s ungodly, rebellious, and immoral. The Savior metaphorically taught that “if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell” (Matthew 5:30).
This is not support for the wicked practice of celibacy, as some suppose, but, rather, reinforcement of the idea that we should choose our companions wisely because our eternal salvation is often impacted by their influence upon us.
The book of Proverbs likewise tells us in a colorful manner that “it is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house” (Proverbs 21:9). No man who has ever been in that dishonorable situation would deny those pearls of timeless wisdom. Yet, marriage is a commandment and the burden to find a godly spouse is of the greatest importance.
Chapter 31 of that same book of scripture asks: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” It then informs us of some of the qualities of a virtuous woman:
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. . . .
“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
“Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:10-12, 25-30).
Virtue is the crown of any woman. A virtuous and godly woman worships the Lord, rejects vanity, does good deeds, supports and listens to her husband, works to make her house a Heaven on earth, is kind, imparts wisdom, and is anxiously engaged in good causes. For her virtuous soul, this type of woman receives the sincerest praise of her husband and children as well as the incalculable rewards of God.
Virtue and godliness, therefore, should be the first thing any suitor looks for in a potential wife. If she is righteous, has a pure heart, does her best to follow the Lord, and has godly wifehood and motherhood as her loftiest goal, then her value is far above rubies and she is most certainly worth fighting for.
Submission is another indispensable quality in a godly woman. Being submissive is not the same as being subservient, lesser, or inferior. It doesn’t mean not having a mind or voice. It doesn’t mean abdicating your right to choose or needing to obey another’s unrighteous demands. No woman is under obligation to follow her husband to hell. That said, wives are under divine mandate to submit, or hearken, to their husbands.
It doesn’t matter one iota what the world thinks about wives submitting to their husbands or what public opinion is on the subject. It doesn’t matter that most women have adopted feminist ideas and bristle at the idea of a domestic life, choosing instead to waste away in an office cubicle doing work no one will remember or care about. It also doesn’t matter that most men run away from these high Christian standards. The Lord anciently told mankind:
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my aways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:7-9).
Knowing how contrary the Lord’s thoughts and ways are to those held and practiced by mankind, it shouldn’t really surprise us that anyone repeating what He has said are labeled as crazy, antiquarian, or prudish. Yet, as medieval as they may appear to some, these are the Lord’s revealed standards and, as with every principle of the Gospel, obedience brings blessings while rebellion yields cursing.
A great Christian woman, Charlotte Maxfield, once wrote of the virtue of submission and of the Biblical obligation women are under to follow their husbands. She explained:
“The solution I suggest to you for overcoming your problems in marriage and bringing peace to your family is exactly what Paul commanded: Submit to your husband in everything! [Ephesians 5:22-24]
“It’s crazy, you say? It can be done, and I’ve seen it accomplished many times. The changes and blessings it brings are so great that I can hardly express the difference. I have seen several hundred women accomplish it in their lives and as they relate the results of their change in behavior and the reaction within their whole family, their happiness brings tears of joy to your eyes.
“Can you dare to do it? Have you the courage and faith? What have we really got to lose that is of eternal importance? . . . .
“Don’t allow yourself to have hurt feelings. It is a sign that you are not truly dedicated yet, and are indulging yourself in childish self pity and it is a form of rebellion against him. If you have displeased him, just honestly tell him that you are sorry and that you’ll correct it. When you really mean it, he’ll know by your actions and respect and worship you for it. . . .
“Your single and most compelling desire is to obey and please him 100%. As you do this you’ll never have to worry about yourself again: your needs, wants, or welfare.
“The women who have succeeded in this attitude have found that their husband has become even more confident and manly, more fully accepting of his authority and the responsibility for the welfare of everyone’s needs. Soon, before she even realizes that she has a need, he has provided for it. . . .
“I know that there are some women who might read these things and the idea of complete submission sends chills of agonizing fear into their hearts, but I have heard fear referred to as lack of faith. In order to succeed in this challenge you must believe that your husband is good. It is frightening to place yourself at the mercy of someone else, but you will find that it will become the most glorious dedication of your existence. The two of you shall reach such realms of exalted joy in your lives together that you will finally begin to know what “home – a heaven on earth” really means. . . .
“Let me talk to the woman who might tend to feel that she wouldn’t dare to obey everything her husband tells her, because he isn’t perfect and therefore doesn’t have the right. This kind of woman is usually manipulative. Though she’s deathly afraid to admit it to herself, others can see it. She may be the kind of woman who has been unconsciously looking down on her husband in self-righteousness, and treating him like a child who is not permitted to grow into complete manhood. Such a woman will often laugh at such an approach to her future happiness and try to find some logical reason why she couldn’t possibly do it. This justifies her failure to commit herself. It is easier to condemn something as foolish, impractical, faulty, and ridiculous than it is to say, “I haven’t the humility or faith to do it,” or “I’m scared.” Remember, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Gen. 3:16) Some women would like to erase that from the scriptures, but I don’t think that our Father in Heaven could have made it more clear.
“The only reason a woman will look for an excuse to rationalize or justify her behavior is because she is defending her inside self who is frightened of the truth and afraid of having to humbly dare to change.
“You must have faith. It is difficult to believe that any man who is entrusted with the welfare and safety of a loving woman who has completely sacrificed all her selfish desires and wishes and pledged her undying obedience unto him would ask such a submissive and delicate possession to commit sin. If he did, I feel that the sin would be upon his head, if she were obeying God’s law. And I cannot believe that any of our husbands are that corrupted.
“You must have faith in him and in yourself, and in God – that He will bless your sincere efforts. I believe that He will answer you beyond your most vivid imaginings. Ask, knock – for His greatest desire is to have heavenly marriages. Remember that you and the Lord are an “invincible team.”
“After all, isn’t that what the Lord is asking of you? He has commanded us to place nothing before Him in importance. . . .
“Well, are you willing to set aside your pride? Are you willing to obey God’s law? Can you willingly obey the head of your home as a similitude of your love for your Savior as Eve did? You know what your husband can become, but only if you will cease to resist and fight him. Your pride may be the only thing which is stifling his spiritual growth into what he can become.
“Is there any price too great to pay for this promise? If we are to become worthy of this tremendous reward, we must practice and grow now. We must take those few frightening babysteps with faith and courage and humbly pray to the Lord to guide us. I have faith that He will.
“Great blessings are in store for you if you can now give life to the words and beliefs you have merely been giving lip service to all these years” (Charlotte S. Maxfield, “A Husband – To Have and To Hold,” in Duane S. Crowther and Jean D. Crowther, ed., The Joy of Being a Woman: Guidance for Meaningful Living By Outstanding LDS Women, 198-202).
Christian women who have not learned to submit to their husbands are merely giving “lip service” to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some try to argue and claim that submission is not a part of the Gospel, yet as Charlotte Maxfield pointed out, and as any cursory study of the Bible clarifies, a woman’s submission to her husband has been God’s standard from the days of Adam and Eve. God told Eve: “[T]hy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Genesis 3:16).
Modern ears don’t like the world “rule,” yet there it is. Should we look at the synonyms of “rule”? Among similar and equal terms are the following: Direct, order, command, administer, regulate, mandate, control, dominate, decree, decide, judge, govern, head, settle, resolve, run, manage, and lead. A husband is to be the head of his home, governing it in righteousness and leading my example. He is, properly, the final authority.
I love a description of correct family management given by the religious leader Elder A. Theodore Tuttle. He taught:
“There is genuine concern over the diminishing role of the father in the home. His influence is fading. Presiding responsibilities formerly assumed are left either to the mother or to agencies outside the home. This diminishing role is at the root of a multitude of our problems. Numerous things go awry when the scriptural family organization is upset!
“The father is the patriarch in the home. This means that the father is the presiding authority. This does not mean that he should be dictatorial. Modern scriptures set forth qualifications for all who preside:
““No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned. …” (D&C 121:41.)
“In reality, each family is a dominion within itself. Father heads that government. In the beginning it was the only government on the earth and was passed down from Adam to his descendants. Properly organized in the Church, the father is the patriarch of an eternal family unit. Heaven, to us, will be simply an extension of an ideal home. As the presiding priesthood officer, the father fills an irreplaceable role.”
The family is the core unit not only of society, but of Heaven. It’s not in vain that we call our God “Father.” He is our Father, literally and truly. And we are His children, spiritually and literally. His DNA runs through us and we are part of His family. On earth, as in Heaven, a father stands at the head of his own family as any sovereign governs his own dominion. Oppressive? No. Godly? Yes.
In New Testament times, this righteous pattern was reaffirmed by the apostles Peter and Paul. Paul instructed:
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:22-25).
Peter, then the head of the fledgling Church, authoritatively and simply declared: “[W]ives, be in subjection to your own husbands” (1 Peter 3:1). There’s no wiggle room there. You either follow (or at least attempt to in good faith) this instruction or you’re not a genuine follower of the religion of the Lord. Choose what is more valuable to you, lip service or authentic discipleship.
To reiterate, these teachings didn’t begin with Peter and Paul. They began with Adam and Eve and continued down through time and remain in force at present. Read carefully the stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their families and you will see these principles of patriarchal marriage, manly leadership, and womanly submission on full display. From the beginning, patriarchal marriage has been the Lord’s way.
The holy scriptures solidify this truth time and time again. Humble people will reap the rewards of this type of covenant relationship if they will enter into it faithfully whereas those seeking selfish “independence” will reap hurt and unfulfillment by and by.
Women who embrace their submissiveness and earnestly seek their husband’s guidance will be more attractive to the right type of men and will find themselves cherished and treated with the type of respect that feminism pretends to offer but fails to deliver. A submissive, hearkening attitude is indescribably more appealing to an upright man than a bossy, domineering, “independent” woman ever could be.
Men, if a woman is submissive to you and is attempting to entrust herself to you as she entrusts herself to the Lord, don’t let her down. She wants and needs you to lead. Such a woman is worth fighting for with all the might and passion you possess!
Next, femininity is a quality that has faded, but which makes a woman worth grappling for. What is femininity? A dictionary definition seems insufficient: “[Q]ualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of women.” What attributes? Which characteristics? Is it an outward trait or an inward strength? I turn to a statement made by a stalwart Christian leader, President James E. Faust:
“I wonder if you sisters fully understand the greatness of your gifts and talents and how all of you can achieve the “highest place of honor” in the Church and in the world. One of your unique, precious, and sublime gifts is your femininity, with its natural grace, goodness, and divinity. Femininity is not just lipstick, stylish hairdos, and trendy clothes. It is the divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your qualities of your capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity, and quiet strength. It is manifest differently in each girl or woman, but each of you possesses it. Femininity is part of your inner beauty.
“One of your particular gifts is your feminine intuition. Do not limit yourselves. As you seek to know the will of our Heavenly Father in your life and become more spiritual, you will be far more attractive, even irresistible. You can use your smiling loveliness to bless those you love and all you meet, and spread great joy. Femininity is part of the God-given divinity within each of you. It is your incomparable power and influence to do good. You can, through your supernal gifts, bless the lives of children, women, and men. Be proud of your womanhood. Enhance it. Use it to serve others.”
Femininity, then, has outward manifestations like modesty, but is chiefly an inner attribute of the soul. Let’s talk about both outward and inward features of a feminine woman. True it is that the Bible rebukes those who want to blur the lines between the genders. For instance, Deuteronomy 22:5 states:
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
And another time, Paul taught:
“Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
“But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering” (1 Corinthians 11:14-15).
What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that any woman who has ever put on a pair of jeans or cut her hair short is a sinner? Of course not! Nor does it mean that a Scotsman who dons a kilt, Romans who wore robes, or a guy who lets his hair get a tad shaggy has flubbed. Femininity, as masculinity, is more about attitude than style.
We often focus too much on the outward signs of femininity – lipstick, high heels, skirts, dresses, neatly made hair, jewelry, etc. These, I confess, are outrageously attractive. A woman in a skirt and heels, who has long hair and a coy air about her, has infinitely more appeal than one in pants and tennis shoes with a boisterous personality.
Tasha Tudor once said:
“Why do women want to dress like men when they’re fortunate enough to be women? Why lose femininity, which is one of our greatest charms? We get more accomplished by being charming than we would be flaunting around in pants and smoking. I’m very fond of men. I think they are wonderful creatures. I love them dearly. But I don’t want to look like one. When women gave up their long skirts, they made a grave error.”
Why is it that men are drawn to women of this sort; women who embrace their femininity and wear skirts, dresses, and other ladylike apparel? I believe that this style is attractive precisely because skirts and dresses set women apart as women. Men are inherently attracted to women. It’s in our microchip. People of both genders have the innate desire to cleave to one another (Genesis 2:24). It’s a godly impulse. Thus, to sharpen and strengthen that impulse by outward attire is positive and beneficial, whereas blurring those divine lines is destructive and disconcerting.
A woman who habitually wears men’s clothing, participates in men’s activities, and acts like “one of the guys,” loses something precious. She diminishes, in a degree, her inherent femininity and a part of that which, by divine design, makes her attractive. Again, this is not to say that women who play basketball, spend time around men, or do something outdoorsy or physical, are bad people, foolish, or corrupt. Yet, women who spend their time competing with men and trying to be like them lose that edge God has given them – their divine femininity.
However, the heart of the woman is more important than whether she occasionally wears pants or plays sports. It’s trumps skirts and long hair. The purest form of femininity exudes from within. It bubbles up in the form of charm, wit, allure, vivaciousness, and a type of unique light or energy that men simply can’t duplicate – and often can’t resist.
What’s more, men aren’t intended to imitate femininity. It’s good that men are manly, masculine, and commanding, while women are gentle, feminine, and demure. We were designed to complement and complete each other, not compete with and imitate each other. Society would be a wreck, as it largely is today, were we to ignore the differences of the sexes, including the strengths and failings of each.
Femininity is a virtue and a strength. It is a gift and a talent. It has a very real power to entice, inspire, uplift, brighten, and persuade. Any woman who has mastered the art of femininity, both in dress and behavior, is a cut above the rest and is worth fighting for as only men can.
When you combine virtue, submissiveness, and femininity together in one, you see the image of a real woman emerge. Unlike the counterfeit version offered by feminism, this blend of virtues is true empowerment. It’s the substance of real womanhood. It’s what causes good men to fight, risk their lives, and even die in foreign wastelands. It’s what prompts men to feats of strength and great exertions of character. It’s the thing that persuades men to raise their chin, square their shoulders, and work harder. Ironically, it’s the very thing that makes us become the sort of men women love and desire.
Ladies, on this morally-bankrupt holiday, choose to break away from the crowd. Don’t follow them down paths of promiscuity, rebellion, and sloppiness of both appearance and spirit. Instead, embrace your charming femininity, become boldly submissive, and always pursue virtue and godliness. In short, embrace your sweet feminine nature and become a girl worth fighting for.
March 8, 2022