My friend Dr. Jackie Roese describes herself as a lime green woman in a Christian culture that prizes pink women. (See her book Lime Green.) I so identify with her! I’m not like Jackie in many ways, but I definitely don’t fit in with the pink group. I like to think of myself as yellow because it’s my favorite color.
I’ve always been a bit jealous of the pink girls who speak softly in sweet high voices, rarely disagree with the group, don’t rock the boat if they do disagree, only infrequently question those in power and love being around lots of children. Such qualities are highly regarded in most Christian circles and are often equated with godliness.
If you get what I’m talking about, you may not be pink either.
Thankfully, godliness isn’t about being pink, and yet many people determine which women are godly by such values. The personalities and gifts that God has given millions of women don’t fit the pink picture of godliness.
Of course, we’re all to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit by being loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled (Galatians 5:22-23). These qualities are for both men and women, however, so none of these characteristics is about being pink. Although it’s never explicitly said, may consider gentleness to be pink. In his Galatians notes Dr. Thomas L. Constable defines the Greek word for gentleness (Gr. praytes), however, as “acquiescence to authority and consideration of others.”
But everyone is supposed to obey authority and consider the needs and feelings of others (Hebrews 13:17; Philippians 2:3).
Constable quotes Dr. Longenecker concerning the fruit of the Spirit:
“. . . it appears that Paul is not so concerned with precisely how each of these matters works out in practice, but with the underlying orientation of selfless and outgoing concern for others. For in commitment to God through Jesus Christ one discovers a new orientation for life—an orientation that reflects the selfless and outgoing love of God himself.”
The fruit of the Spirit isn’t related to speaking softly, holding back opinions, not questioning decisions or loving to be with children; rather it reflects how we do those things: humbly, unselfishly, with self-control, love and kindness.
So to my fellow non-pink sisters, be assured that God made you this way. The church is in desperate need of women who speak truth to power with strength based on God’s Word, as Jesus and all the prophets did. In this day of anger and division, women of various hues must stand for godliness motivated by love and grace, tempered by humility, and powered by the Spirit of God. We care for others by using our gifts.
Please step up and be the woman that God made you to be.