You may find offense at the way I’ve addressed you in the greeting of this letter, but I cannot tell a lie. I hope that doesn’t deter you from the things I have to say. As you demand my attention to see your experience as you perceive it, I am respectfully asking that you listen to what I have to say, too. You say that you are a woman. Well, so am I.
I am a woman. A biological woman. An adult human female. You are not.
No matter how many dresses you put on, how you paint your face, or how you fix your hair, you will never be a woman. No matter what pronouns you put in your Instagram bio, no matter how often you post yourself online claiming womanhood, and no matter how many people affirm this for you, you will never be a woman. You strut your way through life, asserting that you understand womanhood. But you don’t, and you won’t. You never will.
And it’s not because I’m cold hearted that I say this. I’m not. It’s just that your idea of being a woman is to “play the part.” But you can’t “play the part” because you’re not a woman.
Being a woman is much more than “sugar and spice and everything nice.” You believe that putting on expensive lipstick and changing your gait and the pitch of your voice will make you a woman, but being a woman is not superficial or appropriation. It’s real, and it’s a status that only belongs to us actual, God-created women.
Being a woman is experiencing humiliation on the playground when you started your period for the first time and it leaked through your white jeans. It’s watching your body change as a young girl and experiencing the emotional roller coaster caused by hormones. It’s thinking that your first heartbreak is the end of the world.
Being a woman is being a wife. It’s finding someone who loves you and finds joy in leading you in a marriage. It’s submitting to him and serving him out of love for him. It’s being his glory. It’s trusting in him to make the right decisions for your family, and it’s sharing and making a home for him, ensuring that he has a hot meal to come home to and clean clothes to wear to work the next day where he spends all day laboring to provide.
Being a woman is being a mother. It’s watching your body grow, expand, and stretch to carry and sustain another human life. It’s holding your belly and feeling the tiny toes and fingers poking you from the inside. It’s nausea and random food cravings and mood swings and sleeping with seven pillows and peeing every hour and loving every minute of it because you know that there will be a time where this precious baby is no longer inside of you to keep all to yourself. It’s contractions, the pain of which aren’t even something that can be adequately described. It’s laboring for hours, feeling your baby move into your birth canal, mixed emotions of wanting it to be over and the longing for your baby to be in your arms. It’s leaning on your husband to support you through one of the most difficult things you’ve ever done.
It’s the intimate bond developed over nine months and beyond when your baby is first laid on your chest. It’s being the only one able to regulate your baby’s body temperature. It’s the rush of hormones, the first latch, the sweat and the tears, and the joy you are overcome with because your baby is finally earthside.
It’s shedding tears in the small hours of the night when it’s just you and your crying baby. It’s singing songs, saying prayers, and rocking your baby back to sleep. It’s going through packages of maxi pads and witch hazel to soothe the wounds left behind from birth. It’s the postpartum depression and anxiety that overtakes you for reasons that you can’t understand. It’s loneliness and determination and overwhelming bliss. It’s the excitement of watching your baby hit milestone after milestone, and it’s crying as you fold and put away his clothes that are now one size too small. It is first foods, first words, and first steps. It’s motherhood.
Being a woman is also being resilient. It’s being a “Steel Magnolia,” showing both femininity and fortitude in the midst of trial. It’s struggling with fertility. It’s longing to be a mother. It’s the two lines on a pregnancy test, only to experience a miscarriage and mourn the physical and emotional loss of what could have been when there is no longer a heartbeat. It’s grieving only in the way a mother would. It’s struggling with the terror of a breast cancer or ovarian cancer diagnosis, the pain of a mastectomy or hysterectomy after surgery and knowing that you will lose your menstrual cycle and your “crowning glory” of hair in the weeks after starting chemo. It’s the stunning realization that your dreams of having children might be over. It’s finding in your heart room to love and mother a child that isn’t your own. It’s an unexchangeable, specific, and remarkable maternal instinct.
Being a woman is the curse of Eve. It’s pain in childbearing, and it’s a daily battle against the flesh to rule over your husband. It’s serving in the Church. It’s resting in the gift of singleness. It’s discipling other women, being discipled by other women, and fellowshipping with other women. It’s making meals, showing hospitality, and inviting people into your home. And most important of all, it’s being who God created you to be.
That’s the thing, sir. You as a biological man can try as hard as you can to be a woman, but you will never be one because that’s not who God created you to be. He makes no mistakes, and He designed you wonderfully, in His image, with purpose.
He carefully knitted you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:14), entrusting you with the role and duty of first boyhood and then manhood. The confusion you’ve felt, the struggles you’ve faced, the identity crisis you’ve endured is not from God. Right now, you call Him a liar. You are living in rebellion to what He has created. The satisfaction and peace you are longing for can only be found in Him. It can’t be found in surgeries or hormone therapy or by strangers on the Internet telling you how wonderful you are for choosing a different identity, for choosing delusion over reality.
Only Christ, who died to pay the debt of sin that you owe, can give you the satisfaction and peace you are looking for. Your identity doesn’t lie in designer bags and earrings. It lies in the God who created you. It lies in the God who stepped down from heaven to wrap Himself in flesh, in the form of a lowly baby boy, to dwell among men.
No matter what He faced on earth, Christ upheld God’s law perfectly, never sinning against anyone (2 Cor. 5:21). He was crucified on a cross where God the Father poured out His wrath on Him. Even though He never sinned, never disobeyed, never rebelled against the Father, God punished Him for the sins of man. And in doing so, Jesus Christ put on your sin to pay the debt and gave you His righteousness so that you might be seen as righteous before God (Gal. 2:20). He died, was buried, and rose again three days, defeating death (Phil. 2:5-8). He ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father (Heb. 12:2), and He will one day return to judge the living and the dead (2 Tim. 4:1).
Isn’t that wonderful news? That you can be freed from this burden of trying to live up to worldly standards of what it means to be a woman when you can just rest in who God created you to be? That you can rest in His identity and in His sovereignty? But only if you repent from this rebellious lifestyle you are living and from your unbelief and turn your life over to Him. Only then can you find light and life (Rom. 6:11) and the peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).
So, you can take all the estrogen you want, you can amputate body parts, you can have plastic surgery and hair extensions, and the like, but you will never be a woman. You were born a man, you will live the life of a man, die a man, and spend all of eternity as a man, but the question is: Where will you spend it?
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