This subject came up having pondered an article published in My Christian Daily which was a republishing from Christianity Today, titled "God didn't make women's bodies only for sex". (www.mychristiandaily.com)
Those who have read my columns in Christian Today over many years are aware I have undertaken a significant amount of theological research on matters associated with Christianity and the broad subject of sex. As a philosopher therefore, this article therefore interested me.
It saddened me a little as the idea that "her wonderfully created body" that the Song of Solomon screams out its beauty and sensuality, was somehow being denied its natural God given pleasure of being courted for mutual ultimate fulfillment and enjoyment. I sensed some disappointment, the challenging nature of being young and single, and finding a range of other activities to do so as to circumnavigate the issue.
Perhaps I'm overly sensitive to this having done so much study, or possibly it was the way it came across to me. As I reflected further, the word that was missing was the bountiful God given nature of femininity and the delightful and God provided joyful consequences of such femininity.
I checked out the word on Google to see what might come up. There was a lot. The overwhelming sense is that women are majestically endowed and gifted with their femininity and that men respond with emotions non-descript. These are a snippet.
Seven ways to Be Feminine (www.wikihow.com)
32 Quotes about Femininity (www.goodreads.com)
Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church – Women and Femininity (marshill.com)
Plus there are innumerable sites that provide a range of photographs of women presenting poses that in the eye of the site-publisher illustrate women's femininity. Some of these should have a caution associated with them for younger eyes – even Mark Driscoll's Biblical preaching site (above) has an 'Adult Only' warning.
The Economics of Femininity
The fashion world might be described as a continuing advertising campaign on femininity. It's a multi-million dollar world wide industry and Australia is right up there. (www.dailylife.com.au)
A boutique is a small shopping outlet, especially one that specialises in elite and fashionable items such as clothing and jewellery. The word is French for "shop". The term entered into everyday English use in the late 1960s when, for a brief period, London was the centre of the fashion trade. Carnaby Street and the Kings Road were the focus of much media attention as home to the most fashionable boutiques of the era.
Now the East of London has been regenerated and more Boutiques pop up in fashionable areas, such as Tower Bridge Road. In Australia every shopping centre has boutiques. (en.wikipedia.org)
Two of my children when teenagers worked in a boutique in the town where we lived and my (not so) joke with the proprietor was that my family was either buying or selling in her shop.
The social media is all over this – Facebook: The Art of the feminine (www.facebook.com)
Femininity and this aspect of the ongoing economy is bound up together and our western society is dependent upon it. According to the Garment Industry Development Corporation, New York's fashion industry alone employs about 100,000 people with a sales volume of $14 billion. (www.australianscience.com.au)
Song of Solomon
On a 2005 tour of Crackow Poland on pre WWII Hasidaean Judaism, in such a society a young man was not permitted to read the Song of Solomon until they reached 30 years of age. The power of its pages of femininity is similarly reflected in the New Testament as Paul speaks on the essential ingredients in marriage, one of which is burning for sex.
Paul in particular is alert to the idea of 'burning' within, for normal God given sexual passions. Paul is alert to the excitement of femininity. But like all things, as warned in Deuteronomy, in anything, it can be either a blessing or a curse. Perhaps its more that - are you a person who sees the cup half empty or half full.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html