The LionsHeart Summer Tea Party came and went a few weeks ago, but youth camp and kids camp followed closely on its heels, so this is my first opportunity to talk tea.
Our church's women's ministry started seasonal tea parties at the beginning of 2010 because we had been neglecting the teaching of Titus 2. Older women teaching younger women is the prescription of scripture. Titus 2 might be the only place you will find it specifically, but it's also the only specifics you find regarding what women are to teach, so I'm guessing we should be doing at least that. The problem is, all those womanly duties and lady-like virtues seem so five minutes decades ago.
God showed me last Fall that womanhood was something to embrace, not something to camouflage or prove just as good as manhood. (Anything you can do I can do better...) When God made us, male and female, He said it was good, remember? Even Adam liked Eve. So I figured we women should like it too, and celebrate instead. And be biblical -- that too.
I want to spare the next generation of daughters from learning only the world's message: that we girls have to play catch up to compete with the boys (that's the curse in Genesis 3, come to think of it) and/or exploit ourselves to get ahead. Maybe these little girls should learn a positive message about how to be a virtuous woman. Our little girls need to see women that are holy, that are embracing their role as desirable, that are pleasing God like that. What if the next generation saw that done well and said, "Wow, I want to be like her when I grow up."
This has become my heart for women's ministry.
So every season all us CWO girls get together, young and old, and do feminine...together. And what's not to love? We are complex creatures: fierce yet fragile. We are soft enough to house God's latest creation yet rugged enough to evict them when the time comes. Being a woman is wonderful. It's not any less than man, merely different. And marvelously mysterious.
So far, we've learned how to be a gracious host and a polite guest. This time we delved into behavior. We created behavior journals and used worksheets to determine good behavior from bad. We rated ourselves on how we are doing in areas like honesty, obedience, kindness, loyalty, cheerfulness, sharing, helpfulness, keeping promises, diligence, listening, and self-discipline.
This is not an exercise for the faint-hearted. Nor only for the little ones among us. I learned that I am inconsistent at best, and have little faith at worst. We all set goals to work on ridding ourselves of some BBs (bad behaviors). I'm working on complaining and impatience. I'll let you know how that goes....
Philippians 2:15 tells us we are to shine like the stars in the universe. Do you twinkle, gaining favor with quiet strength and inner beauty? Or do you explode like fireworks, demanding attention with your loud display of grandstanding?
Proverbs 20:11 says we are known by our actions (behavior). What do your actions and reactions say about you?
We were challenged to put into practice the Philippians 4:8 things, a list of traits I'd love to live up to and be known for.
And, of course, we ate and drank until our teacups runneth over.