Fight Like a Girl: The Power of Being a Womanby Lisa Bevere
Today's twisted pictures of gender roles create confusion over how a woman should define herself. Women and men are encouraged to move closer to center and away from the traits that distinguish male from female. How can women feel good about themselves when society is constantly dictating what they can and should be? In FIGHT LIKE A GIRL, Lisa Bevere exhorts us to embrace the differences between sexes. Her goal is to encourage women to celebrate the unique aspects of femininity. Instead of trying to adopt ill-fitting character traits, women should see themselves as designed and valued by God and savor their femininity as their strength, not a flaw.
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Fight Like a GirlThe Power of Being a Woman
By Lisa Bevere
WARNER FAITHCopyright © 2006 Lisa Bevere
All right reserved.
Chapter OneYou Fight Like a Girl!
Hey, you fight like a girl! Of course, this phrase is usually meant as an insult. Whether it is spoken guy to guy, boy to girl, or woman to man, it is not meant as a compliment. No, it is hurled in response to a weak punch, a scratch, or even a cheap shot. So why would I be encouraging anyone to fight like a girl? First, an insult to men or boys should not always be heard as one by women. Girls are meant to fight like girls, but for some odd reason, most of us would rather be told we fight like men. Could this be because girls have developed the habit of fighting dirty? Before we even start, I do not want you to think I am a girly girl advocating whipping people with frilly pink ribbons. I am not. I like to surf, ski, and hunt (in that order). I live with five men and travel internationally, more often than not, by myself. I am a cancer survivor, a mother, and a wife, but I was first a daughter. I am not advocating we dumb it down or fake something we are not. I do think we need to ask why it is an insult to fight like a girl. Even better, I want girls and women to consider themselves complimented if they are told they fight like one.
Actually, it is quite possible we've forgotten what it looks liketo fight like a girl. For so long we have attempted to fight like men, and if this didn't work, we have taken some cheap shots or even cheated! Others of us have simply hidden from the storm of conflict raging around us and imagined we were being feminine and ladylike to do so. Others have forgotten that what is considered weakness in one gender is often strength in the other. I mean, should not hitting as hard as a man always be viewed as wrong?
Boys earn the respect of their peers when they fight like boys. They are considered brave and strong when they fight for what is important to males. They are admired for standing up to bullies, protecting younger children, and upholding the honor of their family name. It is when boys don't stand up for what is right that they are mocked and the name-calling begins. "Sissy!" or "Mama's boy!" might be taunts a boy will hear when he hasn't measured up to his peers' idea of a male. This dynamic doesn't change with age; men who fight and respond like women are considered weak or effeminate. Men and boys should fight with the power and strength innately entrusted to them. Men are physically stronger, and therefore have the proverbial upper hand when it comes to physical feats. This being true, what is the strength of a woman? Different issues and conflicts arouse a man's ire. What should upset a woman? And what would fighting like a girl look like if it was done right?
What would fighting like a girl look like if it was done right?
Women and Battle
Before we delve deeper and answer this, perhaps you might be questioning whether women are even to be included in fights or conflict. To answer this, we need to revisit original intent or the reason behind our origin. Women were not initially formed for battle, but for life, nurture, and relationship. Perhaps this is why we often do not wear conflict well. This being true, is it wrong for women to fight? No, not any more than it is wrong for men to fight. Neither was initially created for destruction- they were both formed for increase, order, and cultivation. And the day will come when weapons will be laid aside in favor of this mandate. The Bible says swords will be beaten once again into plowshares (see Isaiah 2:4). Then both men and women will return to their original positions and relational dynamic on the earth. But right now there is a problem, an enemy, and a battle.
This ultimate responsibility and privilege were Adam's and Eve's. They were entrusted with the earth in its fullness. They had every resource necessary to create both increase and order so every living thing could flourish. With the fall of man everything changed; dominion became domination, multiplication became division, and order spiraled into chaos. Flourishing gave way to decay as fruit-bearing plants and trees wrestled thorns and thistles. Life-giving seed fought for space in soil tangled with weeds and dead underbrush. Even before this upheaval exerted itself on the earth, the last to be created became the first in conflict. The stage was set for battle.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman. (Genesis 3:15 NIV)
To grasp an understanding of both the magnitude and the weight of this struggle, we must first define enmity. I used to substitute the wordenemy or hatred when I read this passage. I mean, it's not as though we go around using the word enmity in everyday conversation. The problem with my substitutions was that, though similar in meaning, these words were not severe enough. Unger's Bible Dictionary defines enmity as both "deep-rooted hatred and irreconcilable hostility." Don't confuse enmity with the term irreconcilable differences we are so accustomed to hearing cited in divorce proceedings, but rather "irreconcilable hostilities." This speaks of a hatred so profound, it is destined to not only exist perpetually, but to deepen and expand without end. To capture this in mathematical language, imagine a single point from which two rays or arrows emanate. One moves west, the other east. Both travel in these opposing directions without the possibility of ever meeting. These arrows do not span the curve of our globe; they travel the linear paths of time. This means the polarity of perpetual hostilities increases with the passage of time as both sides expand and multiply in reach and number. Generation after generation, the hostility deepens.
Enmity is such an intense word, it is used only eight times in the Bible. After its introduction in Genesis, enmity reaches its dark arm forward to encompass and harass the woman's seed. We see its influence extend to the book of Revelations.
Then the dragon became angry at the woman, and he declared war against the rest of her children-all who keep God's commandments and confess that they belong to Jesus. (Revelation 12:17 NLT)
Who wages this never-ending war against Eve, her daughters, and every human life who passes through the womb? A serpent, the prince of the power of the air. The war started by a cunning serpent now encompasses the great dragon and all his adherents (see Genesis 3:15; John 8:44). In the garden, he skillfully wielded his weapon of deception and effectively stole the dominion of the earth from the two who were one.
To win, the enemy had to divide to conquer. He accomplished this by enlisting the support of the woman. To cause Adam to forfeit his position, he needed more than deception. Satan used the power of the woman's influence. Without her influence, it is quite possible the man might not have yielded to the serpent's counsel. He surrendered to the voice of his wife. He watched her eat, and when nothing appeared to change, he stretched forth his hand and received it from her.
She took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3:6 NIV)
At creation's dawn, I believe Eve's beauty and power of influence were so profound as to quite possibly be irresistible. The perfect world with the perfect woman contained a perfect adversary. Had Adam not been warned to guard and keep the tree?
Why had the magnificent Eve, mother of all living, used her ability to sway her husband to both their detriment? I believe we can assume she did not know she was leading him astray. She obviously thought she had counseled him well. But we are never truly wise when we move outside God's wisdom. What had this tempter offered to get them to willingly jeopardize so much?
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom ... (Genesis 3:6 NIV)
I am certain that many trees in this garden were good for food and pleasant to look at. But a tree whose fruit had the power to elevate one to the status of God was quite another thing. Eve thought there was something more than what she had already been given. I find it amazing that the woman would grasp at something she was not to have (equality with God), and in the process lose something she already had (the potential to possess wisdom). In addition to this, the serpent appealed to Adam's and Eve's desire to be like God outside His sphere of influence and authority. Both the man and the woman grasped for a role that was not theirs to take. Ages later Eve's seed, Jesus, would reverse their folly.
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, ... (Philippians 2:6 NIV)
They were in fact made in the image of God, but not equal to Him. The "image" of something speaks of a reflection, not representation in its entirety. Through his deceptive rhetoric, the serpent caused them both to think they were receiving something, when in actuality they both lost. He had not enlightened them; he darkened their understanding, but they thought it wisdom. This serpent was not looking to befriend them-he wanted them disempowered and displaced. Having been formerly stripped of his position, he needed theirs. Far too often when deception speaks, you forget both who you are and who your true allies are.
Lost Purpose, Lost Places
We frequently lose what we have because we fail to remember why it was given. Adam and Eve forgot their purpose and lost their place. They knew they were created for dominion, but they forgot why. Grasping for what was lost, they began to misuse their strengths, and used their dominion against rather than for each other. Essentially, the fall of man originated the battle of the sexes. Thus, the wrestling began.
Have we learned anything in all the years of pain? How many parents have lost the hearts of their children because they forgot why they had them? It was never to control them but to provide an environment in which they would flourish. How many couples have lost their marriages because they forgot why they were together? They fight against each other rather than for their love. Do we grasp and wrestle with others for their roles because we lose sight of our own? We all lose when we take from others what was not theirs to give. Why are we not content to walk in the authority and positions entrusted to our care?
We frequently lose what we have because we fail to remember why it was given.
The man's position is not up for grabs, just as it is not his to give away. The woman's place is not the man's for the taking, nor is it hers to forfeit. The two must stand together in their respective roles. What we have been given to guard, we should never yield to another. The man and the woman gave away what they had been entrusted to protect and steward in the Garden of Eden. We have spent all this time trying to find our way back to Eden, God's paradise, where His creation again flourishes. This once-lush garden is long gone, though the seeds of truth and principle remain. We long for the restoration of our lost paradise. It was a type and shadow of the new we will ultimately realize. In the Spirit, Jesus Christ, the seed of Eve, secured this victory for us.
He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. (Genesis 3:15 NIV)
So where is this reversal? Where is the evidence of our enemy's defeat? When will we see darkness compressed and oppression released? When will the children of Eve begin to walk out the victory won by her seed? I believe we will begin to see a turnaround as we stop misusing our power and authority. What would happen if women used their powers of insight and influence for healing and nurture? What if men used their power of might for truth and justice? What if men fought as men? What if women were truly empowered to fight like girls? We would all win.
Men would win the respect they have lost, and women would recover the power of love. Know that what has been lost is being restored. The way things are is yielding to the way it should be. Come to this place of truth with me. Women, let these words speak to you, and find yourself again released to be all you were created to be.
The Lord announces victory, and throngs of women shout the happy news. Enemy kings and their armies flee, while the women of Israel divide the plunder. (Psalm 68:11-12 NLT)
What has been lost is being restored.
God is declaring victory, and it is time for the daughters to joyously shout the truth of what was won. This triumph is too vast for one voice to contain. We need the voices of many who speak as one. The lie has been far-reaching, but the truth is more powerful. If we will but declare the truth, the enemy kings and armies will flee. In the wake of their departure, we will find the riches and treasures, so long lost, restored.
Totally Free, Totally God's
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1 NIV)
God is all about freedom. It is a very big idea for Him. He wants you totally free so you can be totally His. Over the years, I have come to believe God actually enjoys putting us in positions and situations that have the potential to really challenge areas of bondage in our lives. I think He enjoys watching His children pushed into realms outside their comfort and control. Perhaps from His perspective, it is no different from when I watch my children flip and dance among the waves.
It is important that you understand I used to be basically a very fearful person. Even writing a book that suggested conflict would have scared me. But then the time came when my desire to be safe was exceeded by my desire to be free. Are we there yet? For me this happened when I saw my fears echoed in my children. If it had just been about me, I honestly don't know if I would have changed. It would have been easier in a lot of ways if I had stayed hidden.
Case in point: In high school, I was required to take either speech or debate to graduate. No prospect could have frightened me more. I was terrified of getting up in front of people. I had lost an eye to a form of cancer called retinoblastoma when I was five years old. Overnight, life as I'd known it changed. I went from being confident and outgoing to being sullen and withdrawn. I felt that people no longer saw me. I watched as they tried to determine which eye they should look at when they spoke to me. At school, compliments changed to name-calling. I was dubbed "One Eye" and "Cyclops." I put up a tough front in an attempt to act as though their words didn't hurt. I'd ignore the comments and just maintain my composure until I made it home; then I'd cry inconsolably in my room. Why couldn't I be like everyone else?
Now I was going to have to get up in front of my classmates and give a speech. Debate was not an option. There was no way I could even imagine winning an argument in front of others. I endured the first few weeks of class; then it was time for the speeches. I prepared, but it didn't matter. When the day came I couldn't speak. The teacher gave me an opportunity to walk out of the classroom and start again, but I couldn't. I looked at my classmates, and nothing would come out. I excused myself and ran down to the guidance counselor's office. I explained how it was impossible for me to successfully complete a speech class. How could I get a C, let alone an A or a B? I was handicapped, after all! My counselor was surprisingly sympathetic. He asked a few questions, including, "Are you planning to do anything with your life that requires public speaking?" Absolutely not! I assured him I had no intention of speaking in front of more than two people for the rest of my life.
"I'll tell you what, just pick another unit of languages arts, and we will waive the requirement for speech." I couldn't believe my ears. Right then and there, I signed up for a course on Kurt Vonnegut. Since the counselor was so understanding, I brought another class to his attention that was a major problem for me-typing. It was nearly impossible for me to go above twenty-five words per minute. He listened patiently as I made the case.
"I suppose we can waive typing as well. You can always pay someone to type your papers in college."
I was elated! I left feeling as if a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I gathered my stuff from the speech classroom and presented the note to my new teacher, alerting him I would be joining the Vonnegut class. Typing turned into study hall. Life was good. But God in heaven must have been laughing. I can just imagine Him turning to the angels and saying, "Poor Lisa. Let's give her a break. I understand she's too frightened to get up in front of twelve classmates. We'll just wait and really scare her and make it hundreds then thousands and throw TV in the mix just to push her totally over the edge. She doesn't want to type. It's too hard for her. Okay, she might as well rest now, because she'll be typing for the rest of her life."
Excerpted from Fight Like a Girl by Lisa Bevere Copyright © 2006 by Lisa Bevere. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Lisa Bevere is the bestselling author of Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry, Nurture, and Be Angry But Don't Blow It. Lisa, along with her husband, John, leads Messenger International, a multifaceted ministry including youth discipleship, prison and inner-city outreach, world evangelism, and The Foreign Book Outreach. Lisa and John live with their four sons in Palmer Lake, Colorado.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I am 21. I discovered Fight Like A Girl at 19. Up to that point, I had had a crippling fear of men, and I was afraid to show my femininity in any way, shape, or form. The Lord used Lisa Bevere to teach me that men are truly not the enemy, and that my gender was a gift, a blessing from God, and a position of power and influence to be nurtured and utilized. This book had a tremendous impact on my life and I would recommend it to anyone with doubts about the feminine gender.
This book is great for finding the truth about women and their place in relationships, conflict, parenting, friendships, etc. It's not about being like a man, it's about understanding their uniqueness and their value in God, not in being equal to a man, but in being different. It's about understanding that men and women were created equal, but different.
I'd quote my favorite parts, but then, it would be practically the whole book. Suffice it to say, Lisa Bevere not only has a lot of thought-provoking ideas on what it is to fight like a girl, but makes sure to underline her thoughts with the bible. Love, love, love it!
This book gives a great perspective to many women or teanagers. Although its a little difficult to read you should find it helpful to secure your role in the family. It helped me alot grasp the consept in how amazing we women can be. This is hard for me to reccomend but easy to want you to learn.