It’s Good to Be a Girl
When I looked around my church one recent Sunday, I saw what the vast majority of churches bear witness to every week: more women than men. Actually the Christian church has always been majority female. It’s ironic, because the secular world frames Christianity as sexist, when, in fact, Jesus and his church have always been unapologetically pro-female.
The evangelical Protestant church in the United States is currently 55 percent female and 45 percent male.1 When I tell my friends these statistics and historical realities, they are always shocked.
There is a gnawing, often unspoken, idea that boys have it better than girls. Granted, when it comes to outward beauty and ability, hooking up, abortion, gender and sexuality, and marriage and motherhood, women and girls do face a unique set of cultural circumstances that our brothers do not face. These disparities are not imagined. However, the inherent dignity, the intrinsic value, and the worth of a woman are not less than a man’s. We are wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14).
This is no attempt to trumpet girl power or to deny the immeasurable goodness of our brothers. This is a heralding of what’s true: girlhood is good. This truth is worth examining and expressing because second-wave feminism has declared that in order to be equal to men, women have to be the same as men. Rather than rejoicing over the uniqueness of women, the male body and male roles were normed. That was a deadly miscalculation.
We in the church should be the loudest voice in our world to rehearse all the ways it’s good to be a girl. We know the God who made us, and we know he made us very good. Expressing this truth should be a top priority for us, as it directly pertains to more than half the church.
Why is it good to be a girl? Here are ten answers to that question.
1. Created by God
The first reason it’s good to be a girl is that we are created by a good, beautiful, and true God. He is merciful and relational, and he delights in you and me. Because we live in a culture that insists we are self-made, it’s worth repeating that we are creatures with a Creator. Remembering and realigning ourselves to the truth that we are God-made is a necessary spiritual discipline in the twenty-first century.
Without this foundational truth, everything else goes awry. If you and I cannot admit and rejoice in the reality that our lives have an author, then we will never fully thrive. The abundant life comes through Jesus, and only Jesus (John 10:10).
In her poem What Is a Woman? Jackie Hill Perry says, “If you asked me, ‘What is a woman?’ I would simply tell you, ‘Ask God who made her.’”2 When we seek to understand who we are, we must always remember whose we are.
And knowing whose we are is very good news indeed.
2. Created to Image God
The second reason it’s good to be a girl is that we are created in the image of our good God. We are imago dei, created to reflect him, to take after him. In her book In His Image, Bible teacher Jen Wilkin shares ten ways God calls us to reflect his character: “God is holy, loving, just, good, merciful, gracious, faithful, truthful, patient, and wise.”3 Of course, we will never fully image these attributes, because we are not sinless, as God is.
But as the saying goes, like Father, like daughter. We thrive when we walk in his design.
There is no greater source of dignity or joy or worth than to be created imago dei. The almighty Creator of the universe made us female to take after him. This was his doing, his design, his good plan. Women are not afterthoughts, or second best, or evolutionary by-products. Our good God set out with intention, knowing his image was not complete in Adam alone, to make you and me.
3. Created for Community
The third reason it’s good to be a girl is that we were made for community. After the Lord God created Adam from dust and breathed his own breath into the man’s nostrils, he declared it was not good for Adam to be alone. Eve was made from Adam’s rib, and God commanded the two to be fruitful and multiply. Just as our God lives in community—the Trinity—so he created us to live in community.
In our self-focused and fiercely individualistic age, it’s another necessary spiritual discipline to remember that we were not created for ourselves but for one another. Author Wendy Alsup says from the “earliest words of God over humanity, we see that even in perfection, one by himself could not attain the full good that God intended for him. God’s vision for our good is communal. . . . The flourishing of communities is necessary for the flourishing of the individual.”4
It is good for women—and for everyone—when we live in light of each other. We were made to have compassionate hearts, to display kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, and to bear with one another in love (Col. 3:12–13). This is our calling. This is our true composition as God’s creatures.
4. Created with a Unique Calling
The fourth reason it’s good to be a girl is we have a unique and compelling calling. Right after the Lord said, “It is not good that the man should be alone,” he said, “I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18). Our twenty-first-century sensibilities bristle immediately at the word helper. Helper feels so secondary, like Adam needed an assistant—someone to take care of the inconsequential stuff.
The original language and biblical context of Eve’s creation should shape how we view our gender and our design. The word for helper is ezer in the original Hebrew language. Ezer shows up twenty-one times in the Old Testament, including sixteen times as a description of God himself.5 Obviously, our God is not secondary, nor is he inconsequential.
As Alsup points out, “God, sovereign Lord of the universe, is our helper, and He created woman to reflect this aspect of Him. If we hold on to the dominant cultural attitude that being a helper is a substandard identity, we mock the name of God and his character. The role of helper is one he willingly embraces.”6
Whether in our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, or anywhere else, we are meant to be protectors, deliverers, shields, comforters—a help to those God has placed with us. It’s hard to imagine a more dignified calling or a more exciting role for us in creation.
Look around you right now—who can you help? Who needs your protection and care? Who can you defend or triumph? Who can you comfort? This is your calling. Walk in it.
5. Created for Redemption
The fifth reason it’s good to be a girl is that we are redeemed. Through the work of our Savior, “the gospel … re-images us.”7 While the Lord’s image in us was marred by the fall, it is re-imaged in us through Jesus. When you and I surrender to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, he begins to transform us from the inside out, and we become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
Jesus, our rescuer and Redeemer, paves the way to our restoration. There is no greater love, no greater mercy, no better gift. We are not alienated forever from the God who made us. Instead, Jesus came low to serve (to help!) you and me.
In What Is a Woman? Hill Perry says, “They say, ‘Submission sounds like servant.’ They say, ‘That sounds like something to rebel against.’ I say, ‘Ain’t it funny that servant is repulsive to everyone but God?’ And we wonder why we can’t recognize His face.”8 When we bristle at the idea of serving and helping, we bristle at the very character of our God.
Jesus came “not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). You can see his kindness and servant’s heart toward women in countless stories. What we see in Jesus is not only the God who made us and the rescuer who saves us, but also the kind and compassionate teacher who leads us. As the redeemed, we increasingly re-image Jesus to a watching world, serving others that they may come to know him too.
6. Created to Reconcile
The sixth reason it’s good to be a girl is that we have a holy mission before us. We are in that already-but-not-yet place in history. Christ has already come and brought redemption, but he has not yet returned, so we await restoration. But as we wait, we have a calling, a sacred vocation.
In this already-but-not-yet time we are called to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” We women are as diverse as our God is creative. Our ministries vary as much as our hair color, body type, and style preferences. But we must all love God and love others by going and telling. The Christian life is meant to be an adventure, a joy, a faith-requiring endeavor. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).
To be a Christian girl or woman is to be called to have great faith and to do hard things. That may be in your living room or it may be in a land overseas—but either way your vocation is far from ho-hum. Where are you pursuing your ministry of reconciliation? Who are you telling about the love and mercy of Jesus?
Our good God set out with intention, knowing his image was not complete in Adam alone, to make you and me.
7. The Sisters before Us
The seventh reason it’s good to be a girl is we have a multitude of examples of God-fearing, God-loving, God-honoring women who have gone before us. Their stories are recorded in Scripture and remind us that while our lives are brief, God’s work in us is eternal.
We are threads in his hands, as he weaves the beautiful tapestry of his kingdom across time and space.
God works through all kinds of personalities and circumstances. There’s Sarah, who was old and barren and yet conceived and gave birth to Isaac. She teaches us that God can do the impossible and use us for his purposes, even when we disbelieve and even when we think we are physically incapable (Gen. 21). And further on in the Old Testament I’m moved by Deborah, Israel’s strong and godly leader (Judg. 4), and Jael, the Israelite woman who killed an enemy by driving a tent peg through his temple (Judg. 4), and Ruth, who was devoted to her mother-in-law and became the great-grandmother of King David (Ruth 1–4). I could go on about Rahab, Hannah, Abigail, Bathsheba, Esther, and many others.
The New Testament gives us Jesus’s own biological mother, Mary, who said, “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Anna, the eighty-four-year-old prophetess and widow, blessed the baby Jesus in the temple after waiting for his arrival for many decades while worshiping, fasting, and praying day and night (Luke 2). There’s Tabitha, a woman full of good works and acts of charity (Acts 9), Mary and Lydia, who supported and hosted the early church (Acts 12, 16), and so many more women listed in Paul’s letters who proclaimed Christ and served the church.
We have many awe-inspiring examples of imperfect women— many in unspeakably difficult circumstances—who served our perfect God before us. May their names rise in your heart with a crescendo: Look how good it has always been to be a girl. God loves us, makes us his own, and uses us for his glory and the good of his people.
8. The Sisters Next to Us
The eighth reason it’s good to be a girl is there are countless ways we can be ezers here and now, for God’s glory and for the flourishing of our communities. Like the long list of women above, we each live in a unique time and place, and everything we have and experience, even down to the breath in our lungs, is a gift and purposefully designed by God (Acts 17:25–26).
This is an exciting time to be alive. As redeemed saints, we await our Savior. As women in the twenty-first century, we have access to myriad resources. How will you combine your holy calling with all that you have? How will you steward the resources and place God has you to care for his creation and proclaim his goodness? In what specific way will you go and tell others about him?
I am inspired and spurred on by many friends. My friend Robin leverages her current calling to singleness on the mission field by sharing Christ with neighbors who come from all corners of the globe to her urban metropolis. My friend Sandra uses her education and wisdom to care for marginalized students in one of our nation’s most diverse and impoverished communities. My friend Kate is an adoptive mom with a household of children with special needs. Kara proclaims Christ in her role in state politics. Laurie is an ambassador for Jesus around her kitchen table, as she daily tells her preschool-aged children about Jesus. Naomi is a Muslim Cultural background follower of Jesus who relentlessly shares the gospel with her mom. Sherry and her husband are empty nesters who opened an orphanage overseas. Brenda (my mom!) teaches English to newly arrived refugees. And my friend Sarah repeats the gospel over and over by faith to her mom, who lives in a nursing home.
It’s good to be a girl because we are not called to a run-of-the-mill Western lifestyle. We were not made for the safety, security, comfort, and ease of the American dream. Anything we do, in the name of the Lord Jesus for his glory and the good of others, is a divine adventure.
These women remind me that we were made for the abundant life in Christ.
9. The Sisters Coming Up after Us
The ninth reason it’s good to be a girl is that we get to proclaim the goodness of our God to the girls coming up after us. It’s our voice that will shape the next generation.
My husband and I have heard “It’s a girl!” three times, and we adopted one more, making a total of four little women in our home. Mark’s favorite joke is to say he’s in full-time women’s ministry. But honestly, he is. And so am I. And so are you, if you know any little girls. It’s one thing to be a girl. It’s another thing altogether to raise them. I’ve never wanted to get anything so right in my life.
You and I have the privilege of reading through the pages of God’s word and satisfying our souls with a feast of grace and truth. In those pages we see God’s grand story, and we find the stories of other women woven through. We also find our own story, and we find our daughters’ stories as well.
We are part of a spiritual lineage, the genealogy of God’s people. Just like the women above who lived in Bible times, we and the girls after us are generations in God’s eternal family.
10. We Will Prosper
And finally, the tenth reason it’s good to be a girl is that our God will ensure that we prosper. Throughout Scripture we see a promise that those who belong to the Lord will prosper. Psalm 1 instructs us to not listen to the wicked, the sinners, and the scoffers (Ps. 1:1), but delight instead in God and his word. Our God who dwells within us will make you and me like trees planted by streams of water. As we abide in him, we will yield fruit in season, and our leaves will not wither. All that we do will prosper (Ps. 1:2–3).
In God’s presence there is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11), life abundant and everlasting (John 10:10, 28). Let’s reject the empty promises of our age and embrace instead the God who satisfies our longing souls and fills you and me with good things (Ps. 107:9).
This really is the best story—we were made for so much more.
- “Gender Composition,” in Religious Landscape Study, Pew Research Center, accessed July 2020, https://www.pewforum.org.
- Jackie Hill Perry, “The Truth about Ourselves,” session transcript, Revive Our Hearts, September 27, 2018, https://www.reviveourhearts.com/.
- Jen Wilkin, In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character (Wheaton: Crossway, 2018), 22.
- Wendy Alsup, Is the Bible Good for Women? Seeking Clarity and Confidence through a JesusCentered Understanding of Scripture (Colorado Springs: Multnomah, 2017), 85.
- “’ezer,” Bible Study Tools, accessed July 2020, https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons /hebrew/nas/ezer-2.html.
- Alsup, Is the Bible Good for Women?, 48–49.
- Wilkin, In His Image, 14.
- Jackie Hill Perry, “The Truth about Ourselves,” session transcript, Revive Our Hearts, September 27, 2018, https://www.reviveourhearts.com/.
This article is adapted from Cultural Counterfeits: Confronting 5 Empty Promises of Our Age and How We Were Made for So Much More by Jen Oshman.
Jesus’s regard for women was much different from that of his contemporaries.
Are you worn down by the weight of the countless roles and expectations in your life? Are you feeling the pressure of doing more and striving harder to please the people around you?
The true Christian faith elevates, cherishes, protects women. Women are drawn to it. Our God created us imago Dei, and his desire is that each life will be cherished and protected.
Jen Oshman discusses the many empty promises that the culture of the modern world makes that run counter to the clear teaching of Scripture and God's good plan for us.