Woman Enough

When you speak as much as I do, you end up saying some stupid things, particularly if you’re tongue-prone to shoot off from your notes like a bike into a briar patch. Nothing can run amok like a mouth. Sometimes you catch errant words as fast as you say them and you snatch them back before they land. No harm, no foul.

Other times, if you’re like me, on more than a rare occasion you start the second day of a conference apologizing for something you said on the first day. I am happy to report that in 3 decades of speaking and teaching, I’ve found groups to be refreshingly forgiving and gracious and lighthearted when you own up to something misspoken, particularly if it happened to have been funny. You get a fair amount of leash with funny, I’ve found, as long as you don’t cross a line. Of course, sometimes you don’t know you’ve crossed a line until you do it. Thankfully, most people give you the benefit of the doubt and, frankly, feel sorry for you for frying your own self up like a chicken.

In the words of Solomon, when there are many words, sin is unavoidable. (Proverbs 10:19 HCSB) Translation: talk less, sin less.

A few years ago I said something to a group that haunts me. I’m writing this article because I want to take it back. I’d like to blame the group because they were vocal and hilarious and egged me on. But I won’t. It was my own big mouth. As usual, it wasn’t in my notes. I’d do better with my messages if I wouldn’t look up from the podium but that’s no fun. I love faces; round ones, square ones, white ones, brown ones. I love faces. Anyway, spontaneity can be a lovely thing and sometimes the Spirit of God speaks most clearly through a word that comes to the speaker completely unscripted. This wasn’t one of those times.

I was talking about how territorial women can be. The group was all riled up in the subject matter with me, amening and nodding so I just kept prodding. “Not all territorialism is inappropriate, mind you,” I said, the bike now wobbling to the left. “For instance, if a woman lays a flirtatious hand on my husband, I’m liable to take her arm off at the neck.”

That’s a near-enough truth or I might die trying.

And that’s when my mind suddenly leapt from the sacred page of Scripture to the 1966 lyrics of that legendary queen of country music, Loretta Lynn. So, I just went with it and said…

Cause you ain’t woman enough to take my man.

Since some of your parents were still in diapers when this feisty ballad blew up the AM radio dial, I’ll bless you with the rest of the song. Come on, now. Pat your foot. A country song doesn’t get better than this.


You’ve come to tell me something you say I ought to know
That he don’t love me anymore and I’ll have to let him go
You say you’re gonna take him oh but I don’t think you can
Cause you ain’t woman enough to take my man
Women like you they’re a dime a dozen you can buy ’em anywhere
For you to get to him I’d have to move over and I’m gonna stand right here
It’ll be over my dead body so get out while you can
Cause you ain’t woman enough to take my man

Sometimes a man start lookin’ at things that he don’t need
He took a second look at you but he’s in love with me
Well I don’t know where they leave you oh but I know where I’ll stand
And you ain’t woman enough to take my man
Women like you they’re a dime…
No you ain’t woman enough to take my man


The first time I sang that chorus word-for-word, I wasn’t even woman enough to shave my legs. But, here I am full-grown and I can still spit those words out with sparks coming off my tongue.

Which is precisely what got me into this mess.

And that’s when I pedaled that bike in a blur of feet straight through the bushes:

And if she IS woman enough to take your man, you better woman-up! 

The crowd went wild. We hooted and hollered and howled. We came dang near to throwing our shoes. We nearly drowned in our own estrogen.

Say to somebody beside you, “You better woman-up!”

And they did. Nice and loud.

We were women copping an attitude. Shaking our index fingers and wagging our heads. Women back-talking other women who’d had the gall to swish their petticoats into our territory. Girlfriend better step back because she doesn’t know who she’s messing with. It was hilarious.

And stupid.

Listen. You’re woman enough even if some other girl did take your man.

You’re woman enough even if you’ve been ditched by a man for nobody but himself.

You’re woman enough even if you’ve been thrown out and rejected.




You’re woman enough even if you’ve never had a man.

You’re woman enough even if you’ve never put on a stitch of make-up or darkened the door of a nail salon.

You’re woman enough even if you couldn’t care less about what purse you pick up.

If you’ve lost both breasts to cancer and don’t have a hair on your head, you’re still 100% woman enough.

None of those things make you a woman. Your Creator makes you a woman.

It’s not just men who can make us feel like we don’t measure up. It’s other women. We’ve got enough voices in this world telling us that we’re not enough. God forbid that we who are called to serve women echo the charge. Let’s watch our mouths out there. I’m talking to myself first.

Hopscotch through the Scriptures and you’ll watch God get a hold of one woman after another who didn’t seem to be woman-enough in her world.

As it turned out…

Hagar was woman enough. (Genesis 16)


Sarai was woman enough. (Genesis 17:15-19)


Rahab was woman enough. (Joshua 2)


Ruth was woman enough. (Ruth 1-4)


Naomi was woman enough. (Ruth 1-4)


Hannah was woman enough. (1 Samuel 1)


Elizabeth was woman enough. (Luke 1:5-25)


Anna was woman enough. (Luke 2:36-38)


The Samaritan woman was woman enough. (John 4)

For crying out loud, Jesus even saw to it that the sinful woman in Luke 7 was woman enough.  We’d assume Mary was woman enough from the start because she was handpicked by God but I’m asking you whether or not you think you’re woman enough. God handpicked you, too.

This is what makes a woman enough. And a man enough.


So God created man in His own image,

in the image of God He created him;

male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27 ESV)

We are worthy of mutual honor and esteem because God granted such graces to humankind when He fashioned us in the palm of His hands.


When I look up at the heavens, which Your fingers made,

and see the moon and the stars, which You set in place,

Of what importance is the human race, that You should notice them?

Of what importance is mankind, that You should pay attention to them,

and make them a little less than the heavenly beings?

You grant mankind honor and majesty.  (Psalm 8:3-5 The NET Bible)


Several months ago a very dear brother in Christ asked me if I might know a young woman he could set up on a date with a Christian young man he loved and esteemed. Nothing wrong with that but I have lived long enough to break out in hives at the prospect of matchmaking.

Me: Well, what kind of taste does he have? What’s he looking for?

Him: A Christian.

Me: Yep, I get that. Of course.

My friend told me a few other things like high hopes for good looks then slipped this one in as an endnote: And he’d like her to be a virgin.

Dead silence.

Don’t get me wrong. I teach abstinence outside of marriage. I beg girls to wait. I wouldn’t have a woman deal with all the issues of my past for anything. Barreling off the plan of God can bruise a person up. I have a tremendously high regard for both men and women who hang onto their virginity until marriage. Still, something hit me sideways even though I wouldn’t argue for a second about the young man’s right to choose. Each person must know what he or she is capable of handling in the past relationships of a prospective mate.

Is he a virgin? I inquired. Women my age can ask that kind of thing in a context like this and get away with it. I tapped my fingers and waited for an answer.

Him: Well, I think so but, if not, he’s a reconstituted one.

And I went off like a bottle rocket.

What he meant was this: if the young man wasn’t a virgin, he’d repented since then and been forgiven and restored by God.

Amen to that.

Me: But the girl couldn’t be reconstituted??

Him: “Yes. Of course. That’s not what I meant.”

And, to be fair, it wasn’t. He’s a great guy. But the persisting double standard that still lurks out there like smog in the smug nearly threw me into a coughing fit. Needless to say, it’s not just male-imposed. We women do it to ourselves. Somewhere way down deep in our souls, we honestly believe that a sinful woman is worse than a sinful man. We so wanted to live up to the woman we planned.

Jesus lived up to the plan. That’s what we need to know.

The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:22-24

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:27-28

My grandmother might have said it like this: what’s grace for the goose is grace for the gander.

Jesus has done more than reconstitute us regardless of our gender anyway. He’s forgiven us, completely purified us, and made us new creations. Men and women alike stood at the foot of the Cross that dark afternoon. Men and women alike stand at the foot of it today.

Incidentally, I still believe in womaning-up when we need to, as long as it’s the kind we find in the folds of Mark 1:29-33.

And immediately [Jesus] left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told Him about her. And He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. That evening at sundown they brought to Him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door.

No matter what has you down, your back to the ground, reach out your hand and put it in the palm of Jesus.

Woman, up.




PS. Because you’ve gotta love her and you might need to grin.


138 Responses to “Woman Enough”

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  1. 101
    Anne says:


  2. 102
    ann says:

    Two months ago my husband left us the week before our 16th ani. I have tried to do the right things, not be bitter, pray constantly. But that horrible voice in the back of my head whispers softly that maybe I wasn’t good enough to keep him. I know it’s not true, but I hear it anyway. I still pray for restoration, but I am trying to move forward. I don’t know how people that won’t turn to God make it….

    • 102.1
      Sheila says:

      Dear Ann,
      I am so sorry for what you are going through. I went through the same thing myself. I wondered what I could have done differently. I thought I was a good wife and I came to realize that I was a good wife. His affair didn’t have anything to do with me or really with the other woman. It was all about him. Most of the times that is the main reason and not anything we did or didn’t do. Please pray about this. Put some thought into it. Our Lord will be right there beside you all the way.

  3. 103
    Deborah Mott says:

    Thank you. I often feel “unfeminine” because I wear little if any make up and am not into “clothes”. I find it HARD to be a woman by the standards of most “churched” people. Awkward on the inside but I usually hide this well. I have had four older (Titus) women that have mentored or spoken into my life and each of them have put me at ease by living their identity IN CHRIST consistently and being comfortable in their own skin. I still am not comfortable with myself or my body and that makes me sad. I work at living my true identity IN CHRIST. I work at recovery… HARD work really hard…and sometimes it is a struggle to keep working hard and waiting for the healing and redemption. I have been working with the same counselor for sexual abuse recovery for 12+ years and last session he made a comment at how obvious I have worked to recover and how much I have consistently sought THE LORD and His HEALING. He spoke encouragements to me. Yet, I feel there are still places that so need “woman upped” so to speak. It feels impossible in some of these stategic private places/thoughts/relationships. But that is why God says nothing is impossible with Him. Two friends are praying that in 2014: “miracles will be seen in 2014” in these places esp. It will take Jesus! No getting around it on my own. I have found THE LORD in these places and He is faithful even when He makes me wait and even when the healing is not complete. His presence is what I yearn for these days. Finding God in the places of disaster and desperation is worth the pain and sorrow… sometimes when I am going through it I doubt this and whine and complain but overall THE LORD IS GOOD. He knows what He is doing.

    I actually do not like the song you chose Beth. It seems scary to sing it to me. I would not want to sing it ever. I didn’t like reading it. Just me, I suppose. But nice that someone listen or reads my feedback. At least I hope they do. I feel connected on this blog but I am not sure if it is hopeful thinking or really LPM really reads and interacts. Never have gotten interaction from any thing I have written. Just saying…yet still appreciative of and thankful for your sharing. I do agree we are to stand up and fight for our man and identity and for what is right with out double standards and to stake our ground appropriately and I appreciate your words and honesty and clarifications. Lots of circumstances can “women down us”. Remember you saying that Melissa says it is scary to be us. We have to ask JESUS for the courage, endurance and tenacity to seek to be the best we can be despite all the ‘downs’. Balance the “scales” (not the weight scales although that is a factor in womanhood for sure!) for us LORD: woman up us, please. Now I feel like Scotty on Star Trek…beam us up…maybe that is how far some of us need a “UP’ for the true balance? Feels like it sometimes, Huh? Thank you for the opportunity to write. Don’t know who really cares or reads it but glad to be able to express it.

  4. 104
    Valerie says:

    Aww sweet Siesta Mama, you are so very much loved! I love you that you are so honest in your very human foibles-we all have done the same. I have learned so much from you and your ministry just blesses me so much. Just today, in bible study, a word you said about God having our back and coming behind us and harvesting blessed so many of us in different ways. One woman was dealing with the loss of her brother, another was wondering about what she was putting into her kids and another her marriage, yet we were all strenthened and blessed. I know you feel the words you wished were unspoken, but what power the Lord has graced your ministry with! We are blessed by it all. Every time I think and pray for you (read daily) i think was a party we are going to have in heaven, because you have thousands of girlfirends who are going to love serving with you there, and all telling the stories of what you have meant to us!

  5. 105
    Becky says:

    THANK. YOU. This is a long lasting battle where I live and your words are grace and truth to this weary heart that needs reminded often…

  6. 106
    Cassia Glass says:

    Dear, sweet Siesta Mama,
    I love your heart! I love your beautiful, imperfect, ever-growing soul and how you point us to Jesus.
    Happy Easter, dear Beth and dear LPM staff!

  7. 107
    Kay Martin says:

    Well said, Beth!! I have words I have said that sometimes haunt me too! Anyone who speaks, teaches, etc. will regret something we say!! How much better to own up to them and ask for forgiveness.

  8. 108
    FloridaLizzie says:

    Thanks so much from all of us who got dumped by a man. It was a year ago tomorrow that my professing Christian husband of 27 years divorced me, and you know what? God has been doing more than I could ask or imagine. I may not be woman enough in myself, but I can do all things through Christ. He truly is the Rebuilder of lives and the Restorer of the broken.

    Happy Easter to everyone!Thank you, Beth, for this wonderful and grace-filled message today.

  9. 109
    lynda rickey says:

    Beth, I can totally empathize with you. I talk for a living too. I am an elementary teacher. I have found that simply asking for forgiveness works wonders, with children and adults alike. Thanks for your honesty and for the words of encouragement. I am single, never married, and I sometimes feel less than, especially in the midst of other women. As I am entering my mid-40s I am becoming much nicer to the women and girls around me. It is hard enough out there without ham-stringing your own sister. I am more inclined now to treat other women like I want my own sister to be treated. Thank goodness for the grace of Jesus amply supplied on a daily basis. Thank you for the reminder that we need to lift each other up rather than tear down. PS I absolutely loved the video clip and sang along at the top of my lungs. How can you not just love Loretta! Love you bunches, Lynda

  10. 110
    Diane says:

    Love, Love, Love, your message. God is directing your words of hope to so many women.

  11. 111
    Christina says:

    Thank you….just thank you…..

  12. 112
    Christine Krueger says:

    My dear sweet Beth I love so much!
    Since yesterday, I keep thinking and thinking about your post… Thank you for your honesty and humility; for challenging us and for being willing to grow in front of us. I’m not a sanguine, but oh how I relate! Well intentioned words get the best of all of us every now and again. Thank you, thank you for the teachable woman of God you are and for allowing your examples to be our lessons! So much love to you and prayers and support always!!

  13. 113
    Heidi says:

    Thank you, that just stirred up an old painful memory, but I was too immature in Christ at the time to understand, to believe I was worth more. Until reading this, I had not realized how that still hangs over me – it has hung over me too long, and I need to let it go, I need to be confident in how He’s created me. Thanks for the reminder that I can still go to Him and lay it down. Thanks for being so honest with personal stories in your teaching – please don’t stop!- it helps me feel free to keep balanced self examination, and live free from shame, and full in grace. Blessings to you and your team!

  14. 114
    Beth Baker says:

    Dear Beth,

    I cannot thank you enough for this post. I didn’t live up to my plan of what I should be, I still don’t. I needed to hear what you had to say about having a past and about being woman enough. I have a past and I have had 3 husbands, the first one left me with a 2 yr. old son because he wanted to wake up with a different woman every day. I certainly didn’t feel woman enough then. My second husband died from graft vs host disease after a bone marrow transplant. My third choice for a life mate turned out to be an alcoholic. After I separated from my third husband because we were in such a destructive mode that I no longer felt safe. Third husband decided to share his life with a woman he met in AA. I wanted another child but he didn’t until girlfriend came along. A girlfriend, engagement and infertility treatments before we were divorced made me feel like so much less. I didn’t feel like anything that even resembled a woman, I certainly didn’t feel lovable even to God. I knew even though I didn’t feel it His love that it was there and that His love was going to be the only way that I was going to make it. I am here today because He loves me.
    All that long winded rhetoric to say I needed your post today. Today I have been feeling like so much less. These past few years have taught me so much about being loved by God and I’m beginning to get it. Your post was an affirmation I needed today. Thank you for writing about what was on your heart and for being gracious, kind, loving and forgiving. God bless you for speaking the truth.

  15. 115
    Lahoma says:

    Another woman took my man after 33 years of marriage. We met in church, married in church, and attended church all through our marriage. The rejection I felt was gut wrenching. The church I was attending didn’t know quite how to deal with me. I had stayed in my marriage for almost a year after knowing, praying and believing God would change his heart. Almost a year later, when he said he wouldn’t give her up, I moved out, and she began moving her things in. Within three weeks of our divorce, he married her. I’m 5 years away from that now. I’ve changed churches, but I sometimes feel like a statistic that “went bad”–maybe if I had prayed harder, believed stronger… I almost feel at times people are afraid it’s contagious. 🙂 But the LORD is healing that rejection and betrayal inside me. He is shown me I am not defined by the weakness of this man; but rather by the strength He has placed inside me. I am woman enough to cling to the LORD, look for other opportunities to witness to women who are hurting in all circumstances of life, and let Him be “the lifter of my head”. So, so, so thankful I am not defined by life’s circumstances. His love for me has nothing to do with me–it has everything to do with Him.

  16. 116
    Priscilla says:

    Love love love this!!!!! Excellent post!!!!

  17. 117
    Kerry says:

    Tears to my eyes. Balm to my soul. Such precious, precious words. Thank you…

  18. 118
    Angela says:

    Amen. Thank you for the reminder, Beth.

  19. 119
    Renee McCarty says:

    Thank you, Beth. I don’t think we can hear too often how important it is to support one another.
    I lead a women’s group which is a support group for wives of men struggling with sexual addiction. This problem always leaves wives wounded in their sense of their “womeness”. I believe a community of other loving Christian women is an essential place to heal (often along with a Christian counselor trained in sexual addiction issues).
    I received my salvation when I was 42. I arrived with a lot of baggage-sexual and physical abuse survivor, lots of loss/abandonment issues, several divorces, 18 yrs sober, no church background, etc. I am a member of a wonderful church with strong Bible-as-authority teaching. But I didn’t find my identity as a Christian women until I developed close relationships with other Christian women. I needed a place for my questions and concerns. I needed models. But I especially needed their encouragement.
    You have been a strong influence on my spiritual development as well. Thank you for your willingness to be obedient to the Lord’s call on your life. I pray that He would sustain you and bless you richly.

  20. 120
    Melinda says:

    Universal grace. Amen. Thank God. Woman enough by default because of our beloved Creator. Mm hmm. I needed that. By the way, I’ll be singing this all week. Love me some Loretta Lynn.

  21. 121
    Amy Beth says:

    What a wonderful post. This is a touchy subject from me because one branch of my family tree is very into beauty. I’m talking multiple expensive plastic surgeries, won’t go to the mailbox without their make-up on, etc.

    And I am… not into it.

    I like make-up, I love big hair… but I also really love yoga pants and ponytails and feeling okay without having lipstick on. There have been repeated instances where this has been acknowledged in a really unkind way to me as if I was somehow lesser of a woman because I can go to the grocery store without foundation and mascara. It used to really bother me but I kind of grew out of being offended by it. At the end of the day, outward beauty seems to be the thing that fades the fastest so it isn’t a huge focus to me.

    (Although I think being healthy should be a huge focus and is something I’m personally working on.)

  22. 122
    Gillian Bickerstaffe says:

    Thank you Beth! 🙂 x

  23. 123
    Michele says:

    Mama Beth ~ always so thankful for your honesty and compassion (and your sense of humor :0)

    Love Ya!

  24. 124
    Mary says:

    LOVE IT, Beth! And love you for your candor and wit! God has taught me so much through you…and I praise Him for His faithfulness every day…..

  25. 125
    Holly says:

    Thank you! Love it! I AM woman enough!

  26. 126
    Terri says:

    I am sorry I came upon this post 10 days after it was posted – but it was a blessing from God that I did come across it. I grew up thinking on the one hand that I was too much for anybody (too talkitive, too active, too nosy) but most of the time I just feel that I am not enough. I am not good enough to be loved or cherished or to hold on to. …not enough that someone would want to be a “best friend”, to fit into a group, and after I was divorced there were many more. I became depressed, overweight, and had high levels of testoerone in my body..which meant I grew chin hair and a mustache. I tried to use hair remover byt my skin was too sensitive, so I ended up shaving. And cried everytime I did it. I felt like my femininity had left me. I was cretainly now never going to get a man – who would want a woman he has to shave with every morning? When you wrote: “None of those things make you a woman. Your Creator makes you a woman.” It was an “a-ha” moment for me. What a joy to see that and know that the things I hold up to the light and say these make me less of a woman – have no meaning. It is not earthly things – it is my creator who says I am woman. >>>(cue another “oldie” Helen Reddy: I am woman, hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore. And I know too much to go back an’ pretend. ‘Cause I’ve heard it all before, and I’ve been down there on the floor no one’s ever gonna keep me down again!!!!!!!!)

    Thank you Beth for sharing God’s words with us. I am going to put this in my heart and never let them go. This is a moment!!!! One more step on the road to wholeness! I am woman enough!

  27. 127
    Tahnycooks says:

    I am so glad that Jesus displayed in the bible how important woman were to Him. It is a perfect reminder for us today when we are feeling inadequate. He loved us so much and proved that over and over. I can only imagine how jubilant of a feeling Mary felt when she heard her name spoken at the tomb. Hearing Christ speak or even know our name is probably one of the biggest gifts besides His glorious death for us. That is beauty and He gave it to me because I was made in His imagine. Just beautiful….

  28. 128
    Madelin says:

    Siesta Mama…I LOVE you to pieces.

  29. 129
    Natalie says:

    Having lived this out in a too-up-close-and-personal way from both perspectives (through my parents and in my own life), I’m not sure if any woman is really “woman enough” to “take” anyone’s man. Just a gentle suggestion that the “other woman” also “so wanted to live up to the woman (she) planned.”

    It’s so easy to assume that the man and the “other woman” are the perpetrators and that the wife is the victim because the nature of sexual sin seems to always involve public consequence. We, in our ungrace, like to make lists of right and wrong, tally the score, and declare the innocent and the guilty. However, in my experience, marital infidelity can come in varieties that are other than sexual, but are equally devastating. I’m so grateful to you for speaking truth into a double standard. Perhaps this is another double standard for another day.

  30. 130
    J says:

    I started to write my own response to this post, but between the fact that I couldn’t make it short enough for a “comment,” and that I wasn’t sure what was appropriate to say vs what wasn’t (because I am very passionate on the issues you brought up and others regarding women in the church) I decided maybe it be wiser ro just say “thank you” for being so bold!

    It makes me so happy to see people with platforms or whatever you want to call it, use them to expose sinful double standards, which in my case severely wrecked my world for a long time and I am still trying to recover the lost ground in my love for the Lord and his Word.

    So, thank you again!

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