Girls raised in the South can sometimes become obsessed with being “good girls.” Often we Southern girls take gentility to a new level, being polite at all costs. It’s how we were taught. The trouble is that we sometimes harm ourselves in deference to the needs of others. It’s our way.
Feminism is a negative word to many people. But it can be a positive word when referring to becoming self-actualized, self-confident, and self-assured within ourselves as women. The Bible, in fact, even honored one “bad girl.”
Consider the prostitute we know as Rahab, who ended up playing an important role in God’s grand design. Her story tells us that two of Joshua’s spies ended up at her house. She provided a safe house for them. And the Bible says that Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho. (Joshua 6:25)
Bad girl or not, God’s generous mercy and boundless grace spared her life, as well as “her father’s household” (ASV) and “all who belonged to her” (NRSV). The people that she loved, God loved and protected.
So maybe we shouldn’t be so concerned with being “good girls” in the eyes of the world that tends to prefer “submissive girls” over bold, brave women who know how to live life with grace-filled confidence.
Was the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus with her alabaster jar of perfume at Simon’s house a bad girl because she had been a prostitute?
Do you see this woman? Jesus asked. (Luke 7:44)
Simon saw only a prostitute. Jesus saw her past, and he also saw her in the moment. He described how she had just honored him, then he made this grace-filled announcement: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven. (Luke 7:47 ASV). Jesus didn’t see her as a bad girl.
How about Abigail, who loaded up a feast and went to meet David, hoping that her actions would calm David so that he would spare her family from death? David agreed to spare the family for Abigail’s sake. (1 Samuel 25) Was she a bad girl who didn’t know her place?
I believe that God is pleased when women stand tall with strength and courage, taking control over their lives, protecting their loved ones, living out their personal faith, and creating their own relationship with their Creator. The world might well call us “bad girls,” but God calls us women of faith.