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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Oku (奥): Rediscovering The Depths And The Beauty Of Being In An Innermost Room [Biblical Womanhood And Modesty]


Simplicity, Gracefulness, Modesty, Order, Serenity and Silence

The Japanese word Oku () signifies a heart attitude and essence of the modest Japanese women. It literally means the inner part or behind but it means more than that. The wife in Japanese is Oku-san, which literally means, "a woman who lives in the inner part of the house." There is also an exquisite and antique adjective called Okuyukashii which derives from the noun Oku.

奥ゆかしい [okuyukashii] = graceful, elegant, refined, modest, cultivated, reserved, restrained.

Are these virtues, serenity and beauty connected with biblical womanhood and modesty? "Yes," my fellow Japanese sister in Christ responded. "I think these virtues must be seen among godly Christian women in every nation!"

"Let the woman learn in silence (hēsyxía; ησυχια) with all subjection." 1 Timothy 2:11

Cognate: 2271 hēsyxía (from hēsyxos, "quiet, stillness") – quietness, implying calm; for the believer, 2271 (hēsyxía) is used of their God-produced calm which includes an inner tranquility that supports appropriate action.
from Helps Word-Studies (here)



 Oku is a world of gracefulness and modesty. It is the exact antonym of the concepts such as self-promotion, self-assertion, self-display, presumptuousness, argumentativeness, aggressiveness, public exposure and vulgarity. Instead of demanding, it quietly receives.

"Femininity receives. It says, “May it be to me as you have said.” It takes what God gives-a special place, a special honor, a special function and glory, different from that of masculinity, meant to be a help. In other words, it is for us women to receive the given as Mary did, not to insist on the not-given, as Eve did."

--Elizabeth Elliot, The Essence of Femininity : A Personal Perspective


O that our God-given biblical-femininity would blossom in our innermost Oku, where we would commune with Him in a most sublime and intimate way. 


Holy reverence, awe-struck silence
Reign while heaven's hosts bow down
Worshipping the Sole-begotton
Seated now upon the throne.

Silence, deep as time eternal,
Broods around the throne divine,
Where in loving, blissful union,
Father, Son and Spirit shine.
Then the heavenly Sanctus thunders, 
As Thy prostrate hosts adore,
Cast their crowns before Thine altar,
Praising Thee for evermore. 

-B.Schlink


My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: 
my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Psalm 84:2


pictures from here and here and here.

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