Something very important in the realm of Christianity has been on my heart lately, and that is identity. Identity is a very broad topic, and the more particular sector of identity I have been thinking about and praying about has been where I as a God fearing woman find my identity. Now, we all know the cookie cutter church answer to that question: “I find my identity in Christ, so should you!” but the issue is in our denial and the way we dance around it like we do not struggle/have not struggled with our identity. Furthermore, I have been thinking on how that correlates with the seriously falling standards that women set for the men that pursue them. So to break it down, I want to discuss how finding our identity in Christ will help us (women of God) see our value and be able to hold men to a higher standard.
Let’s think about some things.
1. Have any of you ever changed hairstyles/color or clothing to impress/get attention from a man, even your boyfriend?
I know I have. I am certainly not proud of it, but at times I have found myself so willing to conform to what the guy prefers, that I just change it without a second thought because it is simple and more convenient to help achieve what we want from men: adoration and affection. That may sound like something absolutely cliche and absurd, but no one can deny that it is a natural feeling and desire to want attention from the opposite sex. We can’t help it, but we CAN refuse to play into it, and make haircolor and style decisions with our own taste in mind, not a man’s. The only man we should be concerned about attracting is our husband, and the way we can “beautify” ourselves is by walking with the Lord and being a doer of his Word, and by training ourselves and allowing ourselves to be taught how to be a Godly woman. Even your boyfriend is not worthy of you changing the way you look. You know why? Because we read in 1 Samuel 16:7- “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” And if you are finding your comfort in men’s approval, then your heart will never be satisfied. Christ is the only being in this universe that can look at you and see the most beautiful, perfect picture of imperfection (gospellee reference).
2. Have you ever thought in your head: “you know, (insert belief here) doesn’t match up with what the scripture says, but he believes in God so it must be okay for me to be interested in him.”?
Ladies, if you are in the word and you know what the scripture says (which God instructs us to do in order to strengthen our relationships with him), and you hear a man who claims he knows God say something that DIRECTLY contradicts scripture, run the other way (after you rebuke him). The first mistake a believer can make in pursuing someone is pursuing someone who is unequally yoked. And get this, the man should pursue you first. It is not your responsibility to initiate a dating/courting relationship with a man. HE is supposed to be the leader, and you obviously will pursue each other’s hearts when you are in that relationship, but at the same time it is unwise to try and rush something that will only be successful if it is done in God’s own timing. I am in strong opposition against playing games, so be up front and honest with the person, but do not jump at any opportunity to go on a date or be in a relationship with someone, even if you are just enamored by their very presence. If they are worth having, they will be patient and go at your pace. That’s what love is, going at somebody elses speed. (Transit reference for my pop punk friends) I urge you: 1Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. Put him to the test! A man of God will admire you for putting the Lords word first and him second, and if he is worth his salt he will take what you say and pray over it with the Lord, and seek scripture to confirm and test himself.
3. Do you find yourself justifying things that you are convicted about because the guy is okay with/is living in that particular sin?
This is a serious poison. As Christians in general we can easily look around and say, “Oh, Mary said the F word so it’s okay. I mean, she is a believer so she knows what she is talking about.” Run far away from this way of thinking!!! It is dangerous to try and justify actions so if you ever find yourself fighting your instincts or judgment, or trying to convince yourself something is okay, that is sign number 1 that whatever you are justifying is immoral. Also, why would you ever want to commit to a man who expects you to purposefully sin? Of course, anyone who has ever been in a relationship (dating or even friendship) knows that each person sins against the other and sins against God- it is in our hearts to sin and we cannot avoid it because we are not perfect beings. But to compromise what you stand for especially if you are blatantly honest with them and they know of your convictions is to sell your faith short and is an insult to your Creator who has something so much more lovely and wonderful in store for you. The best way I can explain this is in Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life.
There are many other vices in this area of life, but the few listed above have been things I have dealt with and want other young women to be able to fight and conquer trials such as these. I would urge women to write a list of all the attributes they wish to see in the man they marry and set it up like this:
I pray for a future husband that….
and then list out all the traits that a Godly, ideal man would be. Be in prayer for your future spouse daily because they are somewhere on this planet now and they need the Lords guidance as well. You should be pursuing a heart for God and preparing yourself to be a suitable helper, whether or not the Lord has marriage in store for you. Learn. Seek guidance and discipleship from wise women. And never forget to love everyone around you, and strive to have unconditional love for whoever you come across.
Love you all and have a good rest of your weekend,