I foresee this turning into the blog series I never wanted to write. Lessons learned the hard way are never easily shared, and often times painfully remembered.
But in resisting the call to teach out of my own mistakes, I have grown dim in my zeal for the Lord. And that is wholly unacceptable.
If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that God’s call to obedience requires immediate and entire response on our part. Delayed obedience is disobedience; partial obedience is disobedience. Any parent will affirm that much.
So I open up this area of my life, the area of relationships, dating, and physical intimacy, in transparency to God and for the purpose of furthering God’s glory in the hope that somehow, The Lord will use the lessons learned by hard-fought battles in my life to grow a generation of younger girls and women in godliness. Faith is something that is taught; it must be handed down, generation to generation. It must be lived visibly by the older for the education of the younger. As I’ve gotten older (pushing 3-0, y’all…) I’ve seen the lives of my mother, my grandmother, my sisters, and now my own daughter. Nothing is more pressing to me than that I teach her not only what God’s standard is for her, but why He sets those expectations forth in His Word. Jesus said, “…but I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance.”
That’s the point. Living God’s design for biblical womanhood allows us the freedom to have abundant life, without fear, sorrow, or regret.
I’ll start by saying something that is fundamental to the rest of the ideology I’m going to build upon: girls, you are valuable. Young women, you have worth. That value is intrinsically placed in you from the moment you were conceived in your mother’s womb and stamped with the image of God Almighty. That’s a lesson I had a hard time believing and accepting in my own life. To be sure, I still sometimes struggle with this overwhelming truth. But it IS truth. He loves you, enough to die for you.
If you’re currently in a relationship with someone who wouldn’t do the same– someone who would not give their life to save yours– run. As fast as you can, as far as you can, in the complete opposite direction. On the other hand, if you’ve already been on the losing end of one of these types of selfish, toxic, degrading relationships, you don’t need me to tell you it was a mistake. It wasn’t God’s will for you. God will never lead you into a situation that will cause you to live contrary to His will. Rest assured, if you find yourself wandering away from God’s standard of dating, relationships or sex, know that it wasn’t God who took you there.
But, more importantly, know that you can never walk so far away that He will not be able to rescue you from your circumstances and transform them into something beautiful that glorifies His Name. Our God is gracious, loving, merciful, and mighty to save!
It’s not unreasonable to hold that high standard; it’s biblical. And the funny thing about God is that his standards are set forth to save His people from pain, and to keep them holy, pure, and set apart, when we tend to think they’re to place strictures on our freedom and choice. It’s true- God sets boundaries. In the same way sports have boundaries- lines that cannot be crossed, rules to be followed in order for there to be a victor. So God places boundaries around us to keep us safe and to lead us in victory.
Set apart, or sanctified, is God’s will for you. That you be different from the culture around you. That’s incredibly hard to hear as a teenage girl, I know… because I’ve been there.
I’ve made terrible choices, I’ve succumbed to peer pressure, and I’ve felt the sting of sin.
But God — two of the most beautiful words I know– in all His mercy, goodness, and love saw fit to redeem my life from the pit and to set my feet upon the Rock of salvation, Jesus Christ. And I’ve been blessed beyond anything I could ever deserve because of His loving kindness to me.
In the coming days or weeks, I hope to express God’s indescribable goodness and mercy as I share with you some of the things we should be teaching our girls today, who are so bombarded in our culture by so many falsehoods about femininity, womanhood, and identity.
These are the topics I’d like to touch on.
- If God made you female, He did it for a reason.
- Women are integral, not inferior
- Deflating the myth of feminist empowerment
- Delicate, not a doormat
- Successful singleness
- Dating is for the purpose of marriage
- One man, one woman, for life
- Hands off ’til the wedding ring goes on
- Redemption of sinful pasts
- Reckless Love (is not how God works)
- Loving your spouse like God desires
- Building a Christ-centered marriage
If there’s something you would like for me to address from a Christian, biblical perspective, let me know in the comments!