Category Archives: Godly Women

Jabber Mouth Princess

“I’m going to be true to myself,” Jackie claimed as her approach to dating. If she had feelings for a guy, she let him know. If she wanted to talk to a guy, she called him. If she was scared she might lose a guy, she’d cling to him and ask for some reassurance. If she liked a guy, she threw herself into a relationship head first, whether he was open to it or not. There was no mystery, or chance for a guy to lead the relationship. She made the moves and made sure not even a day went by that he didn’t hear how she felt. A lot of people might wonder what’s wrong with this bold approach. There is a time to share feelings and have defining conversations for the direction of a relationship. But there is also a time to be patient and silent.

A girl sometimes talks just for the sake of talking. If a moment becomes too quiet, she gets nervous and feels the need to tell a story, or rant on about meaningless nothings, “This one time, at band camp….” This inevitably makes her look as insecure and nervous as she is feeling. Many guys have something important they could share, but they choose not to when a girl goes on and on … and on. “So like, today was just the best day! I was driving… to like, work or something, and this BABY BIRD flopped into the road in front of me. Luckily, I was at a red light or like, I might have squished that poor, helpless creature. And then, like, how would the momma bird feel?? How would I feel?? Oh my gosh! So then, anyway, I went shopping after work and bought this pretty pink shirt and these leggings. I was totally about to buy some new socks with puppies on them, and some new shoes, but then I remembered I needed to go to the post office for some stamps. I was talking to my best friend on the phone and she said her boyfriend’s mom’s boyfriend bought a new Porsche. He modified it so it cost, like, more than my whole wardrobe. It’s a pretty metallic color with flames and chrome wheels. I’m going to get a Porsche someday. I think they are so pretty, don’t you?” On and on… it’s meaningless, but it beats the silence, right?

I cannot stress enough how vital it is to get comfortable with silence. I know some women like to talk. They use more than ten times the amount of words men do… each day. That does not mean every moment and every day should be filled with mindless banter.  There is a time for everything, including silence. How will we ever hear those few important sentences other people need to speak if we do not give them the opportunity?

We all know that girl who jabbers a million miles an hour. It doesn’t go well for her on a date. She goes home thinking she met her future husband and feels great that she shared so much of her heart. He, on the other hand, was ready for the date to end right after they sat down for dinner. She told him about her best friend from middle school, her popularity in high school, that she was on the honor role, how her dog Skip died, about all nine of her boyfriends and why it didn’t work out… with each of them, her favorite pastime, what she likes to eat while watching TV, and the names and personalities of all seven of her cats. She connected. He didn’t.

There needs to be some mystery. The most exciting part of getting to know someone is discovering their personality through questions and interactions. If a girl tells everything about herself, without even taking a breath, the date loses its mystery and the girl just comes off as a boring braggart. We don’t need to chase after or pursue anyone.

Joann pursued Tony. She is gorgeous and outgoing, but doesn’t have a lot of self-respect. She eventually snagged him. Soon, his disinterest and boredom became evident. Predictably, he began to look elsewhere. He wanted to pursue someone with mystery who would take some effort to finally win. No matter how beautiful she looked, it wasn’t enough to keep her man occupied. Men are made with a desire to win a battle, and fight for a woman. It’s not our job to pursue. It is hard to keep that kind of relationship. Of course, that is not always the case. I realize there are some special circumstances. But let me be clear, those circumstances should be the minority, not the majority of relationship beginnings.

There are a few exceptions to the rule. When a guy is outrageously shy, it is okay to throw a few extra hints his way, perhaps a sky message that reads: “I like you, shy guy, when you ask me out I will say yes.”

Another case that might need some encouragement: sometimes we give ‘hands-off’ messages to guys. I started to develop some interest for a friend of mine. Throughout our friendship he saw guy after guy pursue me without luck. We would even talk about the other situations and how awkward it was for me. Their desperation to win me, a stranger, was unnerving. He admitted to me that he didn’t want to ever pursue me because he was afraid I might categorize him with those others. I did like him though. As our friendship blossomed but never progressed, the time did come when I shared my heart with him.

Making the moves can be an intimidating and nerve-racking process. It is never fun to risk rejection. So if we are clearly telling people we don’t want to date and we don’t want a boyfriend, the right, respectful guys will step down and either be a friend or move on. If an interest is formed for one of these respectful men, a hint or two might be needed to encourage them in the pursuit. In this case, a conversation might even be best. The conversation, though it can be scary, should be easy-going and honest, “Hey, we’ve had ____ many months to get to know each other. I just want you to know I appreciate _____ and _____ (character qualities) about you. I have developed stronger feelings for you. But you do with that knowledge whatever you see fit. I cherish your friendship, so just let me know if there’s something there for you or if we should just keep being friends.” If this conversation is going to happen, breathe. Don’t get worked up over what needs to be said or what needs to happen. We can only share what’s happening on our side. Feelings have to be reciprocated in order for a relationship to ensue. We have no control over that, so there is no point in stressing. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, there is always going to be someone better suited.

These are not common situations. Guys have an innate desire to pursue. When they step into their God-given leadership roles they become more alive as men. Their masculinity is strengthened when we allow them to make the moves and do the wooing. The more we scream out equality on the playing field, the lazier our guys become. “Don’t wait for him to call you. You call him.” Just as we need to learn silence in order to give our guys a chance to share deep stories, or ask personal question, we also need to learn patience when it comes to first moves. We have to be careful about making hasty decisions or running ahead to take the lead. The most loving approach we can take in new encounters and relationships is to be open and friendly; not brash and outspoken. This isn’t a competition or a burping contest. We have an innate desire to be pursued. We don’t need to prove our worth or independence in order to impress guys. When we understand our security is found in Christ, we will learn how to respond to the right guy’s pursuit. There is no need to blare a loud horn to get a guy’s attention.

Some women are shy, so this approach is easier for them. And then there are some of us who are go-getters and major competitors.  It is hard to practice patience and self-control. We know what we want and we’re ready to get it. The downfall of this trait is a hasty decision. Backpedaling is hard to do when we’re already going down a hill. It is important to learn patience. Every man is a leader, or meant to be. Some have had their leadership squashed by so many women that it takes them a bit more time to pursue. They do have it within them. We can be a part of a great lesson for these guys if we just learn some patience in their pursuit. Just like talking, he’ll make the move, if we just step back and give him the floor.


The Shape of Confidence

 

 “Does this dress make me look fat?”

Most of the time it is asked by women who already feel they might be too big for the tight jeans or dress they just huffed and puffed their way into. Men lie through gritted teeth, “No baby, you look great!” If they actually admitted the truth, there would be tears, silent treatment, a screaming fit, or bulimia summoned straight on the spot. So what is the real answer to this question and many others we’ve heard: “Do I look prettier than her?” “Am I beautiful?” “Would you love me if I got fat?”

Weight has always been an issue for women. It’s a hard topic to discuss because it’s been swept under the rug. According to the Center of Disease Control, that pile of dust has caused a pretty big lump under our United States rug. Over 35% of women in the U.S. are obese. Some women eat unhealthy food, sit idly all day, and then, in a moment of reality, can no longer fit in their clothes. They need to justify their laziness by putting pressure on the guy to answer that awful question. When a guy says, “Uh, no, of course you don’t look fat!” it validates the woman to continue the pattern: fatty foods, idle movement, and shopping in the wrong sizes. This lifestyle also fosters insecurity, health problems, and a genetic disposition for their children. Not only is it damaging to these women, it is harming their husbands and kids, which balloon just as quickly under such habits.

I’ve seen many women ‘let themselves go’ after they married. After the vows, “For better or for worse,” some feel safe that they finally made it to ‘wife’ status and refuse to practice fitness. If anything, the opposite mindset should be the aim: now that I have a husband, I am going to take extra good care of my body-for him, as well as myself. We must remember two become one. Our bodies are no longer just our own after marriage. When we are joined to the life of another person, our choices will include and affect them. The shopping list, the meal choices, and thus, the loved ones living under the same roof are all affected. Even parenting is affected, “Eat all your Twinkies so you can grow up to be big and sturdy.” Oh wait! That’s not how the saying goes. As a kid, I was told to eat all my vegetables. I disliked some of them, but cultivated healthy habits under the guidance of my parents. Once, they jokingly told my older brother that if he didn’t eat all his veggies he would blow away with the wind. He took their words literally. In Alaska, the wind could get a bit feisty. Next time he went outside, he stuffed his little blue overalls full of teddy bears and his pockets with rocks. When the wind blew harder, he held on to the stair railing for dear life. Children are influenced by their parents’ words and habits. Good habits are so important for our own health, as well as the precious little people we bring into the world. It is no surprise that those same healthy habits will build our confidence and outlook on life, whether married, dating, or single.

The aim is not to change our genetics. Society does it’s best to replicate a “perfect image” for everyone through cosmetics and plastic surgery. We shouldn’t be about self-absorption and duplication. We must learn to accept the way God created us: unique—not a fingerprint is identical. But we must also learn discipline and healthy lifestyles. It’s about our health and our daily choices. It does take effort to maintain healthy habits, but they are well worth every sacrifice and heart-pounding, sweat-streaming exercise.

While I’m single, I work out for myself: to build my confidence, keep fit, feel safe, and be comfortable in my own skin. I do not rely on any man to make me feel beautiful or to build my confidence. That pressure is completely unrealistic. Sure, we can use the line: women are just insecure and that is why they need reassurance. But let’s dig into the ugly truth of insecurity: it’s a sin. It’s a blatant disregard for the Creator and His beautiful creation. He made each of us incomparable. For us to dislike ourselves or wish we looked like another is a slap in His face. Coveting and jealousy also tear down the beauty God designed in us. Of course I’m not perfect and I have definitely wondered what it would be like to be someone else. But at the end of the day, there is only one me on this earth. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” -Oscar Wilde. There is a God-stamped authenticity in each person on the face of the earth. The more we discover it and live out of that knowledge, the more beautiful we become. It is so much better to be ourselves than scramble exhaustively toward unrealistic, shallow pursuits to look like another person.

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else” -Judy Garland.

It is not up to our guys to reassure us or make us feel confident. We need to know who we are and how to take care of our bodies. When we work out, we get fit. When we get fit, we get confident. When we are confident, we don’t need to ask the question, “Am I beautiful?” Because we already know the answer: “I am beautiful.”

Women are absolutely beautiful just as they are, no matter the size. When I see bigger girls jogging down the road, lifting in the gym, or even jiving to Zumba, it makes me proud. If a girl is genetically big-boned, has a true thyroid condition, or tragically suffers from health conditions, there’s no fault in that. Those women can still do their best. The goal is not to become skinny, modelisque material. I have an average build. I take care of that shape by strengthening the estimated 640 muscles within it. We must do something beneficial for our physical and emotional health. Fitness is not just about physical beauty. For health reasons alone, it is crucial to exercise at least 20 minutes a day. What does that look like? It varies between people. Basically it is any activity that increases the heart rate, draws a little sweat out of the pores, and activates the muscles.

For some, it is hard to learn discipline. Exercise can be considered a drudgery. It is important to understand anything that makes us sweaty and sore is not eagerly anticipated at the beginning. The key is to find activities that suit individual interests. Many of my friends are avid surfers, snowboarders, and hikers. Fitness doesn’t need to be the conventional trip to the gym. There are some incredible hobbies, sports, and extreme adrenaline rushes that can activate muscles and spike the heart rate. “I don’t want to get all buff and macho.” I hear this all the time from my dainty female friends. This is an excuse to resist fitness. Some girls think that if they are skinny they don’t need to work out. They may be genetically blessed with a high metabolism so weight is never an issue. But health goes so much deeper than the surface and size of a woman. Some of the skinniest girls in the world die from malnutrition. Everyone needs exercise: energetic children, wobbly geriatrics, paralyzed patients, and average individuals with hectic lifestyles and poor food choices. There are some hard choices that must be made daily. “I don’t want to do this, but I need to do it.”

Obsessing over fitness is not a healthy mindset. Anorexia is more than depriving one’s body of food. It is also about a paralyzing fear of weight gain, and an obsession with exercise. There is a balance to everything. Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial (1 Cor. 10:23). Likewise, an excessive amount of exercise can be harmful. It is important, but like all other things, it should come second to God Almighty. “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” -1 John 5:21

Start small with a walk around the block to enjoy fresh air and conversation with the Creator. And then, increase the intensity. Make conscious efforts to park a little further from the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and set goals to accomplish each week.

“Hey honey! I look gooooood in this new dress, don’t I?!” Confidence makes a woman feel beautiful.


Artificially Modified Personalities

Have you ever changed a bit of your personality to fit into some guy’s world? Have you ever caught yourself telling exaggerated truths or enduring activities you care nothing about in order to snag some guy’s attention? Everyone is guilty of a personality tweak now and again to impress another. If this becomes a pattern, a flip-flop of personalities soon inhabits the person who was meant to live unique and free from such bondage. The fabricated lifestyle is tiring and confusing. “Who am I, really?” It’s an honest question. But it’s hard to find the answer if you’ve been mutating into so many characters to impress the likes of this month’s crush.

I was interacting with a dear friend about her recent break-up and she said something that made me cringe, “I tried and tried, but it was never enough. I kept changing my personality to keep him happy. But it didn’t work.” Often, women are eager to adapt to the current boyfriend. On one end of the spectrum, he may be affecting an area that God needs to work on: a sin or weakness. But never should there be condemnation or embarrassment concerning our personalities and interests. If the happy-go-lucky jokester dates a serious intellect that just wants to have meaningful conversations and sip tea on the balcony, the conversation goes something like this, [his words] “Honey, I was just noticing how you tend to laugh a lot. Would you mind terribly, I’d truly enjoy a calm and meek you, instead.” Reading this incredulous scenario play out, we all laugh. There is no reason we should become more like the guy unless it is a reflection of Christ. If he is so admirable that his actions point us toward Christ then those are qualities to follow. But they only enhance our lively, joyful spirit, not tear us down or make us feel unworthy. Just because a guy doesn’t enjoy something we’re interested in does not mean he can take it away from us. We are different people. We will inevitably have different interests. There are dozens of layers to all of us. We are mysterious beings with intricate detail and matchless worth. Every part of us makes us unique. If we start morphing into the likeness of our man, we will lose a part of ourselves in the process. There is a reason we are different from our guys. Many of our qualities are meant to encourage and challenge them. And the unique qualities of men are meant to do the same for us. The guy we are supposed to be with appreciates and accepts all those qualities and idiosyncrasies.

When an attractive and fascinating guy comes along, the average girl subconsciously makes files in her brain as he shares his interests and hobbies. Oh! He loves bouldering. I could like that too. I should go to the YMCA next week and learn to climb. After speaking with guy-of-interest she changes a bit of her personality to impress him. The façade cannot be held forever. Say the pretense was a success and the guy falls head-over-heels. It was the plan. But as reality unfolds and the crush wears off, there are two drastically different people sitting across the table from one another.

It was tragic to hear my friend talk about her attempt to make things work with her boyfriend to no avail. She changed her personality from an intellectual, soft-spoken woman to an avid huntress, motocross rider, boisterous Calamity Jane. She was straining to make this relationship work while the guy was just in the relationship until someone better came along. And my friend put up with it because she was terrified of being alone. A lot of people give up the respect they undoubtedly deserve just to pacify their insecurities.

Insecurity takes its toll on relationships. If we don’t understand ourselves or have confidence in who Christ has created us to be we will inevitably fall into an artificial personality just to win a guy’s approval.

 


Control Freak

“Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

Here we have the initial and lasting curse of woman. I wondered the meaning behind this punishment that affects all womankind. Desire in this context is not referring to the sexual kind. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a desire for sex. Why on earth would that be a punishment? God had already blessed Adam and Eve’s union and gave them the ability to delight in one another, “to be fruitful and multiply.” The interpretation comes from a Hebrew word to seek control. In essence it means, “You shall seek control over your husband.”

We want control. When we like someone, we let our emotions run rampant if the guy moves too slowly. We want things done a certain way. We see it playing out in our minds a lot quicker than it is in reality. Only God knows perfect timing. We can learn how to move in His timing when we listen to Him. Only He knows whether something should be set in motion with a relationship. It must be so hard for Him to see us walk blindly into a relationship that isn’t meant for us. I know my Father allows me to make choices-some with painful consequences. Sadly, some of those choices will affect others in the process. Ever since I read Song of Songs, one phrase was branded into my memory. No, it was not the thing about pillar legs and apple breasts. And we all thought pear-shaped women were imperfect. Solomon, the wisest man in the world, was all for it. Seriously, the phrase was: “Do not awaken love before its proper time.” This is important to note. It is relevant not only in the timing of godly relationships and the moments to pursue someone, but also for a potential relationship that won’t work out. It gives us time to get to know the other person and realize, ‘love’ is the last thing we want to awaken toward that person.

It may be painful. Some even go through withdrawals as an addict does. I can only paint you a limited view from my own experience. I choose purity over flesh time and time again. As a matter of fact, I still have to make those decisions daily. I am tempted faintly at times to turn my back on this stance and run reckless like any other girl. But I will always have the aftertaste of darkness in the back of my throat from bad choices: the angry outbursts, disloyalty to friends, and the kisses I handed out like sugarfree lollipops at a doctor’s office. I know better than to turn back and lick that bile off the ground. I’m not extra special. I’m not extra protected. My mistakes went against my heart’s standards. But what I consider major regrets the next girl might consider petty child’s play. I didn’t go off the proverbial deep end, but I saw many people who did. The conclusion is the same for every girl no matter the past.

It’s time to throw off the old ways of doing things! Redemption is here.

“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” –Ephesians 4:21-23.

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” –Ephesians 5:1-2.

Let us create and foster godly relationships so that all mankind will know to Whom we belong. Let the world see authenticity at its finest. There is power in our testimonies. I’m not saying that dating is wrong. I’m not saying celibacy is best, courtship is the healthiest method, or dowries and arranged marriages are the way to go. I believe wholeheartedly in relationships. I love having guy friends, crushes, and brother-types. I think it is crucial for us to spend time with guys and get to know them. There’s a right way and a wrong way. I know we all believe our circumstances are unique and we are the only ones going through that certain thing, but it’s not true. We’ve all experienced pain in many forms, love, lust, and even a bit of envy. Each of us goes on our own journey to find God and find out who we are, but I also know we could use a little guidance along the way. The challenges bring us closer to Christ and the blessings bring more people into our circles with which we share life, hope, and most importantly God’s love. Anything is possible with Christ on our side. It only takes one to start a revolution.


First Come First Serve: The Insecure Woman’s Motto

Media says if we as women behave in a free-loving, easy-going manner we will snag the man of our dreams. I know girls that practice this behavior. They give their bodies in order to receive love. They are desperate to be wanted and loved by men. However, in giving everything to each of those men they are saying, “I don’t respect myself so why should you?” I wish I could snap each and every friend out of that approval-based love. If we have to act or be a certain way to receive “love” then it’s not love. Here are the lenses of an insecure woman: she sees the flirty, provocative woman flaunt her body and receive an abundance of attention. She sees magazine covers with perfect-shaped faces and curves. She sees actresses, all the same size and unattainable beauty. She wants that image. She craves that attention. Little does she realize if and when she gets it, she will feel empty and unfulfilled. I can only speak from experience on this. I have been that girl. I wore the outfits that left little to the imagination and acted in a way that promoted trouble. I remember the looks from guys. I felt like a freshly cut slab of steak dangling above a sharks tank. The kind of men that respond are hungry, and not for our sweet personalities or quirky humor. No, they are hungry for the body we unabashedly show off. Their eyes mentally undress what remains and there we are, naked to them, vulnerable to be used to lust’s content. So as much as we may desire attention, it is not worth it. The images in guys’ minds are not easily erased. Just another female added to a pile of pictures that men will probably fantasize about for a phase of time. There will always be beautiful faces. The beautiful ones desired a decade ago have been tossed to the side as a fresh, young group arises. Do we want to be the pretty face a handful of guys lust after until they see another pretty face? I surely hope not. I hope we continue to become women respected by all; women who stand firm, confident, and modest. Modest women don’t desire to attract many suitors. Instead, they are concealed in Christ so that only godly men know where to find their hearts.

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.” (Maya Angelou)

There has been a destructive pattern in Jill’s dating choices. Like a continuous cycle, she has chosen jerk after good-looking jerk. A lot of guys take advantage of her because she makes it easy for them. How could a guy resist a tasty free morsel put before him?

Jill had just received the break-up line, “I’ve met someone else. And you don’t do it for me anymore.” She was familiar with the procedure, but it still cut a new one in her heart. She and John had been dating for five months. She moved in after three months, caught him cheating after four, forgave him and kept living with him until the fifth month. No matter how many break-ups, it still hurt like the first one. “I’m so stupid,” she sobbed. “I knew better. But I just keep waiting for a guy to tell me I deserve better.” Unfortunately, that hope may be a long time coming. “Why wait?” I said, “You do deserve better. You need to make the changes in your patterns. You need to realize your worth before you can join into a quality relationship with the right kind of man.” If we behave with knowledge of our spiritual value, we will not display our treasures for all to see.

When we walk into Wal-Mart, chances are everything we come across is cheaply made and affordable. We buy everyday trinkets at Wal-Mart that are useful for a short period of time and easily replaceable. If we lose our Wal-Mart sweatpants or toothbrush holder it’s not devastating. On the contrary, when we walk into a Louis Vuitton store, we can smell the value. We’d take delicate footsteps and mull wistfully over every article of clothing. Half a life savings could be spent on one item. And how would such an item be cared for if the purchase was made? It would be treasured, handled carefully and lovingly because of the value.

The same principle applies to the value for which we’re perceived. If we act like Wal-Mart, we’ll be treated as such: easily replaced. However, if we walk in the knowledge of humans created in the image of God, our value will shine with everlasting evidence of priceless and irreplaceable worth. No man can take it away from us and no circumstance can devalue our worth in God’s eyes.


A Dive Into Darkness

In the struggle to find my identity, I danced around Satan’s raging fire. I will never be able to shake the remorse that comes from mistakes I made in my early adulthood. On a good day, I thank the Lord for His grace. On a bad day-when I am weak-I am haunted by faces and memories. I am appalled by my own behavior, actions, and choices which led to a whirlpool of darkness. It does not seem bad when we are in the midst of it all. It is thrilling and wild. The attention is flattering. But as we walk away, more empty than ever, we have a new gash in our hearts and another smudge on our reputations. Even still, some of those nightmares will resurface in the next chapter of our lives.

James was my go-to guy. I was safe with him and we always had fun. One night, I went on a double-date with another guy and remember thinking, “I wish James was here. Hey! I’ll just call him and get him to join us.” When I look back, I cringe at this disastrous approach. Nonetheless, I proceeded. The date was going so wrong and I could tell this guy was way more into me than I was him. The other three were having such a good time they decided the night must continue with a star-gaze, night-picnic. I excused myself while the planning went underway and made the call. To my delight, James would be there within the next few hours-which was how long it took him to drive to my location. My knight in shining armor! All the while, other-dude had no idea his date was about to abandon him. I have no excuses for being a coward back then. Just as our picnic began, James showed up. The dismal look on the other guy’s face still pricks my heart. But I was selfish and cowardly and I took my leave, offering a handshake of friendship to my poor date. For the oddest reason, he did in fact take me up on a friendship and became a great friend to me… for a while… before he proposed. I’ll save that story for another post.

James was just a great guy. He would do anything for me. He wasn’t a Christian, but respected my stance. He was just nice enough that I waivered a few standards. Just because a guy has the label of a “good guy” doesn’t ensure our purity. Even good guys can be selfish. Likewise, Christian girls can be as well. Including me. James randomly made an appearance in my life years later. It brought up a thousand selfish memories from our college days. A battle took place in my mind that was so strong I felt ill to my stomach. I knew I was forgiven. But the pain that washed over me from the mistakes I had made so long ago ripped through my heart and gnawed on my spirit. My mistakes consisted of passionate kisses and groping hands. That may not seem like the worst of deeds, but to me those actions were overstepping. Everyone has a different relationship tolerance. Mine was extremely low and I believed kissing that got too crazy was unhealthy behavior for me and unwholesome for the guy. Some have experienced a greater level of the affection train; that doesn’t make anyone a hopeless cause or a hard case.

Our redeemed hearts are what matter and how we take each step into purity. We’ve got to get past the idea that purity only involves sex. It’s so much deeper than an act. It begins in the heart.

We can’t waste our hearts without wasting our lives. “For as the heart is either pure or corrupt, so is the whole course of a man’s life.” (Prov. 4:23)

Though I have tasted the darker side and faced the consequences, I cannot possibly regret my decisions because they have brought me to the place I am today-fully aware of both sides of the track. It is not my desire to keep anyone from living life to the fullest. I advise against tempestuous behavior because I know the pain involved and I only wish to prevent others from facing some of the same foolish difficulties. I am sure we will all make our own risky choices, but I pray they do not involve the realm of purity. I have a greater appreciation for purity and wholesome relationships since I have experienced the opposite. And with the age-old saying (which still stands true), I wish I knew then what I know now [without having learned the hard way]. It would be great to learn the lessons without experiencing the pain of bad choices. I wish I had the appreciation for purity before I looked in the wrong places for adventure and fulfillment. I am wiser now-not because I learned the hard way-but because of what I am doing with the knowledge I have. We are all responsible for what we do with the knowledge we’ve been given.

God created us to live wild and free. We can have these qualities without stepping outside of God’s will. The world has taken the word ‘wild’ away from Christians and turned it into something bad and dark. But I will argue the fact that God Himself was wild. He did not follow religious rules and regulations or fall prey to the hypocrites. He was not susceptible to their manipulation. He did the Father’s will which allowed Him to turn water into wine, calm raging seas in the midst of their great tantrum, revive a corpse of rotting flesh to brilliant life, and give all hopeless and unworthy beings a second chance. He is wild in so many ways, but all His ways are pure and holy.

Whatever we have done, nothing is too big for God to forgive.


Dark Coal To Shimmering Diamond

As important as it is to be attracted to our companion, it is equally important to be leery of the tantalizing lures of attraction. In almost every case where I liked a guy, something stood in the way of a relationship; whether age, religion, or marital status-all barriers I consider deal-breakers. But it is not easy to just turn off the switch of attraction. We have to be very careful of the emotions we allow into our daily thoughts and those with which we toy. An affair, pornography addiction, home-wrecker, and friends with benefits don’t just happen overnight.  The actions are dwelt upon in the mind and heart first. Attraction is only what we allow it to be. I won’t condemn attraction. I think it is important. But not all attraction is healthy and wholesome. We can’t just do whatever feels good. We can’t fall for just anyone our eyes deem worthy of our interest. Our emotions can have a voracious appetite for hapless victims. We must understand the importance of commitment and love so that we don’t allow our attractions to run wild and free for whomever they choose.

What do I do when he is dreamy AND eligible?

Many guys have made my heart skip a beat or two. I’ve learned the most exhilarating way of handling these feelings. Crushes don’t have to be disastrous cases with heart-wrenching endings. They can be fun and wholesome. When I have feelings for someone and catch myself thinking about him often, I have to heed caution: do I think about him more than I do about God? Am I more excited to spend time with him than I am with God? If the answer is yes then my heart is not in the right place. So I do the only thing my humanity can handle; I pray. Any time I start thinking about dreamy guy, I don’t fantasize or role play different scenarios in my head like a plot in a romance movie. Instead, I pray to God for the guy’s character to be strengthened, his future wife to be protected from impurity, his own heart to be protected from impurity, and his life to be a glorious example of God’s kind of man. The more I think of the guy, the more I pray for him. As I pray to the God of all creation, a shift takes place within my heart. It isn’t just giddy feelings when I think of the guy, now it’s excitement for his future. The extraordinary happens when God transforms so much of that crush into a true Christlike love. I am protective of the guy and want to even guard his heart from my own feelings. Any time thereafter when I’m interacting with him, I am mindful of what I say and do so that his heart is not manipulated into liking me. I learn to control the flirtation because I truly care about the guy and his best interest. If it is within God’s plan that the two of us are supposed to be together, it is going to be through a healthy foundation, not flirty actions and tons of teasing. I don’t want to manipulate my way into a relationship. As I’ve seen, those relationships usually don’t last and tend to result in turmoil and heart break.

Take this experiment for a spin. Try praying for your next crush every time you think of the person. Watch in amazement as God transforms a mere crush into pure and selfless love. It is invigorating. If and when the crush disintegrates, you will be so much freer not having experienced the freight train of emotions torturing your heart for the entirety of the crush.

When given the option of following my flighty emotions or my knowing spirit, I will choose spirit every time. I would much rather follow God’s truth in the matter than experience the heart ache of wrong choices due to frivolous feelings.


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