Tag Archives: Christian

Date Me If You Can

The issue of reading women probably stems from this oxymoron: we’re sickeningly sweet to the ones we couldn’t care less about and stone-cold indifferent to the attractive ones.

In my life, this little fact has handicapped me from being approachable to the right guys. I’ll see an attractive person and immediately freeze. My eyes drop to the floor and I instinctively smile at my feet. Some would say I’m just shy, but even shy people look back up at the person of interest. Unfortunately, I’ve convinced myself that such a move would scream with blaring desperation “pick me, please pick me!” So I am unable to express openness or encourage an approach. No wonder guys have such a fear of being shot down. We look like disinterested monsters too full to consume the approaching victim. But hey! There’s always the chance we’ll kill you for fun and leave the rotting corpse in our wake. So how do guys read the signs?

It is not always the guy’s responsibility to interpret mysterious signs expressed by the female gender. Take me, for instance, I’ll run the opposite direction, zigzagging along the way to throw someone off my trail. . .if I like him, that is. That doesn’t build much confidence in a poor guy trying to pursue.

So, hopefully the following will help…

Here are some of the signs of interest:

First, she glances and smiles. Then, she gives a second glance… 3 seconds pass… she smiles again. Third time, …she smiles, …okay! It is time to approach. This girl is interested.

Here is when it is not up to the poor guy to read interest: if a girl glances, makes eye contact and looks away, never to look back. It’s her loss if the guy chooses not to risk rejection by approaching her.

Flip the scene: when we don’t like someone, we smile, we’re friendly, we joke, we laugh, and we act like they are the only person in the world. We’re comfortable, if not confident. We don’t worry about rejection or looking dumb in front of these guys. They get friend-zoned almost immediately, but we love hanging out with them. Insert every girl’s claim here: we want to marry our best friend. By this, it only means we want to get as comfortable with the one we’re attracted to as we are with the friend-zoned fellow.

There is nothing wrong with being nice to guys we’re not interested in, but it is immensely confusing to befriend all the ones we don’t like while giving icy glares to the ones we do.

Here’s something we girls can do: be friendly to the guys we want to approach us. Be open and welcoming. Guys don’t need us to take their hand and lead the relationship. They need some encouragement in the right direction. They are not mind readers or flawlessly confident men who haven’t a fear in the world. They are human, trying to navigate life.

For the guys: look for the signs of interest. If you are unsure but interested, go for it. Most of the time, we are gracious in our rejection. Don’t take it personal. It was a risk taken and a new direction to move in. This one didn’t work. Maybe the next one will.

We could all learn to be clearer with our communication, actions and intentions. We are friendly creatures, by default because we want to be accepted and liked. Unfortunately, it is easier for us to abuse our power with people who make us comfortable. That goes for both genders. We gladly accept the attention of a person regardless of our own disinterest in them. It makes us feel desirable and enables us a few back-up plans in case we can’t find someone better. The dilemma in that is, when a guy sees us with our “friend,” he regards us as taken and moves on. This inevitably works its dark magic on our esteem. Now, we wonder why the only guys we attract are the ones we don’t like. The simple truth is we’re afraid of the ones we like. We don’t want to show our vulnerable hearts to them. So we try to mask it, act tougher, show interest elsewhere in order to get his attention. If we could just learn to be ourselves— comfortable, friendly, and funny— with the right company, we might have the chance at a top-choice relationship. We wouldn’t feel the need to settle every time we’re single and alone. Fear is the partner of settling. Fear of being alone, being shunned by society, being an outcast or–God forbid–different! Another reason we settle is this, “Hey! If the guy I like sees me with someone else, he’ll know I’m desirable. He will try to win me over.” I’m pretty sure it’s every girl’s fantasy to be fought over by two great guys. “May the best man win!” This is our atrocious flesh rearing its ugly insecure head like a pimple on prom night. It’s a world of confusion with so simple a solution:

We need to be nice to the one we are actually interested in. Stop playing games. If the guy doesn’t have a chance, we should be decent and respectful and cut him loose. It only brings trouble to keep a hapless crusher attached. He deserves to be happy with someone who will like him in return.


Beyond The Pencil-Prick Life

The question should never be, “When will I meet that special someone?” Instead, this is the question we focus on: “Does my life exemplify Christ to the world?” Whether single or married, one fact remains true of all lifestyles: the safest place to be is in the will of God. If He allows us to enjoy the benefits of marriage for the next 50 years then we will do so within the boundaries of His will. If He gives us the freedom to spend our days as a single person then we shall lavish in the moments and spend our time for the Kingdom. Without Him, I am lost. With Him, I have all I need. So it isn’t a matter of finding someone, or being someone such as a girlfriend, a wife, or an old maid. It is a matter of fostering a right relationship with the King of all creation. After our 80+ years on this earth we will move on into eternity. Everything on this earth will fade in time. We will be taking nothing more than our spirits to heaven. We won’t have Mr. and Mrs. titles in heaven either. Whoever the godly man is that we marry is not the means to an end. He plays a part in God’s story as well. Our job in his life is to build him up and encourage him forward. Too often I hear single people swoon over marriage, “Oh! If only I was married… When I get married… Things will be different when I’m married…” It all sounds so final. All the “someday-when-I’m-married” stipulations will hold no bearing to the truth about marriage being a temporary, earthly example of Christ and His Bride. The ultimate relationship is with Jesus Christ. Not even death can separate that relationship. He is our first love. Meaning nothing should EVER take His place within our hearts. Even if we marry the greatest guy in the whole world, that relationship STILL falls short compared to our love relationship with Christ. We are not necessarily held responsible for whether or not we marry, but whether or not we fulfill our calling. It is that big. It is that crazy, wild, and adventurous. It will bring us to life like nothing else in the entire world. Our callings stimulate us and shape us into the representatives Christ has called us to be.

I’ve had some of the sweetest, most exhilarating moments with God. I’ve shifted away from the busyness of life to meet with Him in some of the most remote places where His beauty shines and His Spirit speaks softly. I am filled to the brim with unspeakable joy, peace, and the assurance of His security. He is ready to pour out His blessings and share His love at all moments throughout the day. The reason the moments happen less frequently than they should is because I get too busy. I misplace my focus and start building my little earthly kingdom or I get distracted by the shiny objects in this life. He fills my heart afresh every time I meet with Him. But it goes against my human nature to seek Him and please Him. My spirit and my flesh are at war all day every day. The more time I do spend in His presence, the stronger my spirit becomes and the more Christ becomes my sole focus. I know Satan can’t stand a powerfully selfless child of God. He subtly brings on the distractions. And before I know it, it’s been weeks and I haven’t had one of those awe-inspiring, soul-refreshing, spirit-awakening moments with God. We mustn’t let go of our first love. We cannot let ourselves get so busy we neglect that meaningful and life-transforming relationship. The way we treat Him is going to hold bearing on the way we treat our future men. Will we give our time to Him even in our busiest pursuits?

And when we come fully alive, we will encourage our significant others to become fully alive. The verses concerning two being better than one truly make this point: we can do marvelous things for the Lord as a single person, but when two people come together and pray into something and encourage each other along, build one another up, and step out into darkness together, they can light up the world. That’s why it is so important to make sure we are both chasing after the same goal. And the goal above all goals is to glorify God in everything we do. We find a guy with that same focus and we’ve found a treasure.

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

What amazes me is that God is always moving. Even when I sleep, He continually originates desires and plans in my life to tug me along on His glorious and adventure-filled path. Everything in the universe is the story of God. God created all things to glorify Him. I want any role in the never-ending story of God. I want my life to shine a light on Him. I desire to bring GLORY to God in ALL I DO! And when we partake in this story-no matter our role-we get to participate in the glorious, heavenly after-party of God. We are allowed to come into His presence because Jesus Christ came to this miniscule planet to save us. He saved me. He rescued me. My life BELONGS to Him. I was made for Him-for His glory. That is such a jewel to possess. This life is NOT about me. It is about Him. What can I do with my pencil-tip-length of life to bring glory to His name?

Life. He is the way, the truth, and the LIFE. In Him, our spirits come alive.

 


The Power of Music

Music is influential in our senses, imaginations and learning techniques. This powerful tool is directly linked to the brain waves. It can heal anxiety, depression, insomnia, and short attention spans. It brings alertness, attentiveness, and self-awareness. But it can be used for destructive purposes as well. When we saturate our minds and spirits with lyrics about making love in clubs, it warps our perspective on love. How can we expect to make solid choices when we are dousing our minds with selfish lust-filled stories that dim our spirit’s shimmering light?

I caught myself strumming my pencil to a song…

“You can have whatever you like. If you want it you can get it my dear, 5 million-dollar home… I want your body, I need your body. As long as you got me you won’t need nobody. You want it, I got it. Baby, you can have whatever you like.”

Other than the grammatical errors, the message is plain and clear: I’ll give you money and material items to make you happy and you give me your body in return. I liked the beat of this song, but it wasn’t until I caught a word or two that I started hearing the lyrics for the first time. I was mortified that I could be so pleasantly moved by such a song. The Bible says, “Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong.” (1 Cor. 16:13). We need to be cautious of what we allow to filter into our systems. Those songs are seeping into our hearts. How can we listen to the words and not be influenced by them?

We are mistaken if we think these outlets of entertainment have zero effect on our interaction with members of the opposite gender. The more we feed on this monstrous, decaying cadaver the more we will see through the eyes of death. Likewise, when we feed from the grazing territories of God’s hope and truth, life abounds.  I’ve concluded it isn’t even worth it to intoxicate my spirit with the catchy tunes.

A healthy lifestyle takes some hard steps of self-control, 20/20 vision for people’s worth and a deeper respect for our spirits. We have to make some tough choices. There is junk food in each of us that must be eliminated. Take time to search out these frivolous time-consumers. It is almost unrealistic to go cold turkey on entertainment and all forms of media, but I highly respect anyone who aims for it. Some of us shifted things around a bit slower, we realized all this gorging on immoral media could create a throng of obese fakes. How can we expect God to speak to us if we are invading His temple with junk? We have to let go of this mindset: It’s all about me. My life, my choices, my rights. That life is short-lived, wasted, and meaningless in the end. We have an incredible chance to be a part of history: HIS-story. Our part can and will impact people. I would rather have the role of an extra in the greatest story ever told than the selfish star in a dull, rundown, typical story that lasts but a pencil prick compared to the space of time. Why waste away, wishing for excitement like the character of a favorite movie? Life is happening here and now. The adventure is right in front of us, beckoning us to join. We must lose some of the excess weight called entertainment. We need to run toward the finish line and claim the grand Prize. In Christ alone, my glory shines.

It may feel like a huge sacrifice to give up large quantities of Hollywood entertainment. It may even hurt a bit. But the unfathomable freedom and refreshment is worth it. The pain is a beneficial pain, like exercise. We persevere if we want results. We make right choices daily. It isn’t just a spring cleaning of the soul and then we’re done for the next six months. We can’t just throw out all the bad CDs, movies, magazines, TV shows one day and expect to check off the list of good deeds for the year. It takes daily discipline to keep our minds pure and our hearts fresh. The thoughts and dreams of our hearts will surely come out in our actions and behaviors. Whether some are going cold turkey or giving up one thing at a time, or just thinking of giving up depraved music, it will be out of love for Christ that any of us follow through and take the steps toward freedom. We obey because we love Him. We make wise choices because we want to please Him. He is HOLY, and we are His children. We are to represent Him. The only way we can do that is by living in the aperture of His Spirit. There is a soft and gentle conscience to be gained here. When our conscience is sensitive and sweet, purity will enfold us. And purity in heart is the ultimate goal because, “Blessed are those who are pure in heart for they shall SEE God,” –Matt. 5:8. Ready to catch a glimpse of God?

Music activates multiple regions of the brain which is why it has such a global impact on us. Our emotions, memory, immune systems, stress responses are affected by music. Let us reclaim this powerful outlet for God’s glory. He made everything and saw that it was good. Music, love, and words were created for God’s glory. Next time I listen to my favorite playlist I will do so with the glory of God in mind and a heart willing to give up anything for Him.

“I don’t want to talk about You like You’re not in the room.

I want to look right at You. I want to sing right to You.

…Give me undistracted devotion for only You.”

 –Misty Edwards, Dove’s Eyes


Test Drives & Motocross Riders

“Let’s take it for a test drive.” John was a good-looking, successful bachelor. He liked organization and perfection. He would not compromise on one particular issue. He fell in love with Janis, but wouldn’t marry her until they took the [sexual] test drive to prove their compatibility. Janis stood firm in her belief to wait until marriage. Inevitably, their great relationship dissipated since neither would compromise on this important issue. However, in many cases, women are duped into the test-drive pit-stop. They start dating a guy who is nice, independent, financially set, and virtually perfect… until he drops this line, “How will we know we’re a perfect fit unless we take the test drive?” It makes a little sense, but most women aren’t convinced and need more coaxing, so the next lines ensue, “It’s an important investment so I’m not willing to commit unless I know it works for me. Like buying a house, or a new car, I have to make sure everything is perfect.” So it’s a big investment for him, that’s understandable. Unlike his material investments, he’s not buying a woman. Unless, she’s in a country where dowries are set and brides are purchased. To be blunt, he can’t demand to test drive a human being.

We think it’s our responsibility to take care of these guys and keep them happy. At what expense though? Is it our own virtue? That is a line that should not be crossed. God will never ask us to give our purity away. Why should we listen to a guy when he asks or demands it?

I was enamored by a pro motocross rider named Jake. He was an adrenaline-junkie, manly to the max, ruggedly handsome good looks, and purebred bad boy. He ignited the rebel in me. The fire in his eyes was mesmerizing. There was a great allure to fall for this impossible relationship. It was easy to get sucked in with no commitments attached. We were extremely affectionate with each other, but my boundaries were as intact as an electric fence. I wouldn’t go beyond my comfort zone or into roll-around-the-floor-“wrestling”-territory. He was respectful, surprisingly. One day, we had a little conversation about my stance. He inquisitively asked, “So, you won’t sleep with anyone until you get married?” “Yes, that’s right.” “Why on earth would you do that? Don’t you want to practice and have a little fun first?” “I’ll have plenty of fun when I get married. Until then, I don’t need to go there.” He sputtered, “Well then, marry me! We can fix this right now!” I wish I could say I wasn’t flattered by his words. But he was something special. Still, I couldn’t imagine myself with him. I liked him, but would never tether myself to this tempestuous man. And truly, he was really just asking for the thing I wouldn’t give until the seal of matrimony. Guys are smart and some know exactly which manipulation tactic brings results. Some use the “test drive” theory, while others stride down the commitment tract under pretense in order to get what they want. We have to see past the users and abusers, the bad boys and the rebels. I’ve encountered the bad boys and had my heart flutter from the whirlwind of risk and danger. But as my heart grows softer toward Christ and the life He has for me, I find my attraction taste has changed. The bad boy, no matter how great looking his shell, does not appeal to me in the same manner. I wouldn’t marry him so why waste my attraction and affection on him? There is something beautiful about the heart of a man after God’s will. I want to be the kind of person I would look for in a relationship. If I chase after God and pursue His will above all, I will encounter like-minded guys. If we know this and keep pursuing the wrong relationships, our hearts will grow harder and colder toward purity. It is crucial to see the truth and turn from old patterns, especially when it comes to bad boys and the temptation to let our hair down in the presence of fleshly freedom.

The philosophy that we can play now and not pay later is a lie. There will always be consequences attached to games with the bad boys and test drives with the rebels.


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.


Best Friend Or Lifelong Rommate?

When we know a guy has no relational chance with us, it is unfair to foster a best friendship with him. It confuses and breaks hearts. Best friends are inseparable. One is usually nonromantic, the other sways toward love. The signs are clear and it doesn’t take us women long to figure out whether we want to pursue a relationship with a great guy friend or just keep things simple and generic. When we have a best guy friend at our beck and call, we’re not looking for relationships elsewhere. We are too bonded with someone we’ve spent hours of quality time. We need to be discerning about our friendships. Best friends will always contribute more of their hearts than average friends or breezy acquaintances. So when a future is not foreseen between the two people in a friendship, it is often torturous to give away more time, effort, closeness, vulnerability. These things draw people together, knitting their hearts closely into a bond that is hard to break. I have felt the pain of close friendships broken and it has been as though a break up has occurred. Had I been more careful with my heart or theirs, my friendships could have been salvaged.

Picture this scenario: two best friends are hanging out. They adore each other’s company. He, in fact, has the strongest feelings for her. He’d die for her, bend over backwards to make her happy. She knows how much he loves her and she has a strong bond of friendship with him. She likes everything about him, but doesn’t have a romantic interest in him. Another guy doesn’t come along in her years of friendship with him. Finally, she thinks no one else will come along. So she settles for her best friend. She would rather have an adoring roommate for the rest of her life than no one at all. But does she want to make love to him? Not in the least. The idea sickens her. So, she gets what she wants: an adoring roommate that she ignores at night. As a man, he quite normally longs for an expression of love from his wife. Without it, he is plagued by the sexual images that pop up like targets on a hunting game, attacked on the daily with ideas and maybe even attention from other women. If he’s not getting any at home, he is more susceptible to the lure of other women. Let’s say the worst happens. He sleeps with his openly flirtatious co-worker. He feels terrible and does right by admitting the sin to his wife. She only married him to have an adoring fan follow her around the rest of her life, so when she hears his atrocious confession, she is ruthless in her judgments. How badly do you think that might destroy his masculinity? First, he’s finally accepted by the woman he loves, only to be cast into the roommate zone. He feels emasculated by being denied the gifts of marriage. So when adultery takes place and his best friend brutally exiles him forever, he’s left confused and unsure of the right approach for relationships in the future. I surely do not want to be the kind of wife who provokes unfaithfulness while donning the façade of loving wife. A best friend does not do this to someone. This behavior is selfish and unloving.

The summation is we shouldn’t just marry our best friends because they love us. As wives, it will be our opportunity to build our husbands up in Christ as leaders. Of course we want to marry someone who will adore us. It is unfair to settle for a best friend if the adoration and honor are not reciprocated.

It’s hard to say what the right direction is in every situation because each is unique. Friendships are not always best but neither are dating relationships. The main concern in each encounter we have is how we resemble God in the relationship. God wants to teach people beautiful lessons through our lives. We are able to minister to people just by being ourselves and living real lives. We have the ability to cause ripples in the world and touch immediate lives that will later affect other people-complete strangers to us. We have to open our eyes and see beyond the little details of one particular relationship in front of us and realize how we interact with this person may change the lives of other people he comes in contact with later. The way we interact with guys and how we respect and honor them will uplift their spirits and give confidence so that when they meet other girls they will treat them with respect and honor as well. We need more respect and honor in the world. But that isn’t going to happen on wishful thinking. It takes strong young women to say, “I’ve had enough of this broken world, I will be the difference so desperately needed.” Our guy friends and acquaintances deserve better and so do the women they will encounter later.


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.


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