Sunday, January 19, 2014

To All You Girls Out There

Maybe it's just me, but I used to wonder if I would ever be good enough for anyone. 

It's so easy to say that our worth is found in God, or that beauty isn't defined by the world's standards. But we all know it's hard to believe that. We have bad days, we compare ourselves, and we feel worthless (and maybe even a bit jealous) when our best friend gets more compliments than we do. We wonder when a guy will notice us for once - or if he even will. 

I admit that I still have those days. Days of complete insecurity that make me want to hide under my bed sheets and never come out. 

So after having many conversations today about relationships and emotions and not feeling good enough, I thought I would post something that has helped me over the years.

First, it's important to remember that your identity is not formed by the number of likes you get on your profile picture, or by your average in school, or even by your number of friends. Your identity exists because you have an amazing Creator who died for you. Your identity is formed by God's grace and forgiveness. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Second, to all you girls out there. You don't need a boyfriend to make you feel special. Especially in high school. The truth is that most guys aren't ready to commit to a girl when they're in high school. Trust me, it's true. When I graduated grade 12, there was only one couple (out of hundreds) who had lasted the whole way. So there are wonderful guys out there who have the right intentions, but it's rare. The point is: you are beautiful.  You don't need a guy to confirm that. And this brings me to the most important part!

Godly men are what we need to be waiting on. Not boys. Men.

I met the most wonderful guy the other day, and I could seriously just see God shining through him. How amazing is that? I have never met anyone so inspiring in my life. I talked to him for all of five minutes, and I just felt so uplifted for the rest of the day. Warmth and love poured out of his heart. That is what I want my future husband to be like.

I used to get a magazine for girls called Brio, and one of them had this sort of 'checklist' in it which has been so helpful to me. It lists some of the fundamental things (no compromises!) that your Prince Charming needs to possess. (Credit to: Tiffany Silverberg)

1. Proof of godliness
The Holy Spirit needs to reside in his heart, and there needs to be evidence of this in his life.
Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruits of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control). These are the traits that should be clearly pouring out of him.

2. Respectability 
Be aware of how other view him. Friends, teachers, parents, siblings. What do they say about his character? How does he treat his family? Does he serve willingly? Colossians 3:23 says that in whatever we do we should work at it with all of our hearts. We should work as though we are working for the Lord, not for people. A man of God will have a servant's heart. He will exhibit selflessness, and he will have an admirable work ethic. He will be respected for his character.

3. Integrity 
Sometimes it's hard to tell what someone is like beneath their exterior. Watch closely to see how he treats others. Does he do things only so that others will approve? Or does he display honesty, compassion, and humility no matter what the situation is? What are his values? 1 Timothy 3 describes that a godly man will display self-control, wisdom, gentleness, and that he will not be quarrelsome. You want someone who will be trustworthy and honourable when things get tough.

4. A Nice Match
You don't have to have all the same interests, but you should make a good team. Do his strengths make up for your weaknesses? Do your strengths make up for his weaknesses? Are you a stronger force together compared to as individuals? Be aware of these things from the beginning.

5. Charming (Of course!)
It may seem like such an obvious thing, but do you find him attractive? He should exhibit characteristics (physical and personality) that you admire. You should be proud to tell others about him, and you should feel honoured to be associated with such an incredible man of God. This is also important because a man needs to feel respected and admired. If you feel blessed to be with him, he will be blessed in turn by your admiration. (Be sure to seek advice from godly women if you ever wonder if you could do better!)

6. Encouraging 
Friendship should always be at the base. Proverbs 17:17 says that " A friend loves at all times." Eventually the 'hormonal high' will disappear, and the butterflies will become less frequent, so when a relationship is based on friendship (and of course when God is at the centre!) there will always be encouragement and love. There is nothing better than being married to your best friend.

I guess the point that I want to get across is that these wonderful, godly, supportive guys are out there. We struggle so much with self-image that we forget to value ourselves and we give up hope that we will ever find someone who is right for us. God does have a plan. In fact, His plan is better than we can ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Think of the most amazing guy out there right now. God has someone for you who is even better than that. Such an exciting thought!

But before he brings that guy to you, you need to value yourself.

You need to be able to look in the mirror and think "I am beautiful."
You need to walk with a confidence that comes from God alone.
You need to radiate with His love.

Because that is the most beautiful thing.


Photo Credit: Katie Cottrell