So many of us girls love a good romance story. We love the drama, the beauty, the glamor, the excitement and the passion. There’s something so compelling about the story arc of two people falling in love. We’re so drawn to this kind of narrative that I think we often subconsciously read it into the story of Esther. Hers is a classic princess story, right? She’s gorgeous, wins a whole beauty contest, and catches the eye of the king, who chooses to take her as his wife. It sounds picturesque, right? But this romanticized version is simply untrue, no matter how badly we wish it were a classic princess romance story.
Last spring I took a spiritual formation class during my last semester of undergrad. Honestly, I expected it to be a breeze. I was used to academics. I knew how to study well, maximize my time, and give professors what they wanted. When I saw that we were assigned a different spiritual discipline to practice and journal about every week, I was prepared to go through the motions and check off any box necessary for me to succeed (I had severe senioritis!) But what I didn’t expect was a loving but convicting lesson from the Spirit about my tendency to do all the things (prayer, worship, Bible reading) to feel as though I was succeeding in my relationship with God rather than to simply bask in his presence.
We were engaged on our six month anniversary at my favorite spot on the beach. It rained on that day, and it was freezing cold. But it seemed to fit the theme of our relationship: things not going quite to plan.
Intimacy in marriage reflects a powerful truth of the gospel - that we are fully known by God, yet deeply loved. Just as the woman caught in adultery in John 7 stands before the Savior fully exposed yet not condemned, each one of His daughters stands before God, fully known but free.
Fear of being speechless. Fear of not relating. Fear of not feeling deeply. Fear of not being compassionate enough. Each of these core fears were at the root of an anxiety of mine - not being able to interact rightly with those who were grieving or suffering. How could I grieve with them if I didn’t personally have anything to lament? How could I live into the beatitude “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”? I wrestled with questions like this for years even as some of my own friends experienced loss, injustice, and seeming hopelessness. I just couldn’t seem to relate, no matter how desperately I wanted to.
The Scriptures are filled with commands for us to listen, both to God and to others. And yet we often refuse to obey this command, choosing to be consumed only in our own narrative.
With #Quarentine2020 we find ourselves spending a lot more time on social media just to be, well, social! But with the increased use of the internet, how can you be sure your teens are safe? (This blog post is specifically written for the parents in our audience, but there are a few truths for all … Continue reading Increased Social Media Use? Talk to Your Teens about Internet Safety
There’s a certain movie star with an hourglass shape, red lips, and bright blonde hair who gave her two cents about how girls like us should handle relationships: “If they can’t handle you at your worst, they don’t deserve you at your best.” In other words, if your guy can’t put up with you when you’re feeling impatient, grumpy, insecure (and the list goes on), you should dump him and find someone who can.
Sometimes I just want to lead an easy life, to fit in instead of standing out because of my convictions, to feel comfort in the midst of what can be a lonely life. Thanks be to God that my deepest desire is to lead a life that is committed to passionately pursuing Him. But my flesh battles against the Holy Spirit within me...an easy, comfortable life has a luring appeal.
Deep inside our hearts is a longing to be loved - a longing that’s not sinful. In fact, it’s a longing that God has placed within us. But if we’re not careful to lay this longing down before our Lord, it quickly turns into a craving. Dannah calls it the “Violent Craving.” She writes in her book, “I believe that every daughter of Eve is burdened by both a Craving for a husband and a rebellion against God’s design for marriage.” It was the Fall that warped the good and beautiful longing for love into a violent craving and created in us a spirit of defiance.