In movies and media, men are often the ones who get stereotyped as not wanting to ask for help. They won't stop for directions. They won't admit they are wrong. But I think this male stereotype wears thin because, the truth is, pride is a woman's problem too. In fact, in today's third wave feminist world, I think women have a complex with proving themselves to others. Have you ever noticed how women have a tendency to tell each other stories of female empowerment to boost our self esteem? "Who run the world? Girls!" We shout. We always comment on how amazing and beautiful we are and share pictures and stories that make us look put together, on top of our game, and in control.
How are we supposed to know we aren’t messing up God’s plan for our lives? How are we supposed to know this is the right person to date or marry? How are we supposed to know this is the right college to attend? Since we are searching for God’s will, we get caught up in an endless cycle of anxiety and indecision because we don’t want to mess up God’s plan. As a result, we sit and wait, hoping that God will show up and do something for us.
In the church, we often talk about the sexual acts we should not commit. Some sign purity pledges, some get accountability, and some simply say it’s too hard to live in purity, so they compromise their theology. Really though, as with all sin, at the end of the day, it all comes down to being a heart issue. With sexual sin, lust is the root of the problem, and lust is 100% a heart issue. Lust starts in your heart before it makes its ways into your actions. So it’s time we get real about what our hearts desire and start thinking about what we're thinking about.
God put rules in place to protect us, not hinder us from pleasure. He already knows the shame and guilt that come with having an intimate relationship with someone outside of marriage (whether or not you stay together) and the pain it can cause. He also knows the joy and connection a sexual relationship brings within marriage. It's amazing how God designed sex to strengthen the relationship between husband and wife.
We sent some Q&A to some of our favorite couples to get their advice on life, love, and keeping God at the center of it all, including... what qualities did you look for in a husband? What's your best advice to young women in dating relationships?What's your best advice for those pursuing sexual purity?
In reality, I’m sure that no one is surprised that I’m not perfect. But in my flesh, I desire to be thought of highly. If people know that I still struggle, then they won’t think I’m a good Christian. The flaws in these statements are twofold. These lies can only be debunked with the truth of the gospel that has the power to loosen the chains that binds us. Read on to find the truths that have helped me find freedom in Christ.
What is it that draws our hearts to the beauty of Christmas? Why is it that we are so sad when it’s over? It’s not the overcrowded malls, or the message of Hallmark’s movies to find the “spirit of Christmas”, or even the delicious treats that come with the holiday. There is something so much deeper, so much more beautiful than our hearts realize.
I wasted so many hours striving after things that ultimately led to heartache. I spent so much time, effort, and energy on my desires, but thing after thing would fail. I wasn’t able to live a life full of joy. Instead, I was bogged down by seeking things that the I thought would bring happiness. And the truth is, what I wanted would bring me happiness--temporarily.
Sometimes, saying we can’t overcome sin is an excuse to avoid the hard work of sanctification and enjoy living in it a little longer. But more often than not, laziness isn’t the problem. We are scared. Scared of what lurks in the dark corners of our heart. Scared that if we dig too deep we will discover something about ourselves that we don’t like. Scared of being vulnerable. Scared of being found out. Scared of the shame of our own shadows.
Being in my 20s, I’ve had more of a mixed friend group and have been trying to navigate these sometimes murky waters. At times more successfully than others. I find that when I talk to guys I can be at a loss for words, afraid of giving them the wrong impression, and even avoid being caught in a conversation with them. To narrow it down, my friend and I both found ourselves becoming increasingly awkward and rude.