Thursday, December 11, 2008
For all of those who call me stupid and dumb when it comes to flirting, this is why I choose not to.
"Meet Mr. Smith," Paragraph written my Leslie Ludy
In modern relationships, flirting seems about as innocent and harmless as window shopping at the mall. "Whats the hard of browsing, as long as you don't actually buy anything?" a young man named Chris jokingly asked during a discussion on the topic.
Even young people who have chosen God's pattern for relationships and are seeking to live a set-apart life for their future spouse often shrug off flirting as a natural part of any male/female interaction. But take a closer look at what flirting really is, and it becomes clear that some important principles in God's pattern are violated by doing it
Flirting is, in essence, drawing another person's attention toward you. it is, using your feminine power to entice another person to notice, admire, and be attracted to you. It is putting your personality, body, humor, and wit on display- playing a game in which you score more points the most positive attention you recieve from the other person.
Flirting, at its core, is based on selfishness.
If Eric flirted with other women, I would be hurt, jealous, and angry. If I flirted with other men, he would feel outraged and betrayed. We are in a covenant marriage relationship and have pledged to have eyes only for each other. I belong to Eric- mind, body, and heart. And he belongs to me. We honor each other by keeping our attention sacred- reserved for our spouse alone. Most would agree that this is the way it should be.
If then, as a married person you would not dishonor or hurt your spouse by flirting with anyone else, why would you hurt your future spouse now by flirting with others before marriage? As you interact with guys(girls), ask yourself this question: If your future spouse was standing beside you, seeing you interact with the opposite sex, how would he(she) feel? Once you ask that question and answer honestly, flirting no longer becomes a harmless, innocent activity.
The goal in any God centered relationship should be to continually point the other person towards Christ, not continually draw attention toward you.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
There was a man I met one day, who was talking about God finding himself a wife. We were in a chatroom by the way, and its not always easy to read several convo's going on at once. But after a while you gain the speed to respond to 20 people at once. A skill worth earning in my opinion. One day this man was just going on and on about one day having a wife. I didn't really pay attention until I saw a sentence he wrote stating, " I have served God my whole entire life. I have done mission work, I have worked at church, etc. Since I have been a servant for Christ, now its time that God's owe's me a wife." I was no longer talking to anybody on that chatroom. The only thing I could do is stare at that sentence and read it over and over again in my head. Does anybody see something a little, uh I don't know....Wrong?!
I clicked on this man little profile tab and saw that he was 46 years old. Hmm, made me curious. Like anybody is going to listen to someone who is my age, and I know we are to respect our elders and stuff, but I believe that when God gives you a big mouth like I have He expects you to use it. And I did, which a lot of you who know me personally know that I have gotten in trouble from opening my mouth. My mom will be the first to tell you. Sorry but I couldn't pass this one up.
I didn't know if this guy would read it or not, but I typed back to him, "Sir, God owe's you nothing. What makes you think you can bargin with God?" After that he started talking to me like he was my father so I decided to let go of the matter and feel sorry for this 46 year old man. Heh, there's got to be a reason he was still single at his age.
This happened a long time ago. But I still think about it sometimes. Like how so many people will bargin with God to get the goods. People don't seem to realize God see's why we do the things we do. And because of that, I don't believe He has the right to reward us. We should be serving God because we want to, not to get something from Him. God gave us His Son without us asking Him to. And for me, if I never owned anything in my whole life God's Son is good enough for me. Because truely if You don't have Him, you've got nothing.
Do you ever look at the people who go to your church, your school, the place you work, and wonder just what they are seeking? Some people seek money, education, a good job or career, or etc. But you know every single person on the planet it seeking? When you think about it, it all makes sense. Everybody is seeking self-worth, significance, in everything they do.
I have known a lot of girls who were seeking their self worth from a boyfriend. Going from one to the other. I have known girls dress immodest seeking approval and self-worth. I have known guys who go to church all good but enter high school as a complete hyprocrite of his actions. I have known people who use to be good friends, but then once enter Jr.High split up and follow different crowds. And its not just teenagers doing this. Every age group is doing this.
I use to go to church with a family who practically owned the church. I think if it were possible, they could rename the church and put it in their name. They had to be in charge of everything or they wouldn't give any support. What does this have to do with self worth? Almost everybody in church commented them on the great work they did inside the church. I'm not saying there isn't anything wrong with recieving praise. Personally for me, it makes me want to keep going and knowing I'm doing a good job, it makes me want to do more for Christ. But when peoples approvals come first instead of doing such work for Christ, it is no longer right. And soon what you are doing isn't good enough anymore. So you always have to do more work better than before to make youself look good. Then somebody else comes along with a humble spirit and soon everybody is ooo and awe-ing over them, so the family now has competition. Seriously, I've seen it happen.
I will be honest and say I have seeked self-worth from other people before. For a long time I didn't believe I was worth anything unless some guy would call me beautiful, a guy ask me out, call me, etc. Coming from a girls point of view, this is why we breathe. From the moment we first enter Jr. High, we have only one thing on our minds and thats to please not only the people around us, but the boys are the top priority.
For a long time I was thirsty for any guy to call me beautiful. I was craving for it. At the time Britney Spears was like my role model and I wanted to look like she did. I wanted the stupid shiny diamond navel ring so I could wear shirts that would show my stomach to show it off to everyone. Secretly I wanted the fabulous life of a pop star with the sexy hair, curves, clothes, and make-up. Even though I was homeschooled,I learned very quick that this sort of living got the attention from everybody. My mom would never let me wear clothes like that, or wear my make-up but I often dreamed of it, and I made it very clear that thats where self-worth comes from, other people.
Even after I was saved, the same thought still stuck in my head that my significance came from how other people view me. Only this time I saw it a little differently, and it didn't make me happy.
I knew many girls who did all the right things to get a guys attention, who said all the right words, who had all the right friends, who had all the right clothes, who knew the best ways of flirting, but even after putting up with all of that I noticed they still weren't happy. What about the girls who crossed the line to keep their boyfriends, but in the end they broke up anyway? Was it really worth it? Is this what I must do to be worth something? Everybody is always putting up a front. We all make fun of the kid at school because everybody else is. And even though we aren't a bad person we still tease him. Its all for the same reason, we all seek approval from somebody in this world. When you feel what you think you need, why doesn't it last long enough? And why does it hurt? We don't learn from the start that we will repeat the same pattern over and over again and it still doesn't get us anywhere. And when we grow up, we will look back and see all the time we have wasted, and then thats when we will feel the failure we have brought upon ourselves. Very few people believe that there is stil l hope. But thats when they are right about something, there is hope.
You know for a while I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to Psalms 139, because like duh, I know God loves me. But I would rather hear it from somebody else. Who has thought like that before? I'll be the first one to say that was my old way of thinking. We all know Jesus died on the cross, he was in pain, he died, he rose, now we have the Holy Spirit and we all lived happy ever after. Thats how a lot of people put the best story ever told. There just isn't any passion or meaning to it. People make it sound like it was just something that happened over 2,000 years ago and then you move on with life. I personally have been in the state of mind that if I gave my all to Christ I wouldn't get anything out of life. I thought once, that if I decided to live the single life then I would never get a boyfriend. I fought for that for a very long time. And I've known so many girls who have done the same thing, and who continue today doing that. But seriously where does it get us? We end up nowhere. It wasn't until it dawned on me that seeking an earthly price to recieve my self worth isn't going to happen, ever. You aren't worth more when you get married. And some married couples aren't unhappy because they married a bad person.
I think I said once before that I talked with a girl who refused to let God write her love story because God takes too long. I guess that just shows how much God means to her. Her self-worth to her is found when she finds it herself. And to be honest, I don't believe she has found it yet.
I was that way. I'm not bashing anybody for making that kind of choice. And I am not saying I'm perfect. For most of my teen years I was seeking to feel beautiful if I got a boyfriend. I believe that to be my only cure for the lonliness I was feeling inside. And since I had nobody, that must mean I was worthless. I meant nothing to nobody. I might as well be dead.
So time after time again, we seek after this and that, on and on for most of our lives, expecting to hit a breakthough any moment now. Think about it though, has it really brought you the self-worth you were seeking? I can see it lasting for a little while, but who wants to settle for temporary. Who wants to settle for second best in life?
I was blinded by the truth, of how selfish I really was. I was living all holy, yet some other girl in church who was living unholy got a good boyfriend. It just wasn't fair to me. Shouldn't I be the one to have the good godly boyfriend? But then it dawned on me again. I was acting just like the 46 year old man in the chatroom. I was bargining with God! I was doing all these good works in life because I wanted to earn the boyfriend! Who knew that would happen?! My self-worth was lying in my own hands and I broke it on my own. I can image glass breaking from my fingers. My hands all bloody looking. I ended up hurting only myself.
One thing that also hurts with self-worth, is the fear of failure. I am one to know what the true story of depression really is. I have often entered into depression by surprise. One time we were eating at Pizza Hut and all of a sudden I became so insecure about my surroundings. People were everywhere and I had the strange feeling they were all pointing at me, staring at me, laughing at me. I could almost hear them. I almost broke down crying right in our booth. I refused to go get my own plate of pizza from the buffet! I was litterly shaking because I was so afraid! I hated myself and thought I could never change. I could never be the woman God wanted me to be because of all the mistakes I was making. I was ready to end it all completely.
There was another time that I cut myself with a stick. I couldn't seem to obey my parents right and we argued a lot. So I went out to cut myself. I wanted to throw my body up against a tree and I wouldn't care if I was hurt and bruised, because I felt like I deserved it. I felt that those who do wrong and fail deserve to be punished. So I didn't refuse the pain I brought on me physically, because I deserved it. I no longer had self worth. And if a guy told me I did, I'd call him a liar.
Not too long ago I wanted to cut myself again. I told myself to never do that ever again, but I seriously wanted to. But thanks to my good friend, Rae, she was praying for me the whole time. And it was there that I discovered my self-worth.
When we look back at all the things we failed at in life, our mistakes, our misunderstandings and brokeness, we feel numb and alone. I can't help but to think about Jesus. He was somebody who carried a tree on his back. You know He had to be strong to do that. He felt the sting of a whip that had animal teeth and sharp knives attached to the ends of it, and felt it pull away His own flesh. Do you think Jesus has those same scars on his back and chest today as the same for his hands and feet? I'll find out one of these days.
His disciples, the people who followed Him, they had no clue what was going on. They couldn't see the pathway he was providing. And when Jesus looked back, He didn't see failures and mistakes. He saw a race accomplished. Since Christ didn't do anything wrong, nobody understood why He wouldn't fight back the cruel punishment that was being put on Him. And it was in that moment, that He truely was alone. Because when He was dying on the tree He carried on His back, God turned away from Him, and wouldn't look at Him. Because God cannot acknowledge the presence of sin. And sin was being thrown on Jesus' body. He is the only one in the world who has been in this place. A place nobody else would enter.
I started to see the seriousness of God's love for me. The sins that I have committed just yesterday was paid in full over 2,000 years ago. Would a boyfriend do that, or a girlfriend? There were people in Bible times that failed. I look back at the women at the well. She had several husbands, and the one she was living with then was not her husband. What about the women who commited adultry? Jesus said that to those who never sinned to cast the first stone. Not one of them did. And Jesus told the women that her sin was forgiven. David slept with another mans wife, murdered him, and ended up loosing the child that would be his. But God still called him a man after God's own heart.
All these people performed horrible sins. Sins of worthlessness. Sins of guilt. Sins of anger and hate. But what did God do in all this? He forgave them. The three people that I mentioned, did they let their sins keep them away from the meaning of significance? I don't think so! When Jesus encounted the woman at the well, she went and told everybody she knew who Jesus was and what He had told her. It was that time Jesus was able to minster to other people who weren't Jews! The woman who commited adultry was Mary Magdinlen. Back then women where more of a possession, not a person. She was one of Jesus' loyal followers. She was the first one to see Jesus after he had risen, the first one to see angels at the tomb, and she was the one who ran after the disciples to tell them about the stone being rolled away. She gave her all for Christ. Her passion and love was in Him. She didn't care about the sins she had commited, because Jesus forgave her and she didn't let her past define who she was.
David may have made a really bad move, but he gave up his sin to God, and God called David a man after His own heart! David later became the father of Solomon, who wrote the book of Proverbs! Solomon was a very wise man, and he was very well known.
Despite what these people have done, God still blessed them. Because God refuses sin to determind who a person is and what they can do. But we must accept that we need a Savior to guide us and forgive us. People in the Bible did fail at some point in their lives. None of them were perfect. In fact, everybody that is mentioned in the Bible did fail! We today fail. I have failed in so many areas. I haven't always been where I am in Christ today. I have fallen and gottan angry at God plenty of times. I have hated myself time and time again. But should I let that determind who I am in Christ?! Let the healing begin!
Psalms 139 makes more sense to me now. Some really smart person didn't just write pslams up just to show off his good english skills, or hebrew skills. This man whoever he was, was inspired by God Himself. So really the words in the Bible are God's words. He spoke them. He doesn't make any mistakes. And after all that I have failed at in life. Like seeking other peoples approval, seeking self-worth from a guy, or experiencing sudden failures that I'm afraid to admit, God still intended that passage to be written for me! I must surrender all my wrongs to God once and for all, forgive myself, and strive on to be more like Christ. We will fail along the way, but before we can gain anything we must first admit that we are sinners and that we are going to fall. But I am no longer letting the sins and wrongs that I have done to value my significance of who I am to Jesus. I don't care what you say. I don't need a boyfriend. I don't need somebodys approval of how good of a job I am doing. I don't need to be searching my self worth from others because thats not who I am, and thats not who I'm gonna be. Laugh all you want, but my self worth is found in Jesus Christ. And nobody can say anything or do anything to change that. And neither can anybody take Him away from me.
We are to seek Christ with everything we have! God's not going to love us more or less than He does now. He loves me as I am. I don't have to dress up nice and fancy, say all the right words, or have the nicest prince at my side in all the land. I already found my Prince. And before we can have anything in this life, like a husband or wife, a good job, or anything, we must realize that our significance is found in Jesus and Jesus alone. There's nothing wrong with wanting to get married, wanting to meet that special someone. But thats not why we are here, and thats not where self worth is found. You will not be happy with anything in life unless Jesus is your number one. Thats not just Scripture. Its a fact.