Day 18-The Real Deal (no fakers allowed)

Today’s Quote: “People who are separated from God cannot be the person they were designed to be, only the person they were trained to be.”- John Muratori 

Today is an important day. It is important because we are going to be talking about something that I believe is SO central, SO at the core of our struggles with #9.

It ties into yesterday’s discussion about ‘comparing and competing’, but I believe that it shoots an arrow right to the heart of it.

On Day 15 we touched on how many of us (guys and girls) do not have healthy, positive role-models, so we are learning much about our roles from culture and media.

Young men are no longer encouraged to be honest, loyal, and chivalrous. To fight for a woman’s heart, and in the meantime, build those important muscles of self-control. Instead, the general message seems to be if it feels good, do it, and the outcome seems to be that our culture is breeding guys who are flippant, perverted, sarcastic, and underdeveloped. (yay)

Uncommon is the young man of honor who is willing to swim against the tide and step up to the authority and responsibility of manhood. A good man is so rare.

But what about us, ladies? What role do we play in this? What kind of woman does our culture seem to be pumping out in droves? 

And most importantly, how did these trademarks likely land us in the situation we’re in? Let’s go there.

Seduction is so normal nowadays it’s scary. Just look at the pictures we post! It seems like we are taught how to be sexy and flirtatious long before most of us can even remember. It’s true that seduction is power, but it’s power on a very superficial level. It’s the force that controls shallow and underdeveloped men. But for some reason it just gives us a rise to have guys staring at and wanting us.

But we pay the price for it. Trust me. It’s the kind of thing that if you live by it, you’ll die by it. I know because I did it for years. And it turns out that there will always be someone younger, prettier, sexier, more fun to be around, or whatever it is you’re trying to seduce with. And the fall is always hard. And there’s always a fall. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”-Prov 31:30

Overly- Independent
And I’m not talking about the good, strong-woman kind. I’m talking about how most of us don’t have a solid, support-system of people who love us and are actively looking out for our best interest. So we are forced to look out for ourselves in a lot of ways.

The irony is that an overly-independent girl can quickly turn into an overly-dependent girl once someone starts to show genuine care and interest in her (i.e. #9). At least I know this was the case for me.

Confused because, what the hell is going on? Things did not play out like we thought they would. People are not reliable like they are suppose to be, and nothing is turning out like it should.

And as we grow older and begin to experience more ups and downs, we find that a lot of times the feelings that are flowing through our veins don’t “fit” with the ways we are being told we’re suppose to be. And so we feel like we don’t fit.

Timeout: This “not-fitting” can mean something totally different to each of us. I am going to keep talking about relationships here, but if this is hitting a nerve with you in other ways, please take time to look at this resource list. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, please keep crying out to God and ask him to bring people into your life that you can relate with!

Here’s one small example of how this might play out in our relationship:

Our culture teaches us that we shouldn’t care, and that it’s normal for our guys to gawk at women, talk about them in perverse ways with their friends, and even watch porn. So we try to play like we are cool with these things, but innately we are very hurt when it is our guy who is doing them.

Gosh, I hope I am not the first person to tell you that YOU ARE NOT WRONG for wanting your man to be exclusively with you. To desire, and to love, and to put longing eyes on you only. 

That may be a joke these days, but I promise you, that is not some glitch in you. It’s how God made you.

I know that pressures are high and people are cruel and one wrong move can send you over that line from cool girl to psycho girl. But oh am I ever so glad that Jesus doesn’t operate like the world does. He is never looking to point fingers at us, or blow our cover. 

Instead He sees our weakness, covers over us, and heals us in that area so that we’re are whole and have nothing to be ashamed of. Thank you Jesus. He gives us wisdom from experience, but not at the expense of our dignity. And He teaches us how to just live and be the way that we were created to live and be.

Listen to me carefully here, because a lot of you need to hear this:

There are a lot of ways that culture is telling you that you SHOULDN’T be, so you are trying to change or numb those parts of yourself. But in reality, those are perfectly healthy parts of you as a woman. They just need some maturing. They just need a little Jesus to take and mold and use them toward the good.

The heart needs changing. Our motives need purifying.

“But I, the Lord, search all hearts
And examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve.” -Jeremiah 17:10

If you’re anything like me, you can probably admit that your motives have been foul, and that a lot of what you do is a result of a very ungodly cultural pressure. That’s okay. Remember, God is in the business of changing us as long as we’re willing to come before Him honestly, with our hearts on our sleeve.

That’s where real change starts!

Don’t shy away from the areas where you know that your motives have been impure. Bring them into the light so that you can be changed. Bring them to God’s feet in prayer!

And in the meantime, I will leave you with a little bit of advice. Three simple ways that you can start to step away from being a one-of-the-millions type of girl, and more toward being the one-in-a-million kind of girl that God created you to be.

1. Relearn  how to be friends with guys. 
A lot of girls don’t even know how to be friends with a guy without having that flirtatious seductive element to it. 

That is so sad!
Guy/girl friendships are so important and awesome when they exist inside of healthy boundaries. 

So as you meet new guys, and hopefully more Christian guys, try treating them more like you would a brother or a cousin, and watch how much more great the relationships that develop are!

Don’t get discouraged if there is a lack of solid Christian guys within your social circle or even your area. Remember that there is a whole big wide world out there with a lot of guys in it. One of them includes your future husband, and he is worth going against the grain for.

2. Know the difference between pretty and sexy. 

It’s okay to be pretty and to wear cute clothes. We’re girls, we like being pretty! Just don’t get that mixed up with your desire to be sexy. Sexy is for one man only, and you cheat that man (and yourself) when you spread that all over the place. Don’t let your desire for affection make you cross that line. What you’re holding out for is so much better. (we’ll talk more about this soon).

And remember, there’s an ocean’s distance between a pretty, confident girl who knows her value, and an insecure, seductive girl who doesn’t. Many stand on one side of that ocean, and very few on the other. And the difference is the motives. The heart. That is why the most important things is that you….

3. Pay more attention to your inner beauty than your outer. 

Don’t let the shallow things take precedence over the real.
The more we draw close to the Lord and cultivate our source of inner beauty, the more we will find a healthy balance all around.

And the more we will desire to not just settle for the things that we see other ladies settling for!

Settling for trying to get guys to lust after us, when really God wants to make us someone’s queen! A man who will be fiercely devoted to you and will feel as though he is the luckiest man alive to have a woman that is so beautiful, balanced, and healthy. A woman who cultivates good from a pure heart, rather than underneath it all is a big old mess. 

Oh girls do we ever think that we know what’s good and how to get it. But we are SO mistaken. God wants us to experience things that are layers and layers deeper than we even knew possible. Intimacy. True and unguarded intimacy, with the very man he made you for. The one who will love you with a deeper kind of love than you knew possible. A godly kind of love that grows stronger and deeper as the years go by and the physical beauty starts to fade.<3<3<3

The kind of love that can only come from it’s maker.

But again, this stuff will only take a true root in your life through being close to God. 

He has such an amazing transformation in store for you if you will seek Him first!

“But on Your shoulders I can see. I'm free to be me.” :):)

Today's Dare: Today is the last list of 5 you will be making.

I want you write down 5 things that have really stood out to you over these last few days that we've been talking about competition, image and getting free.

I want you to be thinking forward about ways that you are excited about changing and growing, and things that you're ready to leave behind.

What's different about today's list, however, is that I want you to transcribe it or type it in a pretty format, and put it somewhere in your room.
Either in a frame on your nightstand, or in your sock drawer. Somewhere that you can see it often, and be reminded of your new resolve.

The things that you really want to start doing and becoming.

And don't forget to do your POFU time today! That's always the most important thing:)