A Word for the Ladies.

I’ve been avoiding tackling this blog post. Many of the young women I meet with weekly have prompted me to write more, and honestly I feel overwhelmed with the vastness of the topics that I want to speak into the lives of these young women. Here are some thoughts about our relationships with Jesus, guys and other women.

1. God designed men to be the initiator of a relationship.
Sometimes at Ekklesia we sing a song called “Like a Lion.” Whenever I even see the title of that song it makes me think of boldness! "The righteous are bold as a lion -- Proverbs 28:1."
A real, Godly man will take all the risk of initiating a relationship because it creates safety for the girl. A real man is willing to fearlessly face rejection. This takes maturity and confidence on his part; knowing who he is in Christ- traits that we women should long for in a partner.
Colin and I were friends for YEARS before we started dating. We had a solid relationship as peers in ministry. When Colin approached me to ask me out (and I swear these were his exact words) he simply said, “Beka, I no longer want to be just friends with you, I would like to date you. The Holy Spirit is leading me into another level of relationship with you.” THAT IS GUTSY! We had not been romantically linked at all to that point, so he was really going out on a limb. I found that boldness and confidence so attractive. It worked out for him.

2. God designed women to be a man’s helper.
Women were created from man and for man.
In Genesis Eve is part of God’s plan to create mankind in His image. She is the companion and “helper” to her husband. Man was never intended to be complete apart from the woman; she is his perfect partner. Both are made in God’s image and likeness. Both are to rule and exercise dominion over all of creation.
God formed Eve to support Adam where he lacked- she was his missing rib. Matthew Henry commented on God’s choice of a rib to create Eve: ‘Not made out of his head to top him, not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.’
Colin and I are partners, but in our partnership he is the leader and I am the helper. Neither of us would function well without the other half.

3. Women that know their worth in Christ will not be obsessed with comparing themselves to other women.
We all know that most of the time women adorn themselves more for the other women in the room, not the men. A close friend of mine has recently directed me to a hilarious blog called manrepeller.com. SO FUNNY, because usually, at least when it comes to being the most fashionable female in the room, those styles are actually really unattractive to guys. So this indicates to me that women are pouring money and energy into appearances mostly so they feel better about themselves and better than the other females in the room.
Why can we not feel better about ourselves knowing that God designed us perfectly? He knows us by NAME and calls us BEAUTIFUL. We are all created in His image, designed to do His work.
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
We’re all going downhill. The youthful beauty we possess is so temporal. Instead of obsessing about such things, why not cultivate Jesus in our hearts. There is NOTHING more attractive than a heart steadfastly devoted to God, not looking to the left or right comparing and seeking attention from men, but looking upwards towards the One that will love us no matter what the external surface on this earth appears to be.
I am PASSIONATE about the women in our college ministry championing female friendships and relationships. When there is safety among our women, there will be less of a competitive spirit and we will break chains of insecurities, finding that at our core, most of us really do want the same things and we can all relate to one another on some level.

4. Jesus is the most attractive thing about us.
I touched on this in #3, but truly, honestly girls, there is nothing more beautiful than a young woman sold out for Jesus. This is a non-exhaustive glimpse at what that looks like…
She looks to the needs of others rather than herself. “She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20
She welcomes leadership and good counsel into her life. “And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful women who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2
There is no trace of gossip about other sisters on her lips. “A perverse woman stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends” Proverbs 16:28
She dresses with modesty, not seeking attention for all the wrong reasons. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Cor. 6:19-20
She knows her self-worth is in Christ, not in the opinions of others. “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18
She walks forward in FORGIVENESS, knowing that her past mistakes do not define her. "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace." Ephesians 1:7
She is KIND. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Eph. 4:31-32

There is more on my mind and heart, but this is what I have for today. I know that God has called me to these standards, and I drop the ball sometimes. If I am completely vulnerable for a moment I would say that the thing that I struggle with the most is often just being KIND. I am quick to judge and I don’t always have a kind word on my lips.
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Thailand and stay in a remote village that is home for about thirty young girls rescued from trafficking. While there I met a small, humble, man of God that has devoted himself to the ministry there; positioning himself in what the world would consider to be an “unseen” role in God’s story. He is probably the most Godly man that I have ever met. On the last day I was there He took me aside and prophesied over me saying that, through the work of the Holy Spirit, I can become the kindest person that I know. He and I had never had a conversation about that, but that short word hit me hard and resonates in me all of the time.
We are all in process. I am by no means perfect or speaking from a place high above others. I do know that God has taught me a lot about these things I’ve written about. He is continuing to reveal himself in new ways to me.
My prayer is that we will intimately come to know our Creator and discover that He has GOOD plans for us, his daughters. Our relationships are an opportunity to model Christ's love to the world. Prayerfully consider how you can become a displayer of His love.