February 15, 2012
The Ache in My Heart for Young Women
Maybe it's my tendency to pull for the underdog. Perhaps it's the gift of mercy that God has placed in me. Whatever it is, I am acutely aware of the battles young women fight in this world everyday and it tears at my heart. I am convinced that the search for worth is at the core of their conflict. So my question is, why are we so afraid to speak into the lives of our young people in regards to their worth? Are we trying to teach humility? When did it become more important to "teach" and less important to love?
Society's standards of "excellence" are not only based on a type of unattainable perfection but on things that are temporal. Physical beauty is based on subjective ideals. Monetary achievement can always be lost with a downturn in the economy. Only a few can reach the top of the academic ladder so where does that leave all of the average or below average students? Is it any wonder that so many of our young women find themselves in crisis? We (the older generation) have made them believe that their "doing" will prove their worth! They have to make themselves pretty, smart, desired or rich to feel worth!
Sadly, many youth ministries haven't done as much to help as one would hope. Endless studies on dating, peer pressure, saving yourself and of course beauty are topics that just succeed in shifting the focus back to the issue instead of the answer. (Can I also mention that all of these subjects seem to be handled with some author's opinion on what the bible says about each topic?) How many youth groups really teach the Word of God? How many focus on knowing what the Scriptures teach? I mean really knowing who God is and who we are in His eyes.
When we begin to make daily study of God's Word a priority, spending time in prayer as we seek an intimate relationship with Him, we are able to see our true worth! Not only that, our direction becomes more clear and our position more defined. When we really know Him, then we begin to know His heart for us, we begin to really know love. Jesus tells us that the two greatest commandments are to “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27 NIV'84) Can you get a grip on that? Are we really passing on the importance of loving God with all of who we are? If we are loving God with who we are, doesn't that mean we value what is important to Him? Do you really think His affection is based on our beauty, our bank accounts or our relationship status? Then why do we pass it on in our comments and actions to our youth?
In speaking to women, moms and wives, if I could say just one thing, it would be this, Jeremiah 31:3b says, "“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." He loves you right now. Where you are and who you are with complete unconditional love. The only thing He is asking of you is to love Him.