Sunday, December 19, 2010

to the damsels in distress and the princes fighting for them.

inspiration: the world's standards for relationships are far too low.

We live in a world that glorifies the flesh. Just look on any magazine stand and you'll see scantily clad models/actresses/athletes/you-name-it gracing the cover of any women's magazine. The standard of the world for femininity (and in my opinion, masculinity, as well) is far too low.

As set-apart followers of Christ, it's important to keep our standards high. We'll never, of course, be perfect or anywhere near Christ, but we CAN guard our hearts against the lies of the world and seek nothing less than what Christ wants for us. We (as women) want someone to fight for us and to protect us. And as far as I know, I'm fairly certain men want someone worth pursuing and fighting for. But the principles of being true men and women living set apart lives for Christ appears to be completely lost in this cruel, twisted world.

Here are two excerpts from a book entitled Answering the Guy Questions that sort of set the true standard for men and women, I believe, as we're called to be as Christ followers.

"When God builds men into true Christ-like warriors for His kingdom, women finally gain the heroic advocates they have always longed for. True Warriors protect purity rather than conquer it. True Warriors fight for innocence rather than scorn it. True Warriors honor women rather than debase them. They don't describe a woman of purity as "A Man's Worst Nightmare" -- they honor, admire, and respect her. When true warriors emerge, women feel secure and protected -- both from outside harm and from the fear of a broken heart. When true warriors are built, fairy tales become reality." (39)

"As women, we are created to build men up, not tear them down. This doesn't mean we lower our standards and accept mediocrity. Rather, it means that we motivate guys to rise up to the standard of Christ through words and attitudes of encouragement instead of disgust. (56) ... As we allow the Spirit of God to transform us into radiant examples of Christ's love, guys will be transfixed rather than turned off by our behavior and attitude. They will be won over to the ways of Christ simply by observing the beauty of Christ that exudes from us. (57)"

(Leslie Ludy, Answering the Guy Questions)

It's easy to get sucked into the lies that surround us that scream to women "the only way to get a man is to be easy" and that label all men as "dogs" and only "having sex on the brain". While, that may be the standard for world, there truly are men and women who ARE living for a MUCH higher standard.

I got this excerpt from Authentic Beauty and it really encouraged me, not only for myself, but also for my sisters (and ultimately, for my husband. I want him to know that I'm striving to live a life apart from the standards of the world). I know there are men out there who fit the bill. Who want and desire the same thing from us as we do of them: pure, uncontainable passion for Christ. Someone who will lead them closer to Christ rather than pulling us back into darkness.

"Prince Charmings really do exist in this world. They are men who reflect our Prince Charming in heaven--Jesus Christ. As set-apart young women, our standards for earthly lovers must be calibrated to fit with the nature and character of our heavenly Lover. We must be allow Him to train our eyes to see the beauty and strength of love, courage, compassion, and an intimate relationship with Christ. And when we do, we will be satisfied with nothing less than men who reflect the princely grace of our Jesus. We will recognize these men of God's choosing because they will have been shaped by our Prince. They will be set apart for the Prince's service, just as we are."

(Leslie Ludy, Authentic Beauty)

Bottom line: Prince Charmings (and beautiful princesses) exist. I know this to be true. The world may try to persuade us that "all men are the same", and while on the surface that may appear to be true. But there are men (and women, for that matter -- for any guy reading this) that are truly seeking Christ in all they do. They're serving Christ and living a life set apart from the far-too-low standards that bombard us through media, television, magazines, etc.

Let us all keep our focus on Christ.

Brothers, pursue women that are pursuing Christ; those who are only building you up to be men of God. Don't be entangled by culture's expectations for you to settle for anything less than a pure, godly woman! Protect women's fragile hearts and lead them toward Christ. Always.

Sisters, don't settle for anything less than a "Prince Charming" who is leading you toward Christ rather than the world. Don't let the world define who you are or who you're supposed to be. Let Christ's work be reflected in your heart, mind, body, and soul. Your Prince Charming will thank you.

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