There is an emotional promiscuity we’ve noticed among many good young men and women. The young man understands something of the journey of the heart. He wants to talk, to “share the journey.” The woman is grateful to be pursued, she opens up. They share the intimacies of their lives - their wounds, their walks with God. But he never commits. He enjoys her... then leaves. And she wonders, What did I do wrong? She failed to see his passivity. He really did not ever commit or offer assurances that he would. Like Willoughby to Marianne in Sense and Sensibility.Be careful you do not offer too much of yourself to a man until you have good, solid evidence that he is a strong man willing to commit. Look at his track record with other women. Is there anything to be concerned about there? If so, bring it up. Also, does he have any close male friends - and what are they like as men? Can he hold down a job? Is he walking with God in a real and intimate way? Is he facing the wounds of his own life, and is he also demonstrating a desire to repent of Adam’s passivity and/or violence? Is he headed somewhere with his life? A lot of questions, but your heart is a treasure, and we want you to offer it only to a man who is worthy and ready to handle it well.
A mother's heart is a vast and glorious thing. My mother's heart was expansive, having been enlarged by suffering and years of clinging to Jesus while being misunderstood, dismissed, and judged by those she loved most. Me included. It had cost her to love, had cost her much to mother. It always does. But she would tell you that it's worth it, that there is no other way.
The vast desire and capacity a woman has for intimate relationships tells us of God's vast desire and capacity for intimate relationships. In fact, this may be The most important thing we ever learn about God--the He yearns for relationship with us. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God (John 17:3). The whole story of the Bible is a love story between God and His people. He yearns for us. He cares. He has a tender heart.
Call it the Human Mission-to be all and do all God sent us here to do. And notice-the mission to be fruitful and conquer and hold sway is given both to Adam and to Eve. 'And God said to them...' Eve is standing right there when God gives the world over to us. She has a vital role to play; she is a partner in this great adventure. All that human beings were intended to do here on earth-all the creativity and exploration, all the battle and rescue and nurture-we were intended to do together. In fact, not only is Eve needed, but she is desperately needed.When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. 'It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]' (Gen. 2:18 Alter). Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' The various attempts we have in English are helper or companion or the notorious help meet. Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat...disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing One day I shall be a help meet? Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Alter is getting close when he translates it sustainer beside himThe word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.
You see, women have been essential to every great move of God. Yes, Moses led the Isaelites out of Egypt, but only after his mother risked her life to save him! Closer to our time, Clara Barton was instrumental in starting the Red Cross. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin put fire into people's heart to end slavery in the United States. Rosa Parks kicked the Civil Rights movement into gear with her quiet act of courage. Eunice Kennedy Shriver created the Special Olympics. Mother Teresa inspired the world by bringing love to countless thought unlovable. And millions of other women quietly change the world every day by bringing the love of God to those around them.
We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil.
Fear is a wet blanket that smothers the fiery passion God deposited in your heart when he formed you. Fear freezes us into inaction. Frozen ideas, frozen souls, frozen bodies can't move, can't dream, can't risk, can't love, and can't live. Fear chains us.
We need to increasingly live from the fullness of our whole hearts in order to become who we are meant to be and play the significant role that is ours to play. We want to be awake and alert. We want to be women who live their lives on purpose.
The issue is fear. But the deeper issue is trust. Can we trust our lives, our futures, and the lives of those we love to God? Can we trust a God we can't control? Can we trust this God whose take on life and death and suffering and joy is so very different from our own? Yes. Yes, we can. Because we know him. And we know he is good.
Paul says in Philippians 4:19, 'And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.' Our needs won't be met according to the destitution of the world or to the poverty of our own faith in the moment but according to the riches in Jesus. There's no one richer than him!
Awakening and owning the dreams that God has placed in our hearts isn't about getting stuff or attaining something. It's about embracing who we are and who he has created us to be. In him. He is our dream come true, and the one true love of our life. But we can't love him with our whole hearts when our hearts are asleep. To love Jesus means to risk coming awake, to risk wanting and desiring.
Our hope doesn't rest on our finally getting it together. Our hope rests in Jesus. Jesus in us. It's Christ in us, the hope of glory. Paul says, “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). We won't be perfect on this side of heaven. But Jesus is perfect. Always. We are becoming more holy and true. Jesus already is. His name isn't “Becoming.” It is “I Am.” Perfection isn't the goal. Jesus is.
There is no shame here. The places where we still fear are simply the places we have yet to fully receive God’s love. Only by his grace and in his love can we let our fear go. Let go and receive. Receive his dreams. Receive his love. It is an exchange of fear for desire. It is an exchange of death for life. There is no fear in love. And I can tell you this with certainty: God does not want you to live in fear. And he does want you to live. Don’t be afraid. Just believe.
We have to choose life. Choose risk. Choose love. The only safe place for our hearts is to dive deeply into the magnificent, eternal, ridiculous, overwhelming love that God has for us.
We want to be women who advance. The kingdom of God is advancing, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Don't you want to advance along with it? Don't you want to help it to advance? And don't you want to advance into the deeper realms of the heart of God? Advance into more healing, more deliverance, more intimacy, more life? Fear makes us retreat. Love causes it to advance.
He made you you—on purpose. You are the only you—ever. Becoming ourselves means we are actively cooperating with God's intention for our lives, not fighting him or ourselves. He looks at us with pleasure and with mercy, and he wants us to look at ourselves with pleasure and mercy too!
Laying down what we want to protect or are afraid of losing or are terrified we will never have is not the same thing as losing those things. It is surrendering them. It is opening up our clenched hand around them and allowing God access to them and to us. It is actually saying yes to God for them. Yes to his plan. Yes to his way. It is believing that just as his ways are higher than the heavens are above the earth, so his way for the things we fear is higher. This God of ours is a God of life, of goodness. He is the God of the Resurrection. We lay down our fear. We pick up Jesus. He is the only way we can live beyond fear. He is the Way.
No longer bound by fear, how high can we soar? How deep can we dive? How much delight can we experience? Yes, there will be sorrow too—it's a part of the deal—but life gets the final word. Life. Life always gets the final word. Every single time. Forever. Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name!