» Vessel. Voice. Visionary.

Because, its my time.

Teach Her To Be A Woman, Not A Wife

Image

As a young woman, you're constantly thrown messages of abstinence and purity. All of the older women talk about saving yourself for marriage and making sure you're not giving your goodies to anyone that doesn't give you a ring. But then, they also teach you to cook, to clean, do laundry, citing the primary reason not that you're a woman (that's second), but because you need to know how to do it for when you're married. Herein lies the issue. I don't think that we shouldn't learn these things, but I think we're growing up in training, being taught how to be a wife, not a woman

I was having a conversation about the reason why I don't go out much, and why it was hard for me to just get up, go out, and stay out late. Part of it is because I just don't do the "going out" life, but moreover the reason was because I was thinking as a "wife", not a "woman". I have a boyfriend, and a younger female friend that also doubles as one of my roommates. I joke around and call them my little "family". So if and when I go out, they're the first ones on my mind. I want to have fun, but I also want to come home in time to be able to talk to my friend before she goes to sleep or to be there if something's wrong. I want to come home in time to call my boyfriend and relay the day's events before he goes to sleep or be there if something's wrong. My "family" is first on my mind. But the thing is, I'm not a wife or a mother. I'm a twenty one year old girl with no kids and no ring. Yet, I think as if I do and that's the issue. Of course everyone isn't like me, but I feel like the messages we send to young women cause them to think in similar patterns. We create a mindset that trains girls to grow up waiting to be married, waiting to find the one that will honor them, and love God more than he loves them. They grow up waiting for their Boaz, but what if he never comes? What if everyone doesn't get married? What if everyone doesn't even have a boyfriend? What then? Then we wonder why girls get caught up in these foolish relationships or consumed in lust. It's because we're not teaching them to be women. We're not teaching them skills to be self-sustainable. We're not teaching them to love themselves regardless of whether a man loves them or not. We're not teaching them to be pure because they're valuable and mean something. We say "boyfriends don't get husband privileges", which refers to sex, but if all they know how to do is be a wife, sex isn't really what we should be focused on. If a young woman is cooking for her boyfriend when he comes over, or helps with him with his laundry when they go the laundromat but doesn't have sex with him, is she really still saving herself? By no means do I approve of sex before marriage, but it shouldn't be the focus of what we teach our girls. The privileges should extend to more than just sex.

Maybe I'm dreaming but why can't a young woman find herself INmarriage? Why can't she explore cooking, cleaning, and pleasing with her husband? Why does she have to be a complete package prior to her ring? Maybe you might say because that's the woman's place or what will she offer the man if she doesn't know how to do those things or no man will want to marry her but I don't think that's true. I think if we taught our girls how to just BE, just BE a woman, a man would still want to marry her with no experience in those things. In all honesty, maybe that's one of the reasons so many marriages are failing. We prepare our girls to meet a man's physical and sexual needs--the tangible, but don't teach her how to stimulate his mind or how to support his visions. We don't teach her how to have visions of her own, outside of his, so that he can see that she has the intellectual capacity to aspire to something. We don't teach her to constantly evolve into her womanhood or to make sure she takes care of herself, getting things like her hair and nails done regularly. We don't teach her how to take of the woman she is, without having to feel guilty that she's neglecting her family. Look around. As much as things glorify sex, they glorify marriage as well. Take a look at these commercials for example. Take notice at how many times you see a ring on their fingers, even if the commercial is about laundry detergent. Take a look at those that supposedly write books or blogs for "single women" and constantly refer to "when you're married" or "when you find the one" or "him this, him that". We can train our girls to be women, without talking about them being wives. Some women that had no woman to teach them or any self-help books to read when they had their first child still did fantastic jobs in raising their kids, drawing on their maternal instinct and what they felt their child needed. I believe the same can happen in being a wife. I believe a woman can be a great wife without teaching or books because they realize who they need to be in relation to who they're with.I am not dismissing the advice of women who have done it before, because I do think it can be valuable; I just don't believe that's all we should rely on.

I wholeheartedly agree with the Bible's stance on women being in submission to their husbands, but I do not think that God intended for them to not to stand in and of their own as well. He created each one of us with a special purpose and when we do not teach our women to first fulfill their God-given purpose instead of seeking after a marriage, we deter them from stepping into all that God has for them. I have every intention on being married in the future, and I believe that I'll make a great wife, but I'm not there yet. I'm still at a place where I'm learning who I am and I want to keep it that way. I love my boyfriend but I don't want to turn our relationship into a proving ground for marriage instead of a time where we can enjoy one another. Of course, seeing a future with him is necessary, but I also need to see and experience a present. I want to enjoy hanging out without looking at the clock cause my "family" is waiting. I want to invest everything into building myself and following God's purpose for me, and I wholeheartedly believe that as and once I do that, I'll be able to truly enjoy and build a successful covenant. 

Women, love God and love yourself. Allow Him to prepare you by His standards for Himself, not for a man. <3

**This is a general thought and not meant to be representative of all women.**

Cut the String of Brokenness

Growing up, I had a lot of "friends". It was never an issue to make them because I deemed myself a social butterfly. Talking to people was rather easy for me, and subsequently making friends was too. Being older, the same isn't true. It's not that I've lost my charm for talking to people, it's that I allowed my circumstances to push people away. You don't realize how much things hurt you until you look behind you and recognize the string of brokeness that follows. I had broken relationships with people because of how hurt I was. I pushed those that cared away because I lumped them with those that appeared to but didn't. Now I look around at the lack of friendships I have, and quite frankly, it makes me sad. I want to have friends that I can call and say "get dressed, we're going out" or vice versa. I want to have friends that if my boyfriend goes out or my closest friend/roommate is with her friends or out, I don't have to be lonely, laying in the bed watching tv. I want to have friends that I can be transparent with, have fun, without worrying about whether they're thinking about how "holy" I should be. Going away to college was a great experience for me in that it taught me to be independent and such, but the experience also took me from my home, my friends, and my family. I know I have them, but in Philly, they aren't tangible. I can't go see them or hang out. That's what different about now. My boyfriend and roommate are both "home". Seeing their friends or family is as simple as a drive or train ride. I don't share the same simplicity. My journey takes more than three hours to another state. Maybe that's the saddest thing--when I am most in need of my comfort, it's out of reach. 

BUT, the point of this post is not all about being sad about not having friends- it's about this: cut the string of brokenness. Too often we get so wrapped up in situations and people that hurt us that we go out and sometimes unintentionally, hurt those around us. We don't let people get too close for fear of hurt, or we push away those that care because we don't see why or how they could. We lump everyone together and think the world is out to get us, when in actuality, either a small insignificant number or frankly no one is. Living in hurt hurts. Living in hurt stunts growth. Living in hurt limits the possibility of truly enjoying life and all that it has to offer. Living in hurt continuosly gives control to the source of the hurt. I lived in hurt so long and was so deep into it that I didn't see that I was isolating myself until it was revealed by others and ultimately by myself when it was too late. I realized I had isolated myself when I could scroll down my phonebook, or better yet, look around the room and realize there was not a single person I had an actual substantial friendship with. I realized I had allowed my hurt to consume me to the point where "are you okay?" wasn't even a question anymore--it became the statement of "oh she's just having another one of her days/moments". Living in hurt robs you of the ability to love and I think more importantly be loved. It's okay- you're human. But at the end of the day, you're not the only one who has ever been hurt and you surely won't be the last. The hurt that you're going through isn't unique unto you. Others have experienced debilitating hurts, and yet, they manage to still love and be loved.

Bottom line: Be mature enough to realize that as long as there is life within you, there is life to be lived. Forgive. Forget. Move on. Most importantly, never lose your ability to recognize, receive and reciprocate love.