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As a teen and young adult I got really tired of the church telling me to do something with the “because I said so” and the “be good” reasoning. I still battle that desire to live inside the rule box.
I’m going to rant now- How about telling me the whole truth? The truth is that God actually set up marriage as a covering and a protection for women. Instead of trying to scare me with STDs and pregnancy! How about teaching me who I am in God? How about making me confident to know that I am worth marrying? How about telling me that any guy who would sleep with me outside of that covenant doesn’t actually respect me at all, no matter what he says? How about teaching guys HOW to respect women? How about teaching them how to be real men instead of guys, punks and dudes? How about teaching them who they are in God too?
Rant over. Rational blog to follow in 3, 2, 1….
There is a rampant identity crisis in this world. I’m not the only one who struggled with identity. And honestly, I don’t blame my parents or the churches I went to for my lack of identity. It’s not their fault, because they did not know what they were doing. They did their best with what they had and they loved me the best way they knew how. I had some very wonderful people in my world, truly. And I’m grateful.
But the fact remains that the world at large lies to kids. They do one of three things: The world scares the crap out of them and scars them for life, traps them in a ruled filled box, or tells them to do whatever they want. Not one of those things are actually Biblical, my friends!
Moses spent a lot of time telling the Children of Israel the importance of passing on what they learned about God and from God to their children. But they didn’t do it. So after Joshua died, the children of Israel went through a crazy cycle (Read Judges) of doing whatever they wanted, then crying out to God. God would send a deliverer, and then they’d stick with God for a generation. Then they’d start the cycle all over again.
Proverbs 22:6 says: “Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Training up doesn’t must mean to tell them do this and don’t do that! It means we need to show them how to make good decisions and why it matters. Most importantly though, we NEED to know who we are in God and we NEED to teach the next generation who they are in God. It is ESSENTIAL that they know because how you see yourself colors every decision you make (and the ones we don’t). Your identity feeds your perspective.
Before I really understood how much God adored me, I was willing to take what I could get. I coasted along living on crumbs. I don’t do that anymore, because I am the daughter of the Most High God. He has a good plan for me and I expect Him to do good things for me. I expect that when I screw up that He will it around for my good. Because that’s who He is and what He does! He’s a good God who restores and reconciles and regenerates and resurrects! And He is absolutely in love with us! With me! With you!
Here’s an intro to your identity in Christ:
Ladies, you are the representation of the beauty of God. You are the daughter of the most high. Zephaniah 3 says that God sings over you with joy. On the cross, you were the joy set before Jesus that made all that suffering WORTH IT! You are adored! So don’t settle for anything less than full respect and love.
Gentlemen, you are the representation of the warrior side of God. Sorry to tell you but having sex does not make you a man. Sorry. But it doesn’t. What makes you a man is you being responsible and respectful. Genesis 1 tells you that you are made in the image and likeness of God. You were created first to be a leader, a guardian and protector. It also means you have the power to create and sow good things! That’s who you were made to be. Don’t settle for being an immature boy or a guy who plays around, be a man.
Musical Monday’s song of the day is “This Is Me” as sung by the lovely and talented Demi Lovato in Disney’s Camp Rock. Take a listen.
The reason I love this song is because it’s about someone realizing who she really is. I think everyone can relate to that. As I’ve gone through my healing process with God, He’s been showing me who I really am. Who He made me to be. Not what people spoke over me. Not what I tried to be based on what everyone thought of me. But me. The child of the Most High God. The one He created with purpose before the foundation of the world.
A man much wiser than me once told me, “Jilly, it’s not about what you do. It’s not about your “ministry.” It’s about being who God made you to be. When you finally embrace and become who He made you to be, everything will flow naturally from that.”
At the time I was like WHAT the heck does that mean? Now I get it. Until I saw myself from God’s perspective. Until I allowed God to heal me and restore me. Until I let go of what people have said to me and told me and called me and believed about me. Until I can fully embrace who I was created to be, the real me, I will not be able fully receive what God has for me.
Knowing who you are is essential. Knowing whose you are is essential.
Do you know that YOU are the Beloved of God? Not just loved, but beloved. Adored.
Do you know that God calls you good? Everything He created He calls good. He knows your potential, what you are capable of, and your strengths. He also knows your weaknesses and what things you’ll need Him to do for you. And He loves you even when you screw up and fall down and make a huge mess. His love never wavers or changes. Jeremiah 31:1, “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”
You may be thinking, but you don’t know what I’ve done. You’re right there. But most of you don’t know what I’ve done either. And since God loves me, I know He loves you too. He’s not a respecter of persons. What He’ll do for one, He’ll do for all.
You may be thinking that you are a mistake or that you weren’t wanted. Maybe you have a parent that deserted you. Maybe you were the product of a bad relationship, a rape, a one-night stand. Maybe you were given up for adoption. Maybe you were the product of an affair. Maybe you’ve been rejected or abandoned by those who should have loved and protected you. To all of you I want to tell you what God told me:
“I can turn around any situation. Resurrection and restoration are My specialties. I bring life out of death. I bring good from bad. You are the good that I worked out of your parent’s bad relationship. I saw their decisions. Both the wise and unwise decisions. You may have been a surprise to them. But you were not a surprise to me. I knew you before I created the world. I knew what your parents would choose. And you, you my precious daughter, are the good I created from that bad situation. You are the life I brought from death.”
This revelation. This message. Changed. Everything. It rocked me to my core. I always thought I was a mistake that should not have been born. Since I was a mistake God’s promises for a good plan and purpose didn’t apply to me. I truly believed that I had to take what was left. Scraps. That there was no good plan for me because I was not meant to be. That’s truly what I thought. Those thoughts were LIES from an enemy who hates me. Not from the God who loves me. God said, that He planned me before the foundation of the world! I was planned and chosen and known before God even created land on the planet Earth! I matter to God.
And guess what? So were you and so do you! You are made in His image and you matter to Him. Who you are is beautiful! Who you are is unique! So why would you want to be anything other than who He created you to be?
This is truth. Receive it. Believe it. Accept it. Speak it.