Living in this world but not being of the world is a command Jesus charged us with. However, it is very hard. Well, in our generation at least. With the internet, media and entertainment outlets trying to give us our identities or dictate to us what the standard of wealth, beauty and living should be, it is extremely easy to assume these ways of thinking and neglect God’s word and His ways.
I have been slowly but surely journeying from thinking according to the world and instead, thinking according to the word. One thing is for sure, in choosing to do so, there will come a time of intense challenge.
I want to talk about one particular challenge a woman of God must undergo if they are to think according to God’s word and it is in the area of our identities. Instinctively, women often base their identities on who and what they are told they are by their parents, friends and eventually, intimate partners. Of concern to me is the number of women who continuously base their beauty on the world’s standards or what they have been told (or not told).
Growing up, I was bullied severely. Hearing that I was ugly and looked retarded came as common to me as blinking my eye or yawning in the morning. It was something I lived with and eventually, I grew to believe it. I became extremely depressed and for that and other forms of emotional abuse, I ended being hospitalized for mental issues. As a teenager, I had no friends, no social life, nothing. My life gradually became better as I got into my early twenties, but the pain still lingers.
Now that the truth of God’s word has been revealed, I can now honestly say that I am thankful for those experiences. But what I’m even more thankful for is the invaluable revelation my journey gave to me. Here it is:
To be a bit cut and dry, the truth is people cannot be the source of your affirmation or confidence. You are putting your soul and life in danger by relying on them or shaping yourself up in ways to please them. Women of God have got to stop.
Elizabeth, why would you say that? Aren’t we created for community?
We are, but we were never created to base our opinion of ourselves off someone else’s thoughts. Back in the 90s, the world’s standard of beauty were thin models, tall, with long hair and often fair complexion. Granted, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks made it to fame by exception.
Look to God for validation
Today, the curvy woman is in. And if you have additions by surgery, you may get a few thousand more likes on your Instagram picture. Some friends of yours may tell you that long hair fits you. Others may ridicule you because of your fleshy cheeks. Still, your boyfriend may love you in a blonde wig, while your co-workers may think that the new you with a tattoo on your arm is the coolest thing ever.
Deep down, you are searching for acceptance and validation. You desperately want to be told your beautiful and you are looking to persons who may hurt you deeply if you don’t line up with their views.
God has a better way. Like me, I believe all Christian women will come to a point where they look to God for validation. He made you. He knows you and guess what? He’s the highest King who exists.
He is Alpha, Omega and the most valuable being around. If His word says you were beautifully and fearfully made, what more do you want or need? Who will you believe? And who will you trust?
The sooner I saw myself the way God sees me, the sooner my self-esteem began to rise. Granted, friendships along the way do help in the healing process, as our pain and healing often come through the same channel – relationships.
However, now that I know I’m beautiful and my identity is well fixed on that, if a guy begins to mistreat me, it will be easier for me to send that friendship packing as I know I’m beautiful and therefore can attract real love and joy.
Many women stay around in toxic relationships and friendships because they feel they aren’t good enough. Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not talented enough, etc. It’s sad because if they knew what God said, they would cling to Him and look to His word to build them up so they can happen to life instead allowing life to happen to them.
It is a process, so if you are reading this and feel that you are stuck between low self esteem and allowing others to fix your identity for you, don’t worry. Here are some practical steps to begin a new life:
· Soak in Gods word. Meditate in scriptures that speak of who you are in Christ. Google “who I am in Christ verses” and you are set!
· Choose to give more weight to God’s word than how you feel. Sure, you may have a few extra pounds you want to shed, or you know years of relaxer has damaged your hair. You are still beautiful. God cannot create a mess, so that means you are a gem. When thoughts or words from others come that oppose what you know God says about you, choose to believe God! “Let God be true, and every man a lie!”
· Practice self-love. – Girl, stop waiting on a man to come to make your life fun and worth living. When we see how special God made us, we will begin to have a more loving and enjoyable relationship with ourselves. Treat yourself to self-care and a day out here and there.
· Confess Gods word and Affirmations – start confessing with your mouth who you are in Christ. “Let the Redeemed of the Lord say So” (Psalm 107 verse 2).
Until Next time!
You are a Queen!
Elizabeth is a student of Applied Behaviour Analysis and Special Education, a proud public speaker at Toastmasters International and budding entrepreneur. In my free time, she loves reading, cycling, crocheting and most recently, mastering cuisine in the kitchen. Her life’s ambition is to own an international non-profit ministry focusing on eliminating poverty in Africa and Asia as well as ministering mental and emotional healing.