Let me first warn you that this post is going to be incredibly honest. And that it may offend someone. But I want each person who reads this to know my heart – I am broken over hurting women and that is why I have written this.
My ministry life has been along two distinct veins – the first is video/marketing/communications. I know I have been not only called to that, but by God’s grace, gifted in that. But my other calling – some days more of my heart calling than even communications – is to minister to girls. As I look back on my life, the significant moments where I would sit knowing that I was doing exactly what God called me to do usually involved not only communications, but communications to women.
Yesterday I read a brief news report about Afghan women being beaten for trying to get an education. I follow a group on Twitter called the A21 Campaign – this group tracks and fights against human trafficking. Their statistics are staggering:
- Roughly 2 to 4 million people are trafficked in and across borders each year.
- The overwhelming majority of those trafficked are women and children.
- The average victim is forced to have sex up to 20 times a day.
In our country, the issue is not as black and white as human trafficking, but after 7+ years in Student Ministry working with girls, I am convinced that we don’t do a much better job than any other country valuing women (or teaching them to value themselves). Our culture has convinced women to degrade themselves to be valued – and the few young women who refuse to do so are often ridiculed and alone. God’s standard for personal purity is very specific, and in our culture, absolutely mocked. Most girls are not even taught that purity is an option. They grow up in a home where their parents serve their own interests and they are taught to do the same – to make their own decisions and trust their own instincts from a very early age. They are never told that there is a standard, set by God, that was set for their protection. These young women are beautiful and lonely, pursuing value in relationships with men who may or may not value them at all.
On the other hand, I have several girls that I worked with who are beautiful Godly young women. Who have chosen to live by the standard set by God and who have made a choice to ignore the culture. And I’ve watched their confusion as they are not asked out or they are asked out, but when pressured to compromise, they have refused and have been dumped because of their convictions – so they remain single. So many men have become instant gratification consumers in their dating life as they are in every other aspect of their lives. I am not harping only on men – I have girls who were my students who have also become instant gratification consumers. And I watch them stray farther and farther away from God’s standard for their lives – and my heart breaks for them. I fear that they have no clue of their incredible value.
I have heard people say, and this absolutely infuriates me, that God created AIDS to wipe out homosexuals. In my opinion, it is such a horrible distortion of the character of God that it makes me sick. But God does know all things – and knew of the existence of AIDS long before we did, and so for that reason and a dozen others He warned His children to not participate in sex outside of marriage. He saw the degradation of a woman’s heart when she has partner after partner, or abortion after abortion, and so He set the rules against those things to protect her gentle heart. If God is a good God, and I believe He is, He knows what is best for us. He doesn’t withhold good gifts. But like any good parent, He does withhold things that are harmful.
Here’s the brutal truth. Personal purity is not often rewarded in this world. Some of my sweet girls may remain single for much longer than they’d like. Their firmness in their convictions may be met with an intended partner who is not firm in his. So where is the hope? I am convinced that God is near to His faithful daughters in this life and has a special reward for them in eternity. That fulfillment not only can be found, but will be found, in resting in the shadow of His wings. That He calls men to stand up, to be righteous, to be strong and honorable. And He calls men to be attracted to Godly women. That each of my girls is not ever forgotten. The Lord is wooing them to Himself and wooing Godly men to them. And that, in the obedience of a Godly patient woman and the obedience of a humble honorable man, my sweet single girls will become sweet married moms. That in choosing to travel the road less traveled, my girls will find the journey incredibly rewarding – both the part of the road they travel alone and the part they travel with a partner.
And for my girls who have chosen the wide path, who have given too much of themselves to too many people who did not cherish them – there is also hope. God is a God who deeply loves you and who will not hold your sin against you if you are covered in the blood of His Son. He is a God who redeems. If you merely stop and choose His path from this point forward, He will redeem you. Jeremiah 15:19 says Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman.” Isaiah 59:1 affirms the power of the Lord and His desire to redeem His children “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.” Romans 3:23-24 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 1:7 says “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Take some time and read through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) – taking special care to read about Jesus and His offer of forgiveness to anyone who asks. He forgave prostitutes, thieves, cheats – He still delights in forgiving His children. He will restore you. He will forgive you. He will make you pure again – white as snow. He will save you.
The bottom line is that all girls are the daughters of the Living God. And although this world is cruel to women, God is faithful. Loving. Forgiving. Strong. And near to them. And as a mom to two daughters, it gives me great hope. As the daughter of a woman who at a young age made every bad choice my sweet girls have made – but at 21 years old made a decision to not only follow Christ, but a decision to raise her children in the love and light of the Lord, I have great hope. The Lord will not hold her sins against her, and He will not hold your sins against you if you choose to let Him save you and forgive you. I lived in a wonderful house with an incredible Godly mom because she choose to follow Jesus and change her life. I am so thankful she did. It is never too late.