About once a month, I get an email from a young person who (a) likes writing, (b) likes reading and (c) likes being Lutheran. The question presented is always the same: How do I do what you do? What do I write about? How do I get published? My answer: How much time ya got? Or . . . Continue reading
Being a girl can be hard. Being a Christian girl can be even harder. But in the midst of a time and a place where femininity and humility and, well, normalcy are rare, you stand out like a city girl at a rodeo.
In a good way.
There are days when staying the course feels hard, and it seems like you’re the only one left that’s standing for something, for anything.
But you’re not. In Christ, you are never alone. And while you journey on in this broken world, or sally forth as my pastor likes to say, let me give you a few words of encouragement as a woman who used to be a high school student (read: nerd) myself.
5. Don’t freak out about what you’re going to do after college.
The world and your teachers and your peers are going to press in hard. They want you to pick a career, a lifestyle, a plan before you’re practically able to touch the pedals in your parents’ minivan.
But guess what? You don’t have to know right now. It’s okay if you don’t. The Lord has a good and perfect plan for you, and as Luther reminds us, what God hasn’t chosen to reveal to us isn’t ours to know. So if you don’t have every millisecond of your life planned out, it’s okay. You can still smile. The Lord will see you through.
4. Pray about being a wife and a mom.
Yes. You can giggle. But you can start already now.
Also, see number 5. This is because the culture wants you to be a doctor or a lawyer or the president of the United States in 2050. And those are all good and notable things, but not at the expense of being a wife and a mom. There are joys that marriage and children give that your job simply can’t. So don’t shove guys aside and poo poo children as you scramble your nude pumps up the corporate ladder.
Hear me now: That doesn’t mean that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can. It just may mean that things have to give at certain points in your life. And when it comes to the relationships you have with your future husband or your family, everything else pales in comparison.
3. It’s okay to be feminine.
I know, I know. You don’t have to tell me. I’ve already heard it: Everything a man can do, you can do better. Or so Teen magazine says.
But there really is something you can do that a man can’t: You can be feminine. What’s that look like? (Don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you have to wear pastel pink every day.) You can respect your father. You can strive for humility and compassion. You can pray for the men in your life: from your boyfriend to your brother. You can learn from your mom how to care for a home and for other people, how to show hospitality and how to make people feel loved. That’s something specific to you as a woman, your “uniquely feminine gifts” as we like to say. And that’s not anything to be ashamed of.
2. Cover up.
I know Rihanna wears see-through tops and barely-there shorts when she’s partying in Barbados, but she shouldn’t. It’s not helpful. And no, I’m not just trying to be a fashion killjoy.
See, by God’s grace, there will very likely come a day when our Lord will bless you with a husband. And when He does, you’ll realize that you don’t want him looking at any other woman, and similarly, he doesn’t want any other men looking at you. But that’s difficult for a man when you’re wearing a skirt that stops just below your thigh and inches above your knee and a shirt that’s so tight you can read the HANDWASH ONLY instructions on the tag.
You also don’t have to dress like you’re a Puritan that just washed up with the Mayflower. Just dress cutely. Dress modestly. Dress like you want your husband to be the only one who gets to see you. Dress like you don’t want to tempt every male on the street.
Besides, some things are better left to the imagination.
1. Learn to say “no.”
This doesn’t come naturally to most women. We aim to please, we like to take care of people, we want to help when we’re asked. But there are times when saying “no” is the right thing to do.
Sex outside of marriage because everyone else is doing it and what can it hurt? No. Disobeying the Fourth Commandment, no matter how stuck in the Dark Ages your parents might be? No. Hitting the Snooze button on Sunday morning when the Lord has forgiveness to give in church? No. No. No.
And the even cooler thing? The sooner you learn to say “no,” the easier it gets.
Being a girl can be hard. Being a Christian girl can be even harder. But remember this: You’ve been washed in Christ’s baptismal waters. He’s got you. There’s nothing to be afraid of, nothing He can’t do. He loves you. He forgives you when you screw up. You are His, and that’s all that matters.
Now get ‘em.
PS I don’t really know what that means, but it seems like a good way to end a letter.
PPS Pop quiz! They say, “You must skip church on Sunday to play volleyball or we’re going to bench you for three games,” and you say ? ? ?
PPSPS Good answer. See? You got this.
PSPSPPSPSPPSPS How do these PSes even work anyway?
When I climbed inside my Camry on Monday afternoon, I wasn’t in the greatest mood. I was cold, which is really nothing new, but I was also sick with a sore throat aching more by the minute.
True confessions: I was a mess and had no business heading to St. Louis to present at LCMS U’s Taboo, a conference with hundreds of college students.
I wanted to crawl into bed, cough a lot and wake up three days later. Continue reading