I’m a Mom. I spend a lot of time waiting for my daughters at school, church and other youth events. I see many of you in the halls or getting off the buses or coming into the room. I can see it in some of your eyes and hear it in your conversations. You are “chasing” some boy and seem almost obsessed with the pursuit. I’ll agree with you about two things I hear you say. First, you and your friends think he is cute. We can all see that. Second, you will make some of the girls jealous who are pursuing the same goals in life: date and date someone who is popular enough to make others wish they were in your shoes. But past that, I can’t agree with you on much else.
Here’s what I wish I could tell you:
- You are missing so much of life around you because you are focused on a boy and only on a boy. You are missing the songs being played around you, the games with the group, the speakers sharing some really great thoughts, and the fun times with the girls. You are missing quiet moments without your social media. You are missing a chance to find out who you are—not who you could be if you dated the guy you are currently chasing.
- You are missing out on trusting God. God tells you throughout Scripture that He loves you and has a plan for you that includes many blessings, much love, and joy. Find out who you are in God’s eyes while you are young. When you know who you are in God’s eyes, you can trust Him to bring the right people into your life. You will make sweet, wonderful friends (guys and girls). While making friends, you will eventually also find a person who is the perfect one for you. This person will not make you feel whole—God already did that for you. This person will make you feel special and loved and safe and happy. You won’t have to worry about what outfit you are wearing or how your hair looks. You won’t have to text often or post questionable photos to get his attention.
- You are worth more than the stress of the pursuit. You are not incomplete without another human. You have gifts and talents to share with this crazy world. Share them. Laugh with friends. Quit competing with the other girls around you. Life is not a competition to be won or lost. Get off social media and just hang out with friends. Your friends will be by your side forever if you build solid relationships. You actually become a stronger person when you help build each other up through encouragement and kindness.
This is a challenging time in your life. It can be so hard to be a young woman in today’s world. There are so many voices competing to be heard by you. So many images flash before your eyes every day through TV, movies, YouTube, and all of the social media sites. But try starting and ending each day with asking God to keep the image of who you were created to be before your eyes. You don’t have to create an image for yourself—just grow into the image God created in you. It’s not easy, but it brings lots of unexpected blessings.
It would really help matters if Christianity’s emphasis on gender roles was toned down enough to let them enjoy teenage years without such bad advice as: “only date young men you’d want to marry and to submit to”. Words like ‘intentional’ ‘courtship’ ‘betrothal’ ‘headship’ should not exist in their vocabularies just yet.