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Women’s bodies are not objects.

modesty.

let’s focus on this word.

Christian culture likes to throw around this word when it comes to the topic of purity. especially when it comes to women. It seems that women are given a higher standard when it comes to modesty.

girls and guys are split up in youth groups to discuss purity. girls are often encouraged to dress more appropriately and modestly while guys on the other hand are encouraged to behave like gentlemen. sayings like “modesty is hottest” or “modesty is the best policy” are thrown around while  the War on Yoga Pants rages on. girls are told they can’t wear a certain t-shirt because it shows too much skin or cleavage.

women are made to feel ashamed of their bodies and are seen as objects.
from what swim suits we can or cannot wear.
to being repulsed to seeing a woman breastfeed.
to being told what we can or cannot wear because our bodies will be a “temptation” to men.
to not being taken seriously after being sexually assaulted or raped and being told, “Well, how did you dress?”

We are basically told that we need to fix ourselves to  accommodate men and their needs.

lets get something out of the way

Modesty is subjective and situational.
It has absolutely everything to do with YOU and YOUR intentions and absolutely nothing to do with anyone else’s sin or temptations.

What one guy may find attractive and tempting, another guy may not.
One guy may be attracted to stomach showing, while another guy might be attracted to fingers or toes, while the third guy may be attracted to cleavage.

Going deeper on this topic, each country and culture has it’s own set of rules on what modesty looks like. If you visit the Middle East, women might be found wearing burkas and that is what “modest” looks like to them, but men still get turned on from women in burkas. Whereas, if you go to the beach you will most likely wear a swim suit, or a short sun dress.  In that context it is appropriate and modest to wear, but if you were to attend church in your two piece swim suit or a short sun dress, you would find that your clothing choice is now probably not the most modest.
Another example would be, what you would find modest and appropriate to wear to a wedding, might not be so modest and appropriate at a funeral.

What might be accepted as modest in one country, culture and/or situation may be found to be frowned upon in another.

We need to stop putting so much pressure on women to be modest and instead we need to start talking to men about how they need to be able to treat women with value and respect, and not objectify them based on what they may be wearing.

 

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To the girl that may be struggling with loving herself,
you are more than just your body.
You are a beautiful daughter of God.

You have been given immense worth.

To the girl who may have been raped or sexually assaulted,
It isn’t your fault.
It didn’t happen because of what you were wearing. 
You are strong, and you are a survivor.

My hope and prayer for you wonderful ladies is that you love yourself and your bodies.
Love who God has created you to be.
Bask and rejoice in His wonderful love daily.

 

 

 

 

 

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Need vs. Want

“I need a pumpkin spice latte”
“I need new shoes”
“I need to go to that concert”
“I need that designer hand bag”

At various times in our lives we or someone else we know has stated their need to have something or to do something.

We say we “need” these things when shouldn’t we actually be saying we “want” those things?

A need simply put is something you have to have.
While a want is something you desire to have.

You need oxygen in order to survive.
You need water and food.
You need shelter.

We’ve created a culture around this whole idea of “I need this” or “I need that” in order to make us happy when it’s not about finding happiness, it’s about finding joy.
Happiness is usually dependent on situations or “things” and usually that happiness has a way of disappearing, whereas our joy comes from Christ.

You see, we are so desperate to find true joy that we end of searching in all the wrong places and in all the wrong things to bring us joy when all it ends up doing is bringing us temporarily happiness that fades and leaves us longing for a desire and need to find another thing to bring us joy.

The answer is right in front of us: Jesus Christ.

Our joy comes from Jesus Christ- who has loved us so much that he searched for us and rescued us and never abandons us.

Dear friends,
Let us not look to earthly possessions to give us happiness where only our joy from Christ belongs. Let us not look to earthly possessions to provide us with happiness that will lead us on a never ending hunt of “need” in order to make us happy.

Look to Christ as the source of our joy.

 

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Purity is way more than abstinence.

Hey friends!

Today I’m going to be tackling the topic of purity. It’s a topic that holds a lot of meaning to me, and it’s been on my mind for awhile. Hang tight with me as I dive in and tackle this topic.

Purity-Rings

 

The Christian church today has capitalized off of this whole idea that purity has to do with abstinence. You must buy this book, buy this purity ring, attend this conference, etc. I can’t tell you the amount of friends that I’ve had that have bought the purity rings, and devotional books dedicated to the topic of abstinence. For years even I thought that in order for me to be sexually pure, or abstain from sex until marriage that it was “required” that I wear one of these. “If I don’t wear a purity ring, how will people know I’m striving to live a life devoted to purity?” I would often think to myself……

We’ve turned purity into a checklist that we need to follow.

We’ve gone and told young girls and boys that in order to stay “pure” they must abstain from sex. We’ve gone and told them that their “reward” for being “sexually clean” is to find that perfect spouse that God has planned out for them. Because of this way of thinking, we have men and women out there who remain sexually pure because they think that in doing so they are going to be rewarded one day with a spouse.

I’ve sat with many women who through tears and sobbing have asked me, “What am I doing wrong? Why am I not married yet?”. And honestly, at some point or another I’ve been one of those women who have cried and sobbed my heart out on some other persons shoulder, asking the same old question. “I’m waiting, I’m trying to do everything right. How come nothing’s going right? Where’s my reward?”.

What are we supposed to say to these people who have been sexually pure for their whole lives and watched friends and family who have only been pure for a few days, weeks, months or years and are already getting married?

………hold on here for a second………

I think we may be missing something…
What about Jesus Christ?

I can be as “sexually pure” as I want, and practice abstinence until marriage and buy the purity ring and follow all the correct steps, but at the same time, I can be so dirt stained from my sin unless I have put my faith in Jesus Christ and been transformed and renewed by the gospel. 

All abstinence is is a habit that we have simply attached to mean purity.
Purity is a lifestyle.
It is living our lives in such a way that God originally had planned out for us.

Don’t get me wrong guys……
We are absolutely called to sexual abstinence, but that’s not what defines our purity.

When we put our faith in Jesus Christ and allow the gospel to transform and renew us, we allow God to create in us a pure heart and cleanse us.

Let’s stop telling people that purity is the key to marriage and start telling them that it’s a lifestyle.
Let’s stop telling people that being, “sexually clean” is the answer to purity and let’s start pointing people to Jesus as an example of what purity looks like.

 

 

 

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In Jesus we have a safe place

whether you are feeling alone, scared, struggling to find worth, hopeless and worn out, dealing with depression or anxiety.

I want to remind you. Jesus is for you.

He is standing on the sideline even when you’ve given up. He is your biggest fan encouraging you to not give up. He is your biggest fan even when you make mistakes. 

there will be times when you face trials and moments that will try and tear you down. there will be people that you come across that will be against you.

Jesus is with us through it all. Never leaving our side even when we leave His

Continue to look to Jesus for direction and comfort. In Jesus we will always find a safe place. In Jesus we find hope for our weary souls. In Jesus there is peace. In Jesus, all of our fears are washed away.

The next time you become overwhelmed by guilt, fear, hopelessness, worry, and  loneliness, etc 

breathe.

and remember these truths. Remember to cling to Jesus. 

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Viewing God like we view a sunset. 

The other night I was sitting downtown Annapolis journaling and writing a new chapter in my upcoming book.

The water has always been a place of calm for me, something about sitting on the docks staring off into that blue water always bring me such peace.

I was fortunate enough to catch the sunset, and boy these photos don’t do it justice. Our God makes magnificent sunsets.

Staring at the sunset, it made me think, “What if we looked at God the way we do when we see a sunset?”

You know how captivating those sunsets can be, all those beautiful pink and orange colors in the sky, it leaves you in wonder. Just think of how many times you’ve just had to stop and Snapchat or Instagram a sunset because “it’s the most magnificent thing you’ve ever seen”. Almost as great as chocolate chip cookies and puppies. Am I right?

We look at sunsets with stillness and adoration the way we should look at God. What if we began to look at God the way we stop to look at sunsets? How would this look? 

Being still with God is something we all struggle with. Just being in the moment with God without texting, being side tracked by our hobbies or even our family and friends. Yes, finding complete stillness in God is often hard. Because sometimes even when we aren’t on our phones or with friends, our minds are racing with errands we still need to finish, whether or not we got that job we wanted. If we were to be completely still with God we would be like a young toddler soaking up the magnificence and wonder of God. We would be like still water in a river, calm and at peace. We would be so in wonder of WHO God is that we would silence ourselves just to be in the very presence of God. 

This ties in with adoration. Adoration is a type of affection, a type of love you have for someone. “I adore you so much!” you may say to a significant other or a friend. Adoration leaves you looking at a person in wonder and lovingly. If we were to look at God with adoration we would be so captivated by the very character of God. We would be so breathtakingly in love with the mere though of just sitting in the presence of God!

Guys.

I don’t know about you but I want to daily see God in stillness and adoration. I know sometimes it’s a struggle for me. Sometimes I’m not still in the Lord. Sometimes I don’t even look at God with adoration. Sometimes I rush through my devotional because I have such a big list of “To do’s” for that day. I know I’m a terrible person…..

My prayer for us is this:

Lord,

Sometimes I may rush or I may forget to go spend quality time with you. You still pursue me and love me. You hold nothing against me and I am constantly amazed by your love and grace. Lord, I pray that I will be so in love with you that I will look at you so adoringly that my heart will be calm and still. I pray that I never stop looking at you with adoration. That just by being in your presence I will be completely still. 

Amen 


Ease and grace,
Elizabeth Louise