On Facebook this morning, I came across another blog post that was recently shared by a friend. It was 4:30am, I was in the car on the way to the airport, and anything that sounded remotely interesting was getting my undivided attention. And with a title as intriguing as “Dear Girl, a Good Man Will Still Want You” I couldn’t help but follow the link to see what this was about.
This is another one of those times where I’m thankful for Facebook, gifted writers, and friends who take the initiative to pass along these little articles.
Before you keep reading here, go check out the original post. It’s worth your time. Promise :).
Phylicia, the author of the original post, is writing a post to all the many different girls who are blissfully unaware of how much they have in common. Different girls, with different pasts, all asking the same question.
“Will a ‘good’ man still want me?”
Can the kind of man that fairytales are built around, the one fathers dream of their daughters finding, the man who seems perfect in every sense of the word, handle my past?
Can he deal with the baggage?
With a jaded past full of mistakes, is it even fair for me to desire this kind of man?
Can I still hold out for that type of man?
Am I worthy of that kind of love?
For starters, YES. Absolutely. To the girl who is asking herself these questions, it’s time to stop.
Regardless of your past, whether filthy or spotless, you are worthy of love.
You are worthy of respect.
And that worth was given to you by the Father who created you and NO ONE can take that away.
Stop questioning whether you are expected to settle for less. Stop doubting that you are worthy. Let me say that again. You. Are. Worthy.
Now that we’ve addressed the lies, let’s get to the reason I’m even writing this instead of just sharing the original post.
As I was reading the article, I was enticed by the truths that were shared. I loved how she shared profound truths in such simple language. Reminding us that “even the free forget their freedom sometimes.” And that “God isn’t using your past as His outline for your future-and neither should you.”
But above all else, this article brought to mind the hearts of close friends. Girls that have expressed these same thoughts. Girls who were manipulated in previous relationships. Girls who made mistakes that left deep scars and still haunt them years later. Girls, all too close to me, struggling with the idea that they aren’t worthy anymore. That somehow, their past has left them as “damaged goods” and they no longer deserve the love of a “good man.”
And then, I got angry. Angry because these are the lies that are spread out of good intentions. Bible class teachers give lessons on sexual purity and use illustrations like “a flower wilting after it’s been touched” or “a diamond losing its shine when it’s handled by too many hands” to promote abstinence. And while the intentions, no doubt, are good. Have you ever considered the implications of those illustrations? How you can give girls with past mistakes the idea that they aren’t worth as much anymore? That they no longer have the privilege of being a shining diamond? That they aren’t good enough? Or worse- that the sole reason for remaining pure is to be more valuable to your husband one day? That they are merely a prize to be won and the more valuable the prize the more desired they will be?
And can we acknowledge the double standard?
I’ve never heard about anyone giving guys a lesson on purity using illustrations like the ones above. It’s not common to hear guys who have made mistakes in past relationships question whether they are worthy of a “good woman.” To be honest, I’ve never heard any guy say he wasn’t good enough for someone despite their jaded past.
Maybe it’s something guys think, but don’t vocalize. But I don’t know anyone who can argue against the fact that it’s accepted in society for guys to do things that girls are condemned for. In society, sleeping around makes guys “men” and makes girls “sluts.” Harsh, but true.
I am absolutely NOT, hear me say this, NOT pushing for the acceptance of promiscuity for either gender. But I am asking that we realize these are delicate issues to address. And we should consider the implications of our words.
There’s no question that God designed the sexual relationship to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage. And, no doubt, God places high value on His children honoring those boundaries. But when we give His children the idea that past mistakes or bad choices have deemed them unworthy or less than others, we are spreading lies. We, unintentionally, imply that doing good and avoiding evil earns us a higher level of salvation. A more prominent spot in the Kingdom. Makes us “more worthy” of God’s love than others.
When we give someone the idea that they aren’t worthy of a “good man’s” love, we are cheapening the value of God’s most valued creation.
We are giving the devil a foothold in their life to convince them, somehow, they can never be fully forgiven.
They can never be fully whole again.
That they can never be fully loved.
God’s grace covers a multitude of sins. His grace restores brokenness and redeems jaded pasts.
His grace is sufficient for you.
Are you listening?
You are dearly loved, sweet girl. His grace is waiting to restore you. To redeem you.
Let go of those hurts that have cut deep.
Stop letting the Devil convince you that you aren’t worthy of a good man.
Don’t listen when he screams that you are “damaged goods”, unworthy of being pursued.
“You may think your story is too alarming for a good man to handle. You may think no Godly man could love a woman with a past like yours. Listen: God’s men are draped in the same unmerited favor that you are. There is no favoritism. There is no better-than. But there is hope…the ground is level at the foot of the cross.”
And to my feminist friends, you know who you are, who have talked about this issue before, I’m sorry for rolling my eyes and brushing you off. I’m sorry for acting like you were overreacting. I get it now. It finally clicked. And I get it. It’s not fair. It’s not beneficial. And something needs to change.
Can we commit, together, to spreading more truth, more Grace, and more encouragement?