I could feel my anger building as I listened to the beautiful teenage girl across the room during Bible study one night.
In a halting, quiet voice, she shared some things her boyfriend had recently said to her.
Slyly manipulative things.
Mean things, couched in the seemingly benign sharing of information.
Things meant to make her feel slightly off balance, intentionally left wondering if she measured up to his (supposedly) former girlfriends.
How dare he!
How dare this boy play his devious mind games with a young girl who has already been wounded by life?
How dare he not build her up by focusing on her many wonderful qualities?
How dare he not let her know how grateful he is that she has agreed to be a part of his life?
Unable to break free of his own massive insecurities, he has to tear her down in order to feel big…powerful…manly.
However, what is most egregious is that this boy claims to be a Christian. He says that Jesus is the Person who most inspires him.
Let’s take a look at how Jesus treats women, shall we?
*In a culture that disdained women, considered them easily disposable (a man could divorce a woman for something as trivial as burning dinner), did not allow them to testify in court or learn from a rabbi, Jesus treated women with a dignity, respect, and loving-kindness that was simply astonishing.
*He welcomed women to learn from Him.
*He celebrated them.
*He appreciated them.
*He was gentle with women, particularly with those who were fragile emotionally or physically.
*He did not shy away from women who were prostitutes, outcasts, caught in the act of adultery, or those who lived with a string of men without being married. Rather, He offered them a new way of life…one that was based on how HE, their Creator, defined them, rather than allowing the ignorance, prejudice, and intolerance of others to do so.
*Rather than call them derogatory names, he calls women:
Worth Dying For
And most delighfully , He calls them His masterpiece, His poem, His work of art. (Ephesians 2:10).
So, no, dear Christian teenage girl…you do not have to put up with any boy who treats you as less than who you are. You have caught the eye of the very One who loves you with an everlasting love, who will always prove faithful to you, who died in your place so that you could have life everlasting.
Let no one disrespect you.
Do not let anyone define you.
If you get the first whiff of game-playing, it’s really very simple: cut him loose.
Pray for him? Yes. Allow him access to your heart? No.
Actions speak louder than words. No matter what he says, see if his actions line up.
If not, make a deal with yourself: no rationalizations.
Face the truth unflinchingly and with courage. Do what you need to do to be healthy and live in the glorious freedom that Jesus gives you.
If something does not feel right to you, if you have a check in your spirit, that is your Savior talking to you, warning you of danger ahead: pay attention.
Claim your God-given dignity.
Know that you are beautiful in His eyes
He has crowned you with glory, honor, and dignity. (Psalm 8:5).
Live like it.
(To read some of Jesus’ interactions with women, please see: John 7:53-8:1-11; John 4:1-42; Luke 7:36-50; Mark 5: 25-34)