The following write up by Kristi:
As a young woman I suffered many abuses, including sexual abuse and rape, by the one man meant to protect me, my father. This left me with deep wounds I know many of you have as well. As a result I was constantly searching for the answers to the questions every woman and girl want and need answered; "Am I worthwhile? Am I enough? Am I VALUABLE?" Of course, I was looking in all the wrong places for all the right answers. I dressed as if my value came from the way men saw me physically, because for a long time I didn’t know any other way to get my questions answered. Thankfully we are blessed with a Loving, Patient, and Forgiving God, who knows our true hearts. He has been working on mine for many years and continues to, daily. I’d like to share a few of the things I’ve learned through the Holy Spirit and our Heavenly Fathers word. I pray that it might be of help to you, as well.
Wear Does Our Value Come From?
As Christian women, where are we getting validated? Is it in our daily quiet time with our Savior or is it in the looks and comments we get from men, because of the way we are dressed? There are so many frustrating issues in our world today that need to be bathed in prayer, but few are so completely within our control.
We are called to be salt and light in a dark world. Matt.5:14-16 says "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven." These verses are calling us to look differently than the world, yet how many of us read fashion magazines and try to imitate what we see or feel bad about ourselves because we will never be able to imitate what are on the pages? We have become so tolerant of worldly ways that I fear we don’t shine very brightly, if at all. When I allowed these images to get into my mind, through magazines, inappropriate TV shows, movies and videos, I gave the devil a foothold in my mind and heart. Eph.5:3 warns" But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s Holy people." Spiritual warfare is real and I had to get into the battle, for the sake of my marriage, my family and my own walk with Christ.
So, I had to ask myself; did I dress in hopes of catching a second glance or, did I see how valuable I was/am to God and want to honor Him because of His love for me?
This was a very hard question to address, and has taken a lot of humble tears to answer. How could Christ love me when I didn’t love myself?
Proverbs 31:10-12 states "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her, and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good not harm all the days of her life." Yet how could my husband trust me as his wife if I was advertising what was rightfully for his eyes only?
If we are dressing to impress others who are not our husbands or to compete with other women we are doing evil to ourselves, which in turn is doing evil to our husbands and our marriages because we become one body with our mates when we marry them. (Genesis 2:24) If you are not married yet, how will you know if your future husband loves you for who you are inside, if he’s distracted by how much he is seeing on the outside? I struggled with this fact for many years, wondering if my husband really loved me for who I was inside.
For a long time I was scared to have more children, because of what it might do to my figure, until I read these verses; Luke 23:27-29 states A large number of people followed him including women, who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bear and the breasts that never nursed!" These verses weigh so heavily on my heart. Even on the way to His death for OUR sins, Christ is warning us. This issue runs so deep in our society. How many babies have not been born, how many warriors for Christ are not in the battle because we have become too vain to birth, and raise them?
What about the women who do choose to have more than a few children? How many of us have thought to ourselves" At least I don’t look as bad as her!"? How many of us can say we have never compared ourselves to another woman and thought ourselves better because we have perkier breasts, a flatter tummy, or a thinner figure?
The mothers of many should be honored, for they sustain the next generation of warriors of our faith.
Proverbs 31:30 says” Favor is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." I believe this too is a warning, that as Christian women we are not heeding. The reality of life is that we all are going to get old. I know no one wants to hear this, but it is true. We are missing the point and the beauty of this fact. We are not meant to be here forever! We are meant for a better place, forever praising our Heavenly Father.
I had to ask myself" When I get older will I be happy with the person I have become? Will I be able to hear my master say 'Well done good and faithful servant'?" I wasn’t so sure, actually I knew I wouldn’t. I needed to make some serious changes, and through the help of my TRUE Father, my Heavenly Father I have begun to turn a new page.
Proverbs 31:22 says "She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple." We are obviously called in this verse to look nice and make an effort, but not in an Earthly way. When we have Christ’s light in our hearts, it fills us and HE shines through us. That is a beauty everyone will notice and can’t be faked or duplicated.
If you struggle with this same problem I have a few questions you can ask your self that might help; -Am I trying to say look a me in this?
-Will this outfit bring honor or shame to my husband and our marriage covenant with God?
-Am I dressing to compete with another woman, am I trying to look as good as or better than another woman?
-Would I wear this outfit if Christ was physically standing next to me?
(Because He is!)
The devil feeds us all lies, and wants to distract us from God’s plan for our lives, but we do not have to succumb to his efforts. We have the power of our Creator on our side. We may be low, but we are lifted up because of Christ.
You are valuable. You are loved. You are worthy. God created you for an intimate relationship with Him, and He sent His only son to die for you. He chose you.
He chose me. Let’s honor His love and sacrifice with our hearts, minds, bodies, and our lives. May we be shining examples of His love, for our children and each other, now and always.