Archive for the ‘Godly Womanhood’ Category

Love is a Verb

Posted: February 5, 2015 by liftyourvoice1 in Godly Manhood, Godly Womanhood
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agape loveValentine’s Day is right around the corner and with it a plethora of pink, teddy bears, and heart-shaped everything. On this designated day, people make a special effort to let others know they’re loved (and others desperately wait to hear confessions of love). But why must this be designated to one day? And why must it be romantic love? Can’t we love everyone everyday with God’s love, a love that’s beyond the material and commercialized? What is real love?

When I look up “love” on dictionary.com, these are the top three definitions:
1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3. sexual passion or desire.

The Greek language has four words for love:
– eros (romantic, sexual love)
– agape (brotherly love, charity)
-philia (friendship love)
-storge (natural affection as of parents for their children, also a less common word for “love” than the first three)

If you note the definitions of “love” listed above the Greek, you’ll see that #1 could be eros or agape, #2 is philia, and #3 is eros. Also, note that love is described by other nouns, namely“affection,” a “feeling,” and a “desire.”

Is love affection, a feeling, or a stirring passionate desire? Our society portrays it as such, and it’s terrifying. I would feel utterly heartbroken if my husband told me he had strong feelings of affection or desire for me. Likewise, if my closest friends or family members said they had warm feelings for me I would cry rivers. “Why?” you ask. Because that kind of love is changeable and not based on a commitment. That kind of love says “I love you for what you do for me,” “I love you when you’re attractive,” or “I love you when you make me happy.” I’m blessed because my husband, close friends, and family love me with God’s love, agape love. Agape love is not based on performance of the receiver of love nor the feelings of the giver.

“Tell me more about this agape love,” you say. Of course! In my brief search, this is what I’ve unearthed on the topic:

“Agápe means love: esp. brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God. Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the ‘love chapter,’ 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as brotherly love, affection, good will, love, and benevolence. Whether the love given is returned or not, the person continues to love (even without any self-benefit). Agape is used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God for his children. This type of love was further explained by Thomas Aquinas as ‘to will the good of another.’”

Sorry, that was long…phew! But it was so good I had to include it all. Did you notice the key words? Unconditional, wanting good for others, given without self-benefit. This kind of love is extraterrestrial. It’s from heaven above, and its existence on earth only happens when people let God fill them with this love. You have to be possessed by God’s Holy Spirit to love this way because human nature cries “me first.”

Close relationships reveal whether you’re possessed with selfish or God’s love. Marriage opened my eyes to the depth of true, godly love and my lack of this love for others. Real love hurts and doesn’t come naturally. Real love doesn’t lay down requirements or conditions. Real love forgives even when pride rears its ugly head. Real love is daily, practical, and in the little things. You know the phrase, “the end justifies the means?” Well, when it comes to love, the end is all about the means. It’s all about the in between, the small details.

Here’s some personal examples:

Love is when my husband takes the day off from work to take care of me when I have the stomach bug and have thrown up all over the bath tub. (True story. May it never happen again!)

Love is when my best friend drops off food, unasked and secretively (well she tried, I caught her), from Panera on my door step when I was home caring for my husband.

Love is when I ran my car into a bench and banged up the side door pretty badly, and instead of chiding me, my dad just hugged me and let me cry. He extended grace instead of punishment. (He then proceeded to buy a new car door for me and then paint it to match the rest of the car.)

I’m so blessed to be loved this way. And I’m reminded to love others this way, even though it is so hard. You may be thinking “Isn’t marriage about passion and desire?” Well, yes. But it can’t survive on that. A good marriage is founded on God and a commitment to one another; otherwise it will fail because people fail.

Love is a choice. Love is a verb. It’s about what you DO for others, not about what you receive.

I could write an entire book on this topic, but I’ll leave you with some food for thought: “Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.” ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I challenge you this Valentine’s Day, and every day, to share agape love with others. Be God’s hands and feet. Be filled with His Spirit. Be love.

Learning to love God’s way,
Larkin

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My Stance on Life

Posted: January 20, 2015 by liftyourvoice1 in Abortion/Sanctity of Life, Godly Womanhood
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This week, Lift Your Voice released a podcast on abortion and the truth of a pro-life stance. Sadly, I wasn’t able to be with the LYV “crew” during their recording last week, but I was able to listen to it tonight (which I advise all of you reading this to go do as well!). I don’t have a story like Jennifer who had an abortion and struggled through the pain and guilt to find grace in God’s love. But I do have a stance on the sanctity of life that has evolved over the years.

I have always been pro-life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a Christian home, attended church regularly, and believed God’s Word on the sanctity of human life. Though I wasn’t very outspoken about my views, I do remember an instance in high school in which I got to voice my pro-life views to the class. In government class that day, we were debating abortion. I use the word “debate” in a fairly informal way: we didn’t have out of class research to refer to or copious notes. It was more “on-the-spot.” You should know I was a wallflower in high school. I studied, I was pleasant, and I had a few good friends, but being in front of people and sharing my opinions would make my face flush red and my palms sweat. But this day in class, we were discussing abortion, and I spoke up. I remember listening to my classmates talk back and forth on the subject. “What if the child to be born is deformed or handicapped?” someone questioned. My hand quickly shot up. I remember adamantly saying that the child’s life should still be protected regardless of how healthy or “imperfect” they were. And then I said these words: “Sometimes having a handicapped child is not about them, but about you, and how it can change you for the better.” (I said something like that, though it probably had quite a few “ummm”s and “you know”s thrown in there.) I’m not sure how many of my classmates agreed with me, but I truly believed (and believe) that all children are God’s children and have a purpose in the world that He has divined from the beginning, from conception.

I don’t have any stories of close friends or family members who dealt with abortion, but I do know people who I’m sure had to face the overwhelming discovery that their child would be born disabled. When this fact is presented so nonchalantly by some doctors, abortion lingers in the back of your mind as an option. “Would this be right?” they may have wondered. Thankfully, they chose life for their baby. One of my friends is a dwarf, and I am blessed to know her. She is a blessing to her friends and family, and I cannot imagine her not existing. Thankfully, her parents chose life. For my teaching degree, I had to visit a school for children with learning disabilities. Many of them had emotional, physical, psychological, or social handicaps. And they were all beautiful children. The experience visiting the school was nothing like I imagined. It was better. Many of these children were incredibly smart and kind and had huge dreams. I asked one of the girls what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she matter-of-factly replied, “The President.” She believed it was possible. It brings me joy to know that many of the parents of those children, when faced with a choice, chose life.

Many of our greatest contributors to society were/are “imperfect” (I say this in the most earthly way, not in light of a Christian worldview). Helen Keller, a great author, political activist, and lecturer, may never had been born if her parents had been able to know before her birth that she was deaf and blind. Here is a long list of highly influential people that were believed to have had Asperger’s Syndrome (autism): Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Carl Jung (psychoanalyst), Emily Dickinson (poet), Beethoven, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Van Gogh (painter), and Mozart (just to name a few). What if science, during their time, had allowed their parents to know that their child was going to be born “defective” or “different”? Would these people have even existed? How different would our society be today?

Bringing it in, a little closer to home, I think about what pro-life means to me now. I still believe that life begins at conception, but what I choose to do with that information has changed. As many of you may know, I am a happily married woman. Before my husband and I got married, we had to consider birth control options. (TMI, you may be thinking, but please, stay with me.) I attended a Christian college that seriously confronted the issue of life, when it begins, and what birth control routes can be abortive (if you believe life begins at conception). Because of this (and other health reasons), my husband and I ruled out The Pill. Other birth control options that may be abortive (meaning that they may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine lining) include IUDs, “morning after” pills, and the depo-provera (hormone)shot. Before I was married, I visited my doctor and talked to my GP, and one recommended the pill and the other suggested an IUD. For health and moral reasons, I said “no” to both.

You may not be in a position where you are considering having children or the possibility of children, but that day may soon come. It really is sobering to me when I realize the impact I have on my future children. Their lives are literally depending on me and what I choose to put in my body. Cigarettes and alcohol can be detrimental, and even pharmaceutical drugs can harm a fetus in the very early stages of pregnancy. This is something I had to face as I stepped over the threshold of matrimony. How would my prescription drugs I take affect the life of my future child (planned or unplanned)? I’ve done some research, and I realize now that because I am pro-life and want the very best for my children, I will stop taking certain medications when we want to have children, even if it makes me less comfortable. I am thankful that God directed me to a Christian family doctor in our area. When I discussed my medication with him and thinking about a future family, he completely understood the importance of protecting the life of an unborn child. It was so refreshing for him to tell me honestly what he felt in good conscience I could and could not take during future pregnancies.

I know you may not be thinking about children, marriage, or medications, but I DO know that you probably think about relationships. You probably are or desire to be in a relationship one day, and you will probably be physically attracted to someone of the opposite sex. Know that the God-designed gift of sex carries great responsibility. When you make love, there’s always the potential to make life. Please, wait for marriage to enjoy God’s gift of sex. And, when you’re married, please, take the responsibility of potential pro-creation very seriously. The life of someone else depends on you, even if you may or may not know it.

Grateful for God’s blessing of life,
Larkin

When approaching the topic of the Gospel, my first thought was that this subject has been talked about extensively enough that I had nothing to add to the ongoing discussion. I felt every aspect of it had been covered. Then, upon further reflection, I was seized by the realization that I had, in fact, the opposite problem: I couldn’t narrow down what to talk about! The more I thought about the Gospel and its impact on my life and the world, the more I realized that the Gospel of Jesus Christ permeates everything. So much for feeling I had nothing to talk about. I could write an entire book!

But for the sake of time and space, I will focus on how a recent revelation of the Gospel directly affected my view of Christ, His sacrifice, and my daily life. Having been in church all my life, I could easily quote back that the Gospel means “good news,” specifically that Christ died on the cross for our sins so that we could go to heaven, and if we accept Christ into our hearts, we will be with Him in heaven one day. At age seven, I accepted Christ after understanding the basics of the Gospel and trusting Him for my salvation. I had been saved from my sins, but at seven, I didn’t fully grasp the all-encompassing breadth of salvation and the Gospel (which is OK, because Christ asks us to have child-like faith). Sadly, after nearly two decades of being a Christian, the Gospel had become a textbook answer and not a personal encounter/revelation.

This summer I read a book on grace that reignited my joy in Christ and His sacrifice for me. (I highly recommend it. It’s One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian.) Surprisingly, I had to be prodded and cajoled by my parents to read the book. They even bought it for me. (Sometimes I get burned out on “Christian” books and feel I could better spend my time in personal Bible study rather than reading another human’s opinions, but that’s another blog topic.) But once I read the book, I truly did see my salvation and Christ’s unconditional gift in a different light. As the title suggests, the book is all about Christ’s love and grace towards us being all we need. Let me rephrase that: Because of Christ’s redeeming love, we do not need to do anything else. It’s done. Complete. Finalized. All we need to do is accept it in humble repentance.

The good news doesn’t stop with salvation. (“Hooray! I’ve got my ticket into Heaven and I’m set now.” NO!) Salvation is only the beginning of truly living. Because of the cross, I do not have to do anything for Christ to make Him want or love me any more or less than He already does, because I did not have any hand in my redemption. He paid for it, He covered it, He said “it is finished.” And because of that, I can live joyfully. Tchividjian points out that because of Christ’s unconditional love, we are free to be nobodies and do absolute nothing because He is the Somebody who did Everything. (Not that we want or should be passive Christians, but we could without condemnation.) We are free from guilt in doing things for God because they don’t affect our eternal position with Him. His Son covered it.

This all gave me great personal relief. I am a fairly Type A, planning, organized, people-pleaser kind of personality. I feel that there is always something more I should do or could do, and I hate feeling like I’ve upset someone. But Christ did it ALL for me. I am free to be a nobody who does nothing with her life. But, because I have the weight of performance lifted from me, I am inspired to do good and live holy because Christ is not keeping score.

The perfectionist in me rejoices. Often, when I have a big project, I avoid it like the plague for as long as possible because it feels insurmountable and I don’t think I can do it well. Eventually, I cave and finish it. But Christ tackled my big project of life. He fulfilled my requirements so that I’ve passed with flying colors. I’ve already passed the class of life without having finished it here on Earth because of Him. Therefore, I’m living free of expectations of myself and what is “good enough.” Christ is more than good enough. And because of that, I can live and love for Him in total abandon. Because nothing I do ultimately matters in my salvation, I’m free to truly live. I don’t have to be fearful or anxious that I’m not doing enough for God. God doesn’t condemn me. Christ’s blood covers me, allowing me to live life abundantly. We aren’t just safe from eternal damnation, but we are also free from condemnation in this life now. Isn’t that the BEST news?

PS: A quote for further pondering from Relient K: The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.

Living in grace,
Larkin

(I came across this post I’d written quite a few months ago, and decided it was perfect in light of starting off the New Year. What better time to take a spiritual inventory?)
Yep, how fruity are you? Are you displaying spiritual fruits, fruits of the Spirit? Here’s different categories of godly fruitiness:

Paul, in Galatians 5, made a distinction between fruity behavior and not so fruity behavior:

“19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Good fruit: love, joy peace, forbearance (patient endurance), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

Bad fruit (rotten tomatoes): sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies

I was reflecting on this passage last night after I received some disappointing news. God has chosen to close 2 doors I was sure I could easily walk through. No, or not now, He had said. In the wake of my disappointment, a whole slew of negative attitudes and perspectives came to the surface, and I realized they were not fruity, but more like rotten tomatoes. I was seeing impatience, self-focus, jealousy, and an impure heart. I was full of pride, bitterness, and I felt like I was in the right to feel that way. It was time to take a spiritual inventory.

So that night, I pulled out the Scriptures and read Galatians 5:22. As a believer, I should be living out my life full of all this good, heavenly fruit, but my my heart did not have love, joy, peace, patience, or feelings of kindness. I was in love with my ideas for my future, with myself, and not with God and others. I was discontent and restless, not sitting in joyful peace, which God gives us despite our circumstances. I felt angsty towards others, towards myself, towards God’s plans. I was not in control (as always) and I didn’t like it. I didn’t agree with what God was doing. I don’t like not having the answers. But then I realized, having love, joy, peace, etc. in my day to day life would make me a happier person, and no one was keeping me from this fruity life but me.

Therefore, I have decided to use this “waiting” time that I did not expect, this area in which I could be moping in disappointment, to see other areas of branching out. To love on others, to practice patience, to cast my idols of my own dreams and demands before God and re-evaluate my priorities.

Are you living a fruity life?

Savoring God’s fruit,
Larkin

Falling is not Failing

Posted: September 18, 2014 by liftyourvoice1 in Godly Manhood, Godly Womanhood, Testimonies
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If my athlete falls, then did he fail?

Some coaches would say yes. It is obvious to them. You failed to do the skill properly. You failed to do exactly as you were told. You failed to exercise control over your muscles. You failed to land.

You failed.

But gymnasts fall down every day. And even the best gymnast has fallen down. In fact, I would venture to say that is the best gymnasts who have fallen the most.

Gymnastics is a sport with inherent risk—every activity involving height, speed, or motion involves risk. So in training, athletes are bound to fall. It is a calculated risk. A manageable risk. But still a risk none the less.

So when I think of falling, I do not think immediately of failure.

Instead I see the process of perfection, the pursuit of excellence. I see athletes building strength, character, and will. I see athletes disciplining their body and commanding their muscles to obedience.

If they fall, they have not failed. They have discovered and succeeded in finding one more way how not to finish that particular trick.

They have displayed courage and aggression towards their challenge.

They have faced risk and confronted fear and stepped one step closer to mastering the skill.

    Application

Likewise, life is a sport with inherent risk. The chances we take can lead to a solid landing, or a fall flat to our faces.

I started a business at nineteen years old. Somehow, I pulled the resources together, found and united a staff, and then opened my doors for business in July of 2013.

It was exciting, it was scary, but in this analogy it was a new “skill” for a relatively inexperienced new “athlete.” Sure I trained for it, I was the head coach and manager of a facility before this. Sure I knew the sport, I was a national level judge and elite level athlete. But none the less, the risk was high that I would fall on this new skill, this new adventure.

I knew the risk going in, and almost decided the risk to be too great. I almost considered myself too inexperienced and too young—the rest of the world certainly did.

But I took the advice I had been giving my athletes for years: face the challenge, display the courage, and confront the fear and some one step closer to success.

Even if my business fails, even if I fall flat on my face, I will consider the experience a success.

Because the risk was losing a company, but the potential return on investment, the potential reward… was changing the lives of children, impacting the lives of those around me, becoming an example to those I lead, and leading those in my witnessing field towards Jesus Christ.

The risk was great. The potential was greater. And I believe eternity to be a different place because of the ministry God has given me in gymnastics.

If one day I fall and my business fails, It will simply mean then end of one ministry and the beginning of another—with the same veracity as the one before it.

Falling is not failing.

    Going Deeper

Therefore, my advice—for what is worth—is to be smart. Don’t take on risk for the sake of risk. Don’t fall for the sake of falling. That, I would consider foolish.

My advice is this:

Reach for the stars. Dream big. And do not let anyone tell you that you are too young, or too inexperienced or too (insert any other excuse here) to change the world around you.

Do not let the risk of falling hold you back. As I said before, I think the best gymnasts are the ones who have fallen the most. They have certainly trained the most, they have certainly worked the most, and they are certainly the ones with the most exposure to, and risk of, falling.

Whatever you are, be the best at it.

If you are going to dream, dream big. If you are going to work, work hard. If you are going to reach, reach for the stars (because even if you fall, you’ll still land in the clouds).

Falling is not failing.
Failing to try—that is failure.

-Nicholas Minney

Simply put, high school can be rough. Not even considering the stress of Calculus, Chemistry, and ten-page essays, there still remains the constant drama of the high school social scene. I’m sure you don’t have to be reminded of the nasty back-stabbing, black-mailing, and straight up cruelty that goes on at school, on the weekends, and even on the internet. As a Christian young man or woman, though, you are called by your Creator and Savior to rise above this insanity. I encourage you, as Paul encouraged the Romans in his letter to them, to “not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Sometimes taking a stand for the Lord and not caving into the world can be tough, especially on a secular campus where you feel you’re the only one in a sea of many. I, too, remember feeling like I was coasting through high school, trying to do my best but never radically going against the flow.

But take heart; if you truly have embraced the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you are more than equipped to combat the high school drama scene with His design for real relationships. The foundation for deep, meaningful relationships lies in no other source than Jesus Himself. Before you can nurture solid friendships, your friendship (and intimacy) with the Father must come first. He should be your everything, and as you seek Him, you will become more like Him. Take a look at Galatians 5: 19-21: “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, orgies, and the like…” Sounds a lot like high school, doesn’t it? But keep reading through verse 26: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentles and self-control… Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying one another.” By seeking after your Lord daily, and becoming closer with Him, you will develop these qualities and no longer be needy and selfish. And guess what? It’s when you’re at this point, that you are ready and equipped to be a real friend and experience radical relationships, God’s way.

So now that we’ve reviewed the worldly way of friendships, let’s take a look at what God’s Word has to say about true friendship. The writer of Ecclesiastes paints a picture of what friendship looks like: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who has no one to help him up… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) God clearly has made relationships, and wants friendships to be a mutual source of encouragement. You should give as much or more than you take, in order to maintain and show God’s love in your friendships.

Sometimes, though, developing friendships can be difficult. How do you get started? Well, as a wise man once said, “You have to be a friend to have friends.” Paul lays out a beautiful guideline of what self-sacrificial love and friendship should look like for believers: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) Now, this is much easier said than done, and seems simpler on paper. What this passage means is that when your friend works hard and aces that test, you rejoice with her instead of resorting to self-pity and envy, and when she hurts your feelings and genuinely asks for forgiveness, you give it to her instead of holding it against her.

Truly, relationships in the body of Christ can be filled with Christian love and unity when Jesus is the center. The psalmist in Psalms 133:1 declares, “How beautiful and pleasing it is when brothers live together in unity!” Before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed to His Father about unity among believers: “I pray also for those who will believe in me through [the disciples’] message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23) It’s simply beautiful how this love triangle works, with Jesus, the Father, and believers. Jesus is one with the Father, and through His sacrifice has restored us to the Father, so that we too may be one with Him and have unity among fellow Christians. And, we have the His strength and pure love to share with non-believers. So next time you are overwhelmed with the chaos of relationships, remember that His love empowers you to have real, deeper relationships, the kind He designed His children to enjoy.

-Larkin

The Power of a Princess

Posted: May 17, 2012 by liftyourvoice1 in Godly Womanhood

Genesis 2:18, 22-24 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” … And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

This weeks topic has been a tough one for me to discuss. Being a man I know very little about being a woman. It is just my nature not to know as a man. But, one thing I do understand is the affect or power a woman has over a man. You ladies have a power over men that many of you do not realize. There are so many ways that a woman can affect and or have power over a man. Now I’m not saying she is leading a man, I don’t want you to hear me wrong. But there are aspects about a woman that greatly affect a man. I thought it best, that as a man I should share some of these with my sisters in Christ.

As I discussed last week a Godly man is a warrior. As warriors sometimes we like to think that we are impenetrable. The truth of the matter is we are weak from time to time and we do sustain wounds. These wounds can come from anywhere and they weaken the warrior. Now, a true man of God will look to God as his main source of strength and healer of these wounds. But, one way a woman has an effect or power over man is in the way she can impart strength and healing to him by just being there and saying kind words to him. Ladies, a man wants to defend you, he wants to fight for you (if he truly is a man that is, if he’s a little boy leave him be), but sometimes men want to be fought for as well. Sometimes men need that extra push from a woman.


The warrior must be able to slay a dragon under his own strength(with God’s help) but with a woman there a man feels extra strength. For a man hearing kind words of encouragement, or that she’s proud of him means so much. When a man hears that from a woman he cares about (be it a girlfriend,wife, mother etc) he feels as though he can conquer anything.

I cite my own parents as an example. My mother is truly a godly woman and a strong one at that. My father is a pastor and the church being full of fallen men and women has a tendency to over look and abuse my father’s love, leadership, and care for them. Often times they will say things that will tear him down and beat him up. Dad sometimes likes to put on that he is impervious, but it hurts him. I have seen my mom see this and seen how she will pull my Dad aside when he feels weak and encourage him. The strength he gains from this is amazing. I have seen Mom help hold my father up through many a hard time. They do it for each other, but the power and affect my mother has over my father is clear. Dad values her opinion and her encouragement.

This is a powerful aspect of woman hood. It is part of why God made her. Man is to lead and be a warrior, but he needs that help sometimes. He needs that encouragement, sometimes that extra push from a woman that he loves. This is part of being the helper. A warrior needs a princess to fight for, but also a princess that will fight for him in turn. One who will be there to help give him extra strength when he needs it.

On the flip side of this coin, is the effect a woman can have negatively on a man. When a women compliments a man or encourages him he feels amazing, but when she tears him down (especially if it’s a woman he cares about) it can be one of the deepest wounds ever. I know this from personal experience, but will not get into that today. A woman can be the weak spot in a man’s armor. Because he is looking for affirmation from her, if he does not get it he will feel weak, even if he is truly strong. While it is important for a woman to constructively criticize a man she must realize that what she says will affect that man, sometimes in ways she cannot anticipate.

Ladies, there are so many ways that you have power over a man. There is the positive affect from your kind words, treatment, and presence while we fight the battles of life. There is the negative affect from your not so kind words. There is the affect from your beauty and your modesty or lack of (Which I will not get into right now, a whole book could be written on that one). Each of you Ladies is a beautiful princess, a precious jewel. But, a sharp diamond can cut through steel if used properly. Ladies I wish to challenge you to seek to understand the affect you have on men. Part of being a Godly woman is using that power, that affect that you, and your beauty have on us, wisely. We men were created to lead and to be warriors, but you women were created to fight as well. You fight differently, but it is just as important because without you where would we men be. Remember God said: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Part of being that helper, part of being that woman of God you need to be is realizing and using wisely your power to affect men.