I want to dispel a lie for you today.
And the lie is that it’s wrong for women to desire affirmation from men. The lie is that because your worth is found in Christ, you shouldn’t be seeking any other person to offer love and affection and truth.
The truth is this: it’s not only okay for women to desire affirmation from men; it’s good to. And when your worth is found in Christ, love and affection and truth from another is all the more valuable.
Women deeply desire beauty. We crave beauty around us, beauty to flow through us, and exterior beauty, too. And satan, knowing full well just how desperate our longing for that beauty is, uses that to his advantage.
The enemy makes us think that we’re NOT beautiful. There is no beauty around us. Or if there is, it’s so far removed from us that we are ugly in comparison. He lets us believe there is no beauty flowing through us nor can beauty ever flow through us. We don’t know how to offer loveliness to others. And we face insecurity day after day, expressed in accusations towards our body. Why do I not fit this? Why does this look good on her and not me? Why do the men in my life look past me?
And here’s what has happened over time: society has decided to wage war on this insecurity and longing with phrases about how “you don’t need a man” and women can feel beautiful and incredible all on their own as an independent woman. And Christians have decided to wage war on this insecurity and longing with phrases about how “your worth is found in Christ alone” and women will only end up feeling empty if they look to men to fulfill them instead of God.
But in this is a whole new insecurity, the insecurity of having insecurity. On top of that insecurity is shame and guilt that women are feeling from desiring attention, affection, and affirmation from people when the Church is screaming that we should only be asking for things from Jesus.
The world says it’s wrong to ask men to help you see your beauty, to rely on their input and wish for them to call out your loveliness.
I believed that lie for a long time.
But now I see that it is necessary for the men in our lives, specifically any godly man you are striving to build a future with, to help us see our beauty. It’s good for us to desire their input and wish for them to call out our loveliness.
Because in this, we give them the opportunity to receive what THEY most long for, which is the affirmation that they are capable.
Men want to know if they have what it takes to woo a girl, to win her heart and make her happy. And if us women take on the “I’m an independent woman who doesn’t need a man” mentality, we are depriving them of the opportunity to romance, pursue, and love us.
A woman feels most loved when she is receiving affection and affirmation of her beauty. A man feels most loved when he is receiving respect and admiration for his strength. We have to let the men in our lives offer their strength. And not letting them be there for us in our weakest moments, the moments where we wonder if we’ll ever fit in those jeans or be model gorgeous or have a charming personality, does nothing to build or uplift them. It only takes away.
Let me be perfectly clear on this, though: the only way this works is if you DO know your worth is found in Christ.
If you don’t know this, a man’s affirmation and adoration will mean diddly-squat. Their words will feel hollow and end up being wasted breath. If we don’t have that foundational knowledge in our heart of whose we truly belong to and how beautiful we are as redeemed daughters of God, we will take advantage of that man. We will expect them to fill the God-sized holes in our hearts, which is another thing that does nothing to build or uplift. It only destroys.
And if we don’t believe that our worth is found in Christ, then the affirmation the men in our lives give us will not be believed, anyway. We’ll end up arguing with them. “You don’t really think I’m beautiful, though.” “Are you sure I’m pretty?” “You can stop pretending I’m so great.” And THIS is damaging, my lovelies. It hurts a man to not trust him or believe him. It hurts a man when you don’t take him for his word. It hurts a man when you’re hurting so much you can’t possibly receive a single compliment or word of affirmation that comes out of his mouth.
So yes, our worth must be found in Christ. And if our worth is found in Christ, love and affection and truth from another becomes valuable. It becomes an opportunity for both parties to bloom in their design, a woman as a beautiful lover and a man as a strong provider.
This is something I’ve been learning and still am having to wrap my mind and heart around.
I have a wonderful man in my life who adores me and takes care of me and reminds me of my value in both his sight and God’s. But the temptation to take it too far, to demand for more and more compliments and approval, is constantly at my back.
It takes romance with God to remember how romance with people should work, too. There is little strenuous demand between God and I because He speaks my worth over me and I have learned how to gladly receive it (some days less gladly than others). Because of this, there should be no strenuous demand between Grant and I either. God has already spoken worth over the BOTH of us and we should already have gladly received it.
What we ought to do for each other now is just echo the divine truth that’s already been said.
I echo the love God has for him and he echoes the love God has for me.
That’s the kind of romance I’ve longed for, and I’m beginning to see it’s not just a possibility; it’s a beautiful obligation that God can make a reality.
Side note: Grant and I went to the beach this week and came back with a little sunburn and some good memories. Vacations, even of the one-day kind, are (as Grant puts it) “good for the soul.” Yes, my soul was refreshed, and I’d say our relationship was a tad refreshed from it, as well.
Please, God, don’t let me forget how to laugh and have fun with the man I love as summer comes to an end and the real work begins.