August 22, 2011 by Stacy McDonald

So This is…Love?

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So this is love. So this is what makes all of life divine. I’m all aglow, and now I know, the key to all heaven is mine...

Guest Post: By Jessica McDonald

The following article was written by my precious daughter, Jessica McDonald. I am amazed and grateful to God for all that He is doing in her heart. When she told me about her recent experience with God, I was excited to hear that she was willing and eager to share her testimony with others. Please share this with the young people in your life…

It’s overwhelming.  In fact, the air is thick with it. Everywhere I look, I am bombarded by illusions of “love.” It’s in the music, the movies, the marketing—it’s even in the food. I see young people who are attracted to one another merely for their looks, or for the ego boost they get from all the attention they receive (isn’t that what flirtation is all about?).

I see it in movies where the beautiful girl falls instantly in love with the Brad Pitt look-alike. The fact that he’s a “bad boy” who she needs to make “good” only adds power and romance to the story. Or what about the song where the man croons over the girl he saw for only a moment? Without any knowledge of her character, he knows instantly that she is the one for him! The fact that he doesn’t even know her name is supposed to be proof of some “magical spark” and convince us of his deep and profound love. Easy come, easy go.

Though stories like these might appeal to our sense of romance (or maybe an amused eye roll), we need to recognize that we are being wooed by a superficial, self-focused, unrealistic, and empty view of “love.” In fact, sometimes I feel like I’m being indoctrinated by an evil fake—by a false definition of love.

Dictionary.com defines love as “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.” I think that comes naturally as a result of real love, but it doesn’t start there. The Bible defines loves in this way:

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

If a man really loves a woman, he won’t risk her heart or her purity by pursuing her in a way that is outside of God’s will. He won’t play with her emotions or tempt her affections simply to satisfy some sort of fleshly desire inside himself. In fact, if he’s acting in love, he won’t attempt to stir her affections at all, outside of the bounds of a lawful commitment.

If a young woman is truly acting in love toward her brother (yes, he is her brother), she won’t risk his heart or his purity by seeking to be pursued in a way that is outside of God’s will. She won’t play with his emotions or (by her actions, words, or dress) tempt him to think of her in an inappropriate way simply to satisfy some sort of fleshly desire inside herself.

Love is all about dying to self and putting others first. I think self-gratification may be the very opposite of love. True love is all wrapped up in humility, gentleness, truth, and long suffering. True love resembles, or mirrors, the love we receive from Christ. Love isn’t focused on the self-satisfying ideal of what someone looks like or how good they make us feel about ourselves. Love isn’t deceived by flattery.

Love is not a noun; it is a verb—an action. I think that Paul Tripp words it well in his book What Did you Expect? He says:

Love calls you to be silent when you want to speak, and to speak when would like to be silent. Love calls you to act when you would really like to wait and to wait when you would really like to act. Love calls you to stop when you really want to continue and it calls you to continue when you feel like stopping. Love requires you to lead when you really would like to follow and to follow when you really want to lead. Love again and again calls you away from your instincts and your comfort. Love always requires personal sacrifice. Love calls you to give up your life.

I recall a time when a young man showed me a lot of attention. A lot. And I don’t mean that he simply talked to me or spent a bit of time with me. I mean that he openly and constantly flirted with me—to the point where others noticed and I was strangely uncomfortable.

Still, deep down, I was flattered when he singled me out above all the other girls. He said all the right words and made me feel really good about myself—it was an exhilarating feeling. When he complimented me, I felt beautiful; when he picked me out of a crowd I felt special; when he showered me with constant attention I felt like I mattered. Though I wasn’t at all interested in him in a romantic way, the attention he gave me made me feel good about myself. In a way, I was using him.

In my soul, in my very being, I felt the desperate need to love and be loved. That longing for romance was in my heart. I wanted to matter to someone. Though I have an amazing relationship with my father, I still desired the love of a man – a man who would love only me, who would cherish and desire only me…and me alone. Don’t most of us have that desire?

But, like a sugar or caffeine high, the drug of false love causes a hard crash—and depending upon how long and to what extent we’ve entertained our flesh this way, it can be a long fall to the ground.

You see, just like I wasn’t interested in him, this young man didn’t care about me. He didn’t love me (or the other girls he treated this way) as Christ loves me. He wasn’t striving to protect my heart or my mind. No, he was casually using me to make himself feel good—to build his ego and to satisfy his fleshly, prideful desire for attention. That’s what flirtation is—a self-gratifying game of “boost the ego.”

In a surreal sort of way, it hurt to watch him suddenly lose interest and almost immediately go on to another girl. This is not because I’d given away my heart, or that I had hoped he would ask to court me. I was hurt because I felt…well, used. Like he had been leading me on for his own amusement and then dropped me when he found someone more attractive and more interesting. By not being on guard to my own flesh, I had set myself up for rejection. In my heart, even if for a moment, I had allowed a person to define my worth.

When I realized how foolish I had been, I have to admit, I cried. Not over a broken heart, because I hadn’t given my heart away in the least, but because I was insulted by the way I had been treated. I was irritated that I hadn’t recognized it right away! And I was mad at myself for stupidly (and selfishly) enjoying the attention of a fake.

You see, I think I can safely say that all of us long to be loved for who we are. We want to be loved in spite of our awkward tendencies, our imperfect body shape, or the silly things we sometimes say. We long to be cherished and desired for who we are—to be loved, protected, and valued.

There have been times in my life when I’ve wondered if there is a man out there who could ever truly love me in spite of my imperfectness. Have you ever had those thoughts? It is not like I’ve ever been desperate to be married. In fact, I love my life just as it is. It’s just that I sometimes wonder if anyone (outside my own family) will really want/love me after truly getting to know everything about me.

I think maybe, without even realizing it, this has been my secret fear for some time. Recently, after observing another group display of the idle “he likes, she likes” pattern, those melancholy thoughts of not being “good enough” somehow came upon me again.

But, at that moment, something amazing happened—in the middle of these thoughts, the Lord revealed something beautiful to me…something that spoke and ministered to me in a million different ways.

So, this is…God

It was late evening. The sky was already dark and sprinkled with numberless beautiful stars. The radio was playing softly in the background. I hadn’t really been paying attention to the music, mostly because I was too self-absorbed in discouraging thoughts—thoughts of not being “good enough,” lovable enough, pretty enough, or clever enough.

It was while these thoughts were whirling through my head that my ears perked up. The song, I Love You This Big, was being played on the radio. The song itself was sweet, but nothing all that profound. However, as usual, God took some ordinary thing and made it spectacular. As I listened to the chorus, my eyes stayed fixed on the brilliant stars that highlighted the blanket of darkness above me.

I love you this big
Eyes have never seen this big
No-one’s ever dreamed this big
And I’ll spend the rest of my life
Explaining what words cannot describe…

I realize this is written from one person to another, but as I listened, it was like God was speaking words of love to me. Here I was hurting because I felt unlovable, unattractive, and sometimes used by others, then God allowed this song to come on the radio.

I sat back and let a few tears run down my cheeks. I knew that the Lord was speaking to me. He was reminding me of what I’d already been told a million times – that man can never fill that void in me that is reserved for God alone. My God is a jealous God. I don’t need the attention of a created man to make me feel complete or loved  – I am loved by the One who created them all—and who created and chose me! As I gazed upon the stars which He made, I felt a sudden peace. It was just so, so overwhelming, and so beautiful. I wish you could have been there. I wish that I could share that beautiful moment with each of you – because in that moment I felt more loved and more wanted then I’ve ever felt before. El Roi loves me!

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26)

My worth is not measured by whether or not an earthly man loves or admires me. I have been pursued by the Lover of my soul—the One in whose image I am made. The One who created me, who knows everything about me, who watches me stumble and fall – and still loves me! He loves me!

We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

The powerful, beautiful, wonderful Creator of all things loves me! He holds me, comforts me, showers me with blessings. In my clouded thinking, I seemed to almost forget. I have Someone who not only loves me, but who proved it by dying for me, in all my unloveliness!

I’m talking to all my friends here: I beg you – don’t fall for superficial love! Don’t fall into the worldly and immature “he likes her” and “she likes him” silliness. Don’t be deceived by flirtatious fickleness, or by men or women who are paying attention to you just to feed their own egos (Romans 8:1, 12:3 1 Thessalonians. 4:6).

Does that young man actively love you (by love’s true definition), or is he flattering his own ego—appealing to your flesh? Will he make a faithful, godly husband? Will he be a good father and example to your children? Ask yourself what it is about him (really) that you find attractive?

Guys ask yourself the same thing about that girl who makes your heart skip a beat. What is it (really) that attracts you to her? Be honest with yourself. What is it that makes you think she might make a good wife or mother to your children?

Don’t let popular music, Hollywood, or pop culture deceive or define you (Romans 12:2). If you are lonely and empty, if you feel unlovable and unwanted, remember we’re all unworthy. Remember Christ’s sacrifice for you on the cross…the very picture of true love (John 15:13).

Turn to Jesus. He will fill that void—that hole in your heart that is shaped only for Him. His love never fails – and it’s not based on how cute you are, how smart you are, or how “good” you are. In fact, Jesus Himself is the one who transforms our unloveliness into something beautiful indeed. Yes…this is love.

Jessica McDonald is the daughter of James and Stacy McDonald and the 5th oldest of ten children. She is a Texan through and through, but currently lives in Central Illinois where she enjoys singing passionately, reading constantly, discussing controversial subjects, exploring history, quoting Shakespeare, and cuddling with her littlest brother. Jessica will turn 21 this fall.

 

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! —and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in Sonnets from the Portuguese, No. LXIII.



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45 Responses to “So This is…Love?”

  1. Annette Wolf says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart young lady!
    Having a teachable spirit is such a blessing and through the years will bring much more wisdom and maturity your way. I reckon you have had many God-fearing examples in your life so far and much time in God’s word.
    Onward and Upward!
    Mrs.W.

  2. Mrs. Cliff says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart! This is incredibly timely for my home right now. My daughter was snared in the web of the same things you have shared were affecting you…only she allowed an unworthy boy to capture a part of her heart for a time…and finally, after 4 months she is back on the right track and stole back that part and gave it back to the Lord! He is so patient, so loving, so kind, to sit back and wait for us, for just the right timing to pull us back to Him! Thanks again!

    In Him,
    Mrs. Cliff

  3. Miss Jen says:

    This was BEAUTIFUL, Jessica!!!
    Moved me to tears… this was the perfect read for me today!
    It made me think of that wonderful hymn….

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus

    “O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.”

    Love you, dear sister in the Lord!
    Thank you for sharing your heart.

    -Jen

  4. Deanna says:

    Excellent!

    I am going to have my older girls 19 and 17 read this – it will be such an encouragement to them!

    Deanna

  5. jo says:

    Oh, this is a wonderful, thought provoking post, miss Jessica! Thank you so much for writing this!! I needed to read this. How timely!

    God bless,
    Jo

  6. Lisa says:

    Your parents must be very proud!! I will share this with my girls (18 and 16). I know God is saying “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

  7. Starlie says:

    Wow, what an excellent post! Incredibly moving and inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing, it blessed me. And, if you don’t mind, I’d like to share this link on page in my blog. :) (http://maidenwithamission.blogspot.com/p/radiant-purity.html)

    Thanks you again,

    In Christ,
    Starlie

  8. Janine says:

    Thanks for the post, but isn’t she a bit young and inexperienced to be giving advice about love and life?

  9. Sharon says:

    Yes, Jessica is young and inexperienced, but not too young to realize that flirting is essentially selfish and empty and will not fill the void in our hearts. Well-written, Jessica. :)

  10. Michelle says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. What a precious young lady you are! My daughter is going to be reading this:)

    As to being too young to give advice about love and life-

    Can anyone be too young to know the love of God; the kind of love that is in the Bible and to recognize real love from fairy-tales? What age do you have to be? I’ve known 40 year olds who should not be giving advice and met 20 year olds who were wiser than some 50 year olds!

    The Word of God states in 1st Timothy 4:12: “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”

    Keep doing that, Jessica!

  11. Megan says:

    What an amazing post! I needed to read this today to be reminded that God’s love is all I need. I’m 28 and single, and struggle daily with the misconception of love. Most of my friends are married and starting their families. I long to be loved by a man for exactly who I am and one day hope to have a family of my own. Thank you for reminding me that even if I find that earthly love by a man, God is my true source of love. I know in HIS timing, I will be blessed with all the desires of my heart.

  12. Charis H says:

    thank you! this is is so good…thank you for the reminder and challenge. As a single girl it is so easy to look for love in the wrong places — it is only in Christ. Thank you for sharing Jessica!

  13. Devin says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Thank you so much for being willing to share what the Lord is teaching you.

    It always amazes me how God brings different things into our lives when He is trying to teach us something. At first these different “things” (books, blog posts, sermons, etc.) all seem coincidental and then when we step back and see how He placed everything in our path at the same time, you realize He is trying to show you something.

    I just turned 21 and have been learning the exact same thing you wrote about. I can’t tell you how encourgaging it was to read your post.

    I’ve been reading Leslie Ludy’s book “Sacred Singleness” and one of the personal testimonies that stood out the most was one that talked about how Jesus is always there by our side. He wants to take care of us. “He made all the beautiful flowers for me. He wanted to have a relationship with me, and He used everything to make me fall in love with Him: the moon, the rain, the mountains. The Creator of the Universe was trying to catch my attention, and I was looking for something else.”

    Jesus wants to be our all in all. And as you mentioned, He, and He alone can fill that void in our heart. We don’t need to look any further.

    Again, thank you for sharing your heart. It was truly a blessing.

    In Him,
    Devin

  14. Tabitha says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this! I am so encouraged and blessed by it! I love how beautifully you have described the love of the Lord! Constantly we struggle to keep every thought captive and focused on His glory and constantly His *true* faithful, enduring love draws us back to Himself. His love is amazing and how sweet it is to rest in it.

  15. Adrienne says:

    Thank you Jessica, I re-posted at: adrienneand.blogspot.com/2011/08/so-this-islove.html

  16. Linda says:

    Beautiful and so God-inspired. . .

  17. Caroline says:

    Beautifully written Jessica! I will show your article to my daughter aged 17.
    Many thanks

  18. Pattie says:

    Jessica,

    What a blessing to read your comments. Thank you for sharing your heart with us! I look forward to sharing this with my 11 year old daughter in a few years.

  19. Julie says:

    Beautiful ! What a blessing to read. I spoke with a neighbor woman yesterday. She has an 8 year old granddaughter who frequently comes to visit my 8 year old daughter. . She was describing to me how her granddaughter called to describe her first day of school ( in the public school) . In this young 8 year olds first day of school her ” boy friend ” broke up with her. Amazing how young the push for “romantic love ” begins.

  20. Katrina says:

    That was such a huge encouragement, Jessica! Thank you for sharing your heart! Even the Christian circles can sometimes unintentionally have the idea that if you don’t have a relationship with “somebody” there must be something wrong with you. For those who believe that it is God’s Will for women to be wives and mothers, young girls can feel like they are not fulfilling God’s Will for their lives if they don’t have a family by the time they’re twenty. (I know because I felt that way for years!) Even the most well-intentioned conservative people may accidentally convey the message that somehow you’re just a little more special, or fulfilled or important if you’re married or engaged. The truth though is that while marriage is definitely God’s Will for many people, it’s not as fairytale of a scenario as we’d like to think! Without trying to decry marriage in any way, it may actually give a women more potential opportunities to feel insecure, rather than feeling more fulfilled or loved. (For example, “Is my husband being faithful, does he wish I could lose the baby-weight faster, why is he so grumpy, etc.) : ) Of course if we are secure in God’s love we will not spend our time thinking about those things, but that is the key! If we’re not secure in God’s love, we will be a wreck once we’re married!

    Easier said than done, and even though we know this it still doesn’t mean we won’t occasionally feel discouraged, but remembering that Jesus loves us even though He sees all our problems is a huge help. And Jesus knows what it’s like to have people reject Him or not love Him! That has been most of what He’s known since the beginning of time. In one of Amy Carmichael’s devotionals she writes that a leper whose hands had fallen off wrote the following verse with a pen tied onto the stump:

    “I would not change one little jot of His dear Will for me,
    But in my weakness I would go,
    Entrusting all my load of woe
    To Him who walks with me.”

    Amy Carmichael wrote, “If any of us feel inclined to grumble about trifles, let us think of that leper.” It has helped me many days.

    Thank you for this encouragement, and personally I think that whoever the Lord has for you to marry is going to be awfully blessed with such a wonderful young lady! The trials you have gone through before marriage will make you more equipped to be a woman of faith for years to come.

    Love and blessings,

    Katrina

  21. Jennifer says:

    My gosh. Jessica, it seems like you’ve witnessed the same thing I have. Right now, there’s a set of social skills secular men are trying to teach younger men, called “Game”, that attract women. Game is generally benign, as it teaches men to be assertive, confident, and dominant of their given spheres (which unilaterally attracts women). But some “gamers” advise men to do amoral and even wicked things to keep women around, such as: flirting with other women in front of her to make her jealous, making sure to do one less act of affection for her than she does for him, keeping her unsure of his feelings for her, apologizing as little as possible, playing little head games, and in general telling men that women love to be “dominated”; in fact, they insist that if men don’t dominate women, women will not respect them! They’ve taken the fact that women like men to lead in the relationship and morphed it into something to make men arrogant and emotionally forceful.

    Some of these men have been hurt by shallow women who went for bad boys, and now they believe all women want bad boys; they confuse the fact that so many women are attracted to bad boys with the fact that smart women will not choose such a man for a marriage mate. Our sexual revolution has deeply, deeply, messed things up. Only Christian men and women can fix them.

  22. Georgia says:

    Jessica
    You state that “Love is all about dying to self and putting others first. I think self-gratification may be the very opposite of love.”

    Under your picture you list some of your God given talents. You enjoy singing passionately, reading constantly, discussing controversial subjects, exploring history, quoting Shakespeare. Do you see your talents as self gratification? When you fall in love and get married can you shut all this off like a light switch?

    Where do you draw the line when it comes to dying to self? Do you give up your talents and support your future husband’s talents? Too bad if you let love keep you from being a great teacher of literature or political science to many people.

    But if you really believe that love is about altruism you will shortchange yourself. It has been studied that if people are kept from doing what they are good at it because of tradition, it can contribute to mental illness. Please do not misunderstand me, I see you as a very intelligent and stable young lady. There is a troubled world who could use a smart christian lady you.

    My pastor preached about purity and he made a good point. When young people date often they deal with rejection and get bitter. When the right person does come along they have so much baggage from failed lustful relationships that they cannot enjoy this right person. I agree with him. I wish I waited for the right person and listen to my parents when they tried to warn me.

    God is way too big for all this emphasis on modesty and family values . If He puts in inyour heart to go out to the dark world and be the light then let God guide you. When we go home to the Lord he is going to be more concerned about how many people we brought to Jesus not how modest or motherly we are.

    You can still be a good christian wife, mother and teacher without burying your talents.

  23. This is BEAUTIFUL! Oh, how I so wish that I had fully understood this at 14. I had a reputation as biggest flirt and often the enemy drudges those regrets up in my mind. Of course, I repent and move on but I just wish I had not have lived so carelessly as a teenager. I also wish that I had realized my husband really did LOVE me like you described at just 15 years old. We have a beautiful relationship now but I so wish that I could have seen what the Lord was trying to bless me with and I kept messing up.

  24. Carrie says:

    Jessica, that was very well written. I only wish twenty years ago someone had shared this wise advice with me. Thankfully the Lord has taught me many things I can now share with my sons and daughters.

    May God bless you greatly!

  25. Jessica McDonald says:

    Hi Georgia!

    I’m confused as to what this has to do with my article, but still, I’d be glad to give you answers to your questions.

    Do you see your talents as self gratification?

    It depends. I could easily use my gifts and talents to glorify myself. But, I choose instead to seek God’s will for how my gifts and talents will best glorify Him.

    When you fall in love and get married can you shut all this off like a light switch?

    Why should I? Again, if I am focused on seeking God’s will in every area of my life, whatever He ordains for me will be perfect—and perfectly satisfying. I do not believe that God asks women to shut off their intellect or become a blind follower of man. I believe that God gifts us our minds, our gifts, our talents, and our passions to further His Kingdom in amazing ways.

    Where do you draw the line when it comes to dying to self?

    I don’t draw the line anywhere. Jesus constantly shows us in His word that we are the most fulfilled & happy when we are not focusing on ourselves, but when we are showing Christ’s love to others. By the term “dying to self” I do not mean self-imposed misery. I mean sacrificing my will for His and preferring others in love. “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.” (1 Corinthians 10:24)

    Do you give up your talents and support your future husband’s talents?

    Not necessarily. I believe that I can minister to others and support my future husband’s talents with whatever talents God gives me.

    Too bad if you let love keep you from being a great teacher of literature or political science to many people.

    “Love..does not seek its own.” (1 Cor. 13:5) I have no desire to be a “great” teacher of literature or political science (outside of homeschooling), but if I did, I trust that God would open the door for me within his will. My deepest desire is to use my gifts and talents in a way that glorifies Him—that is what brings true and lasting satisfaction.

    God is way too big for all this emphasis on modesty and family values .

    Actually, you have it backwards; God is way too big to ignore “modesty and family values.” He gave us His Word for a reason. When we minimize His instruction to us by acting as if it “doesn’t really matter,” we demonstrate a lack of obedience to the God we claim to love. The Gospel is best spread when we are LIVING it out. If we just preach the Word without living as Christ has instructed us to live, then our witness is empty & meaningless.

    When we go home to the Lord he is going to be more concerned about how many people we brought to Jesus not how modest or motherly we are.

    I don’t agree with that at all. I believe He will be more concerned with whether or not our lives glorified Him (which includes sharing the Gospel with others). I don’t “bring anyone to Jesus” – Jesus calls them to Himself. I am simply an instrument He uses to communicate the Gospel. It is Him who does the drawing. My God is in control.

  26. Georgia says:

    You said “If we just preach the Word without living as Christ has instructed us to live, then our witness is empty & meaningless.”

    The people who christians may turn away from God because of the emphasis on modesty and family values is also empty and meaningless. Luke 10″38-42 Mary and Martha is a good example

  27. Stacy McDonald says:

    Georgia,

    Your comment doesn’t make any sense. What about the Christians who “turn away” others because of their “offensive” street preaching? Or the “irritating” way Christians discourage people from getting abortions? The list goes on. People who hate the truth will find any reason to be offended by it. And just because some people may fail to speak the truth in love or in a winsome manner, doesn’t change the fact that the “truth” is important. The Bible teaches that modesty and family are important – it’s just one part of the Christian walk.

    And I think perhaps you missed the point of the story of Mary and Martha.

    Peace.

  28. Fantastic post Jessica. Thank you.

  29. Jennifer says:

    “Or the “irritating” way Christians discourage people from getting abortions?”

    I think that’s kind of an extreme comparison, though I agree that modesty needs to be stressed.

  30. Georgia says:

    It doesn’t make sense to you but there is a very dark world out there and I do not believe that a puritanical approach will always win hearts to Jesus especially in the day and age. Rebellion against God is a big problem and a militant approach christians use is just as bad as the liberal progressivism. To tell me I do not make sense is rude and uncalled for. I just do not see it the same way you do. If you want to insult me just remove the posts.

  31. Stacy McDonald says:

    I certainly wasn’t trying to insult you. I guess I am just confused by your unrelated protests, Georgia. Perhaps I should clarify what you are trying to communicate. Are you saying that I have a “puritanical approach?” Or that I “turn people away from God” by talking about modesty or family values? If you’re not referring to me, then I’m confused as to what your comments had to do with this post.

  32. Georgia says:

    And I think perhaps you missed the point of the story of Mary and Martha.

    Luke 10:38-42

    38. Now as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet, and heard his word. 40. But Martha was cumbered about much serving; and she came up to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister did leave me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41. But the Lord answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things: 42. but one thing is needful: for Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

    Martha was so busy preparing her home for the Lord , to the point that she got angry and started undermining Mary for not helping. It was Mary who was sitting at the Lords feet in which I see as having a relationship with him. It seems like so many christians so busy living out the gospel similar to Martha that they often forget to be like Mary who just plain loved him. Jesus seems to favor Mary because of that. Look I did not write this bible. Give me your interpretation without undermining my intelligence. It hurts!

  33. Georgia says:

    I am not attacking you personally just the approach. I did not agree with many aspects of your daughter’s post. I see she is an intelligent young lady and I strongly feel that an intelligent young lady should not focus only on modesty, marriage or motherhood. She should have more good choices in her life. I can’t clarify it any better than this. I think we have doctrinal differences on how we interpret God’s word. I see you are protestant and I go to a full gospel church. I sent you my interpretation of Mary and Martha. I see too many Marthas and not enough Marys in many of these blogs. I just posted my clarification on those scriptures. If people don’t love Jesus like Mary did then it is much harder to get rid of sin.

  34. Georgia says:

    I have an idea. Post the scriptures of Mary and Martha and lets go over it together.

  35. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hi Georgia –

    My daughter does not focus “only” on “modesty, marriage, or motherhood.” That is quite an assumption you are making from just one post (which was about flirtatiousness)!

    Yes, I am certain we have major doctrinal differences. I am Reformed Presbyterian and you are “Full Gospel”, which I believe still refers to “Charismatic”. But hopefully we can agree on the essentials of the faith.

    “Protestant” refers to Christians who broke away from the Roman Catholic church during the Reformation. Georgia, unless you are Roman Catholic, you would also be considered “Protestant.”

    You said: “I see too many Marthas and not enough Marys in many of these blogs.”

    I’m not certain what blogs you’re referring to; but, I hope you realize how uncharitable it is to read one article from one young woman and judge her in such a way – implying that she does not sit at the feet of Jesus. Wow!

    If you don’t like what is written here, why do you continue to comment? Don’t get me wrong, you are more than welcome; it just always baffles me why people want to comment on blogs where they are in clear disagreement most of the time.

  36. Stacy McDonald says:

    Yes, Jesus clearly teaches that Mary’s priority of sitting at His feet was the “good part.” We can’t be so busy “going through the motions” of serving the Lord, that we forget the Lord! All of our prayers, Bible reading, serving, labors etc. should be to the glory of God!

    However, Jesus was not teaching that physically serving is unimportant. If that were the case, we could all lie around praying and reading our Bibles all day, ignoring the physical needs of our families. James 2:26 – For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. We are to be obedient in word and deed – not instead of communing with God, but because of communing with Him.

  37. Jennifer says:

    Georgia, I agree with many of your points in general, but I’ve also visited Jessica’s blog and her writings, from her posts to her reading preferences, show that the woman has a mind of her own. I think this post is quite good.

  38. Georgia says:

    I am full gospel. I am neither catholic or protestant. My family is Greek Orthodox. The Orthodox churches did break away from the catholic church. I do not accept any of those three doctrines. They are man made. Jesus is Lord.

  39. Jennifer says:

    Speaking of modesty and wisdom and all, I’m happy to say I fixed my copy of the 2010 Ladies’ Tea! It had been scatched up and dry stuff didn’t fix it, but then my mom per my request got wet DVD cleaning stuff and it worked! DVD plays perfectly now and I enjoyed it again last night :)

  40. Stacy McDonald says:

    What “doctrine” are you rejecting, Georgia? And how do you define “Full Gospel?”

  41. Jenny says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart here, Jessica! As another 21-year-old, “single” young lady, I really appreciate your honesty and sincerity. I can so easily get distracted by the fleeting, flashy love of this world and forget how incomparable and amazing and endless is the love of my wonderful God. Thanks so much for that reminder; I needed it! God bless you!

  42. Georgia says:

    Full gospel means the movement of the holy spirit. Baptism with the holy spirit. As in Acts when Peter baptized adults who were ready to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues, prophecy and healing, ceased being practiced early on in Church history. I do not see the holy spirit being mentioned in your blog. He is part of the trinity so He has a function. The Father The Son and The Holy Spirit.

    Although you are a kind lady and you love God, I feel there is something missing. Jesus corrected the Pharasees for worshiping the laws. I am sorry to be so direct but I see that here. If you want me to leave this group I understand. God Bless everyone much health and happiness to your large families.

  43. me says:

    I wish I would have known all this 15 years ago when I married someone & started a family for all the wrong reasons. I come from a dysfunctional family myself and was so impatient to start my own to ‘make right’ or have all that which I didn’t have myself growing up. Only, this is not a great reason to marry someone of course! Neither DH of myself were Christians at the time and now we sit here 15 years later stuck with someone we can hardly stand at times – at best we’re just ok with eachother, but love??? talk about it…it’s so sad. People DON’T do this. Think. Think. And pray. Oh, if I only understood what the great point in this is. Because clearly, God is not glorified by anything in this household yet! sorry to remain anon…

  44. Hannah D. says:

    Wow! This article is such an encouragement to me!
    I just thought that I would share this with you all.
    Please feel free to comment be back, as I can always use some encouragement myself! Thanks.

    Dear Sisters,

    We are young women. We are human. We were created to desire to be loved and admired by a man; but we must be careful to make sure that those desires do not become exposed prematurely. Our goal (I hope) is to save ourselves for our husbands someday. This means ignoring any improper attentions from a young man that does not have any intention of being in a serious relationship with you. Why do you want to invite temptation? Why cause a guy to have wrong thoughts? So you can experience a little romance?

    But, you say, if we only see each other once in our life time, (i.e someone in a store) what does it matter?
    Keeping ourselves pure is already a struggle for us, so why tempt ourselves and get used to drawing attention to us?

    Ok, let me back up a little. I am not perfect, and I struggle with things too. I am a young woman and I know exactly how you feel! You hear the music. You watch the movies. You can’t help but dream of the ‘someday’ when you will be swept off your feet by a kind and handsome, Prince Charming. Yet, the most important think that we should be focusing our time on is ministry, our families, prayer and Bible study and preparing to be a wife and mother.

    These feelings are common with all young women, but we need not make excuses. We do not need to be like everyone else. We need to rise up against what our culture is encouraging us to do. Most importantly, we need to make sure that our hearts are right with God and that we are continually seeking His will for us. Remember daughters: God never said that this walk would be easy, but we will be rewarded one day for the choices we made.

    I hope that you understand what I am trying to say and that you do not take anything as offensive. I am not writing this toward any one person, but rather just commenting on a very important subject, to encourage you.

    Stand Strong,
    A Sister~

  45. Val says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I want my 12 and 17 year old daughters to read this.

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