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single!

A P U B L I C AT I O N O F O N M Y O W N N O W M I N I S T R I E S

JUL/AUG '13

Young Christian Woman

Abused as a Child? Deal With it Now! Great Commission GONE WRONG Did You Know You’re Beautiful?

5 Summer Money-Savers

w w w. o n m y o w n n o w. c o m


Single! Young Christian Woman JUL./AUG 2013, Vol. 5 On My Own Now Ministries, Inc., Publisher Donna Lee Schillinger, Editor Kimberly M. Schluterman Editorial Support Contributors Julie Ann , Christina Fox, Sam Harris, Nancy K. Hunter, John Pavlovitz, Donna Lee Schillinger Except where noted, content is copyright 2013 On My Own Now Ministries. Articles may be reprinted with credit to author, Single! and www.OnMyOwnNow.com. On My Own Now Ministries, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with a 501 (c) (3) determination. Your donations aid in our mission to encourage faith, wise life choices and Christ-likeness in young adults during their transition to living on their own.

in this

issue...

Moving Out...Settling In

The Place for Help and Healing

by Christina Fox

Straight Talk from the Proverbs Bite Your Toungue!

by Donna Lee Schillinger Spare Change

5 Ways to Save More Money this Summer

by Julie Ann Center Ring

Were You Abused as a Child? Deal With it Now!

by Nancy K. Hunter

We welcome submissions of original or repurposed articles that are contributed without expectation of compensation. May God repay you.

Can I Get an AMEN

Visit us at www.OnMyOwnNow.com.

by John Pavlovitz

“Go, and Make Atheists Of All Nations…”

Fashion DIVinA

Can I Just Say, You’re Beautiful

By Sam Harris, Guest Columnist

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Our Body, Ourselves

1 Cor 12:12-14; 4-11; 15-26; Eph 4:11-13; I Cor 12:27 (how I would say it) A human body has a lot of different parts, but all of them form one body. It’s just the same with God’s children in Christ. Whether we’re Jewish or American or Mexican or Mongolian, we have all been washed clean by the same Holy Spirit, and that same Holy Spirit has nourished us all and formed us into one corporation—a body. But we’re not a huge, single cell amoeba. This body, like our own, has a vast number of individual components. We all have unique functions to play in the body of Christ, and every single function was assigned by the Holy Spirit. We may do different kinds of work, but we all work for the same company and have the same CEO. We have each been assigned a function that contributes to the overall good of this company. For example, the Spirit may have assigned you to counsel others, or maybe the Spirit assigned you the function of teaching others, or maybe the Spirit assigned you the ability to readily believe in things that seem impossible, or maybe the Spirit assigned you to play a role in supernatural healing. Others got the abilities to do supernatural works, still others to be God’s mouthpieces to the present generation by applying his Word to our lives today. Maybe the Spirit assigned you the ability to figure out when people are being sincere, and when they aren’t. Maybe the Spirit assigned you to be a linguist of natural or supernatural languages. Regardless, it is the Spirit who assigns every ability to each person as He determines to be correct. Think about your own body for a second and imagine if your foot copped an attitude and said, “I’m on strike because I wanted to be a hand, not a foot.” Or what if your ear piped up and said, “I think I should have been the one with vision, and if I can’t have it, I’m out of here!” They may have a valid point, but could they possibly opt out of being part of your body because they’re not pleased with their assignments? If your body parts were to choose their own jobs, they might all choose to have vision, and then you’d be mute and deaf. Or if the whole body wanted the

ability to hear, you’d starve to death. But our body parts can’t choose their jobs, and so it is with the spiritual body we’re a part of. God has assigned us our function exactly how He wants it. And we’re not a huge eye or ear, we’re a huge multi-faceted body. So you who have the ability of vision, you can’t disown your hands who put your vision into action. And you who are the brains behind it all, you can’t say you don’t need feet. You’d go nowhere! The fact is that the parts of the body that we don’t often acknowledge are indispensable. If we think a part of the body is ordinary, we ought to treat it as extraordinary. And if there are parts of the body that we’re embarrassed to show just anyone, we need to give those particularly special care, while those we are generally comfortable showing to the outside world—they really don’t need any special treatment. And keep in mind that if a body part needs special treatment, that’s exactly how God designed it—so that the parts that we tend to neglect are assured their significance—so that all of the parts of this body will be concerned for each other. We will all suffer when the pinky gets a paper cut, and when we get an awesome hair cut, the whole body feels good about it. Now we’re not talking about a human body, so this is where the analogy ends. Rather, each of us is a part of Christ’s body. And Christ himself orders some parts to communicate with other parts, and some parts to communicate with the outside world. Some he has given the assignment to care for the body, and some he assigns to train the body, to get it ready to act effectively, so that the body can grow stronger and mature in our knowledge of the Son of God until we reach the point where we work harmoniously and believe harmoniously and become exactly what we are meant to be as the body of Christ. YOU are the body of Christ, and EACH ONE OF YOU is a part of it.

Read More Scripture (how I would say it)


moving out

The Place for Help and Healing

by Christina Fox

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ow many friends do you have? It’s a surprisingly difficult question. After all, the categories of friendships are many: friends from childhood, college, work, church, online friends, even tweeting. While the number of friends listed on our social media accounts may be many, our true friends are actually very few. How many of your friends know the real you? How many would know if you were struggling, really struggling? And to be honest, how many of them would you tell? For many years, I went through seasons of depression all on my own. I wandered in the darkness, feeling isolated, helpless, and in complete despair. I often stood among the crowd at my church each Sunday, watching everyone fellowship, and feeling utterly alone. Hiding my thoughts and feelings inside, I felt great shame and guilt about the battle going on in my mind. If people really knew the horrible, dark, and frightening thoughts I had, they would surely reject me. But then God brought a few friends into my life with whom I could be real, honest, and transparent. I told them my story, revealing the depths of pain I had endured. God used those friends to encourage and support me. They pointed me to the hope of the gospel. Over time,

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our relationship has become mutual. We share our burdens with one another, point each other to Christ, and walk alongside each other during the difficult trials of life. Silent Pain The sad truth is that not everyone has such friends in their church body. There are many hearts crying out in silent pain within the church. As we sit in our pews each Sunday, surrounded by painted-on smiles and neatly pressed clothes, inside many are weeping. The issues may vary— grief, worry, shame, depression, fear, even severe mental illness—but each one needs the love and encouragement of others in the body of Christ. God uses us in the body to build up, spur on, encourage, and bless one another (Romans 12, Hebrews 3:13, 10:24-25, 13:1). In fact, the church body ought to be a place where people find help and healing, not where we simply voice our social media status face to face, providing updates on where we had lunch that week and the funny thing our child did the other day. It is important that we recognize the fact that there are hurting people sitting next to us in our pews. We need to look beneath the masks and casual statements to see the hearts of each other. Because we are related to one another through the blood of Christ, each of us has the Spirit


settling In living within us. When we go beneath the encouragement. Pray and ask God to give surface and speak life-affirming words you wisdom and grace to encourage them. to the heart of another, it stirs the Spirit 4. Speak the gospel: You won’t be within them. It triggers hope within their able to solve their crisis or change their soul. The love and encouragement from circumstances, but you can speak the one believer to another is not the same as hope of the gospel to their heart. We find the world gives, for it is empowered by true healing in the truths of the gospel. the Spirit himself. Remind them of who they are in Christ. May our churches be a place where the Remind them of their standing before definition of friendship means something God, their inheritance, and what Christ more than it does online. May God open has accomplished for them. Point them our eyes and hearts to see those among to the love their heavenly Father has for us who are hurting. And perhaps you them, the very same love he has for the already know of Son. And point someone who them to the power needs help. Maybe The church body ought to of the Holy Spirit you’ve wanted to to work in and reach out and help be a place where people find through them to but don’t know live for Christ, help and healing, not where despite their how. While by no means complete, weakness. These we simply voice our social this list provides gospel truths a few ways you stand secure, media status face to face. can love and no matter how encourage them. strong the storm. 1. Reach out: It may take time, but be 5. Check in: For some, the journey intentional in letting that person know through pain is long and tedious. Stick you care. Trust is something that has to it out with them. Check in often, even if be earned, but over time, they will open they don’t respond. Send a card, an email, up and begin to share their burdens. Be a text. Leave encouraging messages to sincere, genuine, and real. let them know you care and are praying for them. God will use your efforts. You 2. Listen: Listen with ears of grace. may not see immediate fruit, but God is at Don’t be like Job’s friends who assumed work and will use your attempts to reach they knew why Job was suffering. Enter out to them for their good and His glory. their pain with them and listen. Don’t try to come up with solutions to their problems. You are not responsible to take Christina Fox is a licensed mental health away their pain or make their life better. counselor, coffee drinker, writer, and You are there to encourage and point homeschooling mom, not necessarily in that them to the One who does take away all order. She lives with her husband of 16 years pain and sorrow. and two boys in sunny South Florida. You 3. Pray: Don’t say, “I’m praying for you,” can find her sharing her journey in faith at and then not do it. Ask how you can pray www.toshowthemjesus.com and on Facebook for them and then commit to doing it. at www.Facebook.com/ToShowThemJesus. Consider writing a gospel-centered prayer This article originally appeared on Gospel and send it to them. I’ve received written Coalition.com. prayers from friends, and it gave me great

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straight talk

Bite Your Tongue by Donna Lee Schillinger

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ne day when I was a teenager, I went with my dad to his friend’s house. I didn’t know the man so I sat quietly as they visited. I was probably daydreaming about one of my get-rich-quick schemes even though I was looking at my father’s friend as he spoke. All of the sudden he turned to me and said, “You must be a very wise girl. You’re just sitting there taking this all in.” Though I’m sure that compliment was not merited, his comment stuck with me. Some months later, I was at home with my dad and he was lecturing me about something (bla, bla, bla). This time, I was not sitting quietly and taking it all in. Instead, I was following him around raising every objection I could think of to whatever it was we were arguing about. All of the sudden

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he turned to me and said, “You would have made a good Olive Oyl.” (Remember, Popeye the Sailor’s loud-mouthed girlfriend?) That one I deserved and it stuck with me, as well. If we want people to think we are wise, what we need to do is shut up and listen. We can fool a lot of people that way, right? Wrong! If we shut up and listen, we won’t just make others think we’re wise – we will actually be wise! During trying circumstances and trouble when we do not know what to do, we wish for wisdom – instant wisdom. “God, help me to know what to do!” we might be crying on the inside. Wouldn’t it be great if we could instantly tap into the wisdom of God in any situation? Guess what. We can! The power is in our silence.


from the proverbs Just look at the wisdom of silence described in these other proverbs: Even a fool is thought wise if she keeps silent, and discerning if she holds her tongue. Proverbs 17:28 The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin. Proverbs 10:8 Wise women store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. Proverbs 10:14 When words are many, sin is not absent, but she who holds her tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19 A person who lacks judgment derides her neighbor, but a woman of understanding holds her tongue. Proverbs 11:12 A prudent woman keeps her knowledge to herself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly. Proverbs 12:23 She who guards her lips guards her life, but she who speaks rashly will come to ruin. Proverbs 13:3

When we don’t know what to say or do, just be quiet. When we’re distraught, when we’re angry, when we feel betrayed, when we’ve been cheated, when we’re stressed out, when we feel awkward, when someone is yelling at us – whatever the situation – the wisest thing we can do is be quiet. Repeat our plea to God in our mind, “God, help me to know what to do!” and then listen with our mind and heart. We have all reflected on a quarrel we had and thought to ourselves, “I wish I had said …” The brilliant retorts always seem to come to us just after the crisis is over. Why is that? Could that mental block in the heat of the argument be God’s hand over our mouth? Is God protecting us from foolish impulses? What would have been the net result of blurting out a dead-on, hurtful comeback before we walked out the door? Would the person we had the conflict with think more highly of us? Would that cutting remark have improved our situation or brought us closer to a resolution with that person? Thank God for the times we can’t think of that quick comeback. And even when we can, let’s pray we have the instant wisdom to keep our mouths shut.

Hold this thought: Better to keep quiet.

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Spare Change

5 Ways to Save More Money this Summer by Julie Ann

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here are a lot of great things about summer: sunshine, lounging by the pool and fireworks – just to name a few. But one of my favorite things about summer is all the opportunity it affords me to save money. In fact, I tend to save the most money during the summer months. Here are a few of my favorite summer saving tips:

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1. Electricity and Energy: Here in the Pacific Northwest my electric bill is cut in half during the summer months. Even if you live in hotter parts of the country, cooling is generally less expensive than heating. If you live in a local where you can cool your house down at night by opening the windows, take advantage of the summer months. If you can’t possibly live without running the A/C, you can still save by taking advantage of the longer daylight hours to light your home. Keep your blinds open later into the evening or use some of the cool solar powered outdoor lighting and sit outside awhile once the sun goes down. 2. Entertainment: Summer is the best time to get out of those dark movie theaters and take advantage of free events in your community. From movies and concerts in the park, patriotic events around the 4th and neighborhood little league games, there are plenty of chances for you to get out for some plain old fashioned fun. Check your local department of parks and recreation for a listing of events. Or create your own event and gather a group of friends and head to the park for volleyball or around the fire pit for smores. 3. Transportation: With nicer weather and more daylight, leave your car at home and take your bike or walk to your destination. You will save on costly gas, wear and tear on your car and also get in a nice workout. I like to take advantage of the summer weather to walk to the grocery store,

post office or library book drop. And even if I don’t have a destination in mind, it’s nice to soak up some vitamin D and burn a few calories. 4. Cooking: Some of the best things about summer are BBQ, watermelon and eating outdoors. Shut down your oven (which will just heat the house up anyway) and invest in a grill. It seems like you can grill up just about anything these days, so be creative. You can also get creative with cool salads that are not only easy but refreshing on hot summer days. Plus, farmer’s markets have an abundance of fresh and healthy fruits and veggies you can incorporate into your summer diet. 5. Shopping: On the days it does get just a little toasty in my house (I don’t have A/C!) I like to head to the mall in the afternoon to take advantage of their cool air. And it turns out that summer is the perfect time to score great deals on your winter clothes. You can hit up the clearance racks and buy your winter coats for up to 80 percent off. It takes a little fortitude to try on the winter coat when it’s 100 degrees outside, but it’s worth a few minutes of discomfort for the significant savings. Can you think of other ways you save in the summer? If you budget smartly and save enough you might be able to sneak in a little summer road trip, visit to the waterpark or a few cute new sundresses and sandals. Summer will be fading into fall before we know it, so get started on your summer saving and enjoy every last drop.

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center ring

Abused as a Child?

Deal With it NOW!

By Nancy K. Hunter It happened a long time ago. You don’t like to think about it. Maybe you never even told anyone. But does that mean you’ve dealt with it? Does that mean it’s not going to affect your life in the future? If you were ever a victim of child physical, emotional or sexual abuse, now, while you’re young, is the best time to deal with that experience. Having been a 10-year victim myself, I understand how difficult this decision may be. In my family, there was no emotional support for a victim of child abuse. In fact, our unnamed abuser, my grandfather, was respected as a hard worker, husband and father of six. He was on the school board, went to church and kept his house in order. His friendly, outgoing manner attracted others who would never guess that he abused children and young women spanning three generations. The first indications of my abuse began at two and a half years of age: persistent crying at bedtime; ongoing nightmares depicting scary teddy bear faces; an intense fear of men; and episodes of anxiety and on-going insecurity. Never once, until later in life, did I breathe a word about the

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feature article abuse. Why? Instinctively, I knew that help or protection did not exist in my family. A wounded childhood is a terrible burden to bear through life. Dealing with memories of not fitting in or belonging, seeking isolation, experiencing confusion, grief, anger, and even self-doubt left me depressed and easy to manipulate. Sometimes, I would have a weird sensation of unreality, similar to an out-ofbody experience. Even though support is more readily available now then when I was a child, it is still a tremendous challenge to tell someone you have been abused and to get help in the form of intervention to stop the abuse and counseling to deal with the effects. Yet, finding a gifted, professional counselor, experienced in abuse therapy, is critically important. Doctors, teachers, church leaders and trusted friends can help steer you to a good counselor. Parents may have insurance which covers the cost and many colleges and social service organizations offer free counseling. Not every counselor will comprehend the struggles and effects of abuse, and it may be a process to find a good match, but don’t give up. Don’t think there’s a better time in the future to confront the devastation of child abuse; it only delays your emotional recovery and prevents you from forming a healthy foundation for a successful life. Delaying healing often results in problems in other life areas, like finances and relationships with friends, bosses and coworkers and in romantic relationships. Until I entered counseling with a professional who experienced her own consequences of abuse, I did not even realize that a part of my unique life-form was missing. The terrible act of child abuse can, in fact, be described as kidnapping, scheming with the intent to control, tormenting, and stealing an innocent

child’s or youth’s precious years of earthly life. These are massive, criminal actions brought upon a blameless person. That fragile “spark of life” created by God which I now call my inner child had gone into hiding in those early years. Through therapy, I discovered her imaginative, artistic energy once again, and an enthusiastic desire to learn, plus a positive yearning to achieve. In time, I began to trust and respect myself as I became open-minded to spiritual guidance as well as practical methods for self improvement and protection. My choices in life began to change for the better, the acute anxiety decreased, hope replaced severe depression, and I took control of my own special life. God’s love directed and empowered this healing process. The Word of God promises that His plans for us are “to prosper us… and to give us hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). As a youth who chooses to take the time to heal, you may well experience exciting selfdiscoveries, new ways of thinking, additional coping and achieving skills plus freedom from mental anguish. Recovery in the early years of your life will prevent self-defeating behaviors that would wreck your future. Above all, remember there are others of us who empathize and understand. We know that you did not deserve this abuse! Even if you think it’s been a long time since the abuse, it is never too late in life to find support for child, youth, or adult abuse. With support, you can leave the guilt with the perpetrator, no matter who it is, and move forward into your very own optimistic and promising future. Nancy K. Hunter is retired and lives in rural Missouri. She edits The Faith Messenger.

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Can I Get an AMEN

“Go, and Make Atheists of All Nations...…” the great commission gone wrong By John Pavlovitz

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confess, that I sometimes wonder if I would have any interest at all in becoming a Christian, if I weren’t already one. (Heck, if I’m honest, many days I look around and wonder if I still want to be one now). It’s not that Jesus isn’t worth following anymore. It isn’t that the Gospels don’t paint the picture of the most meaningful life possible. And it’s not that Jesus has lost a step, or lost His luster, or lost me. In fact, some days, Jesus is the only thing that keeps me from losing my religion. It’s just getting harder and harder to find Him in the Church. Have you ever gone to a family reunion and seen distant relatives you remember fondly from years past? There’s often that disappointing moment when the sweet memory of them, the idea of them that you once cherished, gets overtaken by the cold, crushing reality that, well… you just don’t fit in anymore. It’s not that you don’t love them; it’s just that you no longer have anything in common, besides blood and DNA. In fact, rather than making you feel at home, or like you’re with family, they make you more than a little uncomfortable. So you sit there

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as they tell some bizarre story, and you smile awkwardly, watching the clock, and you bide your time until you can get in the car, and get out of there before being embarrassed to death. For many of us who really love Jesus, the Church is becoming that weird uncle who makes us nervous. We watch the news, survey our newsfeeds, listen to talk radio, and pass by the bumper stickers, and we get that queasy, disorienting family-picnic feeling. We look at the over-politicized, perpetually defensive, fear-peddling, gun-toting, fightpicking, sign-waving, odd-talking presence that has become the face of American Christianity, and we want to scream, “Are these my people?” Maybe you feel that way. Maybe you’re a Christian, but you feel like a virtual stranger in the Church. (You’re not alone). Maybe you’re not sure what you believe, but you know that Christians generally freak you out. (Again, you’re in good company). But please know that this wasn’t the plan. As the Gospel of Matthew ends, Jesus is getting ready to leave the earth, and he gives his followers that grand, beautiful assignment, to “go and make disciples of


all nations, baptizing them in the name Am I taking a cheap shot here? Is this of the Father and of the Son and of the the easy way out: vilifying my own Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey family? Am I guilty of the most horrible everything I have commanded you.” Christian-on-Christian crime by painting (Matthew 28:19-20) multitudes of believers with the same broad brush? Maybe. This is known in Christian circles as The Great Commission, and just about 100 But after decades spent inside the percent of the churches in America claim Christian community, and after 15 years it as their mission statement, in one form as a pastor, I simply find myself trying or another; Jesus telling those who would more and more to stand in the shoes of bear His name to produce people who the hurting, searching, and broken people follow Christ. walking around out We look at the over politicized, there wondering If I’m honest, I’m just what about the worried anymore perpetually defensive, fear-peddling, Christianity they about what see so often makes we’re producing. gun-toting, fight-picking, signthem want more of I know that Jesus. we’re producing waving, odd-talking presence that celebrity pastors, My greatest fear and megachurches, has become the face of American is that the Church and lobbyist is becoming the groups, and voting biggest stumbling Christianity, and we want to blocks, and lots block to faith for and lots of books scream, "Are THESE my people?" the faithless, and and blogs and frankly, it tears me sub-par movies, up. I wish I had but beyond that, things start to get a little more solutions to offer, but right now, hazy. all I have are frustrations, questions and uncomfortable family reunions. Are we actually speaking truth to the people outside of the building? Are we I still believe Jesus is worth following. I’m communicating the clear, real message just not sure that to Him is where we’re of Jesus, or have we simply franchised leading people. out His name to say and do whatever we want? John Pavlovitz is a father of two (Noah Is our presence in this world drawing and Selah) and husband of one (Jennifer); a people into a relationship with God, or 14-year youth ministry veteran, specializing is it repelling them to the precipice of in rabble-rousing, engineering mayhem and unbelief ? Is it setting the table for them generally trying to live-out the red letters of to dine with Jesus, or is it ruining their Jesus. He currently serves as Pastor of Youth appetite altogether? and Children at Good Shepherd Church in The truth is, though the Church is Charlotte, N.C., and oversees BIGHOUSE supposed to be making disciples, with Youth. This article was originally published our political agendas and our judgmental on his blog, JohnPavlovitz.com: Stuff that manner, and our “us against them” Needs to be Said. mentality, we’re probably making more atheists.

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Fa s hion DIVinA

Can I Just Say,

You’re Beautiful! By Sam Harris

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irls, have you ever heard anything like this, or maybe even said it yourself? “I wish I could be beautiful.” “Why can’t I be as beautiful as her?” “I just don’t think I’m very pretty.” I’ve heard variations of these statements pretty frequently, and as a Christian young man, I care a lot about my female friends and sisters in Christ, and it bothers me so much to hear statements like the ones above. Now, I may not have a perfect understanding of young women and their thoughts and feelings, but, based on my observations and experiences, I think this is a topic that many of them struggle with. So if that’s you, if you’ve ever been the one to say or think, “I’m not pretty enough,” then I encourage you to read on.

“I’m not pretty enough” statements help me to understand at least two things about young women. The first is that they want to be beautiful. Whether physically, spiritually or in some other way, most young women want to be beautiful enough to capture a man’s affections and to be loved by him. The second thing those statements reveal is that many young women don’t think that they are beautiful. They have some underlying insecurity that tells them that they’re not beautiful enough and maybe not good enough to be loved. Young women want to be attractive and beautiful, but they often fear that they aren’t. Does this sound familiar? I’ve known many young women who I thought were pretty, but they didn’t think so, or wouldn’t admit it. I’ve seen one woman compliment


another, and the one who is complimented flatout denies it, shies away from it, or rejects the compliment. I even once saw a news story in which a successful, famous actress said she didn’t think she was pretty, an opinion with which a nation of guys would beg to differ. In fact, just as I was about to write this article, I checked Facebook and saw that one of my female friends had liked a photo with these words: “I wonder if I’m anyone’s crush… lol nah.” Those words made it seem to me like the girl was automatically rejecting the idea that someone might be attracted to her. Why would she do that? After seeing so many examples, I’ve come to conclude that this doubting of one’s own beauty or attractiveness is an epidemic attitude that affects most young women. Young women, can I just say that chances are that you are attractive to guys. How do I know? I’m a guy, and I think that women are attractive! In my observations of times young women didn’t think of themselves as pretty, there was at least one guy who thought they were quite attractive, and I probably wasn’t the only one. I also know you’re attractive because I believe in God and in what the Bible says about women and their beauty. When God saw that it was not good for Adam, the first man, to be alone on the Earth, God made woman. And I don’t believe that the all-powerful God of the universe said of His own creation, “Well, she’s not exactly my best work, not really beautiful enough for man’s tastes, but I guess she’ll do in a pinch, and he’ll just have to take what he can get.” No. God created woman, among other reasons, to be beautiful and attractive and pleasing to man, and God’s intentions in that regard did not fail. Rather, God called His creation “very good,” after man and woman were both in it (Genesis 1:31). Remember that the Bible also describes you as “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). That means that God knew exactly what He was doing and put His best work into His creation, which sounds pretty attractive to me. If Satan’s lies, or society, or both have so convinced you that you’re not beautiful enough, then take it from a guy’s perspective: Even when all those young women thought they weren’t pretty, I definitely thought they were, and I would have liked to tell them so. That’s why I’m telling you now: You are beautiful. Offhand, I can’t think of one young woman in my peer group who I would consider

ugly, or who doesn’t have a certain attractiveness. Now, of course, physical beauty isn’t the only beauty, and it’s not the most important beauty. It’s certainly not the only component of the beauty that God endowed you with, nor is it the only one that any guy worth wanting will notice. As young Christian women, you also need to do your best to cultivate inner spiritual beauty by seeking God and learning to reflect His character and His love. Nonetheless, I really am speaking here about physical beauty, because I’m tired of seeing my sisters in Christ sell themselves short in that regard. I’m tired of hearing them wallow in despair and self-pity, berating and degrading themselves for not being beautiful enough, when in reality their beauty is more than enough. I’m tired of it and I want it to stop. Young women, please ignore whatever influence it is that’s telling you that you’re not pretty or attractive or beautiful—even if it’s your own inner voice, because you actually are pretty, attractive and beautiful. Go forth in confidence and comfort about who you are, how you look, and who God created you to be. Of course, too much confidence can lead to the opposite extreme and problems of arrogance or pride, but we’re talking about a healthy dose of confidence, which, in fact, will make you even more attractive. There’s nothing wrong with accepting a welldeserved compliment, whether it’s from another woman or a well-intentioned guy, and there’s nothing wrong with being content with your appearance and the beauty God has given you. So be confident and stop doubting yourself so much. Even when you don’t feel like you’re beautiful, I can assure you that in a guy’s eyes, and, more importantly, in God’s eyes, you most certainly are. Sam Harris is continuously striving to follow Jesus Christ more closely and to love others more fully. He has a B.A. in English Education from Liberty University, and is planning to start an M.A. in English in the fall. He enjoys writing about his life experiences, as well as science-fiction and fantasy stories and the occasional poem. He would like to be either an English teacher, a writer, or a superhero when he grows up. Check out his blog, and like “Samuel N. Harris” on Facebook.

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Single! Young Christian Woman Jul/Aug 2013  

The Christian Alternative to the Fashion Magazine. In this issue: Abused as a Child? Deal with it NOW! 5 Ways to Save More this Summer Did y...

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