The pressures that are placed on young girls today are huge. Having two teenage daughters of my own, I am very aware of the types of things that they are faced with each day, and how so many girls that they know are not only struggling with peer pressure, but caving into it. It truly breaks my heart.
Even though my daughters have been going to church since the day they were born, and have both accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they will be the first to admit that it is hard to live out their faith and be real, in a world that does not value faith at all. And regardless of faith, they still stumble, make mistakes, and struggle at times.
Even harder, is finding the courage to be themselves at times, without worrying about what everyone else will think. They are just normal teenage girls, trying to find their way in the world, without losing their real self and doing what they know is right. But there are so many pressures, and so many opportunities to do what everyone else is doing, that most of the time, it us just down right hard to be a girl of faith.
Unfortunately, that struggle really never ends, because even when young girls grow into adult women, the desire to be popular and well-liked is still in our hearts. The desire to be accepted is still in our hearts. The desire to do things that we know are wrong, may be still be in our hearts. And the longing to be loved is still in our hearts. Even though the circumstances of life are different, the insecurities and feelings are the same. So the truth is, that even grown women, myself included, often struggle with being real.
Regardless of age, we worry about what other people think about us, just as I mentioned in the devotion on the RadRev blog today. The only way to overcome that, whether we are a teenager or an adult, is to recognize how beautiful we are in Gods eyes, and to understand that He does not expect us to be perfect, so that we dont have to be consumed with what other people think.
Sometimes being real has consequences – maybe people wont like us for who we are; maybe we wont be in the most popular clique; maybe we will lose some friends who want to do things that we dont agree with…. but in the long run, we will come out on top.
One thing I always try to tell my children when they are worried about what other people think, is that in a few years, those people whose opinion they are so worried about, will probably not even be a part of their life. The people who love them for who they are, will still be their treasured friends.
You see, one of the keys to being real is knowing who your friends are. Your true friends will love you and accept you no matter what, and your relationship with them will grow even stronger as you get to know each other better and better. If we have to be fake around certain people in order for them to like us, then they are not people we really need as friends anyway.
Im not saying that being real is easy. I still find myself wishing I had the courage to tell my friends some of the things I am struggling with, but I hesitate to do so because I would be embarrassed or worried about what they would think of me. So I have to pray about this, knowing that God calls us to be open and honest about who we are, what we need prayer about, what we are struggling with – so that others can pray for us, and so that we can grow in our faith through their prayers and desire to get real for Him.
Why should we risk being real? Lets look at the benefits:
* we learn who our real friends are
* we learn who we can trust
* we learn to be confident in who we are by believing that God loves us, mistakes and all
* we learn to call on God when we need comfort, and strength to be ourselves
* we build a stronger relationship with Christ
So even though being real can be hard, in the long run, it is so worth it! You will be so blessed as you allow God to work in your heart, and work through you to impact the lives of the people in your life. And just possibly – your willingness to be real, and to live out your faith even if other people criticize you for it, could result in you being such a great witness for Christ, that someone comes to you to find out more about Him. God can use you to impact His kingdom, regardless of how old you are. 🙂
So, friends, just remember, God loves you!! And He will always love you for exactly who you are.
If you want to talk about this subject with me, leave me a comment! If there is another subject you want to talk about, leave me a comment about that too. I will also be responding to comments on the RadRev site today, if you want to chat there. See ya!