Internet Cafe

Friday, February 6, 2009

Speak Softly, Love



The Internet Cafe Welcomes Phylicia Duran today!

In a sexual culture, in which dating is extremely physical and the constant barrage of music and television only encourage such behavior, people really do seek an alternative. At the same time, however, they are prepared to doubt and shoot down any idea they view as ‘too extreme’. They will want results — but not sacrifice.

When talking about purity to and in the world, we cannot present the message as we can to our fellow Christian girls. Christians have the responsibility to walk in purity: thus, when speaking to girls who have made the commitment to Christ and to keep themselves pure, I challenge them. They know the facts, they know the answers, they know what to do — now it is up to them to keep on track. I don’t need to pussy-foot around them, because they are strong enough to stand on their own.

Girls of the world, however sad it may sound, are innocent of purity. They know nothing of modesty, true femininity, or the beauty of a pure heart. Their hardened faces and hearts are the product of pain and anguish that those of us raised in Christian homes may have never experienced. What I see happening, too often, is a lack of compassion from ‘the pure girls’ for those who know no better.

Legalism. Arrogance. A haughty face and whispered words. Unwillingness to greet the ‘immodest girl’ who attends church for the first time. These are not attributes of the beautiful, loving woman God desires us to be, and even worse, there is nothing attractive about the ‘pure girl’ who possesses these attitudes. Why would someone want any part of that for himself?

When I was twelve we left the church we had attended all my life. My parents were married there. Following that came a period of three years where we church-hopped, seeking one that fit our family. As we went church to church, I went to only one where a girl approached me and asked my name. Only one. When we finally found a church of our own, I resolved to be that girl — no matter how uncomfortable it was. I had hated the feeling of loneliness, watching the little cliques moving about the sanctuary, without hope of breaking in. I didn’t want other girls to feel that way.

Now I ask you girls — and guys too — are you presenting a message of purity as unattainable? Are you making purity seem arrogant, undesirable, and unapproachable? Those weighed down by a guilty conscience will be looking for ways to judge and condemn the walk of purity. Give them no reason to condemn! Kindness and love go much further than legalism and a false sense of pride. Remember, we are all sinners. Left to myself I would probably be just like those ‘other’ girls. Out of this recognition, I can maintain a spirit of compassion.

Compassion influences our actions and our words. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that a condescending message turns away our society faster than you can say Sam Hill. In countering this, many pastors and teachers make the mistake of watering down the message itself to tickle the ears of listeners. This is wrong! The message must remain the same — but the messenger, and the presentation, may change to fit the listener and the situation.

So many young men and women need to know the alternative to what they suffer through. They don’t have answers, or hope, or a future — and we can give them all that. Give kindly… and speak softly, with love.

“Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your salvation comes; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. And they shall be called the Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord, and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.”" (Is. 62:11-12, ESV)

Dear Lord,

Open my eyes to see the unbelievers I encounter not as ‘wrong’, but as misled. Let me bring them a message of Your hope without condemnation, but with love. You loved me while I was still sinning – show me how to do the same for those lost in the world. Give me the compassion that You had on me.

In Jesus’ Name… Amen


Questions for Consideration:

1. Do I view others through a lens of condemnation, or compassion? How can I change my thinking and approach?

2. How can be a ‘hope-filled’ person? How can I present Christ’s message softly?

In Him,

Phylicia Duran

Phylicia has a passion for encouraging young women in their faith and puts this desire to use teaching a group of girls in northern Michigan, as well as writing to teenage girls through several Christian publications. Her blog, A Quill and Inkwell, is her site geared to reach young women for Christ.

Phylicia can be reached through her blogsite, www.quillandinkwell.wordpress.com

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10 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

This was so wonderful, bless you.

February 6, 2009 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

That was wonderful. My daughter is living the pure modest life and getting teased by other girls because of it. It can be hard but worth the persecution. We church hopped a lot for our childrens sake. We wanted to find others who believed as we did to lift up and encourage. But to remind them to include and love others who are different needs to be done as well.
Great post. I'm going to have to let my daughter read this.
BLessings,
Kim

February 6, 2009 at 5:40 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Great post!! It is hard to be the one on the outside looking in and feel like you don't belong...that is especially true for young girls.

Amazing job

February 6, 2009 at 6:51 AM  
Blogger Island Princess said...

WOW, this is a great post! I am a young woman of faith and I totally agree with this post. Young girls need to be more open to in their thinking. I was one of those girls who felt left out in church when I was new. There are just way to many cliques in church who have their noses in the air. Thank you Phylicia for this post.. very good

Many blessings,

Jamaican Princess

February 6, 2009 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

How do we present the gospel in a way that is not watered down but won't offend? It is a hard balance, but I think we just make sure that our words are covered in love and compassion without compromising truth. I am glad that you became someone that would welcome the new girl! What a blessing to them! Great post.

Angela

February 6, 2009 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Jamie Harper said...

Many times in my life I have been the new girl, in high school, in college, as a single woman in her 20s. Now, I am an old 30something married woman ;), but I totally relate to the loneliness and the desire to just reach out anyway because you should. I've been there. Thank you for this lovely post on purity.

February 6, 2009 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

I really enjoyed this. Thanks. :)

February 6, 2009 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

This "outside the box" post is MAGNIFICENT! We must not forget that Jesus ALWAYS ministered to the lost, the letdown and the looking. It was the self-righteous that he mocked! Beautiful, beautiful.

February 7, 2009 at 12:34 AM  
Blogger BizzieLizzie said...

Thank you for this lovely post. I must admit - I was one of those girls in the "clique" when I was younger and shunned a few too many. Thank goodness our God is a loving God and forgives us of this sin. I have a daughter of my own and a "clique" is the last thing I want her a part of!! I couldn't have learned this lesson - any other way!

February 7, 2009 at 3:41 AM  
Blogger Buffy said...

This was well said. It's a hard balancing act to stand apart but hold out a hand of friendship!

February 11, 2009 at 6:47 AM  

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