I want to go back to my high school story.
In high school, I self-protected big time. I didn’t let this cutie, hottie boy know I liked him even a little bit. I thought I wasn’t worthy of him, so I never let it out. I realized recently with my own girls—I have two in high school—that they and their friends self-protect.
In homeschooling and in the Christian community, we sweetly call it “guarding your heart.” We say, “Oh, guard your heart because we don’t want to let just anybody in.” But the truth is that the only way to guard your heart is to give it fully to Jesus and not give it to any man or to what people say or to whether you are accepted or rejected—if you are asked to prom or not, if you are asked to dance or not. There is no way to protect yourself outside of fully surrendering your life to Christ. It is impossible.
I see all these kids and recognize in them that though they didn’t grow up in an abusive home like I did, they are already protecting themselves. If they put themselves out there, they are extremely careful. For instance, they say, “Let’s go to prom as friends.” They are afraid to say, “Hey, I like you a little. If that’s not cool, it’s no big deal. But I do. I like you a little.”
It’s as if they deny the natural progression of the fact that they are old enough to be married—in biblical terms, not legally, but close enough. They deny transparency. They act like they’re kind-of friends and kind-of not. They skirt around the issue to the point where they are never going to allow themselves the unchained ability to pursue because they’ve put a title on their relationship called “just friends.”
I’m looking at these youth, thinking, “Is this right?” I don’t think there is any reason to go make out and whatever, yet they won’t even say, “Hey, I spend time with you because I like you. Maybe it will be more than just being friends and hanging out.” It’s almost silent, like there’s a curse on saying it. Boys text your daughters and say, “Hey, if you don’t like me like a boyfriend, then I’m not going to text you anymore.” It’s like, “Hey, can we just be friends?” instead of “Hey, I think you’re really pretty.” Let’s be real. These kids are already protecting themselves. I find myself asking the Lord, “Teach me how to teach my girls to be real and trust You with their protection instead of always protecting themselves.”
Honestly, I believe every woman’s desire is to have a marriage where she doesn’t have to be the man and she can actually be the wife. The husband is not a pansy. He is not a pushover. He is strong and gentle, kinder to her than anybody else. He would lay down his life. He will protect her. She can rest in his protection because he is a living example of Christ. He has laid down his life, and he is not going to put anything above her. I mean, that is really a woman’s strongest desire. When she feels that protection removed, she immediately starts standing in self-protective mode. Then she loses her sweet, gentle, loving qualities. You miss the best parts of her when she is in self-protecting mode.
I wish we had so much security in Christ that we would be willing to be rejected 490 times to infinity so we could be real and transparent instead of playing a game and not living real lives. Why is it so bad to be rejected if you can go lay your head on the lap of the One who accepts you?