Protected And Within The Walls
Young Ladies in the Kingdom
The precious young ladies of God’s people, whether born again or not, are made for Jesus, not for the eyes and lusts of the world and its pagans. As young princesses growing older amongst God’s people, they need protection—from the world, from its cares and affairs, and from its deadly influences, not to mention the danger, crime, immorality and lust of a wicked and depraved generation. Our young princesses are vulnerable and need covering and nurturing in a special way. Her heartthrob needs to be that of a handmaiden, pursuing Jesus whole-heartedly. She can wash Jesus’ feet through the serving of the saints, through obedience to her parents, through loving authority and by being a bright spot to the people in her life, sowing good seeds generously, every day, towards Him and towards His people!! Learning to fall in love with all that He loves and hating all that He hates—falling in love with HIM, as her heart’s desire.
To be a woman of noble character is her aim—within the walls of God’s People, serving His house with diligence, kindness, industriousness and love. This description in Proverbs 31 is a picture of the life of a woman in the midst of Israel, a type of the church of Jesus, where all the people are bought by His blood. It is not in the context of the world that she pursues this picture that is described. A few snapshots from the proverb….
“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him but help him all her life….She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She watches for profitable trade; her lights burn late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy….She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions….Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”
And in Titus…
“These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the Word of God. (Titus 2:4-5)
Practical Problem Areas
Here are “problem areas” which will hinder a person from becoming that woman of noble character. You may want to look them over with your young lady.
1) Appearance—A lopsided, unhealthy value placed on one’s clothing, hairstyle, facial features, body parts. If you are overly concerned and preoccupied with “how you look”, you have a misplaced priority and possibly a misplaced affection. Are you…noticing how your clothes “feel” on you all the time? Lingering in the mirror examining your face? Comparing your body to someone else’s body? Pride in yourself or jealousy of others? Always thinking about what you’re going to wear? All of these things are telltale signs that you have a misplaced priority about your earth-suit that robs you of being beautiful where it counts—on the INSIDE! “It is not outward appearance that makes you beautiful, but the inner self.” Do you believe that—for REAL? If so, work hard to make yourself beautiful on the inside with good choices, a yielded heart and by rejecting the temptations to primp and gaze in the mirror and be overly concerned with clothing, makeup and hairstyles.
2) Clothing—If it is important to you that you have the latest trends and styles, you’ve got an idea that comes from worldly thinking. If anything, we want to steer away from the trends of the world! Not that we should stand out as being weird—we don’t want that either. But to mimic what “they” do with clothing, shoes, eyeglasses and other apparel is dangerous territory to tread on. Here, the important question is: why do you wear and buy what you do?? Because you “like it” may not be a good idea if it smacks of the world. Just because it is so plentiful on the racks doesn’t make it a good idea. Sometimes it requires very conscientious work and effort to find clothing for a young woman in the kingdom which covers and is appropriate. Not trendy yet not monastic. It is quite a balancing act sometimes, but don’t worry, we can figure it out together! The important thing is to approach the whole area with a very loose hold, learning to prefer what is becoming and proper for a disciple and laying down preferences for certain “cuts,” necklines, flimsy or clingy materials, tight clothing and the like (all of which you will want to get rid of as you see the importance of covering and guarding the “lines” and “shape” God has given you.) Your body doesn’t belong to you, but for another, in the future. And it doesn’t belong to the world for pagan men to gawk over! Keep it safe, okay?? Take special care.
3) Magazines, books, catalogs, movies, t.v.—What you allow to pass into your head through the media, and printed material is VERY important. It WILL eat you away on the inside to take in bad seed in these forms. Worldly novels, stories that emphasize “good looks”, romance, self-centered relationships, and other worldly values will only serve to make it a priority in your own life. If you look at teen magazines or tabloids, they are out-of-bounds for a disciple—utter trash. Not some legal thing to “not read magazines”—but just because there is NO value in them for anyone who wants to be more like Jesus. Many magazines emphasize and value everything you don’t want to become! Looks, makeup, weight and figure, dating, primping, social pursuits… all these things are the opposite of God’s desire for your life. It is the world’s way of “training” you. God wants your priorities to be HIS and so, the seeds to sow will best come from His Word in all its many forms, others’ godly influence, and turning away from worldly sources.
4) The opposite gender—Take special care, as a young person to not position yourself in tempting, tough situations. Going towards boys or standing in places and in ways where you’ll be noticed is not usually a good idea. Flirting and being “chatty” are bad news! The “dating game” of the world is OF THE WORLD! Don’t fall prey to its lure. “Dating” is, as one brother in California is prone to say, preparation for divorce, not preparation for marriage. It is WRONG building to participate in the “dating game” approach to “courting.” “Dating” cultivates a wrong sense of priorities and desires and habits, and introduces great dangers that never need be there for a young person, OR an older person.
There is a better way—a JESUS way—to meet and begin to know and find God’s Heart if He would have you have a marriage partner. “Make no provision for your flesh” by setting yourself up in bad situations, or closing your eyes when others are doing so! Better to “stick with the girls” (or, for the guys, stick with the guys) in a lot of cases, or with those who have a watch over your life. There is NO real reason for ever segregating by “age” or isolating in “opposite sex” private situations, anyway. NOT if we are trying to get to know JESUS and those that are His, and to hear His Voice, anyway. If we have other motives and mammal instincts we are pursuing, we’ll do it the way the world does it, without even questioning it. And we’ll let others “bully” us with, “Everyone ELSE is doing it! Don’t be such a shrew. You’re being overly protective. You’ll smother them. You have to let them expand themselves. You have to let them make their own decisions. Blah, blah, blackmail, accuse, insult, pressure to conform to the patterns of this world.” There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death, and 60% divorce rate in the “churches”. THERE IS A WAY THAT IS GOD’S for discovering if Father intends you to have a marital partner, and, if so, who that may be. And it is NOT “dating”.
Build Right In ALL Relationships!
Keep in mind too that the only good foundation for any relationship is to build because of what Jesus is currently doing—and NO other reason. If you choose and build because of external reasons or desires of your flesh, you will find yourself very empty, very frustrated and very alone. The only kind of relationship that brings Peace and Life and good fruit to you and those around you is to pursue people based on who they are in Jesus. It’s got to be a relationship that has Jesus and Truth as its total basis. The whole reason you are in it is because of Him and His House, and nothing else. Be attracted by what attracts Jesus. Be attracted by those who are serious about pleasing Jesus and who want to be changed into His likeness and who respond to the Word of God with obedience and respect.
Choosing your friends because of their age or social class or where they live or the kind of job they have or because they look pretty, or have a funny personality is building “after the flesh”. To “like” people because you have common interests or because they give you flattery and enjoy you so much, is self-centered reasoning and improper building for a disciple of Jesus. Let the measurement of the value of a relationship be how it is helping you grow in Jesus and how your relationship helps others grow in Him as well. A genuinely God-centered relationship with someone will ALWAYS benefit other people. It will NEVER, ever, ever be exclusive, revolving around two people only, sucking one another towards themselves. Ask Him to purify your motives and desires in the relationships He’s placed you in. Allow Him to fill you and reject finding fulfillment anywhere outside of His will for your life.
Remember that you will become like those you hang around. “Bad company corrupts good character.” Be careful who your closest friends are because you’ll become like them. Don’t spend your affection, desires, time and energy on those who value the world’s ways, affections and priorities. Steer clear of choosing and forming relationships based on worldy junk! Don’t be rude or unkind to those who are without Jesus or who are immature in their lives, but don’t desire affection from or buddy up to those people either. Pursue godly examples, and be a godly example.
To sum it up, followers of Jesus are bent on one thing and that is to love Him, to serve Him, and to adore Him only; to become increasingly buried and submersed in His Life and His thoughts and His priorities. Deeper and deeper into the Life of Jesus, to the Glory of the Father, through the leading of His Spirit. Now that’s a ROMANCE that is very worth pursuing!! It sounds good, doesn’t it? : )
If Father has Plans for you—to remain single, as He did His Son Jesus, and His servant Paul and many others, that is WONDERFUL also! Don’t be bullied! Don’t be afraid! Many pursue these things out of selfishness, or loneliness, or hormones, or pressures from peers or parents, or foolish thinking, or pride (not wanting to be labeled) or laziness (wanting someone to serve them and meet their needs), or desiring affection, or an undisciplined mind, or discouragement, or being unclear of their Mission in Life. WEAK! YUCK! Don’t be like this, like the animal kingdom, but “Be TRANSFIGURED by the renewing of your mind!”
And IF He desires marriage for you, in time? Don’t be afraid of that either! It is in the Father’s heart, you know, if HE has authored it as a Gift to you! The picture of a beautiful young woman preparing herself for her one and only, is a reflection of God’s desire for His betrothed! Looking with hope and perseverance to being prepared in heart and mind and character is God’s heart for His people, His Bride. The purity of love, a marriage, procreation, and the beauty of the “cord of three strands”—as well as the close quarters training ground in godliness and self-sacrifice, is in fact, buried deep in the Father’s Heart. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just that it is meant to be given by Him, not chased after by His children. He is the one who birthed the idea of a man’s deep love for others, and expressing that as a shadow of the Life and Love of Jesus. But it is HIS to Give and not ours to take or grab after, or to build as we choose. “Let the Bride and the Bridegroom come OUT of their chambers” and “seek FIRST the Kingdom”!! And your Heavenly Father, who knows…! Come, Lord Jesus, for Your Bride!
Question: Do you see any dangers in telling the little children how “cute” they are?
Yeah, it doesn’t take them very long to learn how cute they are either. They have all these faces smiling and coochy-cooing them. I still cannot quite break my daughter of looking in the mirror while she is crying. As soon as she starts to cry, she heads for a mirror. Some of those things go back to how adorable everyone thought she was. For her sake, as well as ours, it’s good to be aware of those things. Not bone-crushing austerity, but the wisdom to know what it is we are doing.
Once I mentioned some of this to some folks in another city who had their six-year-old daughter all done up. They had her ears pierced, her hair done up perfectly, and she even had eye makeup on! I called the parents aside and said, “You are destroying this girl! Yeah, it’s adorable. I admit it. She is gorgeous. She is the prettiest six year old I’ve ever seen. But the last thing she needs is a whole parade of people going up and telling her that. She is going to get her perspective and priorities so off base that by the time she is fifteen you are going to wonder why she has phone calls all night long and ends up pregnant… And you will scratch your head and wonder how it happened. You are going to realize then, when it’s far too late, that you are primming her up for your own pride’s sake! You did it for your own benefit, and now it has destroyed your daughter because YOUR priorities were wrong!”
Question: Would it be best not to mention the cuteness of the children at all?
We do need to be aware of it and cautious, but it is in God’s heart to love his children. I love telling little ones when they look nice that they look nice. I think that’s in the heart of God. We all need to be able to respond to that with grace, with no fear. The definition of humility is not thinking too much of yourself, and not thinking too little of yourself. It’s just not thinking of yourself.
That’s the same way with every other thing in the kingdom of God. You could have pride in the fact that you were the president of a big company. You could have pride about your job as a janitor. Or you could have fear in one or fear in the other. It doesn’t make any difference. The issue isn’t what you do for a living. It’s not thinking too much of it or thinking too little of it. It’s just not thinking of it. We need to have an attitude that is indifferent towards all these things. To be indifferent towards a nice dress is a far better attitude than thinking too much of it, or thinking too little of it. God invented color. He invented beauty. He invented all of those things. It was His idea—the beauty of holiness. God did His creation in a pretty magnificent way. Even our physical bodies are praised by God as being tremendous workmanship. To just cover all that up in austerity as a monk or something is to defy God and the gifts that He has given. To deny His gifts is as nearly foolhardy as to worship His gifts. The goal is to not think too much of it or too little of it—just to be indifferent. Whatever you receive, give praise to God for it—give Glory to God for it. Pass it on. Don’t be like Herod and be eaten by worms because you refuse to pass it on.
I don’t know how to define that in really clear terms, but don’t turn it around the other way and make some kind of cultic thing out of it where you are dressed in sackcloth and ashes. Respect beauty, admire beauty. If you go back and read Ezekiel 28, the creation that God did in lucifer is pretty awesome. God did that on purpose. But, lucifer forgot that he was reflecting God’s glory and thought that he was emanating glory. Lucifer got it mixed up. God wanted it to be beautiful, but he wanted lucifer to see that he was reflecting God’s glory, rather than emanating glory as a source in himself.
Along with that is that we must see beyond the physical. So often we don’t see the beautiful child that is inside that beautiful dress. We don’t see the attitudes of the heart that go along with that. So often we are so indifferent. We grew up seeing the physical. That’s all we see.
A Peek into a Letter
from an “older” woman to a “younger” woman (Titus 2:4)
Listen carefully, and try to understand… and if you don’t understand you can ask questions! Okay??
Jesus once told Peter to watch and pray (be alert, stay close to Him and keep asking Jesus to help you understand the things He says) because, in Jesus’ words, “satan wants to sift you like wheat.” That means that satan, the liar, who hides in darkness and dishonesty, tries to trap people into the darkness by getting their attention with something they desire. For sweet young ladies, one of these areas has to do with a desire to be attractive.
Let some of Jesus’ Light shine on you…. Do you realize that every time you feel good because you like the way you look, you are lifting yourself ABOVE Jesus in your own heart? Even the times you feel bad just because you don’t like the way you look, you are still lifting yourself above Jesus! Do you know why that is? It is because Jesus is the only Person who is really, truly Beautiful! That means, that the people who hide their lives in Him become more and more beautiful every time they learn from Him and obey Him, and change the things in their lives that are unlike Him. Satan wants you to think that looking good makes you beautiful, but all it really does is make you look nice on the outside.
If you needed to clean the toilet and all you did was close the lid and polish the outside of the tank and the seat, what do you think it would smell like inside after 12 years of this? Pretty gross, eh?? Would the inside be clean and fresh and healthy just because the lid is shiny and polished? Of course not! Would you want to use a toilet like that? So what’s the parallel?? Jesus wants you to have a pure, stable, steady life that doesn’t ever depend on how your hair looks that day (because some days hair just does weird things! And it doesn’t matter to Him, if you aren’t lazy or selfish about it.) Satan doesn’t like it that he can’t ruin our days by making us angry about wild hair or panicked about a pimple or insecure about old clothes. Satan doesn’t like it that God’s people don’t have to respond to his stupid ideas about what is important and valuable. God’s people are secure and safe in Jesus’ grasp. They find their identity all day, every day, in the fact that Jesus, the ONLY Beautiful Person forever and ever and ever, Loves them, is committed to them, talks with them, forgives them, covers them with His Blood and His Holy Name. He Promises never to leave them, no matter how their hair or clothes or skin or eyes look, as long as they are full of Him and not full of evil, worldly darkness or sin.
Jesus doesn’t want you to get trapped by satan into finding your identity in how you look. This will only draw your heart away from Jesus and make you miserable because you will never be beautiful enough to feel good this way. It will consume (that means it will eat up, devour, destroy) your heart and steal your life from you in the end, whenever that end comes. You will never be happy and you will never be free and you can never know Jesus and His Love for you if you live this way. SO DON’T live this way, feeling good or bad about how you look. Instead, sow seeds with Jesus and with people who love and know Him. Fill your heart with Him and the things He loves, and then you can begin to live by feeling good because of who Jesus is and what He is like and what He has done for you and all the people who Believe Him! Read about who He is and what He loves and then go do something about it, ok? You’ll regret it for a thousand billion years if you don’t, and you’ll be thankful forever and ever if you do! Love,
Goals of a Young Woman
1. My goal is the biblical goal of Titus 2: to be a woman of character, principle, love, diligence, and to be busy at home.
2. I also want to expand my mind and skills—not so I can “make money” or explore a worldly environment, but so that I can grow in heart and mind and ability to relate to God, God’s Creation, God’s People, and those that God is extending His Hand to in this present age. I want to be able to teach others, be conversant, be Full. Learning, whether self-initiated, correspondence course, or something else that is handled from a strong Position, spiritually… is a good thing. Teaching children in order to be faithful in multiplying what God has allowed me to learn, as well as to have “windows” into the young people’s hearts in order to reach out to them spiritually, as well as to spur me on to greater learning… is a good thing.
3. Whether married or unmarried, learning to manage a home, learning to cook and clean, learning to raise vegetables should that become necessary one day, learning to balance a checkbook… all of these are good things.
4. Instead of asking, as a woman (men may be somewhat different in this area), “How would this or that provide a good ‘living’?” or, “Is this skill ‘marketable’?” I will ask, “What am I genuinely interested in? What could I possibly be good at?” Then, perhaps, I will pursue learning more of that area in various ways mentioned earlier. I will work hard in that area and see if it provides some “leads” in what I may want to pursue in order to expand my heart and mind, that I might be a more suitable vessel for serving God and serving others through “the parables of Life” that this learning experience (viewed correctly) might provide.
Special Note: The “young woman” in Prov.31 was functioning TOTALLY WITHIN ISRAEL—GOD’S CHOSEN/HER FAMILY! She did NOT live that way amongst the Egyptians and Philistines!!!!!!!!!! That is WRONG, and DANGEROUS. Many lives have been forever trashed due to the temptations, and independent and worldly lusts and situations, cultivated in a man’s heathen world that SHE SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN IN IN THE FIRST PLACE! The Proverbs 31 woman is like Dorcas and Tabitha… IN THE BODY OF CHRIST, IN SPIRITUAL ISRAEL—NOT functioning that way with EGYPTIANS or BABYLONIANS!