Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Attributes of the Christian Girl, Part Seven: She Puts God Above Everything Else

Ariel was incredibly curious. She had always been fascinated by those who walk on two legs rather than swam everywhere with fins. This curiosity led to her collecting items that once belonged to those people. The more she collected the more she would learn about them. Some of her information was a little off a lot of the time, but she was learning enough to see that a lot of what she had been told wasn’t necessarily true.

One night, she decides to go up to the surface and check it out. What she sees is a ship shooting off fireworks. As she gets closer, she notices a rather handsome young man who is celebrating his birthday. At this, she falls in love at first sight, and ends up saving him later that night after a storm sinks the ship.

When her father finds out, he becomes furious and destroys all of her artifacts. She then decides that she has to see that young man again, one way or another.

Her love for him (what the movie describes as love) made her decide that she was going to put him above everything else.

Okay, I’m not saying to abandon your families to run off after some handsome stranger. But there is something to be learned from Ariel’s determination.

As Christian girls I think we have a tendency to forget where our priorities lie. God is supposed to be our everything, and too often, I feel that we let our standards drop for things that really aren’t that important.
Ariel decided that she would do just about anything-even give up her voice and family-to be with the one she loved. Are we that way with God? Are we truly committed to him to the point that we would give up even our friends and maybe even family if we had to?

If your family and friends start tormenting you for your faith, and threaten to disown you, would you denounce your faith or decide to stay with God? When it comes down to it, if you really love God above everything else, you’d sacrifice staying with your friends or family (Luke 14:26, Matthew 10:27, John 12:25).
Think about it in terms of material things as well. Do you allow material possessions or entertainment to get in the way of your walk with God? Is there anything you entertain yourself with that you know that God would not approve of?

If something is truly important to someone, it will show up in their actions. Let’s say there’s someone who never goes to church, watches trashy entertainment, and curses. Then, they turn around say that they’re Christians. Would you believe them? We need to constantly be examining ourselves to see if there’s anything we need to remove or put further down the priorities list.

As God’s daughters, God should be the absolute priority in our lives. He should be the very One that we try to please every day. The rest of the world needs to be able to see that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Attributes of the Christian Girl, Part Six: She Puts Others Needs Ahead of her Own

When Mulan learned that her crippled father had to go to war, she was heartbroken. She knew for certain that if he went, he wouldn’t come back alive. She loves her family dearly and wants what is best for them. She’d do anything for them.

So, she decides that the only option is to disguise herself as a soldier and take his place.

She realizes that by doing this she could very well get herself killed. One, she could be killed in battle. Two, since it’s against the law for women to join the army, she could be put to death if found out.

Yet, the love she has for her father is greater than her fear of being killed or harmed.

Would any of us have the guts to put ourselves into such a situation for someone else? Even if it was someone we loved, would we put ourselves on the line like that?

In Romans 5:7 it says: “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die-yet, perhaps for just a good man would one dare to die.”

Paul, the writer of Romans, was definitely right. We might say that we would give our life for someone else if we had to; but if we really were pushed into that situation, would we actually do it?

We can see that Mulan definitely was very strong in heart. What she lacked in grace that was so desired in women of her culture, she made up for in love for her family. That takes a lot of love to do that for either a family member or even a close friend (John 15:13).

Even if we don’t ever get into that situation where we would have to jeopardize our lives, would we be able to do what’s best for someone else? If you were in a relationship with a guy that you loved, and you knew that you weren’t right for him, would you have the courage to do the right thing? If your friend started showing signs that she might commit suicide, would you say something to help her? If some kids at school are bullying another kid, would you stick up for him?

It’s easy to say that you’d do something, but we must be develop courage to do the right things. We must constantly ask God to give us courage in all situations that arise. It may not be the most popular thing to do, but if it will help someone else, it is worth it. Having the courage to do what’s best for others is something that all of us should develop.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Part Five, Attributes of the Christian Girl: She Prizes Inner Beauty over Outer

After both of her parents died, Snow White was left to be raised by her stepmother. The two women were both beautiful, but completely different in demeanor. Her stepmother greatly disliked Snow White because as far as physical beauty was concerned, she saw her as her rival.

However, as we know from the story, we know that there were major differences between Snow White and the evil Queen. Snow White was gentle, hard working, and kindhearted. The queen however, was vain, cruel, and selfish. By the end of the story, we see that ended up being the Evil Queen’s downfall.

Sure, Snow White was beautiful, but she realized that being good mattered far more than her looks. Why, Snow White didn’t even seem to realize that she was beautiful.

“Your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”-1st Peter 3:3-4

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”-Proverbs 31:30

God cares so much more about our hearts. He wants us to be the kind of young women whose hearts overshadow our outer appearance. Have you noticed that when a girl is kind and humble, even when she doesn’t fit the world’s standard of beauty, she seems prettier?

Would you rather be loved for who you are or because of what you look like? The verse above from 1st Peter and Proverbs name things such as gold, fine clothes, charm, and outer beauty. Gold and gems will tarnish, hair will go gray and thin, and our skin will eventually wrinkle (as disheartening as it may seem). The physical things won’t last. I would much rather be loved for who I am than what I look like.

What is it about Snow White’s story that has stood the test of time? Do we remember her for her beauty, or for who she was described as in the story? For me personally, I remember how kind she was to everyone and the grace and love she bestowed upon everyone.

Goodness must never be taken for granted. In our society, so many women are taking on the “I am woman, hear me roar” perspective. That’s not how we should be. Be the girl that gives the gentle response rather than screaming back. Be the girl that helpful rather than boastful. When we do our best to become the person God wants us to be, the world seems to become a little more beautiful.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Attributes of a Christian Girl, Part Four: She Works Hard and Uses Her Talents

Ever since she was a little girl, it was Tiana’s dream to be the owner of a high-end restaurant. For years she works hard to develop her skills so that she could open the restaurant one day. Before her father died, he had told her to never lose sight of what was important.

In the movie, we see that Tiana was a very hard worker. As a young woman, she worked as a waitress, and helped her Mom out at home.

Tiana obviously tried to use her time wisely. It seems that anytime she didn’t spend working, she spent sleeping.

Let me ask you-how much time do we, especially as young people, waste our time doing pointless things? How many hours do we spend on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or YouTube? When we really get to thinking about it, how could we better manage our time? I’m not going to lie, I’m bad about that sort of thing too.

In the bible, it talks numerous times about being a worker and using our talents.

“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”-Proverbs 10:4

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”-Proverbs 21:5

“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”-Proverbs 13:4

"Work willingly at whatever you do as though you were working for the Lord rather than people."-Colossians 3:23

"Whatever your hands find to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge of wisdom in Sheol, to which they are going."-Ecclesiastes 9:10

God wants us to work hard and not waste a lot of time. That's not to say that we can't take breaks and relax sometimes, but, what are we doing with the majority of our time? As young Christians, what do you think would happen if we decided to do more for our families and other people? What about taking the initiative to do more housework? What about putting more work into the talents given to us by God? What about taking the time to study our bibles every day?

Honestly, I think we would find our lives becoming more interesting and full of richness. I have heard that when we get outside ourselves, we become happier. When you give yourself things to do other than mindlessly staring at the television or computer screen, there's no telling what could result.

In Proverbs 31, when it talks about the Godly wife/woman, it says that she works very hard (v. 13). She grows a vineyard (v. 16), provides food for her family (v. 15), helps the poor (v. 20), she makes clothing (v. 24), and she runs her household (v. 27).

While I'm sure most girls in our group aren't married, the same principle still applies. When we give our lives to God, being a Christian is a full-time job. We must use our abilities and live for Him to make our lives worthwhile.