To my beautiful, young gal pal:
Never forget: “The world’s thy ship, but not thy home.”
–St. Thérèse of Lisieux
It’s harder than ever to be a Christian young woman in the world we live in. You are living in a world that you aren’t actually a part of because you are a member of the body of Christ, the kingdom to come.
The thing is, this world is telling you lies.
The world here on Earth is so skewed from what God wants for you in your life, especially when it comes to relationships. God wants only the best for you. He loves you, no matter what you’ve done or how far you’ve fallen away from Him.
He loves you for YOU. And you’re never alone.
The world tells you that this is all there is, that “You Only Live Once!” so take advantage of every crazy opportunity to do something exciting and… well, stupid. I can remember always worrying about missing out on something fun or thinking that when I’m older, I would want to have fun memories of being crazy when I was young. That kind of thinking can lead to bad decisions.
What about eternal life with Him?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16
You don’t “only live once.” We are here on this Earth only for a short time, but for what purpose? To do whatever we want? Or to serve Christ and others?
The world tells you to avoid pain at all costs. The truth is: there is such thing as pain with a purpose. Just ask any woman who has ever given birth to a miracle. What gold-medal athlete has ever gotten there without some pain? What about the pain of studying and studying and then seeing the benefits with a good grade on the test? You may be in pain (from a fight or a break-up, from loneliness, from stress, etc.) right now, but trust me, God has a purpose for that pain. He’s moving your heart and molding you into your truest self, into the person He wants you to become.
The world tells you that love is all about the romance and that it should always lead to sex, even if you’re not married to the person. What’s real love? Love isn’t a romantic comedy. It’s the person who is there for you, even if you’ve done the unthinkable. It’s the one who always forgives, always hopes, always cares about you because you are you, not with any conditions. Guard your heart. Don’t give your heart away to the next boy who says you’re cute. Keep it focused on Christ. There’s no need to rush into a romantic relationship. Don’t date just to date. If you are truly embracing Christ and His teachings, the right man for you will too. Relationships when you’re young have a definite impact on your future relationships and marriage, and emotional wounds can follow you into adulthood. Guard your heart, sweet girl.
The world tells you that it’s a normal and natural have sex (or do “other” things, you know what I mean) and experiment with alcohol/drugs when you are young. I tell my children all the time that “God is in your heart.” He’s in your heart too, young friend, and my hope is that you realize the sacredness of your own body, this beautiful temple of the Holy Spirit. God created your body and misusing it by having sex before marriage or by getting drunk or any of those other unhealthy behaviors is desecrating this holy structure and the Holy Spirit that lives in you.
The world tells you that you’re being responsible if you get on the Pill. Really? Wouldn’t the “responsible” thing be to control yourself and not have sex until after marriage – when you are ready to accept the full responsibility of the actions (a baby)? Here’s the truth about sex: it’s good. (And not in the way you’re thinking… I mean yes it is, in that way too, but stick with me here!) God created everything to be good, sex included. As a young person, it’s easy to see sex as just something you do, a purely physical thing, but it’s so much more than that. In the Theology of the Body, Pope St. John Paul II tells us that sex is a free, total, faithful, and fruitful gift of self.
Can you really give yourself this way and expect your partner to give himself totally, freely, faithfully, and fruitfully outside of the covenant of marriage? (Hint: NO!) I encourage you to read Christopher West’s Basic Theology of Marriage for more information on the subjects of sex and marriage as created by God. This could be a days long conversation, but start here!
When the bible talks about a good wife, it says, “She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.“ ALL THE DAYS OF HER LIFE!
***All the days, not just the days after she meets him.***
How cool would it be to meet your husband and be able to say with confidence, “I’ve been waiting for you.” I read When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric & Leslie Ludy when I was a teenager and started writing letters in a journal “to my future husband” way before we even started dating. Pray for your future husband, and pray for discernment on the vocation God has chosen for you.
The world tells you that once you’ve done something wrong, you’re a bad person. This year is the year of MERCY in our church. Mercy means receiving God’s loving kindness and forgiveness even though we surely don’t deserve it. And none of us do. If you’ve made mistakes in your life, you’re just like everyone else. You are a forgiven child of God because you won’t just shake hands with your sin, you won’t accept that this is just the way you are, and you are always striving to lead a holier life by following the gospel on a daily basis. You are His daughter because He’s already done all the work on the cross. His mercy is everlasting, and it’s there for you every time you turn back to Him. So run to Him!
This post was inspired by conversations with the young women of the Hands and Feet of Christ youth group at our local high school. Although this post is just a teeny tiny glimpse of the wonderful conversations to be had between Catholic women, I encourage you as a young woman to talk to your mom or to find a mentor. It may seem like us moms are just old farts, but we remember exactly what it feels like to be going through high school and college years, and our greatest wish is for you to learn from our mistakes and not have to make the same ones. Tweet me or contact me on Facebook if you’d like to talk more. I’m praying for all of you!