Having the Courage to Demand Respect

If you are confused by the chosen photos… they are men and relationships that have shown me what true and holy masculinity is and men who continue to give me hope when I see so much hurt in our culture today.

The featured image is of my brother with his fiancée. I have seen my brother grow so much as this amazing woman calls him to love her better and respect her more. I hear the way he talks to her and I see the way he treats her and I see that she has changed him from a boy into a man

Alright here is the deal sisters… we as women have a problem in our culture today and it’s up to us to fix it. I have had endless conversations with girls who are “talking” to a boy who they really like, and are maybe even hooking up with them, and there is this thing where they know he probably, maybe, likes them and they like him and so even though they are in this constant state of uncertainty, and are probably being taken advantage of, they still don’t want to stop talking to him or move on because, “what if?”

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My father has shown me more than any man how to love and how to accept love. He inspires me every day in my faith and calls me to greatness

LADIES!! Why are we allowing men to take advantage of our loving, accepting, and maternal hearts? Why are we settling for boys who are talking to five other girls and making us feel insufficient? Why are we not demanding the respect we deserve? We have a love that is ready to kick down any wall, light up all our darkness, climb every mountain, and die for us on the cross. Why are we settling for corrupted love when pure and beautiful love itself is reaching out to us in every moment of our existence?

If I sound a little upset in this post and come off a little strong I apologize but it is something I am so so so passionate about and I want this truth to stick into the minds of every woman in existence, including myself. We as women need to live in our worth as daughters of Christs, as Beloved’s in the greatest love story in all of history. This post isn’t about how to find the “perfect holy relationship” or about what to look for in a good man… it’s about knowing what you deserve and demanding that from everyone you encounter.

We as women were raised to mitigate conflict. So many of us hate confrontation and will do just about anything to avoid it and I think this plays into why we are not calling out men who are not glorifying us. But here is the thing, if we don’t call these men out, if we allow them to continue treating us as someone who is at their beck-and-call, then they will never get better. We complain about how disrespectful and mean and lustful the men in our culture are but then we turn around and let them treat us terribly. It’s a vicious cycle: we are hurt by a man who wasn’t taught any better, in our hurt we seek love from another man, in seeking the love we settle for a man who isn’t worthy of us, and then they go on to treat another girl poorly after you because they were never taught any better. It’s a perpetuating system that can only be broken with bold action and courage.

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I was blessed to get to know these men at my camp this summer. They were my first experience of having a holy friendship with men. They loved me so well and they called me to greatness while expecting nothing in return

We must call our men to holiness or our culture will never change. I’m not saying their salvation is in our hands or that they don’t hold an immense amount of personal responsibility in how they are treating us, but if they do not know any better, or if they can put in less effort for the same outcome, they will never grow.

First and foremost, I want to start by saying I do not hate men and I would never ever want you to start disliking or mistrusting guys because you are living in fear of maybe getting hurt. I want more from them! They have been stripped of their masculinity in ways that we can’t imagine and to hate them and reject them is only going to perpetuate the problem. So, what can we do to stop this problem in its tracks?  If there is a boy in your life who you are “snapchatting” or texting with but he barely, if at all, talks to you in person stop snapchatting or texting back, and make him initiate contact in person. Show him that you are worth more than just an easy, riskless, and boring pursuit. If you are hooking up with a boy (and honestly, do you really want a guy who just hooks up with you?) and you want more but he avoids the conversation, or you want to be exclusive but he “isn’t ready to commit,” drop him so fast that he does not know what hit him. He is using you for his own pleasure and you were created as the most beautiful end in and of itself, you are not an object of pleasure.

If you are in a relationship that seems healthy and you feel like he is loving you well and, maybe, you have started becoming more intimate with each other and you feel this pressure to keep it going, even when it doesn’t feel right in your heart. Stop doing it and have the courage to talk to him about it! There is this fear that if you’ve already done stuff with him then he is going to expect it, so if you stop maybe he will not want to be with you anymore. That is living in chains sisters, not in freedom, and we were made for so much more than that. If he doesn’t want to be with you anymore because you are living in the full knowledge of your worth, then that is his loss and your gain. And sooner or later, maybe after one failed relationship or five… if women refuse to give into his desire then it is going to click in his head that maybe it isn’t the right thing. Stop allowing these boys, and note I’m using the term boys not men, to have this power over you. God calls us to live in complete freedom, and anything that terrifies us so much that we feel silenced and powerless is only of the devil and we need to reject that.

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This is my sister’s fiancé Joseph and after watching her heart be broken and taken advantage of so many times and I literally could not be more overjoyed that she found a man who calls her to holiness in the most radical ways. Joseph has shown me that it is worth it to leave the men who mistreat you and who are unworthy of you because there are really good ones out there and they are worth all of the waiting

Call men to greatness by the way you treat them. Encourage and affirm them when they exemplify true masculinity, accept their requests to help you, and allow them to be men. Does it infuriate me that our culture has allowed men to stray so far from their true roles as protectors, providers, and givers? More than you will ever know! But, if we want to see a change in our culture, if we want the men that our daughter will be dating to authentically love them well, then we have to start now by changing the hearts of the men who will one day be fathers.

We have a perfect Father in heaven who is ready to show you real, authentic, and beautiful love and, I beg of you ladies, run towards that love as fast as possible. Focus on the love of the Father before anything else and allow Him to hold your heart. Give it to a man who died for you in the most painful way and would do it every day for the rest of eternity if that is what it took to save your soul.

You are not an object of some man’s pleasure, you are more than your body and your external beauty, you are worth more than a couple snapchats every day, you are a pearl of great price, and you deserve to be dignified and treated with the greatest respect. It’s a lot harder said then done but we as women have to hold each other accountable in it as well. Don’t let your friends continue to talk to a boy who you know is mistreating or using them in some way. Don’t let your friends be objectified and belittled… call your sisters to greatness and foster the confidence they need to do the same with the men they are seeing.

If we really do this, we can change the world and I can’t wait to see it.

If you need any help, prayers, or further encouragement please please please feel free to reach out to me here!

If you need a reminder of how much Christ loves you this week these songs are amazing:
Pieces – Steffany Gretzinger
Reckless Love – Steffany Gretzinger
Build My Life – Housefires