(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)
A lot of people probably look at my family and think we are crazy! No really! We live a life that the world thinks is weird and different. We are a homeschooling family who loves Jesus and does ministry together. We don’t play every sport that has ever been created. We have very high standards and goals for ourselves, and so on. Does this make us perfect? Absolutely not! Am I ok with not going to public school and not having a trillion friends? Yep, I sure am.
Honestly, me and my family just live totally different from what the world classifies as “normal”. However, I like to say we live in light of eternity.
My dad was in the Air Force, so growing up I have always been taught to keep my standards high and to never quit; no matter how hard it was or if it was just easier to lower my standards in order to fit in. I have been brought up in a strong Christian home as well, and there are standards I have set for myself in that area.
I have strict standards for myself because I want to please God, and I also respect myself. I believe that if you respect yourself, then you will set your standards high. Self-Respect = Standards and Guidelines.
The sad truth today is that most girls don’t have any self-respect, resulting in what we see in our modern culture. They don’t have standards because they don’t want to do anything that may be hard or take effort. They just choose to go with the flow.
Before I jump into sharing with you some of my personal standards as a teen girl, I want to make sure you understand a few things…
- Jesus tells us straight up what is right and wrong and the things we should do, and then it is our decision whether we listen and choose to live like He says. It’s called free will. I don’t choose to set guidelines for myself based on a man-made set of rules. I choose to set them up because I love Jesus and I want to do what He says.
- I believe that you should set your standards early in life so that you aren’t in a situation where you end up doing something you didn’t really want to do. Set your standards and stick to them. If you do this early, you won’t end up in a situation where you don’t know what to say or do.
Ok. Now that I have made that clear, I am going to share with you a few of my standards and guidelines that I have put in place for myself, and how it helped me avoid some things I did not want later…
I have personally decided to court instead of date. (Courting means to date with the intention of marriage). I have set that standard because I don’t want to just date around to have “fun” or to just be able to say that I have a boyfriend. I want to be intentional in the area of relationship because I do not want to end up with a bunch of heartache and regrets later.
I have chosen to save sex for my wedding day with my husband. I have set this standard based off of Matthew 19:4-6 which says, “He answered them, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
I want to experience intimacy with one man, within God’s design, which is marriage. I don’t want to get married and know that I had experiences with a bunch of other guys. God intended it to be between one man and one woman. Done deal. Marriage and intimacy are supposed to represent the connection between Jesus and the Church; holy, sacred, and special.
It’s time that a FEW girls broke the trend of quitting on themselves in order to “fit in” and decided to do something hard, because it’s worth it to set challenging standards. It’s what Jesus calls us to.
Elisabeth Elliot once said, “If your goal is purity of heart, be prepared to be thought very odd.”
Do I expect it to be hard to court instead of date around and then wait for my wedding day to be intimate? Yes, I do. However, my goal is purity of heart, and I’m prepared for people to think I’m crazy and weird for it.
I know if I hold myself to those guidelines though, Jesus will be pleased and glorified through my choices to do hard things.
A couple months ago, I was at a church helping with an outreach and there was a young guy there who kept talking to me during the time I was there. He was very nice and respectful but as things were wrapping up, he asked for my phone number, (which he had hinted about getting a couple times before, but I was able to ignore it). I do not want to be rude or make this guy sound weird or anything, but I knew what his intention was.
It was the first time I had been in a situation like that. However, I knew what my standards were and from the long conversation we had, I knew that they did not line up with his.
Now, I’ll have to admit that I felt awkward saying no. I wasn’t really sure how to say no to him.
Are you ready for my really weird response? Here is exactly what I said, “You can have my dad’s number if you want.” Ahhhh! Really Lilly?!?!
I know, it was kinda awkward, but we laughed it off and it was all good!
I tell you that embarrassing story to say this, if I would not have known what my standards were, I would have been so much more uncomfortable, and it would have made it very easy to say yes and just give him my number. Right?
Now you may be wondering why giving him my phone number mattered. In my mind, if I would have given him my number, I would be leading him to believe that I was interested in something more. Like I said, I knew what his intention was, and it didn’t line up with what I have set in place for myself.
However, you can set standards for yourself in any area of your life. It doesn’t just have to be the area of relationship. It can be areas of your life such as school, Church or a Bible Study, friends and family, etc.
I know standards and guidelines are sometimes challenging and are a lot to commit too, and I cannot promise it will be easy, but what I can promise is that it’s worth it and so rewarding to listen to what God says!
SO WHAT’S YOUR RESPONSE?
~Have you thought about setting up certain standards so that you don’t end up doing something you don’t want to do later?
~Has it been hard to stay committed to some of the guidelines you have put in place?
~What are your thoughts from this post? Did it help you realize something?