So my new friend Tamara asked in a blog post the other day, “What is a girl worth?” I think the essay merits the effort for you to run over there and read it right quick. Now Tamara is asking her blogging friends to write their own posts in response to her questions, What’s a girl [or woman] worth? and/or Have you ever struggled to believe what you’re worth when God and the world disagree?
As to the worth of any female, I could preach a right fine sermon on the worth of any child of God and how we should all treat each other as treasures. In fact, I published a post this week on how we should not treat each other in ways that would make one feel small. I could quote Bible verses and psychology texts about how women/girls should be valued.
But does my life look like I believe it?
No. Not really. I've already written on this blog about how I identify with the woman at the well. I've written a post which included a story about the mixed messages I got about sexual purity in my junior high Bible class. Let me tell you a little more: I'm one of the original suckers for the line, "if you love me..." Yes, I love you, so I'll have sex with you. And then you'll love me. And if you love me, you will stay! I was willing to do whatever I had to do if it would make the guy stay. So I gave away my body and my heart many times. And nobody stayed. I have never actively prostituted myself, but I have woken up to checks left on the pillow. That sure made me feel like I had sold myself. And yes, I cashed the checks. I have also had a man give me an STD on purpose. I think I figured out at that point that he didn't really love me. And no, he didn't stay either.
Is this what a life looks like when a woman believes she is worthy of real love?
No. Not really. I have many other stories about being treated worthless - "worth less" - that I could tell. I dated active alcoholics, men with severe anger problems, men who were in love with other women, men who were still married to other women, and when I was really lonely I dated men who just wanted casual sex. I've been thrown against a wall. And there are even more stories...
Have my actions showed a woman who values and respects herself?
No. Not really. Some of my five loyal readers might say, "but Carolyn that is all in your past - surely you believe in your worth now!". No. Not really. How far is that in the past?
Charles - the husband that I believe (as do many others) was picked for me by God - did not believe that sexual purity was required before marriage. Neither one of us were virgins, so what was the fuss? And I gave in. Even though I had heard God tell me this was "the one", I still didn't really believe that God would make it happen if I didn't give in. I still wasn't worth waiting for - not in my mind or my heart. Over the course of our 4 1/2 year marriage, Charles and God have hung out more and I think that Charles would now honestly say that we were wrong. But not so long ago...
And still. Charles does not approach me as if I am used goods because of my sexual past. But there are other things he has done that make me question my worth. (Yes, I just got off the phone with him and he knows I am about to tell on him.) He has made me question if I am worth being honest with. In fairness, he didn't tell himself the truth about many things. I say this with love, but Charles has a bigger capacity for denial than any other human I have met in person. Considering where I've been in my past, that is really saying something. And some of these lies and major omissions have been life changing. Are they things that would have changed my decision to marry him had I known before? Maybe. I don't enjoy saying it, but there it is. Not only have these revelations changed how I see our marriage, they have affected how I see myself. If you love me, wouldn't you tell me the truth? Am I not worth the effort?
So what is a girl [woman] worth?
Maybe we could say:
...she is worth having her sexual purity protected
...she is worth telling the truth, no matter how hard it is
...she is worth being protected from all kinds of violence - physical and emotional
...she is worth loving as Christ loves the Church, His Bride
(please add to this list in the comments)
And for Tamara's second question...
Have you ever struggled to believe what you’re worth when God and the world disagree?
Every day, Tamara. Every single day. The world shouts much louder than God's still, small voice.
Click on the picture below and follow me over to Tamara's blog
to see what other people have to say on the subject.