Speak Softly, Love

Cross Pointe Speech

Speaking on Flirtation

In a sexual culture, in which dating is extremely physical and the constant barrage of music and television only encourage such behavior, people really do seek an alternative.  At the same time, however, they are prepared to doubt and shoot down any idea they view as ‘too extreme’.  They will want results — but not sacrifice.

When talking about purity to and in the world, we cannot present the message as we can to our fellow Christian girls.  Christians have the responsibility to walk in purity: thus, when speaking to girls who have made the committment to Christ and to keep themselves pure, I challenge them.  They know the facts, they know the answers, they know what to do — now it is up to them to keep on track.  I don’t need to pussy-foot around them, because they are strong enough to stand on their own.

Girls of the world, however sad it may sound, are innocent of purity.  They know nothing of modesty, true femininity, or the beauty of a pure heart.  Their hardened faces and hearts are the product of pain and anguish that those of us raised in Christian homes may have never experienced.  What I see happening, too often, is a lack of compassion from ‘the pure girls’ for those who know no better.

Legalism.  Arrogance.  A haughty face and whispered words.  Unwillingness to greet the ‘immodest girl’ who attends church for the first time.  These are not attributes of the beautiful, loving woman God desires us to be, and even worse, there is nothing attractive about the ‘pure girl’ who possesses these attitudes.  Why would someone want any part of that for himself?

When I was twelve we left the church we had attended all my life.  My parents were married there.  Following that came a period of three years where we church-hopped, seeking one that fit our family.  As we went church to church, I went to only one where a girl approached me and asked my name.  Only one.  When we finally found a church of our own, I resolved to be that girl — no matter how uncomfortable it was.  I had hated the feeling of lonliness, watching the little cliques moving about the sanctuary, without hope of breaking in.  I didn’t want other girls to feel that way.

Now I ask you girls — and guys too — are you presenting a message of purity as unattainable?  Are you making purity seem arrogant, undesirable, and unapproachable?  Those weighed down by a guilty conscience will be looking for ways to judge and condemn the walk of purity.  Give them no reason to condemn!  Kindness and love go much further than legalism and a false sense of pride.  Remember, we are all sinners.  Left to myself I would probably be just like those ‘other’ girls.  Out of this recognition, I can maintain a spirit of compassion.

Compassion influences our actions and our words.  If there is one thing I have learned, it is that a condescending message turns away our society faster than you can say Sam Hill.  In countering this, many pastors and teachers make the mistake of watering down the message itself to tickle the ears of listeners.  This is wrong!  The message must remain the same — but the messenger, and the presentation, may change to fit the listener and the situation.

So many young men and women need to know the alternative to what they suffer through.  They don’t have answers, or hope, or a future — and we can give them all that.  Give kindly… and speak softly, with love.

“Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your salvation comes; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.  And they shall be called the Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord, and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.””  (Is. 62:11-12)

His Ears are Open

Today, instead of a normal church service, my church did what they called a “concert of prayer”.  It was a new idea, but it was so amazing, so powerful and so touching that I think it is something that should be done perhaps two or three times a year.  It wasn’t an over-spiritual, emotionally-charged event — it wasn’t meant to be that way.  It was simply a gathering of believers, praying in adoration, supplication, thanksgiving and preparation with some songs sung in between.  We would separate into groups and pray in the specified type of prayer until Pastor read some verses aloud.  It reminded me of Pentecost, simply in the way that as we sat there praying, I could hear the murmur of 175 other voices — all lifted up to the same God.  All offering their praise, their thanks, their requests, their burdens… to the only Lord.  And He heard every one.

“Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” (Ps. 55:17)

What is so amazing about the Christian faith?  It is the fact that our God takes an interest in us.  More than an interest — He has a relationship with us.  My favorite part of relationships is the fact that we can talk to each other — about each other, with each other!  And that is what we can do with God.  I am learning to talk to Him about everything.  My family has told me recently that I tend to talk a little too much at home — and that is understandable, as I am a very talkative person.  So rather than dominate their time, I have begun telling God about my day… all the details that might bore anybody else.  And He listens.  And He guides.  As I tell him what happened at work I might feel in my heart something saying, “You could have handled yourself better in that situation,” or maybe “I was proud of you then.”  God is always accessible to us through prayer. 

Unfortunately for Christians, I don’t think they take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to converse with their Creator.  Many people (like me) will just throw in a five minute prayer in the morning and call it good.  And it is.  But what we miss when we don’t stay, and talk to him longer!  It’s like cutting a conversation short with a good friend, and never discovering his dreams, plans, hopes, and loves.  You are missing out on who He really is.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  (Phil. 4:6-7)

Not only are we blessed with the privilege to talk to God whenever, wherever and however we wish, but we are also guaranteed His peace to guard our minds.  I know that His protection of my thoughts is necessary, because that is where sin will always begin for me.  As the Guardian of our minds, and the Bearer of our burdens, we are free to be “anxious for nothing” and obtain the peace of God… a peace that surpasses understanding!

I would encourage my readers in one thing, and that is to pray diligently.  What I do, and what I suggest for other young women, is that you begin your day with prayer.  I used to get up at 6:30 and decide to read and pray for one hour.  I made a prayer list, based on one in Sarah Mally’s book Before You Meet Prince Charming (Very good, by the way!), and would pray for five minutes on each topic.  After three weeks it became the highlight of my day — my mornings were precious to me.  And all throughout the ensuing hours He was ever there to guide me.  But keep in mind that the Enemy is ready to attack, and his best tools are discouragement and distraction.  Be wary; protect your prayer time, but be sure that whenever, wherever or however you do it, that you PRAY!  His ears are always open.

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers…” (1 Pet. 3:12)