Hey sisters, I need to preface this post by admitting that I am a broken, sinful, and oftentimes messy woman who is in desperate need of grace. I am no expert on all that is required to be a godly woman in today's world. As an imperfect twenty-two year old earnestly seeking after God, however, I have felt Him place a specific and daunting topic on my heart for this series on "Lady Lessons". I tried to deny it, argue it, and turn it into something "easier" - but alas, the Lord has other plans! So bear with me as I dive into the topic of what it looks like to be a godly girlfriend.
Just as women desire to be loved, men want to be respected. To be respected is to be admired, and men want to be admired for who they are and for what they do. A big part of respect, from what I have seen and learned, comes in the forms of both private and public support. In private, respect him by letting him know how proud you are of him! Proud of him for being the man that he is, for showing compassion to others, for standing up for his faith in the Lord, whatever! In public, always speak highly of him and, in moderation, express your fondness of him to others, so that they too know what a wonderful guy he is. You have the power to build him up or tear him down. Support and respect your man!
Patience is probably one of the hardest things to come by in today's society, as most of us are quite used to instant gratification. But in your relationships, patience is necessary - and no, we can never have enough of it! When you become close to another person, it is easy for frustrations to come out more easily in that relationship. They may become your "safe place", which can be a great thing... just be warned that you do not want to abuse this place of safety! Impatience, or a tendency to become easily irritated or provoked, can ruin an otherwise wonderful relationship. Take a step back, breathe deep, and maybe even bite your tongue. Ask yourself, "is this worth it?" Sometimes it is; other times, we need to learn to throw off our pride and admit that the relationship is more important than the issue at hand. Something that we agreed to in my relationship is that, if/when we argue (because yes, fights happen!), we hold hands while we do it. Why? Because it often keeps us from playing the blame-game, getting snarky, and/or raising our voices. It requires us to be patient, and it reminds me that he is someone I care deeply about and do not want to hurt with my words or actions! Learn to exercise patience!
Now, I don't know about you, but I thrive off of encouragement. Whether it's comes in the form of a handwritten note, a surprise gift, or a simple word of affirmation, when I am encouraged by others it literally makes me happier. I love it! And guess what? So do men! We encourage our girlfriends all the time, don't we? "I love your hair", "You are such a great singer", "You have a beautiful heart" all help our sisters to keep going; so what make us think that men don't need some encouragement of their own? You can take notice of his physical appearance (because most men are just as concerned with how they look as we are), one of his many talents, or the way that he treats his family. Whatever it is that you admire about your guy, encourage him in that. In my opinion, there is no such thing as too much encouragement - so please don't hesitate to affirm and compliment him. Encourage your man!
It is so easy to be selfish in our relationships; to focus on what you want, what you need, what you think and feel. A relationship, however, is about more than just self. It is a coming together of two, independent persons who are choosing to invest in one another and in the relationship because they think that the payoff may be worth it! Learn to be selfless - to be concerned with his needs and wishes more than your own. Recognize, too, that a relationship is a two-way street; he should also be learning selflessness as a result of being with you. When two people begin to shed their selfish needs and wants and focus more on the other person in the relationship, sacrificial love comes to life - and that, my sisters, is a beautiful thing! Be selfless in your relationship! (Note: on the flipside, however, make sure that you do not allow a man to walk all over you or expect you to submit to him in all things. Some men may try to use - or abuse - Scripture to prove his point that you are biblically required to be completely submissive as a woman. If this happens, be cautious! Talk to him, check out the Scriptures, and refer to a pastor or counselor... and whatever you do, never allow any man to dismiss the fact that you are God's daughter who was made for a bigger purpose than to just adhere to his wants. We submit to a higher Authority, ladies!)
Never underestimate the power of a praying woman! We should be constantly on our knees over the men in our lives. If your boyfriend is fighting to do God's will and glorify His name, don't doubt for a second that the enemy will want to attack his efforts to serve the Lord! Pray for him in all aspects of his life: in his family, in his place of work, in his studies, in his ministry, in his friendships, in your relationship, and - most importantly - in his seeking after God. Prayer is probably the greatest way that you can support your guy, and the prayers of an earnest woman will not go unanswered! Prayer is our best weapon as individuals, and in our relationships can only make us stronger. Be a woman of prayer over and for your man!
And of course, in all of this, we must be first seeking after the Lord ourselves. We need to finding our confidence, affirmation, and worth in Christ and Christ alone, allowing the confidence and security from our most important relationship with Him to trickle into our other relationships. When your relationship with the Lord is first in your heart and mind, everything else seems to fall into place according to His will!
I hope that this post has inspired, encouraged, and possibly even convicted you - I know it has me! As a godly girl-friend of girlfriend, what would you add to this list?
For an additional resource, click here!
Gennean is the pretty lady behind the blog Loved, Not Lost. She has been called to speak to young girls by living a life of holiness, surrendered to her Lover. Her posts are always encouraging and inspiring. I'm happy to have discovered her, she's truly a gem!
[see more of this series here]