The Good Christian Girl

She goes to church every Sunday, dress on, and bible in hand. Her lips know the words to the songs. She takes notes and listens to the pastor, unless she follows the children down the hall and teaches the sunday school lesson. Throughout the week, she can be seen setting an example at youth group, babysitting at the mom’s bible study, and teaching the group for younger girls. She is the good Christian girl.

Her appearance is always appropriate and never lacking. She wears shirts to her collar-bone and skirts to her knee and a one piece bathing suit to the beach. Her make-up is kept at a minimum because true beauty is found within. She is the good Christian girl.

The girl does well in school and has plans for university. But of course, she is also learning how to keep a good house–she can cook, bake, and clean. One day, they all say, she’ll have a good career and make an even better wife. After all, she is the good Christian girl.

She has never had a boyfriend because she’s waiting for “the one.” She doesn’t flirt or chase after boys or talk about crushes. The boys just pass her by — they open doors sometimes and say hello but never give her much attention. And she is content with that because she is the good Christian girl.

She walks with a smile and says hello and makes small talk. She knows names of the young and the old. The younger girls look up to her, the seniors smile down, and the boys just move on to the next girl. She never talks too much or too loudly; in fact, she rarely talks at all. Her knees are bound together and her hands clasped in one, sitting like a lady. Wherever she goes, she is liked and likes back. She is the good Christian girl.

But no one sees her tears in the morning or the way she collapses into bed after a long day. They don’t know the hurt behind that smiling face. But even though she goes to church like a perfect model, she doesn’t always listen. Although her clothes are modest, she sometimes aches to wear that dress just an inch higher. Her make-up may be at a minimum but that doesn’t mean she likes how she looks. She makes good grades and bakes sweet cakes but not without effort. Her heart has never been broken by a boy, but the longings in her mind are just as keen. Her smile is often a cover for tears but she is the good Christian girl.

But one day, that girl just breaks. Snaps like a twig blowing in the wind.

She misses church not once but twice. She can’t take care of everybody’s child and bake cookies and teach girls’ club. She wears a shirt that dips down low, and shorts that are a bit short. Her homework lags and she fails a test, dinner isn’t made and her room is a mess. She flirts with that boy who flirts with her and tells him how she feels when he asks. She forgets their names and frowns at the world. They said she was the good Christian girl…

That’s because that good Christian girl is a myth. Sure, you can be like her and do all the things that she does but not without hurting. You see, I’ve been there and I know what it’s like — constant perfectionism, worry, and hurt. Because the good in your name is an antonym for bad.

So if you’ve been that girl, it’s time to stop! God doesn’t ask you to never fail–He only requests that you put your trust in Him who never fails and He will set you free.

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10 thoughts on “The Good Christian Girl

  1. Absolutely amazing and spot-on post. People have this picture of the “perfect” and “good” Christian girl, and I’ve known people like that…they end up being unhappy because they’re trying to be a perfect God Loving Barbie, and God didn’t make us plastic! We’re breakable and very, very real and there isn’t a specific personality we’re supposed to be. We’re diverse. We have different opinions. God did that for a reason! 🙂

    • Thank you for your encouraging comment, Kate! I love how you phrased that, “We’re breakable and very, very real and there isn’t a specific personality we’re supposed to be.” Great words!

  2. Elizabeth. Wow. I don’t really know what to say. Which is strange, because I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a long time, and often think about it in bed before falling asleep every night.
    I don’t know if you found this easy or hard to write about, but no matter what, you must keep writing things like this! I can’t tell you how much I HATE (* gasp!* she said hate! uh-oh! :P) all the unwritten rules surrounding what a Christian girl should be like, how she should dress, act, etc. So what you wrote today was very encouraging! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for this comment Sarah…for sharing your heart…it really is so encouraging to me. 🙂

      I’m definitely with you on hating (oh no!) all of the silly rules. A few years back, I had a very difficult time with some friends who were very much interested in “following the rules” and leaving behind those who weren’t just like them. It hurt me a lot and I hope to use this blog against that kind of teaching.

      Thank you again for this comment! I have to say that I was a bit hesitent to post this (and I have felt the same way about other posts of this nature) because I worry about being misunderstood. However, your comment shows that there is a need for this and encourages me to keep writing. I hope that you will write something that expresses your feelings on this issue, too. If God has given you this seed, I’m sure He has something bigger planned! Let Him write through your hands! And I would love to read a copy when you finish it. 🙂

  3. I’m glad I was able to encourage you! Please, always remember that your blog posts are always inspirational and encouraging to many, even if we may not always comment on them.
    As for your encouragement, I greatly appreciate it. I’m afraid that the “seeds” planted inside my heart regarding this topic are ones of hurt and bitterness, rather than ones of true interest and devotion. What can I say? I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has been hurt. (that sounds wrong, I didn’t mean to say that I hope others have been hurt, just that I’m glad I’m not the only one 🙂 )

    • Thank you, Sarah! 🙂

      I’m so sorry that you’ve been hurt. But like you said, it is good to know that I am not alone (if we have to be hurt by this, it is nice that we can do it together 🙂 ). It is such an obscure thing really…who gets hurt by the bible and church? God never wanted anyone to but unfortunately people do, including the strongest of Christians. I was really hurt and bitter about it for a long time myself…for the longest time I didn’t even realize what had happened (that was when I tired to be the ‘good Christian girl’) and then I broke and ‘rebelled’ against their rules. Finally, I came to see that it was a deep pain that I had and that I needed to take care of it properly (by drawing closer to God). Its a really difficult thing though. Not only is it so obscure, but for me (not sure about you) this hurt came from people I once called friends, people who loved me. That and the fact that they were using the bible to hurt me made it all the more painful and confusing. Anyway, that was longer than I meant it to be. Basically, what I am trying to say is that this is a hard thing, no matter what anyone else says.

      I pray that you will find inspiration through this hurt that you have. God did that for me and although it was hard, He has helped me to overcome it. I have faith that He can do the same for you. Just keep trusting and writing…the words will come! 🙂 Oh, and I’m going to give you a link to this great website on the topic. I’m not sure if it will help you (and don’t feel obliged to read it) but it really encouraged me (and helped me see the pain in it’s true light) even though the author’s experience is much different than mine was (and probably yours though I’m not sure). Here it is: http://www.quiveringdaughters.com/ (Just so you know, some of the posts are quite intense so you may want to be careful.)

      PS If you do write something, I would love to use it as a guest post sometime (if you want)! 🙂

  4. Encouraging, beautiful, and even made me cry a little. I’ve tried to be that girl once as well. You are right, and I am very glad someone knows the truth. I love this post….it’s a new favorite

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