“Your past is a chapter in your life. NOT the whole book!” – Proverbs 31 Ministries
I read another cringe-worthy analogy about guarding your heart as a single Christian. Well, more specifically, guarding your heart as a single, Christian, FEMALE. It went something like this:
“Your heart is like an apple. Every time you have a relationship with someone who is not your husband, they take a bite from it. And by the time you meet your husband, do you want to only have the core and seeds leftover? No? Then guard your heart until you meet him!”
Seriously right now?
Why do these horrible, guilt-ridden analogies and comparisons keep circulating in Christian circles? Why do we keep making women feel worthless? There is nothing Biblical about any of it.
I’ve already ranted once on here about the status of the white wedding dress, so I don’t need to rehash (but click the link if you’re curious!). Whoever is reading this post, I want you to hear this Truth right now; You are more than an apple.
Sounds stupid, right? Because it is! You are more than a piece of fruit with bruises and bites missing! You are more than what happened in your past. You are being made new, every day, as Jesus works in your heart and mind. I pray the person you were five years ago would hardly recognize the person you are today. And that’s growth! That’s progress! That’s the power of Christ literally changing you daily into the man or woman He’s called you to be.
When you become wholeheartedly in love with your Savior, He works on the broken things of the past to create the most beautiful redemption story. Because He is in every detail, not just the “big things” that we worry about. Your friendships, your relationships, your finances, your job, every little moment…He’s there. He’s in it all.
And if we keep comparing ourselves to meaningless objects (apple cores, sticky-less duct tape, an opened present), then we miss the point altogether. As followers of Jesus, we are called to a higher standard. We are called to put His Will before our own will. But I do not subscribe to the idea that every relationship I have ever had only served to make me less of a woman – either emotionally, physically, or spiritually – for the man I’ll one day marry.
Rather, every person comes into our life for a purpose. Some are there to draw us closer to Christ. Others are there to make us realize that we’re stronger than we think we are. Some are lessons-learned, even through the hardest times. And the same is true for ourselves! We are used in others’ lives exactly the way God intends. Sometimes just for a season, and other times for the long-haul.
I choose to chalk it all up to experience. If I ever catch myself feeling guilty or regretting my past, I know immediately that those thoughts aren’t from God. “There is, therefore, NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) We have a very real Enemy who plants these ideas into our heads, makes us shrink back in self-doubt and fear, and would like nothing more than to take the rough parts of our lives and convince us that we are worthless, rotting apple cores. Because if you feel worthless, you hide yourself. Just like Adam and Eve in the garden, you cover up and run away from God.
But you have a choice. You can choose to believe that broken is beautiful. Laying it all at His feet, and watching God take all the pieces of shattered dreams and wrong turns and stepping back to see the incredible masterpiece He’s created is what this life is all about. He is the Redeemer, Restorer, and Provider. If you believe His promises, then you (like me!) vehemently reject the idea that you are a useless past. Instead, we begin as nothing – but God makes us something amazing. And every mountain top and every deep, dark valley, He is there to guide, protect, and make us new.
He’s not finished with you yet!