Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Risky Business (Reaps Rewards)

Ruth is my hero...

As in (the Eldredge-coined) "valiant, vulnerable and scandalous" Ruth--namesake of the Old Testament book. Hers is a story of incredible beauty, redemption...and shocking relational strategy. Seriously, ladies, never waste good money on a dating guide when you have a Bible sitting on your shelf. I know you've probably already read Ruth, but it's definitely worth a second (third, fourth...) look. It might as well be subtitled: "The Christian Girl's Guide to Landing A Man." (I really do love Scripture. Just sayin...)

Somewhere along the way in my female Christian journey, I think I lost some of my nerve. Once upon a time, I recall possessing a lot more of this Ruth-type boldness: I knew what I wanted and I went for it. In certain cases, however, when the end result of that boldness was rejection, I falsely equated risk-taking with foolishness.

With a few years hindsight under my belt, though, I've begun to rethink the assumptions I made about those past decisions. Were they wrong? Was I overzealous and foolish? In some cases, I certainly was. But in a world with hundreds of media voices daily seducing us to share their convictions, our ever present challenge is to discern the difference between which words are wise and which are folly. Because we may watch a movie and it gives us just the perspective we need. On the other hand, we may read a Christian book that is full of non-Biblical crap that just sounds holy and proper. But then, we read Ruth and her story throws everything off: Holy and improper  :) Well, at least at first glance. The love story between her and Boaz flies in the face of most Christian counsel, yet it is the Biblical example for women wanting to get married. Whoa. Can you handle it?

Go check it out! Get yourself a nice hot drink, curl up in that comfy chair and have a re-read of Ruth. And while you're at it, it might be worth it to re-consider the fundamentalist advice you've been fed about what good little Christian girls "should" do and be. (Yeah, a little echo from the last post, I know..). Dare we take the risk to be sexy without being a tease or a tramp? While modest is always the hottest (I really do believe that...), you don't have to hide your beauty. Believe me, I know just how much courage it takes to let your attractiveness show. Some days I have that internal debate before going to Walmart over what to wear (stylish work clothes or the comfy chill out clothes. After all, it is just Walmart...). I get it: You run errands in sweats because you just don't want to be hassled. But we all need to be reminded that women are made to be beautiful. Remember that? (Hearken back to Captivating). Satan savors watching us hide--he knows just how powerful it is to the world (and dare I say, to men) when women are truly seen in all their beauty.

What courage it takes to believe what God says about us: That we are not too much, nor are we not enough (as the Eldredge's articulated it). What courage it takes to step out and boldly let that gorgeous girl inside us show...

God has amazing plans and we need to trust that the right respective men will come along for each of us. But trust, I've learned, isn't always hands-off. Somtimes God is encouraging us to take that Ruth-inspired risk.

What does that look like? Let's get practical...

God's Hand in Our Risks (Mark Driscoll Sermon)  A wise investment of your next 65 minutes. Trust me...

In the end, Ruth's gutsy maneuver turns out to be the very thing that brings in the ring. Sowing and reaping, friends: That's how the good Christian girls do it...  ;)

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