Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thoughts on worth...fueled by vanilla chai... ;)

So, it's Tuesday morning at 8:07 and I'm sitting in Dunkin Donuts on my laptop, soaking up the wi-fi and enjoying a hot vanilla chai with a bacon and cheese bagel. Highly healthy. (Oh, and yes, I had to break my no-buying-coffee-all-summer vow. In case anyone I told about that is reading this and raising a skeptical eyebrow at the vanilla chai mention....)

See, Erika is doing breakfast and laundry this morning over at the hotel (across the road from here), meaning she started work at 8. But since I'm housekeeping, I'm not allowed to clock in until 9:30. But we drove together, meaning that I have about an hour and a half to kill before I can head across the road and start work.

So I'm here, blogging.

This isn't actually going to be the "day in my life" post that I asked you all about in the last post. I haven't taken the pictures for it yet, but it still is forthcoming! Promise.

And this isn't actually going to be the newsy, updateish post either.

Instead, I'd like to talk about something that's been on my heart lately and just needs to get written. I haven't used this blog to rant or express my opinion much lately. I haven't even posted my numerous papers! It's more become a blog about my life. Which might be a good thing, because I think the old blog persona was a little dry. And just...blargh.

But today is different.

I need to talk about something.

Actually, I hesitated about writing this because it's a rather uncomfortable subject. But this is the life we all live...real. unedited. raw. So I'm going for it.

First: what got me thinking.

About a week ago, a conversation at my second job--the restaurant--really made me think. I was back in the kitchen, making salads for one of my tables, when one of the kitchen workers started talking about the cost of, well, hiring a couple girls for a night. (I'd use more direct wording but I want to avoid getting weird google searchers, if ya know what I mean....).

He turned to me and asked if I thought two thousand dollars was too much. Trying to stay out of the conversation, I just replied that I wouldn't know. So he turned to another guy and asked, "Is any woman worth two thousand dollars?"

As I carried out the salads, I was mulling over his question in a broader sense. Not just for a night, but in any woman worth two thousand dollars?

And instantly I knew. YES.

And then I was frustrated, because it bothered me a lot to think of a woman as simply a body with a price tag over her head. I started thinking about Proverbs 31 and how the virtuous woman is far above rubies...priceless, really. And how the woman whose value can't be quantified in dollar amount is the one who wouldn't sell herself for any price.

So I started thinking that I should write about the crazily messed up mindset that prevails today.

[Aaand this is where the Dunkin Donuts wi-fi and blogger's autosave feature absolutely failed me and I lost the entire rest of this post as I tried to publish it this morning right before heading into work. Soo, I'm typing it thoughts make more sense the second time through anyways. I hope. :P]

See, lately, I've been feeling kind of objectified. It's hard to explain, but through recent comments, glances, and even inappropriate physical touch [don't freak out, people! I'm fine], I have been experiencing what it's like to be viewed as not much more than a body. As if my measure of worth comes from my degree of conformity to the world's standards of physical perfection and by the number of partners I could land.

And it bugs me.

Especially because I am surrounded by the tragic results of such a mentality. I work with so. many. single. mothers. One girl I trained told me her story...when she got pregnant, her boyfriend told her that if she didn't get an abortion, he would leave her. Now she's a single mother working three jobs to support herself and her (adorable) 3 1/2 year old daughter. She and so many other single moms my age and younger have a long, difficult life ahead of them, balancing work with being home to actually raise their kids. I'm not saying that these girls aren't at all to blame for the mess they're in...they are. But I feel like the girls are partially victims, especially when they are left to deal with the consequences and the guys shrug off their responsibilities. That happens waaay too often.

It's also ridiculous how it's pretty much assumed that girls even much younger than me are sexually active. Virginity is rare at my age, and there is that constant, not-so-subtle hinting that it's necessary to live a fulfilling life NOW.

I've pretty much always known about that mentality. But head knowledge and real life experience are completely different.

So, I want to give some words of encouragement to the girls. Maybe none of you feel this pressure...maybe I just need to write this for myself. Either way, I just want to say...

Girls, your worth is not measured by your looks.

You are not merely an object or a price tag.

You are not defined by your body.

No, your existence is hidden in Christ.

Let His love and His glorious purpose for your life define you.

Don't cave.

It's not worth it.

Remember, you have already been bought with a price (so glorify God with your body).

You've been redeemed. You are loved with an everlasting love. A love that's endless and independent from the circumstances of your life. A love that reached out to you even before you loved Him (cf. 1 John).

He paid the ultimate sacrifice for your redemption--giving His life. And what earthly man would do that? (cf. Romans 5).

So be that priceless, far-above-rubies, passionate woman of God.

Follow after Christ, not the approval of the world.

Anyhow, that's the encouragement I have.

And for any guys who might have made it this far: kudos. I just want to say that I am blessed to know so many of you who treat girls in a pure, unselfish way. And it is SO very appreciated. Keep it up!

And that's that. Now we return to our scheduled programming....sometime. ;)


The Future Mrs. Bond said...

wow, Jess....I totally know what your talking about, and i agree. I couldn't put it so eloquently of course. You should do more posts like that ;) i love reading anything you write!

Erika said...

this is Thimble: Your post was really GOOD! I have been thinking the same thoughts being out on my own and seeing soooo many hurting young people.
There was just one thing that you did mention, that I wanted to say a little more about if I could.
I think in MANY cases,in things like you are talking about, it is the girls fault, because so many young women say "no" to being modest and having femininity. They are reaping what they sow. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty on the other side to. I just want to encourage other young women to think of how your dress affects the people around you. What thoughts are put into a mans head by the cloths you were? We cant control all the thoughts, but I really think we can make some difference. ..Think twice about you outfit..

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Arielle! You're too kind...

And Thimble, I completely agree. It's just that so much has already been written (that I have read) about that side of the story that I thought I'd tackle it from a different angle. But modesty (or lack thereof) definitely plays a huge role in this problem. Thanks for commenting!

Erika said...

Thimble said:You are right there is a lot said on modesty. I just thought it went well with your subject.
Great job on the post! I love hearing your thought(:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Jess for posting this!!! It is such an awesome thing to think about....that God values us far above what any man here on earth ever could:) I love discussing this topic, and it is wonderful that you posted about this! It is very encouraging for me, as I'm sure it is for any girl who reads this:)

Joanne said...

Proud of you Jess for putting that out there. The world is scary today. I went to a middle school the other day and I couldn't believe how mature the 8th graders looked! I think many young adults and teens are looking for love and acceptance in the wrong places. Only God can fill that hole in a person's heart. I wish people loved themselves more. Well said Jess.

Nadea said...

even wearing modest clothing it is devastating to have a guy look at you and know that he is seeing what you look like but not who you are ... good post. thanks.