I have a confession to make. Have you ever heard the term “guilty pleasures?” I always saw those as things you enjoy doing, but are kind of embarrassed about. My guilty pleasure these days has to do with watching a ridiculous show called “Married At First Sight”. Yep, it’s pretty much what you’re thinking but with maybe a little more thought. People go through an extensive questionnaire and interview process with “experts” (sociologists, pastors, family therapists) in order to potentially be selected as a match with another interviewee with the purpose of walking down the aisle to MARRY a complete stranger. The idea is kind of like what eHarmony tries to do; make sure you match on emotional, intellectual, mental levels instead of actually letting the hot looks or the not too hot looks distract you. They go through with the marriage, reception, etc then head off for a honeymoon vacation and the dramatic experience continues from there. At the end of 8 weeks, they have a “decision day” in which they decide to stay married or get a divorce.

First of all, I know, it completely downplays the sanctity of marriage and, sadly, is a direct and accurate commentary of our times; however, stay with me for a minute.

As I watch these couples go from excitement and awe over how amazing their partner is on the wedding day with their friends and family, to the disappointments and challenges of seeing little quirks and learning how to communicate, compromise, and get to know a complete stranger, I can’t help but learn and be amazed by how broken and scared we all are to let someone in. While this might not be the best way to try and be vulnerable with someone you love or are married to, there is still so much truth in the struggles these men and women have as individuals and to see how that overflows into their marriages.

One of the biggest hurdles that so many people face and might not even know has to do with facing their own insecurities and fears of being rejected. This tends to cloud how they see things or how willing they are to be honest. Throughout my years of singleness God worked a LOT in me to give me a sense of security and purpose in who He made me to be. This was not an easy or automatic transition. I had to get into God’s word to see what HE says about me and how HE sees me. I had to let go of my people-pleasing tendencies (of which I can still struggle from time to time). I had to stop the comparing game and recognize that my path is unlike anyone else’s. I had to be willing to accept the fact that God loves me just as I am and that I don’t have to impress Him or jump through hoops in order to receive His love.

I wish there was a magic phrase or book or set of rituals I could offer you in order to find that place of acceptance and comfort in your own skin… but there’s not. It’s a matter of being honest with yourself and God about how you feel, how you see yourself, confessions of being discontent and being at a point where you WANT God to change these things in you. We are precious and priceless in God’s eyes. Psalm 139 is a wonderful chapter that reminds us of the intimate love and care God put into our creation. Verse 14 says, “I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” Continue reading and you will find verse 17, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!” (NKJV).

When I read these and more, I can see the care and consideration the God of the universe puts into my being. If He takes that much time and speaks those words over me, then I start to believe how loved and precious I am… regardless of my faults and shortcomings. I listen to a lot of Joyce Meyer talks and I remember her sharing about her own journey of overcoming insecurities and she talked about how God knew exactly what He was getting when He made her. He is not surprised or disappointed or ashamed. He loves us with an everlasting love and calls us His masterpiece (Jeremiah 31:3, Ephesians 2:9).

I challenge you to lay your insecurities and doubts about yourself down at the foot of the cross. God knows exactly who you are, what you struggle with and He loves you just as much as if you were somehow perfect. He has a plan to grow you, mold you, shape you more and more into the best version of yourself you can be. Read His word, find out what He thinks about you and what His plans are. Spend time with Him and be honest about how you feel and what you struggle with. The process will be challenging, but fun and exciting. And make sure you understand there is forgiveness and grace along the way. You are loved because you are His child, His creation, NOT because you are perfect or have it all together. Be willing to share who you are with those you love and even those you are interested in knowing better. It is IMPOSSIBLE to build any kind of relationship with someone if you are only sharing the version of yourself you want them to see. Be real, be honest, be YOU. That IS good enough!!

“Why am I afraid to tell you who I am? I am afraid to tell you who I am, because, if I tell you who I am, you may not like who I am, and it’s all that I have…”
John Joseph Powell

Click here to watch a short devotional video reminding us that it’s okay when we make mistakes.

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