Throughout youth group and college chapels, the ideas of modesty and purity were drilled into my head. Even at a younger age, I was already being told what I shouldn’t do or wear or say. Being good was one of my main goals in life, so I took all of these lessons extremely seriously and still do.
However, one talk that no one in my youth group ever gave me was how to stay safe. No one spoke about abuse, assault, or manipulation at my university. If the concept of safety even came up, it was quickly glossed over as one of the pros of being modest or acting like a good girl. Thus, all I could discern about staying safe was the more innocent and pure I was, the safer I would stay.
A cook-off can be another fun form of a challenge.
When I am down, my mom will often challenge me to a game of Bananagrams. Although I usually win (sorry Mom), her attitude is mostly cheerful which makes the competition friendly instead of intense.
Sometimes, we need to be challenged in order to distract ourselves from worries or prove that we can face something difficult. Competition also can teach us how to deal with life’s ups and downs. If we lose, we must learn to be gracious while thinking about how to improve next time. When we win, our response must still be gracious as we think of what we did right.
There is a time for risky love. There is a time for extravagant gestures. There is a time to pour out your affections on one you love. And when the time comes – seize it, don’t miss it. – Max Lucado
Love is often depicted as a flowery, happy emotion. Characters in movies fall into it with a single glance and are willing to give up all other commitments to follow its call. People break off relationships because the feelings are gone. Even some of the symbols of love (hearts, pink, flowers, etc.) seem a bit frivolous.
There is a sweet and joyous side to love. As a romantic, I am prone to see the world that way at times. There is nothing wrong with the tingling emotions when holding someone’s hand or making valentines for a special person. All of this is one important aspect of love.
However, there is more than just that. Love is also a choice, not just an emotion. We have to make the decision to care for others even when we are annoyed or respect others even when we disagree. These decisions are difficult and can hurt. Still, they show true love – more so than the fabled true love’s kiss from Snow White.