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Monday, July 18, 2011

High Maintenance or High Expectations?

Before I begin, I'd like to dedicate this post to the lovely ladies I used to teach. This is a subject that is very dear to their heart and continues to be an issue in our society at large.

"She wanted me to buy her dinner."
"She wanted me to open the door for her. It's 2011, not 1911."
"I don't want anything to do with her. She's too high maintenance."

Is it just me, or is our current society sinking into the vortex of every man for him or herself? As I read various magazines to stay "in the know" and be aware of what is current events, whether that be sports, politics, world news, or entertainment, I find myself innundated with articles on what's wrong with women, how we can better please our man, how we can find a man, how we can keep a man, how we can make the relationship more entertaining, how we can be more appealing...are you getting the point?

Our society has relegated all the fault, problems, and responsibility for a relationship to the female gender. It takes two to make a relationship work; to be exact, it takes three: God really should be guiding the relationship you are engaged in. If we take our cue from the media as women, we will find ourselves labled as high-maintenance if you expect what should be common courtesy in a relationship. As an African-American woman, I find us misrepresented as vixens, hypersexual, with our only intent to be pampered for an intimate rendezvous in return. I am disturbed that this image is being perpetuated through magazines that are supposed to represent me as an African- American woman.

I encourage every woman to know her worth in God, not just what she feels about herself (because that can be an incomplete view) but what God says about you. I believe many times women are labeled high maintenance when in actuality, they hold a standard or a high expectation. I am not speaking of the Woman who has an impossible list to fill that has more to do with satisfying her personal ambitions. I am speaking of expectations that align with the Word of God. If you are the righteousness of God, why settle for someone who expects you to go against God's standards? Why settle for someone who degrades you or who treats you as if you are undeserving of their time or affection? It's time to take a good look at the relationship you are in.

Ask yourself:
Do I draw strength from this relationship?
Are they encouraging me to become who God wants me to be?
Do I feel isolated from my peers, friends, family?
Am I encouraged to only participate in, pursue, or attatch myself to the things that make them happy?
Am I encouraged in public, admired in public, but ignored, berated or shunned in private?

These are signs of an unhealthy relationship. I encourage you to seek Godly professional counsel, especially if you are engaged or married. My prayer is that you would not just be in relationship because its convenient, or because you don't want to be alone, or because this is your very first relationship and you don't think anyone else will desire you. I want your relationship to be mutually beneficial, healthy, and God-honoring. There's nothing wrong with having expectations if they align with God's Word.

Unfortunately, there aren't alot of articles on this topic, but together, we can change that! Share this article with a friend that may be struggling with feelings of self-worth. Keep encouraging the women in your life to love God, love the beauty that God chose to reflect of Himself when He created them, and watch what God does in the process!

Blessings and Church <3