The Definition of YOU

what defines you

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. – Harvey Fierstein

 

Attending the 2013 YWCA Survivors Celebration was truly a celebration and an honor—and a very real reminder as to the magnitude of women that are affected by domestic violence—and the journey that many women are still on.  

One thing became evident in listening to survivors’ stories— we start to believe what we hear the most. Many times when domestic violence begins, it’s more subtle than physical violence, rather by way of mental violence through words. Abusers use demeaning names and hurtful language to make their victims begin to believe that they are no more than what they’re told. By the time the physical abuse starts, the victims have already started to believe things that they’ve been told like:

“I deserve this” or “I’m not worth anything” or
“He wouldn’t do this if he didn’t love me”

Oftentimes the breakthrough happens when the victim stops believing the definition written on their life by another and starts to redefine who they are based upon what they know themselves to be.

I pray that instead of believing the lies, you begin to speak the truth—you are worthy and you are worth it. Erase the past and write a new definition for you. You are not what anyone else says. Only you define who you are.

Speak it. Believe it. You were made for more. 

Who Died and Made You Boss? Jesus.

“Wives, submit to your husbands…” Ephesians 5:22

This is one of the most misrepresented and distorted scriptures in the Bible. Often, men use a verse like this that instructs them to take authority over their household as a misguided instruction to become a ruthless dictator. Our culture praises a macho “tough guy” and insults meekness as weakness.

Well, listen up fellas—only God can give authority. God has given men a unique role as leaders of our homes and families. A man can only have authority to rule over his domestic kingdom if, and only if, he is operating under his own submission to the Will of God.

Most of the time, the reciprocated scripture that follows is foolishly overlooked…

v.25 – “…Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”

If a man operating under his own authority, he has no authority at all. His love for his wife should mimic Christ’s love for the church—a Holy, sacrificial, pure, unconditional love.

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So lets break this stigma. Here are some helpful “myths about male authority” from Charisma Mag:

Myth #1: Male authority means male dominance. Men must understand that mature masculinity in Scripture has to do with our strength to serve and sacrifice for the good of the woman. Luke 22:26 gives the general servant-leadership paradigm: “’But among you, those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant’” (NLT). Ephesians 5:25 gives the home version of it: “And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church.”

Myth #2: Exercising strength leads to abuse. The strength that is shaped to provide and protect will not turn to hinder and hurt. They are two different mentalities. Just like muscle does not turn to fat (though sometimes it appears like that), they are two different types of body tissues. When we don’t exercise strength in the right way, we will lapse into throwing our weight around in the wrong way. “If you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face” (Rom. 12:8, The Message).

Myth #7: If men lead in the home, then they will be free to boss women around in all society. Actually, male servant-leadership is not about “bossing” anyone around anywhere. The servant-leadership that a man is given in the home does not extend beyond it into society. So male responsibility for leadership in the Christian home (see Eph. 5:23) cannot be projected into business or government or any other societal institution.

Myth #8: Authority is about making declarations, not taking personal responsibility to see them through to a beneficial end. Wrong! Men have a terrible reputation for being opinionated without being responsible.

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If you find yourself in a situation that seems more like you’re living under the rule of Stalin, rather than the rule of Jesus—it might be time to take a second look. Relationships are two way streets that should work to empower the people in it and the One who made it possible.