Do you look to your texts, your social media posts, or your many "friends" for validation that you are good, pretty, or smart? Do you let others choose your identity for you based on your appearance, hobbies, or preferences?
When I was born, I was raised by a mother who was a tomboy, in other words, she didn't dress me up in frilly dresses, heals, or put ribbons in my hair. I wore hand-me-downs from my older brothers, played in the mud, and climbed trees keeping up with the best of them. In my neighborhood there were only a few girls and they wanted to play dolls, but I had no dolls and felt silly playing dolls when what I truly wanted to do was race my bicycle through the avocado orchards near my house and play in the forts that me and my brothers made out of boxes.
As I grew older, I saw the gender differences between boys and girls as my older brothers were allowed to stay out late with their friends and were excused for their bad behaviors, "They're just being boys." In contrast I was not allowed out of the house after dark and was told the reason for my lack of privilege was, "Because you're a girl."
When I became an adult, I pursued a career that was 98% male, law enforcement. I wore combat boots and the uniform that matched my male counterparts. I ran the same runs, shot the same guns, and even experienced jumping out of a helicopter (a story for another day). I loved my career choice, but even in that, boys were given privileges that the girls were not given. Men were identified more as the heroes, and promoted up the ranks faster than the women because of the "Good Old Boys Club" that kept women out of the competition and in their place. I developed a mindset that made me stronger as I said, "I have to do twice as much to be thought of half as capable." Because I worked harder than my gender counterparts I did promote up the ranks getting into special units and had an amazing career. I resented the women who did not want to work hard, but who sold their souls to the highest bidder and "slept their way to the top." I look around me at other women today who have accomplished nothing on their own, but who have been rewarded positions of authority because of their willingness to sell themselves to the highest bidder and forfeit their moral character.
So, I ask every woman, mother, daughter, sister, and friend...who defines you? Do you forfeit your life to live the life others choose for you? Do you see yourself weak and incapable because that's the lie you've been told? Do you look in the mirror and resent your lack of courage? Raise your hand and say, "No More!" You are in charge of your life and the life you choose will have consequences only you will suffer. So, don't let anyone else tell you who you are. Be you, the you that God created - not the one others want to redefine you as.
"God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world."
1 Corinthians 7:20 (NLT)