Saturday, May 1, 2010

insecurity is ugly

it seems that the Lord wants me to discuss insecurity.  it's an ugly subject.  and at first, i fought it.  but He kept putting it in front of me.  whether it was in random conversations or via my least favorite avenue - personal experience.

i admit that i have insecurities just like anyone else.  they have affected many relationships.  whether i was comparing myself to my superstar sister as we grew up or dealing with the rejection from a boy i like.  whatever way insecurity manifests itself in my life, it's damages may last for years if i don't address each one.

but for the purposes of this blog, let's talk about how insecurity affects dating relationships and coed friendships.

i've been reading donald miller's new book, "father fiction."  it's a good read and i'd recommend it to anyone without a dad in their life; whether he wasn't present physically or emotionally.  there's one chapter about dating and choosing your spouse.  i appreciate how he floats between humor and harsh reality.  one thing he says struck me: "People are insecure already, so they don't want you to be insecure."  (page 124) 

do you agree?  i do.  that's hard to say.  but it's true.  for women, (thanks for disney and all those princess fairytales), we are raised to look for a strong, confident man.  one that will swoop in to our rescue when we need him.  now, we should not expect him to look and act like prince charming.  nor would we honestly want that.  in fact, i think he would be the most boring boyfriend EVER.  but the general idea is true.

in our spiritual DNA, we have a need to be rescued/redeemed from this this lost world.  that's why God gave us Jesus.  but it also translates into our personal relationships.  so, when we have a hard day at work, our pets are sick, or our family is driving us nuts, we want a man that will be supportive and try to come to our rescue.  so, if he doesn't believe he has what it takes to do that, how can we believe it, too?

i know that God uses relationship to reveal truth in our lives.  and in many cases, our boyfriends and girlfriends get to speak encouraging truth into our lives.  sometimes they have to believe we are capable of more and they have to help us see it for ourselves.  i love that.  but if the groundwork hasn't been laid in some capacity, it's a relationship either bound for failure or for mediocrity.  and who wants that?

for men, they want women that carry themselves with confidence and don't talk poorly about themselves.  have you seen that commercial for a one of the online dating websites where the poor guy sits through several different awful first dates?  my favorite is the one where the girl blurts out, "there are like so many things about me that i. just. don't. like."  ugh!  what in the world?!?!?!  it's funny because it's so close to reality.

guys, do you sometimes look a woman and think, she's so pretty, too bad she doesn't think so.  or that girl has so much going for her, why does she settle for so little?  that has to be so frustrating.  as if she's sabotaging any new relationship because she thinks it's doomed to fail.  because sooner or later, he'll discover she's not worth the trouble. 

lies.  all lies.  and we listen to them over and over again.

i am so excited to read beth moore's new book, so long insecurity; you've been a bad friend to us.  it speaks to the heart of women.  but i bet men would receive a lot of insight into the inner workings of the female gender.  i'd recommend just picking it up and thumbing through it at barnes and noble some time.  sure, pretend you're looking at the writings of st. augustine or something...

here's what i'd like to hear from you: how has insecurity affected your dating relationships?  have you avoiding asking someone out because you think you don't deserve her?  have you pushed someone away before they had a chance to reject you?

how do you deal with it?  what has the Lord taught you through it?

my insecurities led me to think about writing.  so, i am thankful for realizing my faulty thinking.  but i would be lying if i said i always handle the lies of the enemy the best way.  he trips me up frequently.  but the Lord has refuted each one.  here's a little taste of God's truth about who you are:

- you have been bought with a price, therefore valuable (1 cor 6:20, 7:23)
- our Creator is FOR you (ps 118: 6-7)
- we are beautiful (ps 45:10, 13a)
- we were personally designed by Him (ps 139:13)
- we are free from guilt (john 3:16-18)

and if the one and only person that matters says stuff like this...doesn't that build you up as worthy of healthy relationship with others?

now, i'm not saying you can do whatever you want because of our assurances in Christ.  what i'm saying is that listening to the enemy's lies will disrupt your relationships.  we all have things we need to work on.  and we should always seek the Lord's help to work through them for His glory.  but if you wait until you're perfect to enter into a dating may never get married!

with all our faults, with all our imperfections...somehow the Lord brings His children together in marriage every day.  that's the hope i have to cling to!


  1. How has insecurity affected my dating relationships? Well, I can say that at one point I was in a pretty serious relationship with my best friend, and I was in love with her. Growing up I had always struggled with insecurity about my image, who I was, etc and just didn't have the greatest confidence in myself. Since then, I've grown through these things, but as I mature and go through the years, I've begun to see this insecurity in my spiritual life. I am insecure about my spirituality, and oftentimes find that I am comparing myself spiritually to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Which shouldn't ever be the case. But anyways, I realized that I had been, and was doing this in this relationship. I noticed how I felt the need to compete in my head with here spiritually. This insecurity left me feeling short of what I felt were her expectations, and thus felt I could never be the astounding Christian friend, boyfriend, husband she wanted, or needed. I think this was one of the things that gradually led us apart.

    I hope that was useful! Good luck on your further writing! I look forward to hearing/reading more!

  2. thanks for your input, dude! you bring up an interesting point: competition with the person you're dating...i think that happens more than we'd like to admit. our pride sure finds a way into any and all relationships.

  3. a sweet friend of mine emailed this to me and she gave me permission to share it with you!

    " * how has insecurity affected your dating relationships? I’ve settled on 2nd best and 3rd, 4th, 5th, 100th best than what God would choose for me. Insecurity has led me to compromise my values and standards, which caused me to sin against God instead of holding my ground. I’ve learned a lot of difficult lessons and had to face the worst part of me.

    * have you avoiding asking someone out because you think you don't deserve her? have you pushed someone away because the last guy did? (guy questions, right?)

    * how do you deal with it? what has the Lord taught you through it? I’ve learned that if I’m not living sold out for Jesus, then life is not worth living. Jesus is the only one who can give me permanent purpose, fulfillment, and worth. My eyes are set on Him, and by God’s grace my life will continue to be one of obedience and pleasing Him rather than pleasing people, men and women. He is LORD of my life. I’ve dealt with insecurity and sin through repentance, forgiveness counseling, soaking in the truth of God’s word, community, mentoring, transparency, and facing difficult issues. I’ve ended unhealthy relationships and gleaned as much as possible from those experiences. The hardest thing sometimes is forgetting what lies behind and pressing forward towards what lies ahead. But God give me grace and does the impossible in my life."

  4. Part 1:

    My girlfriend forwarded this blog to me...when I began to read this post and some others, I was compelled to respond.

    I will state this emphatically from the roof tops…I am a man who loves the Lord, I am a strong man who has goals in Life and Love, I have the ability to communicate and express my feelings (I said feelings…not opinions), I care about others more often than myself, I love being a giver.

    AND I can be insecure about the most mundane things…especially when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex.

    There I said it, I am insecure. Too bad that’s not the only step in combating insecurity.

    I know I have battled and battled with insecurity all my life…if it’s not my body image, it’s my self worth, if it’s not those two it’s my love life. Actually if it’s anyone of those it is usually ALL of those.

    Insecurity begets anxiety, anxiety begets worry, worry begets more anxieties which begets more worrying which…see where I am going? But why? It is because of the unknowns we all face with every minute of the day. What a vicious cycle.

    Insecurities...what a poison it definitely is NOT God driven…

    Can enough reinforcement from others cure you of it? It sure helps…but once away from that reinforcement party…guess what starts rearing its ugly head?

    The question was asked whether we agree with the following statement, “People are insecure already, so they don’t want you to be insecure.” Yes, I agree. But, that will never be seen as we are all insecure about something.

    So can we cope or attempt to overcome our insecurities? Sure

    Example: I prefer a strong woman who is in touch with her needs and knows how to communicate them to me. Why? Because I don’t have to WORRY so much about not meeting them. Thus she cures one of my insecurities (failing to meet the needs of the woman I love). Remember…worry begets…begets…begets! So yes, yes, yes, bring on the ones who balance me.

    Aha…that’s it…we are drawn to those who “balance” our insecurities…and we usually steer clear of those who…well…make us beget!

    Right now I have been dealing with “balance” in my relationship…it’s a new relationship with many landmines yet to encounter, but I am nonetheless faced with balancing my time with Christ and others, money, emotions; sharing of feelings…you name it. Why? Insecurities in all of them! All of them I tell you…LOL!

    I am a long time lover…wait, wait…I mean I prefer long relationships over being a social dater…it helps me know the person at a less superficial level. Having long relationships helps you realize where your balance is needed the most. I went through some bad apples along the way that often increased my insecurities. I also know I was no sweet apple for them either…thus we are no longer together. Some call those relationships, “life’s lessons and maturity builders”…I called them God’s I told you so’s…LOL!

    Then one day I really prayed about it, I asked God to show me who he wanted me to be in my relationships and to show me the one that balances me. AND of course I asked Him to please give me patience as I wait. I had done it my way for far too long.

    Then I put my trust in Him. I patiently waited for the one, and knew God was going to hold out until he thought I was ready.

  5. Part 2:

    Of course while I waited, I thought about what my “balance” looked like.

    The staples (not all inclusive in any way)…The one I can be equally yoked in Christ with, one that will be accepted with open arms into my world, one who can accept my dutiful loving generosity and not be put off by it, one who can be free with their emotions and not judge me for mine, and someone who is less inclined to reject me for the way I feel while being comfortable knowing I won’t reject them for theirs.

    I don’t know my every balance need and I don’t expect the one God chooses for me to meet them all. We may hit or miss on a few…we aren’t perfect and our relationship won’t be either…I’m NOT Prince Charming! And…well, she’s not Sleeping Beauty.

    But I know this, I am not in control…God is. I don’t know if my current girlfriend is the one…we are still balancing. But so far…she is unlike all the others!

    BUT, what I do know it this:
    Proverbs 3:5-6
    5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
    So, be anxious less, worry less, BEGET LESS…by knowing HE is in control!

  6. thanks court! great input and well said. i like your statement about wanting someone that is in touch with their needs and knows how to communicate them. i truly believe that when we aren't that way, problems/fights/heart breaks will follow.

    no one should inundate their loved ones with "i need, i need, i need!" but when both people are invested in honoring each other, there is a reciprocation of listening and sharing.

    i also appreciate that you asked God who He wanted you to be. and not just as a person on your relationship to others. isn't that how God operates: in relationship with the Holy Trinity and with us?

    bottomline: we are created for relationship. but when insecurity is louder than our Creator's truth, that's where we screw it up. and thank the Father that we don't have to remain that way and He is a God of healing; especially healing relationships.