04 Aug True Beauty Session #1: Heart of a Woman
What does it really mean to be a woman? The world gives us all sorts of definitions of womanhood, but God is the only One with the truth our hearts are really seeking. He is the One who made you with a plan and a purpose.
In this session we examined how the world tries to define who women are, discover why God wired women the way He
did and most importantly, how all of our desires (as women)—though they may seem bad to us—were put in our hearts to lead us to God. Jesus is the One women are really seeking! The major points are captured below:
- In general, women are more relational than men and more aware of their own—and others’—emotions. Men are generally more physical and visual. By examining and embracing these differences, it is easier to understand why we do the things we do.
- The devil uses these different natures of men and women to tempt them.
- There are two different types of attraction that men and women feel for each other,
which Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) describes in Love and Responsibility:
- Sentimental attraction: emotional and relational
- Sensual attraction: physical and visual
- Our hopes and dreams about the future are good, but we need to make sure we’re not trying to fill a void. The only person who can truly fill us is Jesus
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” —Proverbs 31:25
“Emotions and feelings can be taken up in the virtues or perverted by the vices.”
Lisa offered four tips for keeping Jesus #1 in our hearts and making sure we’re not emotionally using people:
• Tip #1: Guard your heart. Remember, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
• Tip #2: Say “no” to mental stalking and creeping.
• Tip #3: Have good girlfriends. They understand what you’re going through.
• Tip #4: Instead of mentally stalking guys, mentally stalk Jesus! Fix your eyes and heart on Him.
We discussed how our own thoughts and imaginations could lead us into using others for our own emotional pleasure. By creating a fantasy world that is not centered around God, we not only set ourselves up for disappointment, but we also sin against our brothers in Christ by making them an object for our own use. The good news it that we can turn our imaginations into a beautiful prayer that keeps our hearts and minds fixed on Jesus!
PRAYER IS THE KEY!
We were advised to set aside a few minutes to spend with Jesus in this form of contemplative prayer. Begin by opening up your Bible and choosing a favorite story from the Gospels. Some suggestions are: Luke 10:38-42, Matthew 14:13-21, Matthew 14:22-34, John 2:1-11 and John 8:2-11.
- Find a quiet place where you can pray without being interrupted.
Begin your prayer by making the Sign of the Cross and saying, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
- Read your chosen passage once so that you are familiar with it.
Ask God to help open your heart and mind so that you can have a better understanding of Jesus through this passage.
- Read the passage again, and then close your eyes. This time set the scene for the story using all five senses. What do you hear, see, smell, feel, or taste?
- Take your time, and put yourself in the shoes of one of the characters in the passage. Slowly let the passage play out with you in it.
- As the story ends, think about any words or images that stood out in your imagination. Take a moment to write about them below.
In your own words, thank God for the beautiful gift of prayer and for helping us to see Him in such a special way.
- Close with the Our Father.
Fix Your Eyes on God
Commit to giving up Facebook or other social media for a week. Every time you feel the need to visit Facebook, Google the Saint of the Day instead. Take that time to learn a little bit about a particular saint and thank God for the extraordinary example he or she gives us in living our day-to-day life.
Redirect the Conversation
How can we help our friends from gossiping while holding ourselves accountable at the same time? If you hear a friend, family member, or yourself speaking negatively about another person, humbly take a moment to chime in with something positive about him or her and move to a new topic.
Represent With Style
We discussed how emotional mental fantasy clouds our judgment and prevents us from keeping our eyes on Jesus. For men, visual and physical mental fantasy presents a huge roadblock in their walk with Jesus. The next time you go shopping with friends, think about how your choice of outfit could have an effect on someone’s relationship
with Jesus. Have fun taking on the challenge to find something that is not only beautiful and stylish, but also respectful to your body and to your brothers in Christ.