“You could have any guy on campus you want.” I looked at my insecure boyfriend as if he had grown two faces. In the moment, I could not tell if he truly believed those words or if he was trying to manipulate me by complimenting me. Either way, I did not believe him.
“Right…” I thought. “There is no way most of the men on this campus would give me a second look. There are so many other girls who are slimmer and prettier than me. He is crazy, stupid, or both.”
A few days ago, I was thumbing through some old photos when I came across a random picture of my 21-year-old self, taken by the very man who told me I could have any man on campus I wanted. As I stared at the picture, I was struck with the thought, “Wow. I did not look bad at all. And, I was not tiny, but I was not fat either. Why did I think I was so undesirable back then?”
So often, we are terrible to ourselves. We know ourselves better than anyone but God, and we see the mistakes, selfishness, and evil thoughts we think. We remember statements made by parents or friends in moments of anger and we struggle to disconnect from them.
- You are going to have to work extra hard in your future relationships because you have a difficult personality.
- You will just date anybody who gives you a look, won’t you?
- Honey, forget him. He is way too good looking for you.
Sometimes even innocent comments hit us in the heart and stay with us for years, repeating in our minds until they grow into tyrannical monsters. Before breaking free, you must face the lies which led you to the ultimate lie: I am not good enough for the type of person I want to marry.
When you believe you do not deserve a quality person, you open the door for toxic relationships — the effects of which can stay with you for a lifetime.
Do I Deserve the Type of Person I Want?
I detest the phrase, “I deserve.” Companies use this phrase as a way of manipulating us to buy their products. “Why yes, I do deserve chocolate, and my favorite perfume, and a $50,000 car!” Biblically speaking, we deserve nothing good.
None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. (Romans 10b-12, ESV)
Any good we have in us is all because of Christ. Without Him, we have nothing; we deserve nothing good. Every goodness shown to us – every blessing – is God’s grace.
Instead of asking, “Do I deserve the type of person I want?”, ask yourself, “What can I do to become the person my type of person wants?” This is not a question of “How can I change myself or my personality?” or “How can I change my goals in life to fit his/hers?” There are many wonderful people who will never be good matches for you – and that is okay. This is a question of “How can I grow in ways which would attract the type of person I would like to marry?”
So, circling back to the beginning…
Could I have dated any man on campus I wanted (as my ex-boyfriend suggested)? Of course not. Could I have dated (and perhaps even received proposals from) a solid handful of men on campus? Yes, probably. Not because I was some prize. I was quite regular. But, because of what I carried within me – my specific personality, interests, desire to care for others, and background could have connected with several men at my university.
But, at the time I did not believe it. Inside I felt so inferior to the masses, always wondering… what would any of these boys want with me?
Like many young women, I spent most of my free time in my dorm with my friends. We had a lot of fun and I do not regret all the good times. However, in hindsight, we would all say that we should have stepped out of our comfort zones more. We should have gone to more social activities and not walked with our heads down to avoid eye contact with others. Maybe we should have even flirted a bit!
Men could not find us in our dorms (not at our Baptist college!). We were good enough for the type of men we wanted, but we did not go to where they were. We did not give ourselves many opportunities to connect. We did not take risks. In many ways, those lies – you are not thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, witty enough, or exciting enough – kept me a prisoner in my dorm room… and I know I am not alone in doing that.
Are You Battling this Lie?
If this post is connecting with your heart, I encourage you to start seeking freedom. First, you must discover who you are. From there, you can think through the traits you desire in a life partner. After that, work on areas of your life which need work. As you would train for a marathon, train for a relationship. Set your sights on becoming the type of person your dream spouse needs and desires.
Mull over the questions below:
- When did I stop believing I was good enough to attract and/or hold on to a good man or woman?
- Did someone hurt me in a way which left me feeling I was less worthy of love than others?
- Do I repeat unkind messages to myself throughout the day? (Would I let other people talk to me the way I talk to myself?)
- How do I typically react in social situations with romantic prospects?
- Are there changes I can make to my appearance to make me feel more confident and attractive?
- Do I push myself to be seen? Do I go to events, attend church, share my art publicly, or force myself to talk to people?
- Who, if anyone, is holding me back? Who do I need to move away from so I can move towards a quality future and quality partner?
- Which skills or traits do I need to strengthen to be a quality spouse?
- When I dreamed of finding the man or woman for whom I long, what did I see in that dream? (e.g., where did we go, what did we do, how did we look, etc.?)
You are good enough for the type of person you want to marry. You may not be ready for marriage yet, or even ready for a serious relationship, but you are good enough. If you are willing to face negativity in yourself, and do the work to improve and grow, you are worthy of that person.
Am I ready for a marathon? Absolutely not. If I wanted to run a marathon, am I good enough to complete that goal? Yes. It would take so much work and patience, but yes, I could get there if it meant that much to me.
Telling yourself you are good enough once or twice is not going to defeat the lie. Telling yourself (out loud) every day for a year, and sprinkling in examples of why, may not completely stamp out the bitter weed, but you will be well on your way. Combat the lies with the truth. Say the truth out loud – and often – until it is second nature to you. Say it until you absolutely believe it, and then live your life in that new confidence.
Remember that we build most of our own prisons. And remember to keep breaking free!
Don’t be a passenger in your own life. — Kevin Darné
Are you struggling to believe you are good enough for the type of person you want to marry?