/ / {New Series} Women Living Well in Opposite World

{New Series} Women Living Well in Opposite World

 WLW in Opposite World

I was a teenager in my youth group, at a church activity, when a guy friend (who I had previously called a “boyfriend”) said these words…

 “All the girls in the youth group are crap!” 

I gasped out loud, “What did you just say?” 

They are crap and I would never want to date any of them.” 

Wow!  This was a painful blanket statement of my friends who were beauti{full}y pursuing Jesus.  At the time, he was preferring the girls at his public school and I suppose in his eyes they were prettier –edgier —or whatever was appealing to him.

Then my husband –this tall dark and handsome teen boy came into our youth group. 

Keith’s family did not attend church –but he was attending a Christian High School where he had become a believer.  He had just gotten done dating a girl who was “beautiful” but not a Christian.  His exact quote, “she was fun to date, but would be terrible to marry.”  So he moved on.  And that’s when he arrived at one of my youth group activities.  

And our youth to him — was opposite world!

All the stuff that made him “cool” in “teen” world – like riding motorcycles and driving sports cars…were not cool in our youth group.  To “fit in“, you had to be a radical for Jesus.  You had to love going on missions trips, singing worship songs, serving in the children’s ministry, sharing about your quiet times and passing out gospel tracts at the mall!

To him — it was opposite world.

And in the midst of opposite world he found what he was looking for…a girl who loved Jesus –and was a little radical about it all!

Friends, opposite world has lied to us. 

What one man calls crap –God calls beauti{full}

And what TRULY is crap –the world calls beauty!

We live in Opposite world!

And only a wise woman will be able to navigate this road of being a woman living well, in the midst of a journey filled with landmines, traps, temptations, voices, despair and competition.

Opposite world is ugly.

A woman who fears the Lord –Beauti{full}. (Proverbs 31:30)

And I know the truth of God’s word and yet I step on my scale and step off with disgust.  I pull on a church dress…and 5 dresses later…I’m miserable with nothing to wear that hides my muffin top.  I make a video for my blog and I hate how I look – hands waving – fake nails – high-lighted hair.  I secretly worry, will my vanity ruin the message?  I think of swimsuit season around the corner and I just want to hide.  I will never get plastic surgery –but I know why women turn to it.  You can only look so long at these images plastered across the omni-present screen before you begin to believe that what we see on the screen is beauty and what I see in the mirror — ugly.

Oh Sisters – we must fight this together.  The enemy is whispering lies at the beauti{full} bride of Christ. 

We must reject the lies and believe truth.  We must walk in it –because freedom is there! 

And I don’t write as one who has all the answers –I write as one who struggles and who is insecure to even start such a series but God has pressed this heavily on my heart.  And so the journey begins towards being Women Living Well in Opposite World.

This world says: Beauty Sells.

Beauty sells magazines. Beauty sells Pepsi.  Beauty sells cars.  Take off more clothing and show off how beautiful you are so the world can admire you.  Beauty equals happiness. Get more beautiful. Pursue beauty. Instagram, pin, tweet and facebook beauty.

But in opposite world – God says -you are my bride and I am your King.  You are ALREADY beauti{full}. And God is enthralled with your beauty.  Now… live a life that honors your King.

“The King is enthalled by your beauty, honor him, for he is your Lord.” ~ Psalm 45:11

 

Rather than looking at a screen or a mirror to define us, I want us to look into the eyes of our maker and listen to his words.

Join me as I begin a new 12 week series – (featured here on Mondays) on Women Living Well in Opposite World.

Walk with the King,

 

**Chime In: For the next 12 weeks, I will be writing on women’s issues that Christian women battle in this current day culture —opposite world. There has been a major cultural shift in America since the onslaught of media.  I want to counter the lies my generation is being fed. Is there anything that you wish I’d address in regards to women’s issues today? Please leave them in the comment section.

 

120 Comments

  1. I am so glad that you wrote this article! Since having children, I have struggled with what the world says is beautiful and what is beautiful.We moved into an upper class area and everyone has to have name brand this/dress a certain way and I began to feel bad because I was not dressing/acting as they were. I started having negative thoughts and began to not like myself or how I looked and I found myself trying to be something I was not and become very unhappy. It wasn’t me…I got over that quickly and realized that names/clothes don’t make you beautiful but the love and glow of God is what makes me who I am. I have 2 girls and I am teaching them that they are beautiful no matter what the tv, ad’s, or anyone says. God created us in his image and he made no mistakes! Becoming a healthier me and not worried about what the world says is showing my girls that I am beautiful no matter how I look! Yeah, I am still learning and looking forward to more from you, Courtney!

    1. I agree! Please prayerfully consider writing on this topic- it is very relevant at this time. 🙂 Thanks!

    2. Yes please, I third the eating in an opposite world idea. I am desperate, tired of failing and about to just give up. Between trying to stay in the lowest budgets, desired real food diet for healing, and instead yo=yo’ing on the scale I am outta control about to give up.

      1. Out of control is a good way to describe how I feel about food. The world wont leave us alone: Eat this, eat that – then try this diet or that one to loose the weight – It’s a terrible cycle.

      2. Ladies, give up on the “dieting” and eat real and develop discipline with what you buy and eat. We cut out 95% of process foods out my house, eat whole foods [organic for us], use REAL butter, olive oil and coconut oil [research coconut oil, its amazing]. Do not stress yourself out on this, people make it out to be more complicated than it is. I know certain medical conditions can cause weight gain and such; in reality, the more simple and natural you are with your overall diet and exercise, the more success and healthy you will become :). I hope to not offend, but rather encourage you all to take a step back and remember that “we eat to live, not live to eat” 🙂

    3. Try reading the book ‘What the Bible Says About Healthy Living’ by Dr. Rex Russell…it is a balanced view & an eye opener 🙂 One problem a lot of us have, including myself, is food addictions. It may sound unreal, but it isn’t. We are prone to becoming addicted to food just as much as we are to alcohol or smoking or whatever else- it just isn’t looked at the same way in our society. I’ve done a lot of research since my oldest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes almost 4 years ago to come to this conclusion. What we take into our bodies does matter- and I’m not telling anyone it is easy to overcome, but ‘with God all things are possible’ & ‘We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.’ That includes even conquering addictions. 🙂 There is hope ladies! God is faithful!

  2. 2 things I struggled with over the past 10 years:
    Being bold to follow Jesus – not the world – which said I should have a job once my child is in school. If I’m not adding to the bottom line, I’m not “working”.
    I can only come to Jesus when I get all my junk fixed.

    1. I would have never come to Jesus if I had to have my stuff straightened out first. I came a walking disaster to Him and He fixed me, and was/is patient while I learned and grew and applied what I learned to my life.

  3. I am so excited to read more in this series. As a young mom of a little girl this message is so important to me. It’s something I never learned as a child/teen, so I struggle with it myself and worry about how I will teach my daughter as she grows. Thank you so so much for speaking out and teaching those of us who lack this important wisdom <3

  4. I tell my youth group girls all the time, “You’ll never see a godliness featured on the front of a magazine in the checkout lane, yet God values this more than beauty.” So many young girls need to know that God never commands us to be thin, popular or sought after by boys. He values a girl who fears Him. Can’t wait to read your posts.

  5. Yes I’d love to hear more about living simply. I see people getting caught up in all they can do rather than just BEING with their kids. I’m not stellar in this area either but def have been convicted of this lately. Pinterest is good but we can get lost in it!

  6. I am looking forward to this series too! I would like to see you address dressing modestly. I know you have gone over this in other posts, but I need the encouragement of other Godly women now. I am tired of my unsaved mother-in-law telling me that we need to change our standards because it is very hard to find dresses that cover my three daughters’ knees!

    1. Ann, have you tried sewing their dress so you can make them as long as you want? I wish I had learned so I could have done this when my girls were small. My DD16 started learning to sew a couple of years ago and has begun making clothes for herself when we cannot find clothing that isn’t too tight, too low cut, or too short. I always thought sewing was too expensive, but I’m finding patterns on sale for 99 cents sometimes and buying several, and learning to use the big discount coupons I can get via e-mail/phone app and in the mail for places like JoAnns Fabric to buy the fabric and notions we need to make an outfit. If your girls are really small it wouldn’t take a lot of fabric to make skirts. Circle skirts or 3 or 4 tier skirts are simple to make and don’t cost a lot. So that might be an option for you. I want to encourage you to keep your standards of modesty and honor the Lord. It could also be a great witness for your MIL =)

  7. This shall be interesting. In the “opposite world” — I’m mocked and made fun of because I’m plus size but I’m also older and learned a long time ago that those who do the mocking are not Christians and I pray for them. We choose to see what we want to see, for example my husband loves me through and through, he doesn’t see the plus size gal, he sees his perfect size 12 gal. I stopped wearing makeup in my 30’s – now I only wear it once in a while. God has blessed me with diseases that are visible — for one: Lupus and a butterfly rash on my face. That disease taught me that God gave me a precious gift and I must face the world boldly with it. The more we see airbrushing and how Hollywood (just to name one) embraces all that is fake – I pray the more we see women being empowered to be themselves. We has Christians have the Word as a guide us, to show us beauty! The media’s handbook is only full of colors — red dress, blue shirt, etc., all that is physical and fleeting. It’s sad for those that look to the media for their guide…. instead of the Bible.

    1. Martha, I’m right there with you! I have rheumatoid arthritis (diagnosed when I was 29, now I’m 31). My joints get really swollen and I look pretty rough some days. Also, I have a problem with my immune system attacking my skin and I have hives almost every day. Sometimes they’re so swollen that my skin splits and bleeds, but sometimes they’re just red bumps all over. I know people stare because it’s shocking for them to see and they think it might be something contagious, but sometimes I feel so self-conscious about it! But my sweet husband loves me anyway, and I know that I am God’s daughter whom He loves. And you are also His daughter whom He loves!

      1. Kate, I totally understand the immune system and the rash, I have Lupus and the rash on my face really stands out at times. Bless your husband!!! He’s a good man! I know deep down my husband sees all the issues I have but when he looks at me, I see nothing but love from him. :People do stare and it bothers my husband a great deal. He wants to protect me from rude stares and comments. We are God’s daughters and He loves us so very much! Kate, I will keep you in my prayers!!! Blessings my new sister in Christ!

  8. I’m looking forward to this, Courtney. Thank you! When I was younger, I hated feeling different in the eyes of others if I didn’t dress like them, spend money like them, or partake in certain activities like and with them. I now know that by being the “oddball” by living frugally, working towards being a minimalist, wearing modest clothing and makeup, refraining from certain movies, TV shows, music, and certain activities, boldly says that I’m living NOTW and that others can see Jesus in me.

  9. These are all great topics to address! Some of my “favorites” include the lies the feminists told us: that we can have it all, that being “somebody” is more important than being somebody’s mom, that men are good-for-nothing, that the world would be better if women ran it… (I work full-time in academia, so I am inundated with this nonsense all the time, and do my best to show my students a different way…)

    Another opposite world issue is that youth is more important than age/wisdom – although to be fair, many of the folks who live according to the world’s values don’t seem to get any wiser as they age. Boy, I guess you struck a nerve in me tonight! 😉 Thanks for addressing this topic, Courtney.

  10. Looking forward to this! I have def taken some few knocks in my life that has affected my self esteem! Amazing how God deals with issues that needs to be sorted! Bless you all.

  11. Hi, Thank you for reminding me of the truth. Last week i was kinda believing the lies. So thanks for keeping the view clear. I would love to read in the opposite world about purity (through a serious relationship).
    The world is telling so many lies about that.

  12. As I read this, the scripture from Isaiah 5:20 came to mind: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

    This is exactly what is going on in our nation. I suspect it’s not only the United States, but other countries as well. I’m seeing this opposite world especially in regard to marriage. The world says that love is good and since love is good, it doesn’t matter how you get your fix of it. It is okay to have s*x if you are not married, with someone other than your spouse, and with someone of the same gender. The world strongly opposes those who would stand up for Biblical marriage. God says, woe to those who call evil good! Woe means great sorrow, distress, trouble. This opposite world view is not without consequences. He is saying: if you are going to say something is good when I have said to stay away from it, you will surely receive trouble from Me! That’s a scary thought! I do not want to be God’s enemy. I do not want to oppose Him.

    1. I agree. Three issues on my heart and in my family circle could really use some advice on how to mentor teens who have not been raised in the church, but praise be to God, there is still hope that they will become active Christians with a wonderful relationship with Jesus. How can parents and grandparents have a positive and convincing impact upon a darling girl who has just about made up her mind to live with her boyfriend (of about two years) when she finishes this year of college? We are heartbroken at the thought.
      The next issue is the homosexual one. It’s shocking to me how effective and highly organized the Gay Alliance has been in convincing young people that gays have the right to marry and if they love each other, what’s wrong with that. A 20 year old relative and I engaged in that conversation, and I guess I wasn’t very effective because the relative said to me, ‘You just don’t like change.’ I was flabbergasted and told the relative that change really wasn’t the heart of the issue.
      The other issue is abortion and the “morning after pill.” We haven’t had to face that issue with the young people in our family (as far as we know), but it is frightening how many good kids think having an abortion is just getting rid of a blob of tissue.
      How can we effectively combat the ugly opposite world in regards to these heavy issues?
      Thank you for all you plan to do regarding your new series, and may God guide you and bless you.

    2. Amanda – as you suspect, it is not just the USA where marriage is being eroded. Here in the UK, a bill has just been pushed through Parliament to allow same gender couples to be married [Civil Partnership as an equivalent of marriage has been allowed for some time, not just for same gender couples but for opposite gender couples who wanted to commit to each other without marriage being involved]. Church groups strongly opposed it and campaigned about it. The bill does make it illegal to ask for the Church of England to marry a same gender couple (other churches have the legal right to refuse to marry any couples who ask them for the service, but the CofE does not – being the official religion here); whilst that’s useful, it’s not really the point. Sadly the bill passed and is now here to stay.

  13. Courtney, can I just tell you yet again how you have encouraged me, an Ohio girl transplanted to New England? Yes, I married a yankee! Up here there seem to be way fewer Christians. However, the ladies I have met love Jesus passionately. “Opposite World” goes beyond what we eat and what we wear. (Yes, I agree with the ladies above that those are important subjects we want you to write about!) Opposite World also involves how we define ourselves as women in what we do. I have been looked down upon (even from a woman in my church small group!) for choosing my family over my career. I expect many of your readers would find this one obvious, but in this part of the country, it is very much the status quo for a woman to define herself by her work. I see my colleagues do this — their children are placed in day care instead of their arms. They feed their kids junk food on the go from overprogrammed activity to overprogrammed activity. The mom who works the most hours, does the most outside activities for her kids, and takes the most fancy vacations WINS! These women drop everything for work, but dread doing so for their husbands. I imagine most of us would look at this way of living and reject it. However, these “very important” women are our neighbors. We can be examples to them of how women are supposed to live — In fact, I’m betting our happiness and fulfillment would speak for itself. I have a unique life in that I have the privilege of homeschooling my children during the week and then working as a doctor on Saturdays to help my husband with our expenses. I see the Opposite World every Saturday — this keeps me constantly thankful for choosing my family first. The women I work with are brilliant and wonderful, but I think most of them are miserable and pine for their children and families. I do think they are afraid to admit it. (We were created to be help meets for our husbands and nurturers of our children!) The result is condescension towards the women who have made the right choice! So, can you write about what a woman’s career would look like in an opposite world (something like your red carpet post — I think of that EVERY morning because I have a red carpet in front of my kitchen sink too!). I mean, seriously, I have 3 jobs not including being a doctor every once in awhile: Jesus Follower, Wife/ Help-Meet, and Mom (homeschool mom). Courtney you are awesome and you are doing super things! I can’t wait to read more!

  14. It is getting harder and harder in this world but I love the message of opposite world and the whole series of women living well thanks for uplifting message!!!

  15. I think disordered eating would be a great topic to cover. I’ve struggled with it for a long time! Giving up diets and fashion magazines helps, but I think when we COVET what our neighbor looks like, we get into all kinds of trouble. Taking the focus off the mirror and changing it into getting more of the GOSPEL into our hearts… Also, training our SONS on what to value as beautiful would be a great topic.
    I’m happy to share any of my struggles with you, should you need help writing about those topics.
    Thank you for doing this series!

    1. Leanne, thank you for mentioning this! This is such an important topic. I battled bulimia for 21 years. When I finally surrendered my eating disorder to God and relied on His Word for direction, victory was won. He redeemed me. He restored me. He healed me. The chains were broken 2 years ago, and I’ve been free ever since. What an awesome God we have!! We are all wonderfully made, and coveting what our neighbors look like most certainly gets us into trouble. Satan takes hold and chokes us. Your suggestion of training our sons on what to value as beautiful is perfect. I think everyone needs to be trained.

      Courtney, I’d also be willing to share any struggles or insight about disordered eating. God has been leading me to minister to others about this, and this would be another source in which to do so.

      God Bless!

  16. This is every womans struggle in some way, shape or form!…Go after satan and his lies Courtney! (the lies of the media, magazines, mens perception of beautiful, etc.) I’m looking forward to this because “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world”. WE (WOMEN) ARE GODS MASTERPIECE…Eph. 2:10

  17. Thanks for this post, Courtney! You are such an encouragement to me! I would love it if you addressed teenage girls specifically. I would love to see them read this post and the ones to come!!

  18. I cried when I read you quoting Psalm 45:11. “The King is enthralled by your beauty, honor him, for he is your Lord.”
    I know that it was directly from the Lord to me this morning. I *know* my value is in being a daughter of the king, but THIS WEEKEND, I had been believing the lies of the enemy that I just don’t measure up. (Makes me sink into self-pity.) That’s NOT what God wants for my life!
    Thanks for being an instrument for the Lord to speak to me today!

  19. My struggle is with getting caught up in the materialism of the opposite world. My husband recently took a new job with a significant increase in income and we are now are in constant contact with people who live a very lavish lifestyle. We live in a modest home and I’m very happy here, but I still sometimes catch myself longing for the trappings (houses, clothes, jewelry, etc.) of that lifestyle and struggling to fit in . I can’t wait for this series. It is just what I need right now! I want to learn to be content when the other world says we always need MORE!!

  20. I am looking forward to the series.
    I have three sisters, and I’ve always struggled to fit in with them. They seem to be more concerned with how they look… wearing the latest fashions, hair, makeup, being skinny, etc. They seem to strive to fit in with the world. I’ve always felt I wasn’t good enough for them. Through counseling the past few years I now KNOW I do not need to try to impress them, or fit in with them. I don’t need their approval.
    I am me. I am different from them, and that’s ok. What’s important is being the child of God I need to be, I desire to be. I want to be a better me.
    And I’ve let my silver hair shine. I wear clothes I’m comfortable in. I am learning to be comfortable in my own skin…it’s on the plus side 🙂 . I no longer live my life for my sisters.
    So, I’m looking forward to this series and continuing to grow in the Lord.

  21. Thank you so much for taking on Opposite World. It is a daily struggle to block out the world’s view and follow what I believe God wants me to do. He has been making great changes in my thinking this past year about our possessions and how blessed our family is. I pray that as each of us look at the opposite world with you we will be able to continue to follow God’s leading as we live in the world we have been placed.

  22. Great series! I didn’t read through all the comments so forgive me if this was mentioned before. I’d like to suggest a topic of purity. I have 2 girls and I really don’t want my youth group at the church handling this–I think this is something for parents to discuss. I don’t want to do anything with DVDs or a “weekend away” because that would just be. so. awkward. And I think that would shut down any open communication right away. I grew up in a Christian home but this was NOT DISCUSSED. So talking points, maybe? How to keep the focus off of “what the world says” and more of what the “opposite world” says? Thanks!

    1. Hadn’t really thought about this topic, but I totally agree with you Karmen. Talking points, ice breaker type questions, non-threatening conversation starters that will allow the doors to the topic to be opened would be a very welcome thing by this mom as well.

  23. Now that I have read this post, I am so excited to see this series. I just got ready for my day and the battle of the scales and clothes- yes that happened here. Were you at my house? I’m encouraged by today’s message, but I know that you will be encouraging for the next 12 weeks exactly where I need to hear it! Thank you SOOO much for listening to your calling!

  24. Tough realistic challenge in the western world today, bombarded with majority of television & magazines that exploit women, candy-coated to appeal to woman’s desire to be loved. Jesus said “be in the world, not of it”. Girls, we can see Jesus clearer when TV is off, or completely out of the house, stay out of the mall browsing, only shop when you really “need” something. Really, re-evaluate how does, as you said Courtney, fake nails & changing the hair God chose for YOU help further HIS kingdom & fulfill the great commission. It’s OK to call me Debbie Downer (yes I have graying hair;) but in Proverbs, the Lord said its a crown , a mark of wisdom! Quite a contrast to satans worldview. But please consider that we can have more spiritual freedom in Christ when we don’t have to work so hard at keeping up with the “world” view of beauty. Believe me, I’m preaching to the choir, but want to encourage a more simplistic lifestyle, less worldliness, more in His Word. Since we can’t serve 2 masters, we as moms, traditionally keeper of the home, can pray for God’s wisdom to make changes, taking baby steps away from potentially dully our God-given radar to move down the “narrow path” towards Resting & trusting the Lord. Praying for peace that passes all our understanding.

    1. AMEN! Well said, Shannon, and I’m right there with you. I believe that tuning out the world’s message as much as possible is an excellent way to not be so caught up in it and keep our focus off of fitting into that mold. We need more of Jesus and less of the world.

  25. I’m definitely looking forward to this series. For me, I struggle with attraction. Not that I want attention. But, though I’m married, there’s this tempting pull to be found attractive to other males, also. I’m not talking about wearing revealing clothing, or what not. I’ve even felt a weird vibe from our youth pastor at church. I hate it. I know that there’s a deeper heart issue that I need to deal with, but I’m not sure what it is. I’m very embarrassed to admit this to anyone! 🙁

  26. I hope I am not repeating something others have already said, but I didn’t have time to read the comments. I would love a post about raising daughters (and sons for that matter!) in opposite world. My littles are still small, but I can already tell it will be a challenge!

    Thank you for this series Courtney! I am very much looking forward to it!

  27. Definitely loving our husbands well in opposite world, and maybe disciplining our kids in opposite world. I’m excited about this series!

  28. Modesty-not just for our kids but for ourselves! Cleavage is not to be seen!! Also, the myth that we have to be constantly busy to be successful. Kids and adults are over programmed and enjoy less family time. Thanks Courtney!

  29. Courtney, you really inspire me! My daughter and I really enjoy your blog and videos. As for concepts to cover in this series, I am surrounded by feminists, but I am in love with Biblical womanhood. Your insights here would be a blessing.

  30. I am so glad you are doing this – as a woman of course I struggle with these same issues. But raising two little girls just amplifies how important this is. I want to raise them up to know what true beauty is and to not feed into the media’s ideas of how women should look, dress, and behave. But its hard to point them into the right direction when I myself fall prey to the media’s tactics and struggle with insecurity and low self-esteem. I am very much looking forward to this series. Thank you!!

  31. Powerful word Courtney! Touched my heart. Thank you for sharing your heart & being obedient to the Lord when he asks you to write about certain topics. The Lord uses you to encourage me in so many ways.

  32. One of the problems I see in the world is my generation’s sense of entitlement. I’m 31 years old, and it seems people I know think that we’re all entitled to things like big houses, nice cars, designer clothes, and fancy electronics. I try to remember that: 1) Everything good that I have is a gift from the Lord. He will provide what He sees fit, and the only thing I really need is Him; 2) My parents worked for 25 years to acquire what my friends my age thinks they’re entitled to in their late twenties/early thirties. My generation isn’t willing to work for it; and 3) I can’t take my possessions with me to heaven.

    Sometimes the entitlement “trap,” as I call it, sneaks into my own mind. I find myself thinking, “I’ve been working hard for so long, I deserve this or that. Why am I spinning my wheels if I can’t have X or Y.” And occasionally I struggle with jealousy because my peers seem to be so happy with all their things and life seems so perfect for them, while my husband and I barely make all our bills (but are so thankful that by God’s grace, we are able to pay the bills!). We rent a tiny, old townhouse, but we have a roof over our head and we are blessed with more things than can fit in our tiny space. Our vehicles are anything but fancy and looking a little rough, but we’ve been driving them a long time and they’re still going with minimal maintenance. I shop at thrift stores, but I’ve been blessed to find items that look appropriate for the workplace. And I have luxuries like my laptop and internet that so many people don’t have.

    I’d love for you to address the issues of comparison among females (which I know you’ve discussed in your blog before) and “keeping up with the Joneses.” Sometimes I feel like my friends think I’m just being a cheapskate, rather than living frugally out of necessity. I pray my generation would realize that spiritual health is so much more important and valuable than earthly wealth, and that the entitlement problem would stop!

    1. I love that you are wanting this addressed as I’ve felt it’s an issue as well. I know for a fact I struggle with contentment and jealousy as I see friends taking those nicer trips, living in those bigger houses and the nicer clothes etc and I wonder how they can do it when I think they make less money then us. I get into Judging them as well all because of my envy, jealousy, covetousness and discontent attitude. I would love this addressed!

  33. Courtney, I love this!!!! I can really relate to the youth group experience as a whole… Even now my hubby and I may not be “cool”, but our close friends and fam know and love us!! I also we should keep our looks and fashion in perspective to how it’s not by any means the most important thing, but still strive to look good for us and our husbands (without being self-critical)! I love the scriptures you have up about how The Lord sees us!! That should be ingrained in our mind-set. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear more from you anout this. Courtney, don’t allow yourself to feel condemnation for your blonde hair when you are doing kingdom work. Your message of God’s love is way louder than any other message you fear… At least to me! 🙂
    Blessings,
    Leslie

  34. Oh I love this. How about parenting in opposite world? It’s so hard sometimes to be the one mom in the neighborhood who homeschools, whose kids have never seen and episode of Spongebob, whose two year-old knows all four verse of Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty, etc. It truly does feel like opposite world some days.

  35. such a great article right after my crazy Friday. Went to a show, “Girl’s Night the Musical” Went with our bible study group thinking it would just be a fun night out with the ladies. It was awful, an R-rated show and we all ended up walking out. It is amazing to me at times what the world finds funny and beautiful and entertaining. We are living in Opposite World. Looking forward to reading this series. We need to be supporting and encouraging each other to stay strong and continue to follow what God has called us to.

  36. I would like to see a section on searching for a husband in opposite world. I’m married but I remember being single and the world will tell you so many lies about what you should want in a husband. I would love to see more out there to help our young women who are looking for their mate to see and hear the truth of what we should really value in a husband and not the lies the world tells us.

    1. I second that, Jessica! And to piggyback on it, I would love to see expectations in marriage covered. We’re raised with these fantasies about how marriage should be and how love should be–and none of those images we’re raised with show how much work and effort it takes to have a healthy marriage! The world says to look out for our own happiness and take, take, take–but marriage doesn’t work that way. And we’re taught that men should act a certain way in marriage, and I know women who’ve let go of their marriages because their husbands just didn’t act the way they expected. This world needs a dose of reality when it comes to marriage and valuing our spouses!

  37. My issue is friends. I really do not have any (besides my husband and mother) because the only two Christian friends I had moved. The rest are that are Christian go to bars and clubs to hang out and I am just not into drinking. Am I being too picky/wrong by avoiding people that are not as Christ centered?

    I also second the coveting issue. I live in a very small house for my family and I struggle with it all the time. I wonder if God put me here or we put ourselves here? Why can I not be blessed with a place with room for all my stuff when I faithfully read my bible everyday and pray? Our income has never been that great and years ago thanks to the military and ourselves we ruined our credit. (The military over payed us 11000 dollars and then started taking it back from our paychecks to where we had to use credit cards to live.)

    1. Lorena, I’m with you on the friends-who-party thing! Most of my friends are ones I grew up with and many of them are just too wild for me to spend a lot of time with. I’m not judging them, but I don’t feel like I have a lot of common interests with them. But for some reason, it’s hard for me to make new Christian friends. Part of the problem is that I’ve church-hopped for years and haven’t yet found a church home. I pray that when I find the church God plants me in, I’ll make some good friends there! I think girlfriends are so important, and I really wish I had more of them that live close!

  38. There are a few things I would like you to touch on if you could.
    1- Having a more traditional marriage and not being considered suppressed or a servant
    2- How to stay modest and fashionable in a world that has barely dressed people all the time and how to prepare you young daughters for the challenges ahead in that area.
    3- What to do when you are teaching your children about God and people around you think it’s brainwashing them or your “taking it to far”.
    Lastly how to have a God centered home in today’s world with children that will have outside influences.

  39. What an amazing series to do I am looking forward to each post defiantly Somethg we all struggle men woman children

  40. I loved your comment on Rachel Ray about how being a wife & mother is your job, and the confidence you exuded as you said it. I went to a liberal college and came out valuing myself based on achievements & career (& looks). It has taken me years, and support from women like you, to know that raising a family is a valuable career, and that God doesn’t expect me to win the cultural rat race.
    I still work part time, and have no problem with the wonderful women who teach my children and check them out when they’re sick, and the women who are engineers or attorneys or anything else. But we need to affirm parenting & homemaking as respectable work as well.

  41. I have curently struggled with not letting my friendships define me. My sister pointed out a crazy lie not to long ago in my life that I depend on the number of friendships in my life or how long I’ve had them as friends to define if I’m a good person or not. it’s a crazy lie that I know Christ doesn’t want me to cling to. Reality is that Christ should define me not any other person.

  42. Thank you so much for starting this Bible study. I have been struggleing with my weight for quite a while and lately I only seem to see how ugly I look in the mirror but don’t seem to be able to stop myself from eating so the picture in the mirror will change. I don’t think about God when I look in the mirror. I am going to put this verse on the mirror so when I look at myself, I will see it. I am praying that this will help me see the God loves me no matter what I look like but that by taking care of my body and eating healthy and exercises I will honor him.

  43. I love your posts! You are helping us and pointing us to eternal values and to present values as well. Love you!!!

  44. Why not also a study directed towards Tweens and teens who will be future women living well?
    I know Angela ministries a group of teenagers and as she said on one of her posts, high school and college are the four most important years of your life in terms of making decisions in all aspects of your life.
    I bet Claire will contribute on this here, she recently wrote a post about how magazine covers trick us with un reachable weight goals by photoshopping . 🙂

  45. Today’s standards are so far from God’s mark, and it’s just sad. I have recently been reminded how the world cares only about how someone’s body looks. They don’t have to be attractive from the neck up OR. More importantly, on the inside to be considered more desirable than a God fearing, faithful, honest woman. How sad for us women and future women growing up seeing this terrible lie seeming to be truth…

  46. The Lord has been showing me this very thing lately! Here’s a scripture that He brought to my mind recently. I’m not kidding, it has shown up out of my pastor’s mouth, the kid’s devo. book, Beth Moore’s Siesta Memory Verse this time, here on WLW…
    1 Corinthians 1: 18-25

    We’ve got to strive to “live differently.”

    Courtney, I think you are on to something here! Looking forward to this series.

    Kathy:)

  47. Hello Courtney, Interested in this topic, As a Mother of two young children 8 and 5 the struggle to balance technology in their lives is something we face daily .My husband and I would rather they spent ALL of their freetime outside,(on the Farm), reading ,the list goes on.Yet they are expected to bring ipods, ipads to sleepovers:(. in school its putting them on youtube.. I want to stick to our core values yet embrace what is their reality? i love them to exercise themselves in both mind and spirit otherwise and primarily.I like our privacy as a family. am left feeling “oldfashioned” by these decisions sometimes, Whats reasonable?Opposite world is right!
    Regards, and look forward to the next posts on this !

    1. LOVE THIS! It’s so true! We need to stop glorifying busyness and technology that is harming our children. They are lacking in social skills and I believe it’s harming the family as even dinner times are now spent texting. Plus we now put our whole life online for all to see how great we are, how perfect our lives are etc. I would love this addressed!

  48. Thank you for starting this series. This is definitely something that plaques our society today. The first post was great and I look forward to reading the rest.

  49. I love the idea of addressing women’s issues in opposite world, but I find that even among Christian women, there is the desire to dress provocatively, etc. and often there is a fine line between them and the world, so it is hard even in our own churches. I hope you can address this issue!

  50. I am terribly bothered by a lot of the things that the women on here are talking about (what is cool or beautiful nowadays)…I have a 15 yr old daughter and I’m so worried that she will fall in with what is cool/beautiful in the world,instead of what is cool/beautiful in Jesus’ eyes. It’s ok for them to learn about homosexuality,but NOT ok for them to bring a bible to school/read their bible/wear a Christian shirt/necklace/etc….THAT bothers me. That homosexuality and taking away our freedoms is becoming the norm. My father/both grandfathers were in the military and FOUGHT for our freedoms,and now they are being taken away! I am so SICKENED by it! I am sickened by the fact that my teenagers are more concerned with material things(no matter HOW MUCH church we have in them!),instead of our ill 14 yr old paraplegic son who is deathly ill…..I just don’t know where I went wrong. The world makes me feel like I AM AT FAULT for the way my kids act/think/speak(maybe I do too…) and that makes me a bad person/bad mom…Ok,I’ll stop rambling. 🙂 I just so appreciate this blog,and appreciate all the good,loving Christian women here! <3 you all,and I continuously pray for all of you! Blessings!

  51. Wow! Great series! Can’t wait to read more. Body image and self worth are some of my biggest struggles.

  52. Would this be a study I could do along with my daughter?
    Or will it be too mature for her, she’s 15.

  53. I wish women dressed modestly in church. I feel like we should dress appropriately, at least in church. I’ve seen so many women dress so inappropriately that I almost want to look for another church. I don’t know how you can address this topic in your new series without stepping on people’s toes. I’ve wanted to bring it up at our church many times, but I know I’ll be accused of judging. I am not a prude and I don’t expect floor length skirts; I just wish they would show a little respect. Maybe you can think of a wise way to address this topic. thank you

  54. Within the last couple weeks my daugter 10 has asked me some questions about same sex marriage, the topic of equality and human rights. Its been rough to answer these questions and provide information on a need to know basis. As a christian I have acquaintances who support gay marriage and I have avoided the topic to prevent conflict. I think alot of christians are struggling and our families are starting to feel persecution from the media, facebook ect.

  55. Hi Courtney! I am a Norwegian mom and wife. I have been reading your blog and seen your videos for a few months and they have been of great inspiration to me. I like this post and I wanted to let you know that you so get “the message” out even if you are beautiful! I am looking forward to this new series.
    My daughter loves your videos where your children are in them 🙂
    May God bless you, your husband, your children and all of the people you are reaching with this blog.
    Marie

  56. I love this perspective! Thank you, Courtney!

    Topic idea ~ The importance of serving your family before your church…..
    A couple years ago I stepped down from leading in a women’s bible study group because it was causing conflict with my duties at home. I had a women, a godly woman whom I respected, try to discourage me from giving up my “me-time” with other women. She just didn’t get it. Although it is important to serve the body of Christ there are seasons in a mama’s life that her family must come first…….and I’d love to hear you encourage mama’s to make godly priorities! 🙂

  57. Hi Courtney, First, I want to say to you that I love your video posts, with your “waving hands, fake nails and highlighted hair” because in them, you show me who you are….a daughter of the King….one who is putting her best self forward to all of us! 🙂 I never see your hair dirty or uncombed, your clothes are not wrinkled or soiled, your house in the background looks pretty tidy to me. What is important is WHAT you are saying to us and HOW you are saying your words: You are always passionate for Jesus and I strive to follow your wonderful example! Second, when I was a teen, I was heavy and had lots of acne for a while and I was persecuted. It was a difficult time and it carried into my adult life. Today, thanks to what I am learning through GMG Bible studies, I feel better about myself. I still have issues with my weight and I am working on changing my lifestyle in regards to my “temple”. Yesterday, after my morning shower, I looked at myself in the mirror, with all my “spare tires” and I thought to myself, “my body looks like the women in the Rubens’ paintings…they are all beautiful…perhaps I am beautiful too”. Normally, I would be viewing myself in disgust and thinking about how much weight I should lose. AND I have been putting make up on my face more often where in the past I would have gone out just as I looked when I woke up. I praise God that He is helping me to see that I am indeed created in His image and that I am beautiful!

  58. YES! This is a topic that needs to be brought to light more often! I often see women who are so stuck on what they look like on the outside and it saddens me.
    1 Peter 3:3-4
    “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

  59. I thank God fof the network of women I am surrounded with. THANK you for letting God use you as too to reach other women. Keeping you and your family uplifted in my prayers as you dig in to the topics that we as women and daughters face.

  60. Courtney, wow, you have so many comments! I hope you get to read them all! LOL! I’m very enthusiastic about this series. I’ve shared this link with all the precious women in my life on Favebook. Many of them are struggling with exactly what you’ve described. You are right on key with this series speaking straight to the heart of the women in our generation. We women need to be reminded or be given a revelation of our value in Christ. I’m praying for you and this series! May Christ’s peace guard your heart.

    In His Love,
    Leslie

  61. Opposite worlD says you should divorce your husband if he cheats on you! I’ve chosen to honor my covenant even though the bible says I’m allowed to divorce. I’ve been chastised by family members for not leaving him. This would be a great Opposite World post:)

  62. Excellent idea for a series! Really looking forward to it. The topics I see women struggling with, including myself, are what the media portrays as a beautiful body and guilt young mothers deal with.
    The ideal body as portrayed by the media is what majority of young women strive to attain or drive themselves to eating disorders trying. God made us all unique individuals for a reason and I wish the media would show us a variety of beauty. Women I know have a hard time finding comfort in their own skin and thinking of themselves as beautiful by societies standards.
    Young mothers I know carry the burden of guilt for not being “supermom” and comparing themselves to other mothers. Whether or not you homeschool, make your own baby foods, let your kids watch tv or run them to soccer, dance, etc, the goal should be to raise your kids the way God is leading you to and not to keep up with other families.
    Thanks for your marvelous ministry Courtney! Always look forward to reading your posts!

  63. Hi Courtney,
    Thank you for your honesty and bravery of “putting it out there”. Please know that you are not the only one! But we, who are sitting at home reading your thoughts, all agree– whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a professor of Mathematics (of which I am both 🙂 ), no matter the range. Please be comfortable and confident in YOU, be/dress/say what you like and believe… you will never make everyone happy but just ignore the mean comments and BE YOU! 🙂
    Thanks again for your blog,
    Trisha
    PS **** Good resource: “Miss Representation” is a documentary about women’s image in the media and how it affects women as leaders and their rights. Check it out: http://www.missrepresentation.org/
    (Yes you can be a feminist AND Christian, as you already know! 🙂 take care!)

  64. I can’t wait to read these posts! My husband and I strive to maintain a pure environment in our hearts and in our home. Opposite World is the life we live, for sure! I know that a lot of people struggle with being different than the world, but to be honest Courtney, the closer I get to God the less appealing the world is to me. Seriously, I want to be opposite!

    I find that even within our conservative circle of friends and aquaintances, we have to be super careful about our children (ages 13, 12, 9, 5) and the influences they come under. We have found it important to offer a substitute activity when we are compelled to say no to one of their requests. We want them to know the joy of serving Jesus before they feel some of the pain and persecution that comes from being a Christ follower. A post about helping our children make wise decisions and move toward indepedence in Opposite World would be welcome.

  65. Great idea! Some ideas:

    -putting our trust in all things “natural” instead of putting our trust in God… nature is good, but it’s flawed because of sin and will eventually let us down in some way. Putting our trust in God is the most important.

    -the world’s view of “Drama” being good and exciting (I think women buy into this a lot) instead of filling our hearts and homes with God’s peace and striving for it.

    -using God’s given judgement (in love!) to make wise choices when the world says it’s NEVER okay to judge

  66. I will try to stick with this, soo busy right now! BUT it sounds like a great series, when does it start.

  67. God is so good. I have been feeling down (read: ugly and fat) and then I read this. Then I opened my next email, which was this Bible verse from a friend. She sends a verse out at the start of each week to encourage everyone on her email list. This is the verse she chose for this week.
    “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
    Isaiah 61:10

  68. This kind of has to do with opposite world that I live in..I am a military working wife and mother. My husband also works and sometimes, when I read all these blogs about stay-at-home moms, I get discouraged and feel I am not really there for my family because I work. It is difficult to be the only one to maintain a household, on top of working from 7:30-4:30, with your husband [short-term] living a 170 miles away. I would really like if someone could point me into a direction that is about working wives and mothers so I can figure out how to do this successfully while honoring God.

    1. I feel the same way! My dream is to be a stay at home mom! It just isn’t a possibility for my family! I feel less of a mom. I could also use some encouragement on how to be the wife/mother that God wants me to be while still working outside the home. My husband works retail, so
      he often works nights, weekends and holidays. 🙁

      Courtney, I love your posts and your good morning girls bible study’s. You are such an encouragement. Thanks for all you do!

  69. Courtney – I’ve been reading Max Lucado’s stories about the Wemmicks (‘You are special’, ‘If only I had a green nose’, etc) to my daughter and they are about God loving us for who we are, whatever the world thinks of us or tells us that we should be. If you can get hold of a copy of one, read it – they are excellent for all ages!

    I second the requests made above for posts on (or simply opening the discussion on – the comments have a lot of wisdom in too sometimes) how to live a ‘salty’ life in the world without losing our saltiness; mostly I need encouragement to keep on pressing on towards the goal…

    Things that I see in the Christians around me and I struggle with (because they don’t see it as wrong but I do) include: dressing appropriately (men and women wearing skin-tight trousers and tops that barely cover anything); the wife/mother not going to work being a valid option for the Christian home (only one other mother in the church doesn’t work, and one other woman works less so that she can properly be her husband’s helpmeet); and the amount of stuff you do and/or have being a measure of how much God has blessed you.

    Also: I am currently meeting weekly with an older lady in the church who stayed home when her children were there (the youngest is about my age), and she is helping me to learn how to be a Godly wife and mother. Having someone who can mentor you like this is so important, and it took me some time to find her (all the way until I gave up searching and asked God – He brought her to mind). It doesn’t even have to be someone older, your mentor can be just one step ahead of you.

  70. What an awesome post! This would be wonderful to do with our daughters as well. Thank you for saying what all christian women think and feel at times but have a hard time admitting. i know that I battle this regularly and always remind myself, if I die tomorrow, will this “external beauty/ desire” even matter? Do I want my children to look at me in pictures and say, “wow our mom was so beautiful looking” or do I want them to say “wow our mom loved Jesus so much and that is what truly made her beautiful.” It is so hard, but with the Holy Spirit, true beauty will transcend outwardly. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for this study!!!

  71. Hi! I just came acrossed your youtube videos today and to be honest…..I FELL IN LOVE with it all! I wouls love for you to talk about how to combat peoples opionion on being a homemaker in a world that is $$$ drivin. I feel like I am always being looked down on for not wanting more money. Thanks for all you do! God bless.

  72. Thank you so much for starting this series! My sister and I have been told we are “so beautiful” all of our lives, and now as adults we are so self-conscious and I don’t want my 6 year old daughter to grow up feeling that her beauty is what her worth is based on. I have had employers hire me when I could tell they just wanted a certain look. Now that I am a mom and have health problems, I am 30 pounds heavier and hate it. My sister is more extreme, as she has resorted to plastic surgery at age 20 to maintain beauty. I want to know how to accept myself and not feel that people like me based on looks, and I want to know how to raise a daughter to know that our value comes from God.

  73. I just wanted you to know that I love the highlighted hair, fake nails, and waving hands too. 🙂 I think it’s awesome that you make time for yourself. 🙂 I would love to see you write about how it is OK and honorable to take time out for yourself as a woman and mommy. So many women I know feel guilty about getting beauty treatments, etc. I say, why feel guilty?? We are daughters of the King – we can still serve him, as well as enjoy mani’s, pedi’s, highlights, etc! Blessings beautiful woman of God!

  74. Courtney, Cheers to you for being faithful enough to take on this (loaded) topic which you have so gracefully admitted you still struggle with. Thank you. I echo many of the comments above, especially the suggestions about expectations within a marriage, teaching girls (and boys) about purity and modesty, and in general being aware of the effects that media and advertising have on our desires – often muddling the distinction between “needs” and “wants.” What are your thoughts for learning to be content with what we have and see the abundance in whatever our current state is?

    Additionally, although I personally believe the best place for me to be is home with my children – I do still see the options that women have today as a blessing. I would be interested in seeing an article about teaching our children how to make sound choices that are based in Scripture without passing judgement on those who have yet to be saved or even introduced to Christ. We can witness to and pray for others who are lost, but ultimately, it is up to God to soften and change hearts.

    How do we teach our children to have compassion for the struggles facing our brothers and sisters while giving them the strength to live their lives as an example to others? How do we teach them to live among sinners, as Christ did, and be a light that makes people ask “Where does she get her spark from? How can he have such a zest for life? Why does she seem so calm amidst the turbulence in her life?” How do we teach our children to listen to their hearts and God’s call for their life instead of chasing a job/career for other reasons? How do we have faith to listen to that call ourselves?

  75. Courtney, girl we would be best buds if we lived in the same part of the world!

    I too have started “vlogging” due to nugging from the Lord. It is not something I would have ever started on my own because I DO NOT LIKE MYSELF ON CAMERA. I am so terribly critical of myself ~like most women~ but I put it out there anyway so the Lord can use it to help young girls live live to the full!

    I too have always been a high-maintenance girl {hair, nails, makeup, cute clothes, etcccc} and God has been changing my heart and all this and is prompting me to blog about the changes I am making. I have been in the beauty industry for 25 years==so for a high maintenance girl to go more natural is HUGE ! haha

    Isn’t is neat how as a blogger lead by the Lord….he puts these ideas to swirl around in your head to mull over and then put them into words when you begin to type? I love it! only a blogger would get this! hehe

    Looking forward to this sister in Christ!

    Blessings,
    Shan
    The How to Guru

  76. I can’t wait to read this series! Living in Opposite World is challenging every day. And even more so when you add raising children to the mix. Can’t wait to see what these weeks will bring!

    And girl, I love watching your videos! I think your hair, nails and fun clothes are what makes you “you”. I think you would be a ball of fun to hang with, and I think that every time I see you! I’m sure it’s because your inner beauty shines through so much. So let go of your worries about that! 🙂

  77. Hi Courtney,
    I know you are mourning right now and I am so sorry for your loss. Please take all the time you need and know that we are praying for you and your family.
    I love the idea for this upcoming series. I’m a relatively new Christian – I’ve always believed in God – but my parents were not real believers themselves and I never really learned what it meant to be Christian 7-days a week until now. So I’m learning. And I’m loving it. And I’m so very, very thankful for people like you who help me along the way.
    Anyway, I found this new Dove video about women’s self-perception of their own beauty on Facebook this morning. It made me cry and then I began to think about your upcoming series because what these women saw in themselves was the polar opposite of what others saw. Wow. I thought maybe this could be a useful idea to you too, maybe? You can see it here (if you haven’t already!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iswiKQbtwXQ
    Blessings,
    …candice

  78. I love reading all of your posts, especially your ‘Opposite World’ series. I was wondering if you would consider doing a post about Christian relationships/dating/abstinence in the modern world. I’ve found that a lot of people think it’s ‘uncool’ or ‘old-fashioned’ to stay pure before marriage. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject! God Bless! 🙂

  79. I am a bit late chiming in but I hope you get this. I want to tell you what I see when I watch your videos… a woman who inspires me to want to love Jesus more… a woman who dresses very ‘girly’ yet modestly and I love your style… a woman that knows it is okay to enjoy feminine things and is beautiful but her true beauty shines from within. As another girly girl who loves makeup, clothing and all things to do with being a girl, I identify with that… but make no mistake, you inspire me to want to have inner beauty more than exterior. Blessings to you… and I SO am enjoying your videos and website.

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