You Are Here
by Dannah Gresh
What does it mean to “get lost”? The dictionary definition is “to absent oneself.” That is, to keep yourself away from something. So what will you be keeping yourself away from? Surprisingly, the answer is not guys. Not really. Though they may seem to be the problem, you need to keep away from something far more troublesome.
Part of getting lost is getting over yourself. Letting go of your plans, your desires, and your dreams. Stepping away from the things you are forcing and controlling. Releasing yourself from a fixation on things you think you need.
And it will be no small task!
The culture is continually programming us to be self-centered. “Follow your dreams.” “Be true to yourself.” “You’ll do great things.” “If you want it, go get it.” These clichés are a symptom of the self-centered attitude that undermines our ability to love well.
And the fact is, you’re going to need that kind of love to have a good marriage one day, if that’s what God has planned for your future. You see, a marriage that works is one in which each partner submits to the other. Putting another person’s desires ahead of your own requires incredible self-denial. In our me-centered culture, it’s hard to comprehend that kind of love. And—I’m going out on an unpopular limb here—I believe it’s even harder for women to love well than it is for men.
Why It’s Harder for Women to Love
Remember, for women the consequences of the Fall include an insatiable desire for guys and a resistance to God’s design for marriage to unite two people who serve and give of themselves to each other.
In my own heart the second part of the Violent Craving was fanned into flame by a movement that meant to do a lot of good for women: radical feminism. The movement did bring about some helpful changes. I’m thankful I can legally vote, own property, and make more money than my husband! But it also led me to believe that I had to exert my independence to be a strong woman and should expect my young husband to serve me—all the while resisting any suggestion that I should serve or help him. These lies strike at the heart of agape, which always gives preference to others rather than demanding equality and which offers itself in service rather than insisting on independence.
Please hear me: I’m not advocating a return to the days when a woman was considered inferior to a man, valued only for what she contributed to his success. I believe both today’s radical feminism and yesteryear’s male chauvinism rob us of our ability to mirror God’s love in marriage. He calls both men and women to be other-focused and to uplift one another. This kind of love—agape—satisfies the true craving of our hearts.
It might not seem as if this matters to you right here, right now. But, unfortunately the roots of self-focus, emasculation, and independence are often planted deeply during our dating years. A controlling, self-absorbed spirit doesn’t show up in your life the day you say “I do.” It grows over time, choice by selfish choice.
Here’s what I’m trying to say: Getting lost means getting over yourself so that you can experience the all-encompassing love of God in such a way that you are directed by His desires and dreams. Oh, I know you want “Doritos,” but your soul needs something of greater nutritional value. If you can learn to do this hard thing, I promise you’ll find His love to be deep, rich, and satisfying. Experiencing this level of relationship with God now will prepare you to paint a beautiful picture of generous, life-giving love in your marriage one day.
Excerpted from Get Lost by Dannah Gresh. Copyright ©2013 by Dannah Gresh. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.